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Imelda Staunton and Dominic Cooke launch Hello, Dolly! in London

Posted 26th March 2024

The pair step into the spotlight at The London Palladium.

Last week The London Palladium was abuzz with the crème de la crème of members of the British theatre press waiting to see Imelda Staunton and Dominic Cooke reuniting to chat all things Hello, Dolly!

After a long pause due to the pandemic, theatre fans are over the moon as Imelda Staunton steps into the beloved role of Dolly Levi for the first West End production of Hello, Dolly! since 1984. The anticipation is almost tangible as Staunton reunites with director Dominic Cooke, known for their magical collaboration on Stephen Sondheim’s Follies back in 2017.

The energy surrounding the production was infectious at the event held at TLP, where Staunton and Cooke spilled the beans about their exciting new project. Staunton’s genuine enthusiasm for breathing life back into this classic musical shone through as she talked about the chance to introduce Hello, Dolly! to a whole new generation of theater buffs, all while sprinkling in her signature humor.

Hello, Dolly! holds a special place in theatre history, with a legacy that’s touched hearts for decades through numerous revivals. From Carol Channing’s iconic portrayal to Bette Midler’s recent Broadway triumph, the role of Dolly Levi has charmed audiences worldwide. Now, it’s Staunton’s turn to step into the spotlight, promising a performance that’s bound to leave a lasting impression.

Originally set to open in 2020, the production faced its share of delays due to the pandemic. But Staunton’s commitment to bringing Dolly to life has only grown stronger during this extended break, ensuring that audiences are in for a real treat when the curtains finally rise.

Staunton’s versatility as an actress is well-known, with a repertoire of notable screen roles and Olivier Award-winning performances on stage. Yet, it’s her portrayal of Dolly, a character brimming with charm and wit, that offers a delightful departure from the weightier roles she’s tackled in recent years.

Director Dominic Cooke shares Staunton’s excitement for the project, envisioning Hello, Dolly! as a celebration of life and resilience, especially poignant as audiences emerge from the challenges of the pandemic. With a fantastic cast and dazzling production design, the show promises to be a feast for the senses for theater lovers everywhere.

Find out more about the show, and get tickets now, here. 

Our friends at Official London Theatre shared an inside peek from the event…