Olivier Award winner Imelda Staunton, who wowed the West End last year in a revival of Gypsy and who played the memorably villainous Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films, will take on another legendary musical role, starring as Sally in a fall 2017 London revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies.
Janie Dee will play Phyllis. No other casting was reported.
The National Theatre is producing the revival that will be directed by Dominic Cooke, whose production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the National drew raves last season.
Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, gave Playbill.com the following statement: “We are thrilled Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee will return to the National in 2017 in Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's masterpiece Follies. Musical theatre is hugely important and of course, like audiences all over the world I love Stephen’s work. Imelda’s performance in Guys and Dolls at the NT is the stuff of legend and I am delighted she is to take the lead in Follies under the direction of Dominic Cooke.”
Further information about the project was promised at the NT’s autumn press conference on October 11.
The 1971 musical is set at a late-life reunion of singers and dancers from Broadway’s long-vanished Weissman Follies. As the participants try to sort out the mistakes of their lives, they are surrounded by the glamorous ghosts of their younger selves.
Staunton’s Gypsy has been rumored for a Broadway transfer for nearly a year, and London columnist Baz Bamigboye tweeted again September 29 that it was coming in 2018.