Rehearsals have begun for the National Theatre’s upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical starring Imelda Staunton. Here’s a glimpse of what has been happening… 

4. (l-r) Imelda Staunton and Liz Ewing FOLLIES - photo by Johan Persson
Imelda Staunton and Liz Ewing. (c) JohanPersson. 

New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.

Including such classic songs as Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind, Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre.

10. (l-r) Janie Dee and Zizi Strallen FOLLIES - photo by Johan Persson.jpg
Janie Dee and Zizi Strallen (c) Johan Persson. 

This production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical is directed by Dominic Cooke, who previously directed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the National Theatre.

Starring Janie Dee, Imelda Staunton and Tracie Bennett as the magnificent Follies, the production features a cast of 37 as well as an orchestra of 21 musicians.

14. Dominic Cooke (Director) with some of the company FOLLIES - photo by Johan Persson
Director Dominic Cooke with some of the company of Follies. (c) Johan Persson. 

The full cast includes: Julie Armstrong, Norma Atallah, Josephine Barstow, Jeremy Batt, Tracie Bennett, Di Botcher, Billy Boyle, Janie Dee, Anouska Eaton, Liz Ewing, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Forbes, Emily Goodenough, Bruce Graham, Adrian Grove, Fred Haig, Aimee Hodnett , Dawn Hope, Liz Izen, Alison Langer, Emily Langham, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, Ian McLarnon, Leisha Mollyneaux, Gemma Page, Kate Parr, Philip Quast, Edwin Ray, Gary Raymond, Adam Rhys-Charles, Jordan Shaw, Imelda Staunton, Zizi Strallen, Barnaby Thompson, Christine Tucker, Michael Vinsen and Alex Young.

20. (l-r) Di Botcher and Geraldine Fitzgerald FOLLIES - photo by Johan Persson
Di Botcher and Geraldine Fitzgerald. (c) Johan Persson. 

Follies originally premiered on Broadway in 1971, when it was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, winning seven. It then premiered in London in 1987 and has been revived numerous times across the world. This production is the National Theatre’s first production of the musical.

Previous Stephen Sondheim work to be performed at the National includes productions of A Little Night MusicSweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.

3. Tracie Bennett FOLLIES - photo by Johan Persson
Tracie Bennett. (c) Johan Persson. 

Follies will play at the National Theatre from the 22nd August until the 3rd January 2018. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/follies

 

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