Thom Southerland‘s acclaimed London premiere of Colin Higgins’ 1971 black romantic comedy drama Harold and Maude has added six weeks to its limited run at Charing Cross Theatre.
Linda Marlowe and Patrick Walshe McBride are announced today as the production’s new title stars, taking over from Sheila Hancock and Bill Milner on Monday 2 April until the new end of the run on 12 May 2018. All the rest of original cast are staying for the extended season. There will be a new press performance on 9 April.
Harold and Maude is an idiosyncratic romantic fable told though the eyes of the most unlikely pairing: a compulsive, self-destructive young man and a devil-may-care, septuagenarian bohemian. Dame Marjorie “Maude” Chardin is a free spirit who wears her hair in braids, believes in living each day to its fullest, and “trying something new every day”.
Harold Parker Chasen is an 18-year-old man who is obsessed with death, attends funerals of strangers for entertainment and stages elaborate fake suicides. Through meeting Maude at a funeral, he discovers joy in living for the first time. Part dark comedy and romantic innocence, Harold and Maude dissolves the line between darkness and light along with ones that separate people by class, gender and age.
The production, which originally opened in February for six weeks only, has been nominated for five Off West End Awards: Best Female for Sheila Hancock, Best Male for Bill Milner, Best Costumes for Jonathan Lipman, Best Set for Francis O’Connor and Best Lighting for Matt Clutterham.
The cast also features: Anthony Cable, Rebecca Caine, Christopher Dickins, Joanna Hickman, Samuel Townsend, Anne White and Johnson Willis. Harold and Maude is produced by Steven M Levy and Vaughan Williams.
Linda Marlowe worked with Steven Berkoff over a 25-year span as his leading lady in most of his plays, touring internationally and in the West End. Her association with him gave rise to her first solo show, Berkoff’s Women. She followed that with No Fear, Mortal Ladies Possessed, Believe, The World’s Wife, written by Carol Ann Duffy, the poet Laureate, and Miss Havisham’s Expectations. She has toured these shows nationally and internationally and won the What’s On Stage, Peoples Choice Theatre Award as Best Actress in her solo show Berkoff’s Women, seen in the West End at the Ambassadors Theatre. In her many TV and film appearances she has worked with Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Albert Finney, Adrien Brody and Gillian Anderson. She last appeared at Charing Cross Theatre as the star of Tennessee Williams’ In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel.
Patrick Walshe McBride is currently appearing daily on BBC1 as series regular Sebastian in Shakespeare & Hathaway. On stage he played the title role in Peer Gynt (Barbican and BBC Radio 3) and appeared in the West End with Nicole Kidman in Photograph 51 (Noel Coward). Patrick was a finalist for the Michael Bryant Award (National Theatre) and the Carleton Hobbs Award (BBC Radio).