Theatre legend, Oscar winner and five time Tony Award winner Dame Angela Lansbury returned to the West End this spring for the first time in nearly 40 years in a revival of Noel Coward’s 1941 glacial comedy Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre.
She reunites with director Michael Blackmore to reprise the role of one of stage’s most loveable gargoyles, the dotty mystical fraud, Madame Arcati. “It’s a character Dame Angela adores. She’s completely off the wall but utterly secure in her own convictions.” She won her 5th Tony playing the part in 2009.
A sprightly (maybe spiritly) 88, she’s the oldest performer appearing on the West End stage, seven years Robert Vaughn‘s senior (who appears in Twelve Angry Men at the Garrick.) It’s a remarkable performance. She’s on stage for most of the two and a half hours with a huge amount of lines and some energetic dance routines.
I have a 50% success rate when it comes to sending stuff to Broadway Theatres for signatures, so I was very happy to receive my sketches back from Catherine Zeta Jones and the legendary Angela Lansbury in February 2010. Both were starring in Stephen Sondheim’s 1973 musical A Little Night Music at the Walter Kerr Theatre. And both were nominated for a Tony Award, with Catherine winning for Best Actress in a Musical, a category Angela had previously been nominated in 4 times, winning on each occasion. For this production Angela was nominated for Featured Actress in a Musical. She didn’t win, but had won in the same category in 2009 for Blithe Spirit.