Imelda Staunton is a West End favourite known for her roles in musicals such as Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Into the Woods, for which she won an Olivier Award for each. Hello, Dolly! will see Staunton reunite with director Dominic Cooke following his Olivier Award-winning National Theatre production of Follies.
Dominic Cooke’s other directional credits include Jerusalem, Clybourne Park and Enron at the Royal Court, productions of The Comedy of Errors and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the National Theatre and a number of Shakespeare plays at the RSC.
Written in 1964, the musical first starred Carol Channing in the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi, who makes her living by matchmaking in New York at the turn of the 20th century. The city is abuzz for Dolly's visit, as she's tasked with finding a partner for Horace Vendergelder, a famous half-a-millionaire.
The score of this show features some of musical theatres' best-loved numbers, such as "Hello, Dolly!", "Before The Parade Passes By", "Penny In My Pocket" and "So Long Dearie".
Hello, Dolly premiered on Broadway in January 1964, directed and choreographed by David Merrick and starring Carol Channing in the eponymous role. It won ten Tony Awards, a record at the time and one that stood for 37 years until 2001 when The Producers took home 12 gongs.
The production transferred to London the following year with Mary Martin at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it ran for almost 800 performances. Since then, the musical has enjoyed several revivals in the city including one in the 1970s starring Carol Channing at Drury Lane and the Shaftesbury Theatre, and one in the 1980s at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
In the late 1960s, the musical was adapted for the silver screen in a film adaptation directed by Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford and Louis Armstrong.