The National Theatre has announced that the centrepiece of their 2017 Autumn season will be Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies. And as if that news is not exciting enough, starring in the roles of Sally and Phyllis will be Sondheim stalwarts Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee.
Follies is to be directed by Dominic Cooke, who recently helmed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for the National. London has been due a Follies for many years now – other than one-off concert performances, it was last presented in the capital at the Pleasance in June 2011 by Ray Rackham’s 2nd Company, and at the tiny Landor Theatre in 2006, and the last large-scale production was Paul Kerryson’s in 2002 at the Royal Festival Hall, where it only ran for a limited period of 32 shows.
It’s going to be busy time for Imelda Staunton, who’s currently in rehearsal for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. She is due to follow her stint as Sally with the Broadway transfer in 2018 of Gypsy – the role that many called the greatest ever interpretation of Mama Rose.
We have no more cast information as yet but the official announcement from the NT is due on 11 October, according to the Daily Mail‘s Baz Bamigboye, by which time it’s hoped that more names will be attached. Watch this space!