Penny Downie to Star in Storm in a Flower Vase at London's Arts Theatre
By Mark Shenton
Penny Downie will star as the iconic floral designer and best-selling cookery writer Contance Spry in Storm in a Flower Vase, a new play by Anton Burge that begins performances Sept. 13 at London's Arts Theatre prior to an official opening Sept. 20, for a run through Oct. 12.
Downie, who was last seen on the West End stage in Butley opposite Dominic West at the Duchess Theatre, has previously starred in the RSC's Hamlet, playing Gertrude opposite David Tennant, and Penelope in The Penelopiad.
Alan Strachan will direct a cast that also features Carolyn Backhouse as Gluck, Sally George as Val Pirie, Sheila Ruskin as Rosemary, Carol Royle as Syrie and Christopher Ravenscroft as Shav.
Burge's play is inspired by Sue Shepherd's "The Surprising Life of Constance Spry." Spry was the high society florist of choice, who styled two royal weddings and the Queen's coronation and invented the dish, Coronation Chicken. Heralded as a woman ahead of her time, she changed the lives of ordinary people by showing with a little imagination homes could be transformed with little money.
Burge's Bette and Joan was also presented at the Arts Theatre in 2011, starring Greta Scaachi and Anita Dobson, produced by Ann Pinnington Productions, who also produces Storm in a Flower Vase in association with Mig Kimpton.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7836 8463 or visit www.artstheatrewestend.co.uk for more details.
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