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Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst Join Cast of BLITHE SPIRIT, Opens 3/2

Theatre Royal Bath Productions presents Alison Steadman, Hermione Norris, and Robert Bathurst in BLITHE SPIRIT by Noel Coward. The show features direction by Thea Sharrock, design by Hildegard Bechtler, and lighting design by Mark Henderson.

BLITHE SPIRIT Run Wednesday 2nd March - Saturday 18th June, 2011 at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1

Blithe Spirit opened in 1941 when it played for over 2,000 performances. It has been one of the world's favourite comedies ever since.

Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium, Mrs Arcati, manages to conjure up the ghost of Charles's neurotic first wife, Elvira, at a seance. They have assumed the preposterous Madame Arcati is a fraud who will simply entertain their dinner guests with a little chicanery and supply Charles with material for his forthcoming novel. But when Elvira appears, visible only to Charles, and is determined to sabotage his current marriage, life - and the afterlife - begin to get complicated.

The cast includes Alison Steadman as the improbable clairvoyant. One of the UK's best-loved and most prolific actresses, Alison recently enjoyed a West End run in Alan Bennett's Enjoy. Also on stage she created the role of the monstrous Beverly in Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party and starred in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, for which she won an Olivier Award. Her films include ‘Shirley Valentine' and Mike Leigh's ‘Life Is Sweet' and ‘Topsy Turvy'. Television work includes ‘Fat Friends', ‘Selling Hitler', ‘The Singing Detective', ‘Pride and Prejudice' and ‘Gavin & Stacey'.

Hermione Norris plays Ruth Condomine. Hermione, who until recently played Ros Myers in the BBC series ‘Spooks', has been filming ‘Outcasts', a new drama for BBC1. She co-stars in ITV's 2010 remake of 70's classic ‘Bouquet of Barbed Wire', and has also starred in ITV's ‘Kingdom', ‘Wire in the Blood', ‘Lucky Jim' and C4's film ‘Falling Apart'. She is still celebrated as the redoubtable Karen Marsden in ‘Cold Feet'. Her stage credits include Look Back in Anger at Manchester Royal Exchange, September Tide at the Comedy Theatre, and more recently the 24 hour plays at The Old Vic. Her films include ‘Quicksand', ‘Born Romantic' and ‘Separate Lies'.

Robert Bathurst plays Charles Condomine. Robert made his professional stage debut in 1983 in Michael Frayn's Noises Off. In the 1980s his television roles included appearing in comedies such as ‘The Lenny Henry Show' and the first episode of Red Dwarf. Following his first major television role in Steven Moffat's semi-autobiographical BBC sitcom ‘Joking Apart', he was cast in the ITV comedy drama ‘Cold Feet', which ran for five series from 1998 to 2003. After ‘Cold Feet' concluded, Bathurst played a fictional prime minister in the BBC sitcom ‘My Dad's the Prime Minister', Mark Thatcher in the fact-based drama ‘Coup!', and a man whose daughter goes missing in the ITV thriller ‘The Stepfather'. He also made a return to theatre roles, playing Vershinin in The Three Sisters), government whip Alistair in ‘Whipping it Up', and Alex in Alex.

Thea Sharrock is an award-winning director who has previously worked with Daniel Radcliffe, Keira Knightley, Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Ken Stott, Richard Griffiths and Damian Lewis in the West End. Her production of Rattigan's After the Dance is currently running at the National Theatre.

Venue: Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EZ
Dates: Wednesday 2nd March - Saturday 18th June, 2011
Times; Monday - Saturday, 7.30pm; Thursday & Saturday matinees, 2.30pm
Tickets: £20 - £49.50
Box Office: 0844 412 4568

Pre London dates:
Weds 3rd - Sat 13th Nov Theatre Royal Bath
Tue 16th - Sat 21st Nov Brighton Theatre Royal
Mon 22nd - Sat 27th Nov Cambridge Arts Theatre
BREAK
Mon 14th - Sat 19th Feb Milton Keynes Theatre
Mon 21st - Sat 26th Feb Richmond Theatre


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