The recent West End and Broadway revival of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, is set to open at Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre, Feb. 6.
Presented by John Frost, John McCallum, Queensland Performing Arts Trust and Bill Kenwright, An Ideal Husband is still a remarkably relevant comedy, revealing the fashionable world of London parties, politics, diplomacy and political blackmail.
Director Sir Peter Hall is coming to Australia for the first time to direct this production.
Producer John Frost said, "Peter Hall is a theatrical legend. We are proud to present his great revival of Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece and to have him visit Australia for the first time to direct this production. An Ideal Husband is currently playing at the West End for its fourth return season and has recently completed an enormously successful year on Broadway.
"We have assembled a brilliant international and Australian cast to present this witty, stylish Wilde play, and Sir Peter Hall's direction, combined with the lavish sets and costumes, make this the theatrical event of the season." Stephanie Beacham will create her Broadway role of Mrs Cheveley. Beacham is probably best remembered as Sable Colby in The Colbys and Dynasty. A well known actor to the Australian audiences is John Waters, who returns to the stage as Sir Robert Chiltern. Originally a singer and bass player, Waters came to Australia and landed the lead role of Claude in the 1969 production of Hair, and went on to star in television, film and tour nationally in his one-man show about John Lennon, Looking Through a Glass Onion.
Lady Chiltern is to be played by Josephine Burns, who won a Melbourne Green Room Award for best actress in a Musical, and a Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Actress on Australian Television.
Husband and wife team Googie Withers and John McCallum have returned to Australia to recreate their West End performances as Lady Markby and The Earl of Caversham. Withers has been a great ambassador for the theatre all over the world. She has been awarded an honorary Officer of Order of Australia (AO) by the Australian Government.
McCallum became managing director of J.C. Williamsons, then the largest theatrical organisation in the world, owning nine theatres, operating thirteen and mounting all its own productions. He has written four plays and has been awarded Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and the Order of Australia (AO). In 1996 he played Lord Caversham in Sir Peter Hall's production of An Ideal Husband at the Old Vic in London.
The role of Lord Goring is to be played by Nicky Henson. Henson was a founder member of the Young Vic Company and besides his many stage appearances, he has appeared in 25 films. Nicky also had a three year contract writing songs for Cliff Richard and the Shadows.
An Ideal Husband opens February 6 at Her Majesty's Theatre Melbourne. Bookings: Ticketmaster 11 566.
--By Peter Kemp