Jo Riding to star as Mama Rose in Buxton

Two-time Olivier Award winner Joanna Riding has been confirmed as Mama Rose in the upcoming production of the Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents barnstormer Gypsy at the Buxton International Festival in Derbyshire.


The Buxton Opera House will welcome Riding - Sally in the 2019 revivial of Follies at the National Theatre and Nettie Fowler in Timothy Sheader's reimagining of Carousel at Regent's Park - to play the ultimate showbiz mother from the 7 to 24 July.


Paul Kerryson, the Opera House's chief executive, said: “We are so thrilled to be able to cast such an accomplished performer in one of the most iconic roles ever written for musical theatre. I am looking forward to bringing this new production of Gypsy to the stage of the stunning Buxton Opera House which will open the 2022 Buxton International Festival. “


The Buxton Festival enjoyed critical success with their last Sondheim outing, A Little Night Music, in 2021, when Janie Dee starred as Desiree Armfeldt.


Jo has won two Olivier Awards for Best Actress in a Musical, with wins in 1993 for her portrayal of Julie in Carousel at the National Theatre, and 10 years later in 2003 for Eliza in My Fair Lady at Drury Lane.


The Society was honoured to have Jo as the host of the last SSSSPOTY competition (2019, pictured with Julia McKenzie and, right to left, winner Stuart Thompson, runner-up Paige Fenlon and special prize winner Jamie Bogyo), and looks forward to seeing her tackle one of the most sought-after females roles in musical theatre. The part of Mama Rose famously holds the record for the most Tony Awards won by a character, with trophies handed over to Angela Lansbury (1975), Tyne Daly (1990) and Patti LuPone (2008).


Find out more, and to book tickets, visit the Buxton Opera House.