Follies

Musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by James Goldman. Follies transports the audience to the once lavish, but now crumbling Weissman Theatre. Memories from its glorious past return and glamorous showgirls from decades ago reunite and remember, just one last time. The haunting themes of time, age and memory; the whispers in the wings, the clicking of high heels, the giggling of the girls, are all brought vividly to life - deliciously clever Sondheim at his very best... includes the songs 'Broadway Baby, 'I'm Still Here, and 'Losing My Mind'.

1987: Original West End Production - Shaftesbury Theatre

1996: West End London Concert - Theatre Royal Drury Lane

2002: London Revival - Royal Festival Hall

2007: West End London Concert - London Palladium

2015: London Concert - Royal Albert Hall

2017/2019: London Revival - National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

Stephen Sondheim's musicals include A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along, Pacific Overtures, Saturday Night, Sunday in the Park with George, West Side Story and the 'compilation' show Side by Side by Sondheim.


1987: Original West End Production - Shaftesbury Theatre

Previewed 9 July 1987, Opened 21 July 1987, Closed 4 February 1989 at the Shaftesbury Theatre

645 performances, plus 12 preview performances.

The original cast featured Julia McKenzie as 'Sally Plummer', David Healy as 'Buddy Plummer', Diana Rigg as 'Phyllis Stone', Daniel Massey as 'Ben Stone', Dolores Gray as 'Carlotta Campion', Lynda Baron as 'Stella Deems', Pearl Carr as 'Billie Whitman', Teddy Johnson as 'Wally Whitman', Margaret Courtenay as 'Hattie Walker' (see below), Adele Leigh as 'Heidi Schiller', Maria Charles as 'Solange Lafitte', Leonard Sachs as 'Dimitri Weissman', Deborah Poplett as 'Young Sally', Evan Pappas as 'Young Buddy', Gillian Bevan as 'Young Phyllis', Simon Green as 'Young Ben', Michelle Todd as 'Young Heidi', Paul Bentley as 'Roscoe', Josephine Gordon as 'Christine Donovan', Bruce Graham as 'Max Blanck', Jill Martin as 'Meredith Lane', Ronnie Price as 'Ronnie Cohen', Roy Sone as 'Stage Manager', Sally Ann Triplett as 'Margie', and Dorothy Vernon as 'Deedee West', with Luke Baxter, Peppi Borza, Brad Graham, Lisa Henson, Margaret Houston, Vanessa Leagh-Hicks, Stephen Lubmann, Jennifer Scott Maldon, Raymond Marlowe, Siobhan O’Kane, Dawn Spence, Roger Sutton, Catherine Terry, and Julian Wild.

The second cast from Monday 4 July 1988 to Saturday 4 February 1989 featured Julia McKenzie as 'Sally Plummer' (up to Saturday 14 January 1989), Jill Martin as 'Sally Plummer' (from Monday 16 January 1989), David Healy as 'Buddy Plummer', Millicent Martin as 'Phyllis Stone', Daniel Massey as 'Ben Stone', Eartha Kitt as 'Carlotta Campion', Meg Johnson as 'Stella Deems', Pearl Carr as 'Billie Whitman', Teddy Johnson as 'Wally Whitman', Maria Charles as 'Solange Lafitte', Hope Jackman as 'Hattie Walker', Eileen Page as 'Heidi Schiller', Maria Charles as 'Solange Lafitte', and Harold Kasket as 'Dimitri Weissman'.

Directed by Mike Ockrent, with choreography by Bob Avian, designs by Maria Bjornson, lighting by Mark Henderson, and sound by Andrew Bruce.

This production was originally scheduled to start public previews on Saturday 4 July 1987 but was delayed. The producer Cameron Mackintosh said this was due to "the extraordinary complexity in every department in staging Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre." In addition original cast member Alan Page tragically died (see below) the weekend that the previews where original scheduled to start. This meant that the first four preview performances where cancelled, with the first one taking place on Thursday 9 July 1987. The date of the official Opening remained unchanged.

