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Bio:
After leaving school, Riding worked at Chichester Festival Theatre for a season, playing Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She met her former husband, actor Peter O'Brien, at Chichester. She was next cast as a replacement Sally in the West End production of Me ... (read complete bio)

Photos

Stage Credits

  [West End]
London Return Engagement, 2019
Sally Durant Plummer
  [West End]
West End New Musical, 2017
Annie
  [West End]
Royal National Theatre Production, 2001
Eliza Doolittle [Replacement]
  [West End]
Original London Production, 2000
Jane
  [West End]
Royal National Theatre Production, 1998
Performer
  [UK Tour]
Touring Revival, 1998
Bertrande
  [West End]
Royal National Theatre Production, 1996
Sarah Brown
  [West End]
Royal National Theatre Production, 1995
Anne Egerman
  [West End]
Royal National Theatre Production, 1992
Julie Jordan
  [West End]
London Concert, 2006
Little Red Riding Hood

Joanna Riding Movies

Into the Woods
 
[2014]
Cinderella's Mother

Joanna Riding TV Shows

Jeeves and Wooster
 
[1991]
Chorus Girl
Casualty
 
[1993]
Jackie Walsh
Sean's Show
 
[1993]
Lizzie
Men of the World
 
[1995]
Carol
Wing and a Prayer
 
[1997]
Deborah Gough
The Royal
 
[2004]
Sheena Wilkinson
Midsomer Murders
 
[2006]
Sandra Butler
Where the Heart Is
 
[2006]
Terri Gough
Doctors
 
[2008]
Jane Galligan
Heartbeat
 
[2006-2008]
Tina Batley, Ange Walker
Holby City
 
[2004-2011]
Janet Fielding, Colette Berg, Sophie Byers
Stella
 
[2013]
Melissa
Ridley
 
[2022]
Eve Marbury
McDonald & Dodds
 
[2022]
Maeve Gibney
History of A Pleasure Seeker
 
[2022]
Naomi De Leeuw

Joanna Riding Biography

After leaving school, Riding worked at Chichester Festival Theatre for a season, playing Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She met her former husband, actor Peter O'Brien, at Chichester. She was next cast as a replacement Sally in the West End production of Me and My Girl.

In 1993, Riding played the role of Julie Jordan in Nicholas Hytner's Royal National Theatre revival of Carousel and won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. Also in 1993, she appeared as Sean Hughes' love interest 'Lizzie Workman' in the second series of Sean's Show. Her character was introduced via a parody of Grease's 'Summer Nights'.

In 1995 she played Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music opposite Judi Dench, followed by Sarah Brown in Richard Eyre's acclaimed revival of Guys and Dolls, both at the National Theatre. She created the role of Jane Smart in The Witches of Eastwick in 2000, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and in 2002 played the role of Eliza Doolittle in Trevor Nunn's National Theatre revival of My Fair Lady, for which she won her second Olivier Award.

On 12 May 2002, she appeared in the Richard Rodgers' Tribute Gala 'Some Enchanted Evening' at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which was broadcast on BBC Four and has since been released on DVD. At the concert she performed the song "An Old Man" from Two by Two.

Riding performed the role of Ruth in Blithe Spirit in 2004 on tour at the Milton Keynes Theatre and Theatre Royal, Bath, and at the Savoy Theatre in London. in 2004 she appeared in The Royal as Sheena, a woman suffering from post natal depression. In 2006 she played PC Rob Walker‚Äôs sister Ange when he married Dr Helen Trent in the episode ‚ÄėKeeping Secrets‚Äô.

From 1 December 2008 to 29 May 2010, Riding starred as Mrs. Wilkinson in the London production of Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre. She took maternity leave from the show between 23 December 2008 and 24 August 2009 when the role was played by Kate Graham. Following this, she headlined a one-off late afternoon concert on 24 October 2010 at Freedom Bar in Soho called Sondheim in Reverse, as part of the composer's 80th birthday celebrations.

In 2011, Riding starred in two musicals at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End. From 5 March to 21 May, she played Madame Emery in the Kneehigh Theatre Company's musical adaptation of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The production had its try-out at Leicester's Curve Theatre from 11 to 26 February. A month later, from 6 June to 6 August, she played jealous Italian mistress Maria Merelli in the London production of Lend Me A Tenor.

In 2013 she appeared in the Sky1 TV comedy series Stella as Melissa. Riding also portrayed Valerie Hobson in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Stephen Ward, and was one of few elements of the production to be praised by every major critic.

