Christopher Fry’s adaptation of Jean Anouilh’s comedy Ring Round The Moon returns to the West End next spring, opening at the Playhouse on 19 February (previews from 5 February). The revival sees Angela Thorne, who appeared in the 1967 production, return to the play in a new role. Also included in the cast are JJ Feild, Belinda Lang, Fiona Button and Elisabeth Dermot Walsh.
Anouilh’s 1950s-set comedy tells the tale of twins Hugo and Frederic (both played by Feild); the first heartless and aloof, the second thoughtful and diffident. As Hugo prepares an evening of charades and facades at the Spring Ball, he doesn’t expect to be outplayed by his wily aunt, who resolves his games with unexpectedly happy results.
When Thorne appeared in the Theatre Royal Haymarket production 40 years ago, it was in the role of Frederic’s fiancée Diana. In this new production she plays his quick-witted aunt. The seasoned actress most recently appeared at the National in The Reporter earlier this year.
Feild makes his West End debut in Ring Round The Moon, though to watchers of television he is not a new face. Among Feild’s credits are Northanger Abbey (in which he played Henry Tilney), Nicholas Nickleby, Perfect Strangers, The Ruby In The Smoke and Shadow In The North, which is to be shown by BBC1 on 30 December. His West End appearance begins an exciting year for Feild, in which he also stars in three films; O Jerusalem, Goal 3 and Telstar.
In Belinda Lang, Feild has another West End regular to guide him. The star of 90s sitcom 2 Point 4 Children has London stage credits including Hayfever (Haymarket), What The Butler Saw (Criterion), The Secret Rapture (Lyric) and Life X 3 (Savoy).
Walsh, who plays Thorne’s former role Diana, is currently playing Alithia in the Theatre Royal Haymarket production of The Country Wife. She has also recently appeared in the National Theatre productions of The Alchemist and The Life Of Galileo. Button’s most recent work was in Tom Stoppard’s award-winning Rock ‘N’ Roll.
The cast is completed by Emily Bruni, Joanna David, Peter Eyre, Andrew Havill and John Ramm. Sean Mathias (Suddenly Last Summer, Dance Of Death, A Little Night Music) directs, with design by Colin Richmond.
Ring Round The Moon follows Hergé’s Adventures Of Tintin into the Playhouse. The tale of a young Belgian reporter’s quest to find his friend who is lost in the Himalayas opened last week and runs until 12 January. em>MA