The actor Alan Page was originally scheduled to play the role of 'Roscoe' in this production. Unfortunately, during rehearsals on stage at the Shaftesbury Theatre on Saturday 4 July 1987, Alan Page collapsed and was rushed to hospital where he died the following day after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was 64 years old. Paul Bentley joined the cast to play 'Roscoe' from the first preview performance on Thursday 9 July 1987. Following his tragic death the Follies cast established 'The Alan Page Heart Foundation', raising money via various means, including two charity concerts of Merrily We Roll Along, and the book Clothes Lines: Off-the-peg stories from the closets of the famous.

Unfortuntely in November 1987 Margaret Courtenay, who was playing 'Hattie Walker', suffered from a hip injury and was forced to leave the cast. The role of 'Hattie Walker' was then taken by Hope Jackman for the rest of the run.

Having played the role of 'Carlotta Campion' in this production, Eartha Kitt returned to the Shaftesbury Theatre for Eartha Kitt in Concert which played for an extended 4-week, 24-performance run, from Monday 13 March to 8 April 1989.


1996: West End London Concert - Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Sunday 8 December 1996 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Saturday 15 February 1997 on BBC Radio 2

The cast featured Bob Sessions as 'Radio Announcer', Julia McKenzie as 'Sally Plummer', Ron Moody as 'Buddy Plummer', Donna McKechnie as 'Phyllis Stone', Denis Quilley as 'Ben Stone', Angela Richards as 'Carlotta Campion', Joan Savage as 'Stella Deems', Pearl Carr as 'Emily Whitman', Teddy Johnson as 'Theodore Whitman', Libby Morris as 'Hattie Walker', Eileen Page as 'Heidi Schiller', Elizabeth Seal as 'Solange LaFitte', Oscar Quitak as 'Dimitri Weismann', Shona Lindsay as 'Young Sally', Michael Cahill as 'Young Buddy', Lori Haley Fox as 'Young Phyllis', David Bardsley as 'Young Ben', Carrie Ellis as 'Young Heidi', Stephen Hill as 'Roscoe', with the Stephen Hill Singers, and the BBC Orchestra.

A semi-staged concert performance recorded for BBC radio broadcast. The concert used a 'Radio Announcer' to help radio listeners understand what was happening.


2002: London Revival - Royal Festival Hall

Previewed 3 August 2002, Opened 6 August 2002, Closed 31 August 2002 at the Royal Festival Hall

29 performances, plus 2 preview performances.

A major revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in London starring Kathryn Evans, Henry Goodman and Diane Langton

The cast featured Kathryn Evans as 'Sally Plummer', Henry Goodman as 'Buddy Plummer', Louise Gold as 'Phyllis Stone', David Durham as 'Ben Stone', Diane Langton as 'Carlotta Campion', Shezwae Powell as 'Stella Deems', Myra Sands as 'Emily Whitman', Tony Kemp as 'Theodore Whitman', Joan Savage as 'Hattie Walker', Julia Goss as 'Heidi Schiller', Anna Nicholas as 'Solonge LaFitte', Russell Dixon as 'Dimitri Weissman', Emma Clifford as 'Young Sally', Matthew Cammelle as 'Young Buddy', Kerry Jay as 'Young Phyllis', Hugh Maynard as 'Young Ben', Pippa Raine as 'Young Heidi', Philippa Healey as 'Young Heidi' (vocal), Alexis Owen Hobbs as 'Young Carlotta', Keisha Marina Atwell as 'Young Stella', Gabrielle Noble as 'Young Emily', Tiffany Graves as 'Young Hattie'/'Margie', Juliet Gough as 'Young Solonge', Craig Armstrong as 'Photographer', Matthew Atwell as 'Kevin', Paul Bentley 'Rosco', Simon Coulthard as 'Major Domo', Nick Hamilton 'Max Deems', and Andrew Wright as 'Chauffeur'.

