Oscar Nominee Blethyn to Take Manchester Menagerie on U.K. Tour

News   Oscar Nominee Blethyn to Take Manchester Menagerie on U.K. Tour Two-time Academy Award nominee Brenda Blethyn will reprise the role of Amanda Wingfield in the Manchester Royal Exchange production of The Glass Menagerie for a six-date U.K. national tour, kicking off at the Bath Theatre Royal on Aug. 26 (where it runs to Aug. 30).
Brenda Blethyn
Brenda Blethyn

The tour will subsequently play the Malvern Festival Theatre (Sept. 8-13), Richmond Theatre, London (Sept. 15-20), Norwich's Theatre Royal (Sept. 22-27), Eastbourne's Devonshire Park Theatre (Sept. 29-Oct. 4) and the Chichester Festival Theatre (Oct. 6-11).

The production originally played at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre April 9-May 24. The tour is being produced by Duncan C. Weldon and Theatre Royal Bath Productions, with the entire original Manchester cast reunited alongside Blethyn.

The play revolves around Blethyn's character, Amanda Wingfield, the troubled matriarch who is desperate for her adult children to avoid her own mistakes. Dreaming of ways to improve the lot of a son, Tom, who's rarely home and a daughter, Laura, who rarely isn't, Amanda longs for a gentleman caller who can transform everything.

The cast also includes Mark Arends as Tom (seen at the Royal Exchange in Henry V and What Every Woman Knows, and in Early Bird at the Royal Court and Marianne Dreams at the Almeida), Emma Hamilton as Laura (Northanger Abbey for Salisbury Playhouse) and Andrew Langtree as the gentleman caller Jim O'Connor (The Rose Tattoo at the National Theatre).

Blethyn received Oscar nominations for her performances in "Little Voice" and "Secrets and Lies" (winning the Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for Best Actress for the latter), and has also starred in the films "Saving Grace" and "Pride and Prejudice." She has previously appeared at the Royal Exchange in Born Yesterday, A Doll's House and An Ideal Husband. On the London stage, credits include Habeas Corpus (Donmar Warehouse) and Mrs Warren's Profession (Strand Theatre, now the Novello). She also recently starred in an Australian production of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, where she was directed by Royal Exchange founding artistic director Braham Murray, who also now directs her in this classic play. Blethyn made her Broadway debut in the 2004 revival of 'night, Mother.