Maureen Lipman to Join UK's HARVEY, February 6

Maureen Lipman will be joining James Dreyfus in Lindsay Posner's new production of Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy HARVEY, which will open at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 6 February, running until 21 February, prior to a UK Tour and the West End. Maureen Lipman will be playing Veta, who tries to get her brother, Elwood P. Dowd played by James Dreyfus, committed rather than risk the family's reputation.

Maureen Lipman's latest play, Daytona by Oliver Cotton, opened at Park Theatre, toured and played the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2014. She directed and starred in Barefoot in the Park in 2013 on a successful tour of the UK. Of Maureen Lipman's many theatre credits, including Wonderful Town, See How They Run, for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance, Lost in Yonkers and Trevor Nunn's National Theatre production of Oklahoma! opposite Hugh Jackman, her recent credits include When We Are Married (Garrick), Trevor Nunn's production of A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory and Garrick), and Glorious (Duchess). On television, she is best known for her starring roles in the series Agony, All at Number 20, About Face, Ladies of Letters, and the television films written by her husband, Jack Rosenthal, The Evacuees, The Knowledge, Eskimo Day and Cold Enough for Snow. She played Joyce Grenfell in the biographical stage show and television film Re: Joyce!, which she co-wrote. Her films include Up the Junction, Gumshoe, Educating Rita and The Pianist.

This new production of HARVEY is produced by Don Gregory, who produced the play on Broadway in 2012 with Jim Parsons as Elwood P. Dowd. He also produced a television version of HARVEY with Leslie Nielsen in 1998. Don Gregory's other Broadway productions include the recent highly acclaimed production of The Belle of Amherst with Joely Richardson and the original production of the same play with Julie Harris, My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison, Camelot with Richard Burton, Othello with James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer and Clarence Darrow with Henry Fonda.

Elwood P. Dowd has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey. In order to save the family's reputation, Elwood's sister Veta takes him to see psychiatrist Dr William Chumley. But when the doctor mistakenly commits anxiety-ridden Veta instead of her brother, it sets off an hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit.

HARVEY premiered on Broadway in 1944, winning writer Mary Chase the Pulitzer Prize for Drama the following year. The production was directed by Antoinette Perry, after whom the Tony Awards are named. The play premiered in London in 1949 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. In 1950, Mary Chase adapted her play for the big screen, with James Stewart in the role of Elwood P. Dowd. James Stewart went on to star in the Broadway and London revivals of the stage play - in 1970 with Helen Hayes on Broadway and in 1975 with Mona Washbourne at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

The 2015 national tour of HARVEY is produced by Don Gregory in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, with Julian Stoneman Associates and Paul Tyrer and Jamie Clark for The Booking Office.



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