Maria Aitken To Return To West End

News   Maria Aitken To Return To West End

Maria Aitken is to make a welcome return to the West End stage in June when she heads a new cast for Charlotte Jones's play Humble Boy at the Gielgud Theatre.

Humble Boy, which currently co-stars Simon Russell Beale and Felicity Kendal, is in effect a modern take on Hamlet, in which an astrophysicist (Beale) has problems with the death of his father (William Gaunt) and an uneasy relationship with his mother (Kendal).

Aitken, whose stage persona is nearer to that of Dame Diana Rigg (who originated the role at the National) will, beginning June 9, bring her unique delivery — a languid cattiness laced with humor — to the role of Flora Humble. She excels in period plays, especially Noël Coward, and in particular as larger-than-life mothers. She was superb in both The Vortex, at the Garrick in the 1980's and in Hay Fever, at the Albery in the 90's.

Aitken will play opposite Adrian Scarborough as her son, Felix, while William Gaunt, currently playing the ghost of her husband, will take over the departing Denis Quilley's role as her suitor and would-be new husband.

—By Paul Webb Theatrenow