Jason Gardiner, Lara Denning, Kim Maresca, Harriet Thorpe and Tracie Bennett join the company of Joel Paley and Marvin Laird’s award-winning all-female character camp killer cult classic Ruthless! The Musical for its 14-week run at the Arts Theatre.
Thinking about this most well-received of plays, it is the role of Aunt Maggie Faraway who lingers most in my mind, the elegiac beauty of her speeches an elegant way of folding in traditions of Irish storytelling and emphasising the deep bonds of family.
It’s been 30 years since a fully staged production of Follies has been seen on a London stage so there’s been a huge buzz surrounding the current production at the National Theatre, which boasts a stellar cast.
It’s been a while since the National Theatre last revived a great song and dance extravaganza and a Sondheim one at that. But with Dominic Cooke’s production of Follies, the NT’s reputation as one of the nation’s finest creators of musical theatre is restored.
Not a harsh word can be uttered about any of the big Sondheim numbers, or against the stellar cast – especially the women. Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee, Tracie Bennett, Josephine Barstow – be still my beating heart!