The tradition of 'the show must go on' has waned over recent years. However,audiences at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne are being reassured by 81-year-old Googie Withers, that some stars will not disappoint their public. Playing Lady Markby in Sir Peter Hall's production of An Ideal Husband,Withers is on stage at each 'curtain up' with a broken foot she suffered after a recent fall at her Sydney home. Since her long and illustrious stage career began in London some 65 years ago, she has never missed a scheduled performance. Scenes were reblocked to allow easier exits and entrances.
Googie Withers and her husband John McCallum are a revered theatrical couple whose popularity has helped assure the box-office success of this production.Last week it was taking more than $100,000(Australian) at each performance.Also on stage from England are Nicky Henson and Stephanie Beacham,along with local stars John Waters and Josephine Byrnes. The limited season of An Ideal Husband concludes it's Melbourne run on March 8. Plans are underway for another tour to include Adelaide and Perth later in the year.Bookings 115666.
--By Peter Ford