Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee set for 2017 Follies revival at the National Theatre

Sondheim and Goldman's musical to be revived at the National.


The Daily Mail have reported that the National Theatre will produce a revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's 1971 musical Follies in their 2017 season, directed by Dominic Cooke and starring Janie Dee as Phyllis and Imelda Staunton as Sally.

The National Theatre, who are set to hold their annual press conference in the coming weeks, have previously presented the Sondheim musicals A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Follies will be the first major London revival since its limited run at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002.

Staunton, who has also revealed she will be reprising her Olivier Award-winning role as Mama Rose in Gypsy on Broadway in 2018, has won three Olivier Awards, all for roles connected to Sondheim - The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd and the aforementioned Mama Rose.

Director Dominic Cooke was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Court Theatre from 2006 to 2013 and has previously worked at the National Theatre as an Associate Director for productions of The Comedy of Errors, Here We Go and their recent Olivier Award-winning revival of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Follies is set during a reunion in a crumbling Broadway theatre, as the past "Weismann's Girls" meet once more before the venue's destruction. It follows two unhappy couples, Buddy and Sally Durant Plummer and Benjamin and Phyllis, old friends who have all made wrong decisions. The evening forces them to look back at the ghosts of their younger selves to question their decisions and choices.

The original Broadway production opened on 4 April 1971 and was directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, and with choreography by Bennett. Despite losing its entire investment, running for only 522 performances, it was nominated for eleven Tony Awards and won seven. A London production, produced by Cameron Mackintosh, ran at the Shaftesbury Theatre between 1987 and 1989, running fro 644 performances. Frequent Broadway revivals and concert productions have kept the much-loved show alive.

More information regarding Follies at the National Theatre is yet to be announced.

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