Directed by Paul Kerryson, with choreography by David Needham, designs by Paul Farnsworth, lighting by Jenny Cane, and sound by Terry Jardine.

Clarke Peters was originally announced to play the role of 'Ben Stone', but he withdrew from the production prior to rehearsals starting.

Kathryn Evans' London theatre credits include playing the roles of the ensemble in Bill Starr's production of Paul Gilger's The Best of Times: The Showtunes of Jerry Herman at the Bridewell Theatre and transfer to the West End's Vaudeville Theatre in 1998; 'Lottie' in Paul Kerryson's production of Jerry Herman's Mack and Mabel at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1995; and 'Olive James' in David Gilmore's production of Noel Gay's Radio Times at the Queen's Theatre in 1992.

Henry Goodman's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Eddie' in Max Stafford-Clark's production of Alistair Beaton's Feelgood at the Hampstead Theatre, and transfer to the West End's Garrick Theatre in 2001; 'Billy Flynn' in the original cast of Walter Bobbie's revival of the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre in 1997; 'Nathan Detroit' in Richard Eyre's revival of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 1996; 'Buddy Fidler'/'Irwin S Irving' in Michael Blakemore's production of Cy Coleman and David Zippel musical City of Angels at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1993; and 'Rocky Gravo' in Ray Herman's They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, based on the novel by Horace McCoy, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Mermaid Theatre in 1987.

Louise Gold's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Tanya' in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Catherine Johnson's ABBA musical Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2000; 'Lilli Vanessi'/'Katherine' in Ian Talbot's revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in 1997; 'Adriana' in Judi Dench's revival of the Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys From Syracuse at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park in 1992; and 'Isabel' in Wilford Leach's production of Joseph Papp's musical version of Sullivan and Gilbert's The Pirates of Penzance at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1982.

Diane Langton' London theatre credit include the title role of 'Viv Nicholson' in Jeremy Sams' production of the Steve Brown and Justin Greene musical Spend Spend Spend at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2000; 'Miss Lucy' in Richard Eyre's revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in 1994; 'Sylvia' in Julia McKenzie's production of Richard Harris' Stepping Out at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1984; 'Mollie Malloy' in Peter Wood's production of the Dick Vosburgh and Tony Macaulay musical Windy City at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1983; the ensemble in the original cast of Jim Sharman's production of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar at the Palace Theatre in 1972; and 'Petra' in Harold Prince's production of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music at the Adelphi Theatre in 1975.

"Stephen Sondheim's score, and his two dozen songs, constitute a nostalgic masterpiece of theatrical writing, and this special summer show produced by Raymond Gubbay and directed by Paul Kerryson hits the spot... Joan Savage and Diane Langton as old showgirls give everything they've got, which is considerable, and perform with consummate musicianship... [Henry Goodman] finds his groove immediately as the formerly stage-struck Buddy, and current sales rep, glinting with his usual manic precision and giving off an odour of malevolence even when trying to be conciliatory. His pal, Ben, a former politican, is beautifully sung by the richly vocalising David Durham. But the show is properly stolen by Kathryn Evans as Sally, the showgirl who loved Ben more than Buddy." The Daily Mail

"The often lacklustre characterisation in Paul Kerryson's production only serves to emphasise how the banalities of Goldman's script outweigh the wisecracks, while the thin plot simply sets up yet more disillusion and regret. It's the way Sondheim expresses them in song that earns the show's now legendary reputation... As Ben, a too-stiff David Durham takes the sting out of the show's nervous breakdown finale. Henry Goodman brings manic energy to the all-smiles sales rep Buddy, but it's a trying-too-hard turn. Only Kathryn Evans as Sally fully embodies her role. Whether singing the poignant Losing My Mind or the self-delusional In Buddy's Eyes, Evans lives the lines and earns the most applause... Kerryson's production is a mixed bag of the poignant and the pallid which suggests that Follies may still be a work in progress." The Times

