Flu Delays Maggie Smith's First Preview of The Lady from Dubuque

By John Nathan
March 2, 2007

The first preview of the London revival of Edward Albee's The Lady of Dubuque has been delayed due to Dame Maggie Smith suffering a bout of the flu.

Previews of Anthony Page's production, featuring the 72-year-old actress, were originally scheduled to begin March 3 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Performances will now begin March 6 with an official opening March 20.

The cast also includes Catherine McCormack (in the role of Jo), who was last seen in the West End in an adaptation of The 39 Steps. Joining Smith and McCormack are Robert Sella as Sam, Chris Larkin (Edgar), Peter Francis James (Oscar), Vivienne Benesch (Lucinda), Jennifer Regan (Carol) and Glenn Fleshler (Fred).

American actors Benesch, Fleshler, James, Regan and Sella are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.

Page directed the acclaimed New York revival of Albee's Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starring Tony winner Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner, who was nominated for a Best Actress Olivier and won an Evening Standard Award for her performance in the London run.

The design team comprises Hildegard Bechtler (set design), Amy Roberts (costume design) and Howard Harrison (lighting design). Producers are Robert Fox, Elizabeth Ireland McCann and The Shubert Organization.

The Lady From Dubuque, according to a press notice, is described thusly: "Jo and Sam are having a party. As the evening wears and guests and hosts alike become less congenial, it becomes clear that the thrust and parry of chatter at this gathering isn't completely frivolous — something dark is at rest behind Jo's biting humour. As the party breaks up and everyone seeks his own solace, an unexpected guest and her mysterious companion arrive. Will she bring Jo comfort? And are Jo and Sam ready to accept what this lady has to offer?" The play debuted on Broadway in 1980.

The Lady From Dubuque will offer performances Mondays-Saturdays at 8 PM with matinees Wednesdays and Saturdays at 3 PM.

The production is currently booking until June 9. Call 0870 145 1171 for tickets.