Maureen Lipman is to star in J B Priestley’s comedy When We Are Married at the Garrick theatre from 19 October (press night 27 October).
A comedy about class and hypocrisy, When We Are Married is set in a town in West Yorkshire in 1908. Three well-to-do couples – the Parkers, Soppitts and Helliwells – who were married on the same day in the same church by the same vicar 25 years ago, come together to celebrate their anniversaries. But disaster strikes when it is revealed that the vicar who married them wasn’t actually licensed, and these pillars of the community aren’t as respectably married as they thought.
Lipman returns to the stage to play Clara Soppitt. The acclaimed comic actress was last seen in the West End in Trevor Nunn’s production of A Little Night Music, also at the Garrick theatre, which earned her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination to add to her already substantial collection. Her other stage credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Glorious!, Wonderful Town!, Maureen Lipman Live And Kidding and See How They Run.
Lipman is joined in the cast by Roy Hudd, who plays a photographer from the local paper, Henry Ormonroyd. Recently seen in Coronation Street, Hudd’s lengthy career incorporates television, radio and stage, where his credits have included the musicals Oliver!, Hard Times and Underneath The Arches, for which he won a Laurence Olivier Award in 1982.
Lipman and Hudd are joined by London stage regulars Rosemary Ashe (The Witches Of Eastwick), Lynda Baron (Rookery Nook), Susie Blake (Wicked), David Horovitch (Bedroom Farce) and Sam Kelly (Wicked), plus The Bill regular Simon Rouse.
The work of British playwright Priestley, who died in 1984, has regularly been revived in the West End of late. Stephen Daldry’s hugely popular, long-running production of An Inspector Calls enjoyed another West End run last year, while Time And The Conways was revived at the National Theatre by Rupert Goold, also in 2009.
When We Are Married is directed by Christopher Luscombe, whose recent productions include Enjoy at the Gielgud theatre, Alphabetical Order at the Hampstead theatre and The Comedy Of Errors at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Currently at the Garrick theatre is David Essex musical All The Fun Of The Fair, which is booking to 5 September.