Riding & Hanson replace Staunton & Quast in Follies

Joanna Riding and Alexander Hanson have been confirmed as the replacements for Imelda Staunton (Sally) and Philip Quast (Ben) when Follies returns to the National Theatre next February.

It has also been confirmed that Janie Dee and Peter Forbes will be reprising their roles of Phyllis and Buddy.

Riding and Hanson are no strangers to Sondheim. Jo memorably took on the role of Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music opposite Judi Dench in 1995, and can be heard on the cast recording. She also played Cinderella's Mother in Rob Marshall's movie adaptation of Into The Woods (2014). And in January 2015, the two-time Olivier Award-winning actress stole the show at the Cambridge Theatre as the embittered Charlotte in Alex Parker's concert staging of A Little Night Music. She also made a guest appearance at the Sondheim In Reverse cabaret in 2010.

Alex – aka Alexander Harald St John Hanson-Akins – played the role of Fredrik Egerman in Trevor Nunn's pond-hopping production of A Little Night Music, which began life at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2008. The Norway-born actor transferred with the show first to the Garrick then across to New York – the only member of the cast to make the transition to Broadway, where he joined Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. He had earlier played the role of Henrik Egerman in the 1989/90 London revival of Night Music at the Piccadilly, and in 2015 starred as Ben in Craig Revel Horwood's Follies in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

The pair last shared a stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Stephen Ward, with Hanson in the title role and Riding as Valerie Hobson, Baroness Profumo.

Follies begins previewing at the National Theatre on Thursday 14 February 2019. To book tickets, click here.

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