In 2014, Riding appeared as Cinderella's Mother in Rob Marshall's film version of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.

In September 2016 it was announced that Riding would take the leading role of Annie in The Girls musical written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth to open at The Phoenix Theatre, London on 27 January 2017.

In July 2022 Riding played Rose in the Buxton Festival production of the Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy.

Joanna Riding Awards and Nominations

 
Olivier Awards - 2017 - Best Actress in a Musical
Joanna RidingThe Girls
 
Olivier Awards - 2003 - Best Actress in a Musical or Entertainment Gold Star
Joanna Riding, My Fair Lady
 
Olivier Awards - 2001 - Best Actress in a Musical
Joanna Riding, The Witches Of Eastwick
 
Olivier Awards - 1997 - Best Actress in a Musical
Joanna Riding, Guys And Dolls
 
Olivier Awards - 1997 - Best Actress in a Musical
Joanna Riding, Guys And Dolls
 
Olivier Awards - 1993 - Best Actress in a Musical Gold Star
Joanna RidingCarousel

Joanna Riding News

Louise Dearman, Rob Houchen, and More Will Lead AT LAST IT'S SUMMER Concert at the Lo Photo Louise Dearman, Rob Houchen, and More Will Lead AT LAST IT'S SUMMER Concert at the London Palladium
by Stephi Wild - Mar 8, 2023

A star-studded company will appear on stage at the London Palladium in a West End Gala charity concert of a new musical, AT LAST, IT'S SUMMER by Clive Richard Davis.

Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga Will Lead STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS in the Wes Photo Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga Will Lead STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS in the West End
by Stephi Wild - Feb 13, 2023

Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends will transfer to the West End for 16 weeks only beginning in September! The star-studded cast will be led by Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga.

Final Day To Vote In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards! Photo Final Day To Vote In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards!
by Marianka Swain - Mar 25, 2022

It's the final day to vote in the 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favourites. Voting closes at midnight, so you've still got time to get those last votes in... 

Final Week To Vote In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; See The Current Standings! Photo Final Week To Vote In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; See The Current Standings!
by Marianka Swain - Mar 21, 2022

It's the final week of voting for the 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favourites. Voting closes on Friday, 25 March.

Giles Terera Will Lead Concert of THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK at the Sondheim Theatre in  Photo Giles Terera Will Lead Concert of THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK at the Sondheim Theatre in June
by Stephi Wild - Mar 16, 2022

THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK has a book and lyrics by John Dempsey and music by Dana P. Rowe, based on the novel by John Updike and the Warner Brothers motion picture. Maria Friedman will direct with musical staging by Stephen Mear. Olivier Award-winning actor Giles Terera will star as Darryl Van Horne.

See The Current Standings In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; Cast Your Vote! Photo See The Current Standings In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; Cast Your Vote!
by Marianka Swain - Mar 14, 2022

Voting continues for the 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favourites. See the current standings below, and cast your vote...

See The Current Standings In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; Cast Your Vote! Photo See The Current Standings In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; Cast Your Vote!
by Marianka Swain - Mar 7, 2022

Voting continues for the 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favourites. See the current standings below, and cast your vote...

See The Current Standings In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; Cast Your Vote! Photo See The Current Standings In The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; Cast Your Vote!
by Marianka Swain - Feb 28, 2022

Voting continues for the 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favourites. See the current standings below, and cast your vote...

Shortlist Announced For The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards! Photo Shortlist Announced For The 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards!
by Marianka Swain - Feb 21, 2022

Today, the shortlist is announced for the 2021 BroadwayWorld UK Awards, celebrating the best of theatre - from the West End to shows around the country and online. CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

CHRISTMAS ROUND OURS Will Be Performed Next Month at St Pancras Old Church Photo CHRISTMAS ROUND OURS Will Be Performed Next Month at St Pancras Old Church
by Stephi Wild - Nov 26, 2021

On Friday December 10th 2021, stars of the stage and screen come together for an evening of festive songs, music and storytelling - Christmas Round Ours - presented by Declan Bennett and Fra Fee.

Joanna Riding Videos

BWW TV: Getting Saucy for a Good Cause! Watch Highlights from Gary Barlow & Tim Firth's THE GIRLS
by BroadwayWorld TV - Apr 28, 2017

Below, check out the new trailer featuring highlights from Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new British musical, THE GIRLS, which is currently booking until 15 July 2017 at the Phoenix Theatre!

