Maureen Lipman, Hannah Waddingham, Alexander Hanson and I’d Do Anything runner-up Jessie Buckley have been confirmed in the cast of Trevor Nunn’s production of Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, which plays at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 22 November.
Stage and screen actress Lipman will play Madame Armfeldt in the Menier’s production. Lipman has been a familiar face on television for the past three decades in programmes including Agony, Re: Joyce!, About Face, Doctor Who and Jonathan Creek. She briefly joined the soap Coronation Street and has appeared in a range of films including The Pianist and Oklahoma!, the screen version of Trevor Nunn’s Laurence Olivier Award-winning production at the National Theatre in 1998, in which Lipman also starred. Since beginning her career as part of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, Lipman has performed frequently on the stage and has credits including See How They Run, for which she won Comedy Performance of the Year at the 1984 Laurence Olivier Awards, Live And Kidding and, most recently, Glorious! at the Duchess in 2005.
Waddingham, who will play Desiree in A Little Night Music, was last on the London stage in Monty Python’s Spamalot, in which she created the role of the Lady of the Lake in the West End. After more than a year in the show at the Palace, Waddingham headed to New York to star in the musical on Broadway. The actress’s previous theatre credits include The Beautiful Game and Tonight’s The Night.
Hanson, who plays Fredrik, most recently played German officer Otto in new Boublil and Schönberg musical Marguerite at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The highly experienced actor’s career has also encompassed roles in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, the musicals Sunset Boulevard, Aspects Of Love and the recent production of The Sound Of Music at the London Palladium, in which he stepped into the role of Captain Von Trapp just days before opening night.
The role of Anne is to be played by 19-year-old Buckley, who was thrust into the limelight on BBC reality casting programme I’d Do Anything earlier this year. Though she went all the way to the final, Buckley lost out on the chance to play Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! to winner Jodie Prenger.
The cast of A Little Night Music also includes Kaisa Hammarlund (Cabaret, Sunday In The Park With George) as Petra, Alistair Robins (Richard II at the Old Vic) as Count Carl-Magnus and Gabriel Vick (Avenue Q, Cabaret) as Henrik, plus John Addison, Florence Andrews, Laura Armstrong, Lynden Edwards, Charlotte Page and Nicola Sloane.
A romantic musical in waltz time, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music is based on the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles Of A Summer Night and centres on the passionate liaisons of four couples over a midsummer weekend in turn-of-the-century Sweden. Sondheim’s score includes the celebrated song Send In The Clowns.
The Menier Chocolate Factory production has a press night on 3 December and is booking until 8 March 2009.