Full casting has been announced for the National Theatre’s exciting revival of the Sondheim musical masterpiece Follies, with Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton set to play the titular trio.
Follies transports audiences to 1971 New York, where a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre offers a chance for its former stars to reminisce with drinks and dancing – the night before the building is due to be demolished. The production features a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, and is directed by Dominic Cooke (the Olivier Award-winning Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).
Among the new names announced are Zizi Strallen (who recently played Mary Poppins in the show’s UK tour) as Young Phyllis – youthful counterpart to Janie Dee’s older Phyills Rogers Stone – and Leisha Mollyneaux (Carousel at the ENO) as Young Stella (with the older Stella Deems played by Dawn Hope).
Bennett will play Carlotta Campion, while Staunton will portray Sally Durrant Plummer.
The full cast also includes Julie Armstrong (Sandra Crane), Norma Attallah (Emily Whitman), Josephine Barstow (Heidi Schiller), Jeremy Batt (Chorus Boy), Di Botcher (Hattie Walker), Billy Boyle (Theodore Whitman), Anouska Eaton (Young Emily), Liz Ewing (Company), Geraldine Fitzgerald (Solange Lafitte), Peter Forbes (Buddy Plummer), Emily Goodenough (Showgirl), Bruce Graham (Roscoe), Adrian Grove (Sam Deems), Fred Haig (Young Buddy), Aimee Hodnett (Young Hattie), Liz Izen (Deedee West), Alison Langer (Young Heidi), Emily Langham (Young Carlotta), Sarah-Marie Maxwell (Young Solange), Ian McLarnon (Company), Gemma Page (Christine Donovan), Kate Parr (Young Sandra), Philip Quast (Ben Stone), Edwin Ray (Chorus Boy), Gary Raymond (Dimitri Weismann), Adam Rhys-Charles (Young Ben), Jordan Shaw (Chorus Boy), Barnaby Thompson (Chorus Boy), Christine Tucker (Young Deedee), Michael Vinsen (Chorus Boy) and Alex Young (Young Sally).
Director Dominic Cooke said: “I love Follies for its iconic score, brutal honesty and psychological accuracy. It depicts a profound crisis and that most American of themes: the question for authenticity in a world of illusion.”
“For this production we have put together a book mainly drawn from original 1971 text with some additions from later rewrites. We have brought together an incredible cast and a top notch team. I can’t wait to get started.”
Follies plays at the National Theatre from 22 August.