Robert Bathurst, Jamie Glover, Jemma Redgrave and Laura Rogers join Edward Fox and Patricia Routledge in Chichester’s production of An Ideal Husband, it has been announced.
Oscar Wilde’s brilliant masterpiece is the final drama of the season to be staged in the Festival Theatre.
This witty and searing exposure of hypocrisy and false morality is considered by many to be Wilde’s greatest work.
It is set in respectable 19th century London society where many women have their eyes on snaring the perfect husband.
By contrast, one of the central characters, Mrs Laura Cheveley, is set on securing a different kind of lucrative investment.
Soon she is caught up in a web of secrets and lies involving politicians in high places.
The play is both a witty comedy and a razor sharp analysis of ambition, hypocrisy and corruption, echoing the personal crisis that Wilde faced at the time when it was written.
The play was first produced in 1895 and, in the same year, Wilde was arrested for gross indecency.
Like much of Wilde’s work, his dissection of society’s false morality resonates as much today as when it was first written.
Edward Fox plays Lord Caversham. His award-winning screen roles include The Go-Between and A Bridge Too Far, plus acclaimed performances in The Day of the Jackal and Edward & Mrs Simpson.
Recent theatre credits include the West End production of The Audience in which he played Churchill, Four Quartets and Lloyd George Knew My Father.
Patricia Routledge plays Lady Markby. Her distinguished career in drama, comedy and musicals includes numerous Chichester credits, such as her widely celebrated performance as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in 1999.
Screen credits include Talking Heads and the formidable Hyacinth Bouquet in Keeping Up Appearances.
Robert Bathurst plays Sir Robert Chiltern. He will also return to Chichester in January 2015 in Love, Lies and Chianti, which he has devised for the stage.
Theatre credits include Present Laughter, Blithe Spirit and Whipping It Up. Screen roles include Downton Abbey, Toast of London and Cold Feet.
The cast also includes Giles Coram,, Max Hutchinson, Catherine Kanter, Timothy Kightley, Hattie Ladbury, Amy Morgan, Joseph Prowen, Giles Taylor and Leon Williams.
An Ideal Husband is at Chichester Festival Theatre from 21 November – 13 December.