All-Star Cast Brings Fuddy Meers to London's Arts Theatre

News   All-Star Cast Brings Fuddy Meers to London's Arts Theatre
 
London’s Arts Theatre hasn’t traditionally gone in for star casting. Instead, they’ve carved out quite a niche in cult shows such as, recently, The Madness of George Dubya, Shakespeare’s R&J and The Dice House. But the forthcoming production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s play Fuddy Meers is filled with stars from both sides of the Atlantic.
Katie Finneran in Noises Off!
Katie Finneran in Noises Off!

Matthew Lillard is known to filmgoers as the star of movies like “Scream” and “Scooby-Doo” (soon to be joined by the upcoming “Wicker Park,” opposite Josh Hartnett). Joining him at the Arts will be Katie Finneran, who’s also busy building a screen career (she’ll be heard, voicing Goosey Lucy, alongside Joan Cusack in 2005’s animated flick “Chicken Little”) but is best known as a Tony-winning Broadway star. She won her Tony as 2002’s Best Featured Actress in a Play for Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, and has also appeared in major New York productions of The Iceman Cometh and Cabaret.

If Lillard and Finneran supply American glamour, Brit names will include Julia McKenzie and Nicholas Le Prevost. Both have been associated most recently with musicals. McKenzie is one of the UK’s foremost Sondheim interpreters, and has recently been tapped to co-star in the Disney-Cameron Mackintosh Mary Poppins, while Le Prevost was widely praised for his campy Colonel Pickering in Mackintosh’s My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

At the Arts, Finneran will play Claire, an amnesiac who wakes up every morning not knowing who she is. The play (a 1999 Off-Broadway hit described by Variety as “antically zany”) depicts a day-long journey of self-discovery, as she meets a series of memorable, often ambiguous characters. The title comes from Claire’s mother who, recovering from a stroke, pronounces “funny mirrors” as “fuddy meers.”

The show will warm-up at the Birmingham Rep. between April 16 and May 8 before transferring to London. It’s to be a co-production between the Birmingham Rep, SCAMP (Sam Mendes’s new production company) and Fiery Angel’s Edward Snape. Angus Jackson will direct, with designs by Lez Brotherston. Neil Austin will supply the lighting, with Alex Gallafent as composer and sound designer.

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