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When Dame Patricia was a darling of the musical stage

By: stagedoorscribbler - August 21, 2017

Dame Patricia Routledge. Photograph by Hattie Miles

It is of course well known among theatre-goers of a certain age that, years before she became a sit-com Queen playing super-snob Hyacinth Bucket in BBC’s Keeping Up Appearances, Dame Patricia Routledge was a star of musical theatre.

Yet the fact that she wowed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, winning a Tony for her Broadway performance in Darling of the Day and a Laurence Olivier Award for her West End role in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide seems to have passed many off her TV fans by.

So much so that her friend, the writer, broadcaster and musical theatre expert Edward Seckerson describes it as “the best kept secret in show business.” The pair are intent on putting the record straight with our much-loved touring show Facing the Music: A Life in Musical Theatre.

 It finds the pair discussing how Dame Patricia trained not only as an actress but also as a singer and goes on to highlight the illustrious career that followed, the shows she starred in and the big names she worked with.

The show which plays The Mercury Theatre in Colchester tomorrow afternoon  (Tuesday 22nd August) is illustrated with rare recordings. 

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