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Kendal leads London Speaking

Published October 19, 2012

Felicity Kendal, Kara Tointon, Jonathan Coy and Max Bennett will star in Lindsay Posner’s West End production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking next year.

Playing for a limited season from 14 May (press night 16 May) to 31 August at the Wyndham’s theatre, the production marks the first revival of Ayckbourn’s funny and charming play since it played to great acclaim at the Duke of York’s theatre in 1967.

Relatively Speaking tells the story of young loves Greg and Ginny, whose relationship is moving extremely quickly. Having only known each other a month, Greg decides to ask for Ginny’s hand in marriage, but when he turns up at the supposed address of her parents, he meets Philip and Shelia enjoying a peaceful afternoon in the garden.

Star of 70s sitcom The Good Life, Kendal was last seen in an Ayckbourn play nearly four decades ago when she starred in the West End premiere of The Norman Conquests. Renowned extensively across stage and screen, the acclaimed actress’ recent stage credits include Simon Gray’s The Last Cigarette and Mrs Warren’s Profession.

While former EastEnder Tointon is well known as the winner of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, she was recently seen on the West End stage in both Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends and Pygmalion, which also featured The Judas Kiss star Rupert Everett.

Bennett, who will star in the forthcoming production of The Promise in the final Donmar Trafalgar season, is well known for his film roles, starring opposite Jude Law and Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina. His theatre credits also include Posh and In Basildon at the Royal Court and Luise Miller at the Donmar Warehouse.

Best known for his on screen appearances in TV series including Downton Abbey, Rumpole, Hornblower and Brideshead Revisited, Coy has appeared on stage in Much Ado About Nothing, starring alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate, Nicholas Nickleby and Donkey’s Years.

Before directing the talented quartet in Ayckbourn’s acclaimed comedy next year, Posner, whose recent West End hits include Noises Off and Abigail’s Party, will direct Ken Stott, Anna Friel, Laura Carmichael and Samuel West in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, which opens at the Vaudeville theatre next month.

Relatively Speaking will feature designs by Peter McKintosh, the Olivier Award-winner behind the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre hit Crazy For You, and will open at the Wyndham’s theatre following the UK stage debut of Wallander’s Krister Henriksson in Doktor Glas, which plays from 16 April to 11 May.

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