"The emotional tones of this 1971 classic are all very adult: nostalgia, aching regret, erotic longing and marital mayhem as two couples struggle to make sense of the past. Henry Goodman heads the cast as the manically-fraught Buddy. Diane Langton belts out that camp survival song, I'm Still Here, but it is Kathryn Evans who you really remember as Sally with her two heart-stopping numbers, Losing My Mind and In Buddy's Eyes. Not everyone's cuppa, but this is a rare treat for anyone who's up for Sondheim's brand of emotionally-cracked, sardonic music-making." The Daily Express

Follies in London at the Royal Festival Hall previewed from 3 August 2002, opened on 6 August 2002, and closed on 31 August 2002


2007: West End London Concert - London Palladium

Sunday 4 February 2007 at the London Palladium

The cast featured Trevor McDonald as 'Radio Announcer', Maria Friedman as 'Sally Plummer', Tim Flavin as 'Buddy Plummer', Liz Robertson as 'Phyllis Stone', Philip Quast as 'Benjamin Stone', Kim Criswell as 'Carlotta Campion', Meg Johnson as 'Stella Deems', Wendi Peters as 'Emily Whitman', Richard Calkin as 'Theodore Whitman', Imelda Staunton as 'Hattie Walker', Josephine Barstow as 'Heidi Schiller', Liliane Montevecchi as 'Solange Lafitte', Patrick Mower as 'Dimitri Weismann', Rachel Barrell as 'Young Sally', Neil McDermott as 'Young Buddy', Summer Strallen as 'Young Phyllis', Adam-Jon Florentino as 'Young Ben', Charlotte Page as 'Young Heidi', Nicola Blakman as 'Dee Dee West', Bonaventura Bottone as 'Roscoe', Charlie Bull as 'Sally', Emma Cannon as 'Margie', Julie Jupp as 'Christine Donovan', Paul Killick as 'Vincent Craig', Susie McKenna as 'Meredith Lane', and Angela Rippon as 'Vanessa Craig'.

Directed and choreographed by Bill Deamer, with lighting by Mark Nimmin, and sound by Gareth Owen.

A semi-stage Charity Gala Performance in aid of the Starlight Children's Foundation and the Kingston Hospital Cancer Unit Appeal.


2015: London Concert - Royal Albert Hall

Tuesday 28 April 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall

Two performances, afternoon matinee and evening.

The cast featured Ruthie Henshall as 'Sally Plummer', Peter Polycarpou as 'Buddy Plummer', Christine Baranski as 'Phyllis Stone', Alexander Hanson as 'Ben Stone', Betty Buckley as 'Carlotta Campion', Anita Dobson as 'Stella Deems', Anita Harris as 'Emily Whitman', Roy Hudd as 'Theodore Whitman', Lorna Luft as 'Hattie Walker', Charlotte Page as 'Heidi Schiller', Stephanie Powers as 'Solange LaFitte', Alistair McGowan as 'Dmitri Weismann', Alistair Brammer as 'Young Ben', Laura Pitt-Pulford as 'Young Phyllis', Amy Ellen Richardson as 'Young Sally', Jos Slovick as 'Young Buddy', and Russell Watson as 'Roscoe', with Sarah Bakker, Jennifer Davison, Luke Fetherstone, CJ Field, Lucy James, Emily Warner, the Arts Ed Choir, and the City of London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Directed by Craig Revel Horwood, with choreography by Andrew Wright.

The cast was original scheduled to also include Christopher Biggins as 'Dmitri Weismann' and Jennifer Coolidge as 'Hattie Walker', but they both withdrew prior to rehearsals staring.


2017/2019: London Revival - National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

Previewed 22 August 2017, Opened 6 September 2017, Closed 3 January 2018 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre
Previewed 12 February 2019, Opened 22 February 2019, Closed 11 May 2019 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

The 2017/18 season comprised 84 performances, plus 13 preview performances.
The 2019 season comprised 56 performances, plus 10 preview performances.
Total run comprised 140 performances, plus 23 preview performances.