BWW TV: On the Green Carpet Opening of THE GIRLS
by BroadwayWorld TV - Feb 21, 2017

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new British musical, THE GIRLS, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, opened in London's West End at the Phoenix Theatre. The West End premiere follows sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford late 2015/early 2016. In the West End, the producers have made a commitment to there being no 'premium-rated' seats, no booking fees and reduced price previews.

STAGE TUBE: Watch Gary Barlow and the Cast of THE GIRLS Perform "Sunflower"
by Stage Tube - Jan 3, 2017

Watch Gary Barlow and the cast of The Girls in the recording studio perform the song 'Sunflowers' from Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's musical The Girls.

UPDATE: Character Names in Disney's INTO THE WOODS Movie Unchanged from Stage Version
by Robert Diamond - Sep 19, 2014

This just in! Theatre fans need not worry, as we're told that the character names in Disney's upcoming film of INTO THE WOODS *are* faithful to the original material. Some incorrect names were published online in error and have now been corrected.

BWW TV: Watch Highlights from West End's THE PAJAMA GAME
by BroadwayWorld TV - May 23, 2014

Following a critically acclaimed, sold out run, Chichester Festival Theatre's sparkling production of the Broadway smash hit musical, The Pajama Game, directed by Richard Eyre, just opened in the West End, playing until 13 September 2014. A buoyantly blissful blend of romance and comedy starring Joanna Riding reprising her feisty heroine, and Michael Xavier, the show features golden hits such as Hey There (You With The Stars In Your Eyes), Hernando's Hideaway and Steam Heat.

STAGE TUBE: Andrew Lloyd Webber Discusses the Sex, Lies, and Espionage of STEPHEN WARD
by Stage Tube - Dec 17, 2013

Stephen Ward, which has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by playwright Christopher Hamptonand lyricist Don Black, opens on 19 December 2013 at the Aldwych Theatre. The production, directed by Richard Eyre, is currently previewing with booking to 1 March 2014. Set and Costume designs are by Rob Howell, with lighting byPeter Mumford, sound by Paul Groothuis, projection design by Jon Driscoll and choreography by Stephen Mear. Stephen Ward is produced by Robert Fox Limited and The Really Useful Group. In the video below, Andrew Lloyd Webber discusses the sex, lies, and espionage of the story!

STAGE TUBE: Andrew Lloyd Webber Talks STEPHEN WARD on Graham Norton Show
by Stage Tube - Dec 9, 2013

Andrew Lloyd Webber just stopped by the Graham Norton Show, where he chatted about creating the new show and the possibility of changing the ending. Check out the full interview below!

BWW TV: Watch Performance Preview from New Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical- STEPHEN WARD!
by BroadwayWorld TV - Sep 30, 2013

Earlier today at a special event at The Box in Soho, Stephen Ward was launched with cast and creative team as well as VIP guest MAndy Rice-Davies. Opening in the West End later this year, Stephen Ward, which has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by playwright Christopher Hampton and lyricist Don Black, previews at the Aldwych Theatre from 3 December 2013 with press night on 19 December 2013. The production, directed by Richard Eyre, is currently booking to 1 March 2014. Set and Costume designs are by Rob Howell, with lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Paul Groothuis, projection design by Jon Driscoll and choreography by Stephen Mear. Stephen Ward is produced by Robert Fox Limited and The Really Useful Group. Check out highlights from today's event below!

STAGE TUBE: THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG in London
by Kelsey Denette - Jan 31, 2011

After the success of Brief Encounter in the West End and on Broadway, Kneehigh's new adaptation of Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg will arrive at the Gielgud Theatre following a limited run at Curve, Leicester.


Joanna Riding Frequently Asked Questions

How many Broadway shows has Joanna Riding been in?
Joanna Riding has not appeared on Broadway.

How many West End shows has Joanna Riding been in?
Joanna Riding has appeared on London's West End in 9 shows.

What was Joanna Riding's first West End show?
Joanna Riding's first West End show was Into the Woods which opened in

What awards has Joanna Riding been nominated for?
Best Actress in a Musical (Olivier Awards) for The Girls , Best Actress in a Musical or Entertainment (Olivier Awards) for My Fair Lady , Best Actress in a Musical (Olivier Awards) for The Witches Of Eastwick , Best Actress in a Musical (Olivier Awards) for Guys And Dolls Best Actress in a Musical (Olivier Awards) for Guys And Dolls and Best Actress in a Musical (Olivier Awards) for Carousel .

What awards has Joanna Riding won?
Best Actress in a Musical or Entertainment (Olivier Awards) for My Fair Ladyand Best Actress in a Musical (Olivier Awards) for Carousel .