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Seagrove and Shaw bring Country to London

Published 25 June 2010

Judge John Deed co-stars Jenny Seagrove and Martin Shaw will reunite on the West End stage this autumn when they star in Clifford Odets’s The Country Girl at the Apollo theatre.

The production, directed by Rufus Norris, begins its London season on 6 October and will run until 26 February 2011.

Odets’s play tells the story of fading, alcoholic actor Frank Elgin (Shaw), who is given the chance to once again headline a show, and his long-suffering wife Georgie (Seagrove). Believing Georgie to be the reason for Elgin’s decline, the show’s director, Bernie, strikes up a stormy relationship with the actor’s wife. But how far should she go to redeem the man she loves?

The play is probably best known for its 1954 film adaptation starring Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in the lead roles. The movie went on to win two Oscars including Best Actress for Kelly in the year that Judy Garland was expected to win for her performance in A Star Is Born. It was recently revived on Broadway with a cast including Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand.

Seagrove, who has performed in nearly every West End playhouse, concluded her run in Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce at London’s Duke of York’s theatre just last week and was previously seen in A Daughter’s A Daughter at the Trafalgar Studios last Christmas.

Shaw has been away from the London stage a little longer. He last trod the boards in the capital in A Man For All Seasons at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2006. Shaw starred in a previous production of The Country Girl, also staged at the Apollo theatre, in 1983, taking on the role of theatre director Bernie Dodd.

The cast also includes Mark Letheren, Nicolas Day, Peter Harding, Thomasin Rind and Luke Shaw.

The Country Girl will open at the Apollo theatre following the critically acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. The tale of forbidden love, loyalty, guilt and the corrupting power of greed, which stars Zoë Wanamaker and David Suchet, has proved so popular that it has extended its run until 2 October.

MA

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