Speaking to Edward Seckerson as part of Chichester Festival Theatre’s digital season of interviews, Staunton said she was pushing hard for it to happen in 2023.
Staunton’s existing filming commitments, mainly the final two seasons of Peter Morgan’s Netflix series The Crown, are the main barrier to her West End return. Hello, Dolly was initially scheduled to run in 2020 for 30-weeks prior to her beginning filming on royal saga.
Reflecting on the role, Staunton said she hopes to bring out lead character Dolly Gallagher Levi’s Irish heritage when she brings the role to life.
Hello, Dolly! will see Staunton reunite with Director Dominic Cooke, following their acclaimed production of Follies at the National.
Whilst casting for the 2023 run is yet to be announced, Cooke’s initial casting had included West End favourites Jenna Russell (EastEnders, Sunday in the Park with George), Andy Nyman (Ghost Stories, Fiddler on the Roof), Tyrone Huntley (Dreamgirls, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Book of Mormon) and Clare Halse (42nd Street, White Christmas, Gypsy). The large scale revival is set to have a cast of 34 and an orchestra of 18 musicians.
Featuring music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, the much-loved musical centres on widower Dolly Gallagher Levi; an esteemed and strong-willed matchmaker to New York’s great and good, who suddenly decides to match herself with shopkeeper Horace Vandergelder.
Full casting, dates and venue to be announced.