Wilde's Ideal Husband to Be Revived in West End with Night Music's Alexander Hanson

By Mark Shenton
July 23, 2010

Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband will be revived in the West End in a new production starring Samantha Bond, Elliott Cowan, Alexander Hanson and Rachael Stirling. It will begin performances at the Vaudeville Theatre Nov. 4, prior to an official opening Nov. 10.



The play, last seen in the West End in a Peter Hall production starring Martin Shaw -- that subsequently went to Broadway in 1996 -- is being presented in a new production that is being directed by Lindsay Posner and produced by Kim Poster for Stanhope Productions. The cast will also include Caroline Blakiston, Fiona Button and Charles Kay.

According to press materials, Sir Robert Chiltern (Alexander Hanson) is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife (Rachael Stirling). All this is threatened when Mrs. Cheveley (Samantha Bond) appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed. Sir Robert turns for help to his friend Lord Goring (Elliot Cowan), an apparently idle philanderer and the despair of his family. For the next 48 hours all their lives will be turned upside down.

Bond is best known for her role as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films starring Pierce Brosnan. She has appeared in many television series, including the ITV drama-comedy "Distant Shores," "Outnumbered" (BBC), "Mansfield Park," "Emma," "Rumpole of the Bailey" and "Agatha Christie's Poirot." On stage, Bond starred opposite Dame Judi Dench in David Hare's award-winning play Amy's View at the National Theatre, subsequently reprising her performance on Broadway for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Recent West End stage roles include Michael Frayn's Donkey's Years (Comedy Theatre), Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Tom Stoppard's Arcadia (Duke of York's).

Hanson is currently appearing on Broadway in A Little Night Music, reprising the role of Fredrik Egerman that he originated at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the show's West End transfer, for which he was Olivier-nominated for Best Actor in a Musical. Other West End leading roles include playing Captain Georg Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard, the original production of Stoppard's Arcadia at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket and roles in The Merchant of Venice and Troilus and Cressida at the National Theatre. TV credits include "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (BBC) and "Auf Wiedersehn Pet" (BBC).

Stirling was recently in Peter Hall’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre, Kingston with Judi Dench. Other stage credits include The Priory (Royal Court), and Theatre of Blood (National Theatre). TV credits include "Women in Love" (BBC), "Minder" (Talkback Thames), "Boy Meets Girl" (ITV) and "Lewis" (ITV). Film credits include "Centurion" and "The Young Victoria" with Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend.

Posner's recent West End credits include productions of A View from the Bridge, Carousel and Fiddler on the Roof. The production will be designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis, with lighting by Peter Mumford.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4663, or visit www.anidealhusbandwestend.com for more details.