Joanna Riding

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Joanna Riding 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 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’s sister Ange when he married Dr Helen Trent in the episode ‘Keeping Secrets’.

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 Photos

Joanna Riding 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

[2014]Into the Woods Cinderella's Mother


Joanna Riding TV Shows

Jeeves and Wooster Chorus Girl

Casualty Jackie Walsh

Sean's Show Lizzie

Men of the World Carol

Wing and a Prayer Deborah Gough

The Royal Sheena Wilkinson

Midsomer Murders Sandra Butler

Where the Heart Is Terri Gough

Doctors Jane Galligan

[ 2006-2008]Heartbeat Tina Batley, Ange Walker

[ 2004-2011]Holby City Janet Fielding, Colette Berg, Sophie Byers

Stella Melissa

Ridley Eve Marbury

McDonald & Dodds Maeve Gibney

History of A Pleasure Seeker Naomi De Leeuw

Joanna Riding Videos

Joanna Riding News


Video: Bernadette Peters, Lea Salonga, and the Cast of SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS Take Final Bows

Sondheim's Old Friends played its final show in London at the Gielgud Theatre on 6 January. Led by Broadway Legends Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga, watch the cast take their final bows in the video here!

Review: STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS: A CELEBRATION, Live at the Sondheim Theatre, Cast Recording

Were you one of the lucky few who managed to bag a ticket for the one-night-only, star-studded gala revue, StephenSondheim’s Old Friends, on May 3, 2022?

STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS Cast Recording Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Bernadette Peters- Out This Week

Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends: A Celebration (Live at the Sondheim Theatre) will be available as a 2-disc CD set and digital and streaming formats on Friday, December 8.

Will West End's OLD FRIENDS Transfer to Broadway?

Just last month, the company of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends celebrated its West End opening night at the Gielgud Theatre, where it is playing until 6 January 2024. Another opening night might be on the horizon, however...

Tickets From £35 for STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS at the Gielgud Theatre

Tickets from £35 for Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends.

SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS to Release 5,000 Tickets at £25 For Under 30s

Celebrate the success of 'Sondheim's Old Friends' with 5,000 discounted tickets for under 30s. Cameron Mackintosh supports young playwrights, composers, and lyricists with £25 tickets.

Listen to Lea Salonga Sing 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' in OLD FRIENDS

Lea Salonga recently visited 'The Michael Ball Show' to chat about her new role in Old Friends. Listen to the interview and check out her performance of Gypsy's 'Everything's Coming Up Roses'.

Photos: STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS Company Takes Opening Night Bows

Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends officially opened last night at the Gielgud Theatre, where it is playing until 6 January 2024. Check out photos of the company taking their opening night bows here!

Photos: Go Inside Opening Night for STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS

The stars were out in force to celebrate the opening night of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends at the Gielgud Theatre. Check out the photos below!

Review Roundup: Lea Salonga and Bernadette Peters Open STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS in London

Following the unforgettable all-star gala performance to celebrate the life and work of the great Stephen Sondheim at the theatre named after him in May 2022, Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends, devised and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, will play until 6 January 2024 at the Gielgud Theatre with many of that Gala cast.

Video: First Look at Bernadette Peters, Lea Salonga & More in STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS

Get a first look at footage of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends!

Review: STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS, Gielgud Theatre

Genius is an overused term these days, but there is really no other word to attribute to the late composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. From Follies, to Gypsy, to A Little Night Music to West Side Story; few other people have had such a profound impact on musical theatre.

SUNSET BOULEVARD Leads Our Top Ten West End Shows for October

The West End is bursting with amazing shows this October. The stars are out: Nicole Scherzinger, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Kenneth Branagh, Giles Terera and Joseph Fiennes are just some of the actors treading the boards of the capital this month.

Photos: First Look at Bernadette Peters, Lea Salonga & More in STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS

Get a first look at Bernadette Peters, Lea Salonga, and the rest of the cast in Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends. Check out these stunning photos from the highly anticipated production, giving fans a sneak peek of what to expect on stage.

Photos: Inside Rehearsals for STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS

The old friends of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends are getting ready for the West End! Performances begin 21 September at the Gielgud Theatre, where it will run through 6 January 2024. Check out photos from inside rehearsals here!

Clare Burt Replaces Haydn Gwynne in STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS

Clare Burt will join the company of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends at the Gielgud Theatre when the show begins performances on 21 September. Learn more about Clare and find out how to get tickets here!

London Theatre Week: Tickets from £35 for STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS

To celebrate the life and work of the great Stephen Sondheim at the theatre named after him in May 2022, Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends, devised and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, will open for 16 weeks only from 16 September 2023 - 6 January 2024 at the Gielgud Theatre with many of that Gala cast. 

Video: First Look at Bernadette Peters, Lea Salonga, and More in a New Trailer For STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS

An all new trailer has been released for Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends, which will run at the Gielgud Theatre in London for 16 weeks only from 16 September 2023 – 6 January 2024. 

Now Onsale: STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS at the Gielgud Theatre

Old Friends all-star cast will again include Bernadette Peters who is appearing in a West End run for the first time in her legendary career and Lea Salonga who is appearing for the first time in 27 years.

Gavin Lee, Bradley Jaden, and More Join STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS at the Gielgud Theatre

Full casting has been announced for Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends at the Gielgud Theatre. Learn more about who is joining the cast here!

Joanna Riding FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Joanna Riding has not appeared on Broadway.

Joanna Riding has appeared on London's West End in 10 shows.

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

Joanna Riding has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. She has been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical at the Olivier Awards for her performances in "The Girls," "My Fair Lady," "The Witches Of Eastwick," "Guys And Dolls," and "Carousel."

Joanna Riding has won several awards throughout her career. She has been recognized for her outstanding performances in musicals. Some of the notable awards she has won include Best Actress in a Musical or Entertainment at the Olivier Awards for her role in My Fair Lady and Best Actress in a Musical at the Olivier Awards for her performance in Carousel. These accolades highlight her exceptional talent and contribution to the Broadway industry.

Joanna Riding's next show will be Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends which opens on 9/16/2023 on West End.

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