Simon Shepherd has joined the cast of Frinton Summer Theatre’s revival of Peter Quilter’s comedy Glorious! about Florence Foster Jenkins.
He will play St Clair, Florence’s lifelong partner who supported her ambitions to be a soprano despite her poor singing ability. The rest of the cast includes the previously announced Stella Gonet as the American socialite-turned-singer as well as Matilda Ziegler, Ben Stock, Nesba Crenshaw and Pia Laborde Noguez.
Directed by actor Amanda Root, Glorious! runs from August 8 to 12 at The McGrigor Hall in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, as part of Frinton’s 78th season.
A familiar face on TV, Shepherd shot to fame playing Dr Will Preston in Peak Practice for nine years. His prolific stage career most recently saw him appear in Evening at the Talk House at the National Theatre and Hay Fever and The Duck House in the West End and on tour.
Stella Gonet’s long career spans lead roles in TV’s House of Eliott and Holby City through to Humans and Siblings, while stage and screen actor Matilda Ziegler is best known for Lark Rise to Candleford.
Design for Glorious! is by Neil Gordon. This summer’s season is produced by Clive Brill with casting by Stephen Moore.
Originally staged in 2005 in the West End, Glorious! is based on the true story of an American socialite who, in the first half of the 20th century, took up a career as a soprano despite having no talent. Although delusional, she was joyously happy and paid little attention to her critics. The story was also told in the 2016 film Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep with Hugh Grant as St Clair.