The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel comes to Milton Keynes Theatre this month

    Milton Keynes Theatre welcomes brand-new stage adaptation of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to the city 24 - 28 Jan 2023.

    Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, Whistle Down the Wind) Paul Nicholas (Jesus Christ Superstar, BBC 1’s Just Good Friends, Eastenders and Rula Lenska, (ITV’s Rock Follies, Coronation Street, Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother will star in this feel-good tale of love, adventure, and starting-over.  Addiotnal cast includes Andy de la Tour (Plenty, Notting Hill), Marlene Sidaway (ITV’s Coronation Street, BBC 1’s Pride and Prejudice) and Rekha John-Cheriyan (Kerbs, Tomb Raider, Dream Horse).

    Based on the Sunday Times bestseller which inspired one of this century’s most treasured films, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 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 and they embrace the vibrancy of modern-day India, they are charmed in unexpected and life-changing ways.

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a joyous, feel-good comedy about taking risks, finding love, and embracing second chances, even in the most surprising of places.

    Since starting her career at the age of nine, Hayley Mills has shot 33 feature films and has been nominated for many awards. Hayley was twelve years old when she made her first feature film, Tiger Bay, and won an Academy Award at the age of thirteen in 1961 for her leading performance in Pollyanna. She went on to star in such films as The Parent Trap (1961), Whistle Down the Wind (1961), The Family Way (1966), Endless Night (1971), and Appointment With Death (1988). Recent screen credits include Moving On & Pitching In for BBC One; Compulsion for Channel 5 and the feature film, Last Train to Christmas, directed by Julian Kemp. On stage, Hayley most recently performed off-Broadway in a new comedy play, Party Face, directed by Amanda Bearse.

    Hayley Mills comments: “I am delighted to join the company of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as this beautiful story of love and the importance of new beginnings receives a new life as a fantastically feel-good stage play. Tales that warm the heart and lift the spirit are a much-needed tonic at this time and I am thrilled to be visiting so many of the UK's beautiful towns and cities as part of the production's exciting journey, later this year."

    Paul Nicholas became a household favourite in the role of Vince Pinner in the celebrated British sitcom Just Good Friends which won the BAFTA award for Best Comedy Series. Paul has continued to star in many TV series including the evil Gavin Sullivan in EastEnders and can be seen as himself in the BAFTA-nominated series The Real Marigold Hotel and Marigold On Tour.

    On stage, Paul’s theatrical success began more than fifty years ago in 1968 when he originated the role of Claude in the London premiere of Hair. Following this, in 1972 he originated the role of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. He starred as Danny Zuko in the original West End production of Grease with Elaine Page and as the Rum Tum Tugger in the original production of Cats. His other leading role musical credits include The Exorcist UK Tour, Quartet Cheltenham Theatre and UK tour, Jekyll & Hyde, Barnum, 42nd Street, Singing In The Rain, Dr. Doolittle, A Christmas Carol, Pirates of Penzance, Tale of Two Cities, Fiddler On The Roof and Jerry Herman’s Dear World.

    Most recently, Paul’s theatrical ventures have included leading roles in The Exorcist directed by Sean Mathias for a UK tour; Quartet directed by Peter Rowe for the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre and a UK tour; And Then There Were None directed by Joe Harmston for a UK tour Paul has also co-produced numerous shows including Grease, Singing in the Rain, Evita, Pirates of Penzance, Chess and Saturday Night Fever. In 2021 Paul published his autobiography Musicals, Marigolds & Me and a three-CD boxset Paul Nicholas Gold featuring his pop and musical career including Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Hair, and Grease.

    Rula Lenska was born Countess Roza-Marie Leopoldyna Lubienska in St. Neots to Polish parents who had fled their homeland, their family estate having been confiscated by Communist forces. Following her education at an Ursuline College in Kent, she became an actor, gaining her first notable starring role in Rock Follies in 1976, going on to appear in many iconic television series such as Robin of Sherwood, Doctor Who, EastEnders, To The Manor Born and Minder, ITV’s Coronation Street as Claudia Colby, and most recently a BAFTA-nominated Inside No 9 for BBC 2.

    A passionate stage actor, she has appeared in The Vagina Monologues, Calendar Girls, Pygmalion, Seven Deadly Sins, Four Deadly Sinners, Eurobeat at the Edinburgh Festival, and 84 Charing Cross Road. She is involved in the development of a one-woman show about Rita Hayworth. When not working Rula is a devoted grandmother and a practicing Buddhist, who is involved in the support of several conservation charities such as Born Free, Animal Asia, and The Daphne Sheldrick Trust. 

    She has lent her instantly recognizable voice to several audiobooks and was in several series of the much-loved radio show, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which first aired on BBC Radio 4 in May 2005. Her autobiography My Colourful Life is available now.

    The film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (directed by John Madden) saw its UK theatrical release in 2012. Within two weeks of its cinematic distribution, the film had topped the UK Box Office and went on to become a hit internationally performing as one of the highest-grossing films of 2012 in Australia and New Zealand in addition to the United Kingdom.

    Written by Deborah Moggach the cherished story is directed by Lucy Bailey (Oleanna, UK Tour & West End); Gaslight, UK Tour; Witness for the Prosecution, London’s County Hall). The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is produced by Simon Friend, Jenny King, Trafalgar Entertainment and Gavin Kalin.

    Further casting is to be announced.

    Book tickets at ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes and get ready for the journey of a lifetime.

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