The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a new play based on the best-selling novel, These Foolish Things, by Deborah Moggach OBE FRSL. The play has strategically been named after the more famous, much-loved film adaptation.
The film had quite the cast: Dame Judith Olivia Dench CH DBE FRSA, Bill Nighy, Dame Penelope Wilton DBE, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Tom Wilkinson OBE, and Dame Maggie Smith CH DBE. Whilst the play’s all-star cast does not shine quite as bright as the film’s, it has to be one of the best stage casts so far this year.
The cast is lead by Hayley Mills, an Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe winner, and three-times BAFTA and three-times Golden Globe nominee. Mills is best-known for playing the lead roles in the original edition of The Parent Trap films. She starred in a total of four films; the latter three as an adult. She is also known for Tiger Bay, Pollyanna, In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, and Wild at Heart.
BAFTA nominee Paul Nicholas gets second-top billing. On-screen, Nicholas is known for Tommy, Just Good Friends, Sunburn, and EastEnders. His stage credits, however, are more impressive: he starred in the original West End cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, the original casts of Cats and Blondel, and the original UK tour of Doctor Doolittle.
The top trio is rounded off with Rula Lenska, who starred in the original cast of Seven Deadly Sins Four Deadly Sinners. On-screen, she is known for Rock Follies, Cluedo, and, more recently, Coronation Street. She also had quite the memorable stint on Celebrity Big Brother: as well as being accidentally locked in the loo, Lenska attracted the attention of the media by indulging in a role-play task, in which George Galloway MP pretended to be a cat licking milk from Lensk’a cupped hands, and Lenska stroked his ears and moustache. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel promises lots of fun, but it probably won’t be quite as entertaining as that…
The play also stars Andy de la Tour (Notting Hill, Olivier Twist, The Brief), Rekha John-Cheriyan (Tomb Raider, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Hollyoaks), Marlene Sidaway (Coronation Street, Quest of Eagles, Andy Robson, Pride and Prejudice, Mum), and Richenda Carey (The Darling Buds of May, Rodger and Badger, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Monarch of the Glen, Criminal Justice, Residue, Fallet, Downton Abbey, The Protégé).
A joyous comedy about taking risks, finding love and embracing second chances, even in the most surprising of places, the play takes us on a journey to India with an eclectic group of British retirees as they embark on a new life. The luxury residence is far from the opulence they were promised, but as their lives begin to intertwine, they are charmed in unexpected and life-changing ways.
Get ready for the journey of a lifetime!
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel runs at The Lowry (Lyric Theatre) from November 8 to 12 and tours the UK until early June 2023 – including a stint on Queen Mary 2, a transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York!
Please note: Mills, Nicholas, Lenska, De La Tour, Sidaway, and Carey depart the hotel after Theatre Royal Nottingham (February 7-11), whilst Harmage Singh Kalirai checks out after Theatre Royal Bath (November 28 – December 3) – ahead of the stint on the voyage.