The cast for the 2017/18 season featured Imelda Staunton as 'Sally Plummer', Peter Forbes as 'Buddy Plummer', Janie Dee as 'Phyllis Stone', Philip Quast as 'Ben Stone', Tracie Bennett as 'Carlotta Campion', Dawn Hope as 'Stella Deems', Norma Atallah as 'Emily Whitman', Billy Boyle as 'Theodore Whitman', Di Botcher as 'Hattie Walker', Josephine Barstow as 'Heidi Schiller', Geraldine Fitzgerald as 'Solange LaFitte', Gary Raymond as 'Dimitri Weismann', Alex Young as 'Young Sally', Fred Haig as 'Young Buddy', Zizi Strallen as 'Young Phyllis', Adam Rhys-Charles as 'Young Ben', Emily Langham as 'Young Carlotta', Leisha Mollyneaux as 'Young Stella', Anouska Eaton as 'Young Emily', Barnaby Thompson as 'Young Theodore', Aimee Hodnett as 'Young Hattie', Alison Langer as 'Young Heidi', Sarah-Marie Maxwell as 'Young Solange', Emily Goodenough as 'Young Christine', Kate Parr as 'Young Sandra', Christine Tucker as 'Young Deedee', Julie Armstrong as 'Christine Donovan', Liz Ewing as 'Weismann's PA', Bruce Graham as 'Roscoe', Adrian Grove as 'Sam Deems', Liz Izen as 'Deedee West', Ian McLarnon as 'TV Interviewer', Gemma Page as 'Sandra Cane', Edwin Ray as 'Cameraman', and Jordan Shaw as 'Kevin', with Jeremy Batt, and Michael Vinsen.

The cast for the 2019 season featured Joanna Riding as 'Sally Plummer', Peter Forbes as 'Buddy Plummer', Janie Dee as 'Phyllis Stone', Alexander Hanson as 'Benjamin Stone', Tracie Bennett as 'Carlotta Campion', Dawn Hope as 'Stella Deems', Myra Sands as 'Emily Whitman', Billy Boyle as 'Theodore Whitman', Claire Moore as 'Hattie Walker', Felicity Lott as 'Heidi Schiller' (up to 8 April 2019), Josephine Barstow as 'Heidi Schiller' (from 6 May 2019), Geraldine Fitzgerald as 'Solange LaFitte', Gary Raymond as 'Dimitri Weismann', Gemma Sutton as 'Young Sally', Harry Hepple as 'Young Buddy', Christine Tucker as 'Young Phyllis', Ian McIntosh as 'Young Ben', Lindsay Atherton as 'Young Carlotta', Vanessa Fisher as 'Young Stella', Rosanna Bates as 'Young Emily', Jeremy Batt as 'Young Theodore', Lisa Ritchie as 'Young Hattie', Alison Langer as 'Young Heidi', Sarah-Marie Maxwell as 'Young Solange', Monica Swayne as 'Young Christine', Aimee Hodnett as 'Young Sandra', Anouska Eaton as 'Young Deedee', Jasmine Kerr as 'Young Meredith', Liam Wrate as 'Young Roscoe', Julie Armstrong as 'Christine Donovan', Kaye Brown as 'Meredith Lane', Liz Ewing as 'Weismann's PA', Caroline Fitzgerald as 'Sandra Crane', Bruce Graham as 'Roscoe', Adrian Grove as 'Sam Deems', Alyn Hawke as 'Cameraman', Liz Izen as 'Deedee West', Ian McLarnon as 'TV Interviewer', and Rohan Richards as 'Kevin', with Tom Partridge, and Michael Remick.

Directed by Dominic Cooke, with choreography by Bill Deamer, designs by Vicki Mortimer, lighting by Paule Constable, and sound by Paul Groothuis.