Lansbury wows critics in London stage return

  • Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 11:46 a.m.
AP Photo/Joel Ryan/Invision, File
British actress Angela Lansbury  photographed on stage at the Gielgud Theatre in central London, as she returns to the West End this spring for the first time in nearly 40 years.
AP Photo/Joel Ryan/Invision, File British actress Angela Lansbury photographed on stage at the Gielgud Theatre in central London, as she returns to the West End this spring for the first time in nearly 40 years.

LONDON — Angela Lansbury has British critics spellbound with her performance as a dotty mystic in “Blithe Spirit” on the London stage.

The 88-year-old performer is appearing in the West End for the first time in almost 40 years as medium Madame Arcati in Noel Coward’s supernatural farce. She won a Tony for the role on Broadway in 2009.

The Daily Telegraph’s Charles Spencer praised Lansbury’s “astonishing energy and comic panache” in the production, directed by 85-year-old Michael Blakemore. In Wednesday’s Times of London, Dominic Maxwell said Lansbury’s “amazing precision and vim” were “a master-class in character comedy.”

London-born Lansbury is known worldwide as small-town sleuth Jessica Fletcher on long-running TV series “Murder, She Wrote.”

She said after Tuesday’s opening night that “being back in London felt very natural and terrific.”

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