Henshall, who is best known for her appearances in musicals on both sides of the Atlantic, was recently seen in the West End in the title role of the Boublil/Schonberg/Legrand musical Marguerite at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2008. She has been nominated for the Olivier Award four times, and won the Best Actress in a Musical Award in 1995 for her performance in the London transfer of She Loves Me. She has also originated the role of Roxie Hart in the current production of Chicago, starring opposite Ute Lemper, and has subsequently also appeared in the show on Broadway as both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. She has also appeared on Broadway in the Sondheim revue Putting It Together in 1999, and as a take-over Ellen in Miss Saigon. Other West End roles include Peggy Sue Got Married and Nancy in Oliver! In the U.S., she has also appeared in the TV series "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Mysteries of 71st Street" and "Law and Order."
Henshall will play Elvira, the neurotic first wife of novelist Charles Condomime (played by Robert Bathurst), whose ghost is conjured by an eccentric medium Madame Arcati (Steadman) at a séance. Charles is now married to his second wife Ruth (Hermione Norris), and Elvira is determined to sabotage the relationship.
The production is directed by Thea Sharrock, who previously staged the play at the West End's Savoy Theatre in 2004, when Penelope Keith played the role of Madame Arcati. Designs are by Hildegarde Bechtler and lighting by Mark Henderson. It is being produced under the auspices of Theatre Royal Bath Productions.
Blithe Spirit runs at Bath's Theatre Royal Nov. 3-13, then visits Brighton Theatre Royal (Nov. 16-21) and Cambridge's Arts Theatre (Nov. 22-27), Milton Keynes Theatre (Feb. 14-19, 2011) and Richmond Theatre in Southwest London (Feb. 21-26), before arriving at the Apollo Theatre to begin performances March 2, 2011, where it is booking through June 18. To book tickets for the West End run, contact the box office on 0871 297 0777, or visit www.nimaxtheatres.com.