Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Theatre - Tanya MacNaughton

ENGLISH stage and screen ac­tor Felic­ity Ken­dal says she has al­ways been at­tracted to the play­wright rather than the part when it comes to choos­ing her next role, so it is no sur­prise she signed up to tour in Noel Coward’s Hay Fever.

“I’ve al­ways said I’d pre­fer to do a smaller part in a well-writ­ten play than a big part in a rub­bish play,” Ken­dal said.

“In fact, I hadn’t read this play for years when I agreed to do it, and when I started read­ing it, hadn’t re­mem­bered how much my character Ju­dith Bliss spoke in it.

“I thought it was a much smaller part and was hor­ri­fied and shocked how much she’s in it.”

The London-based star of tele­vi­sion shows The Good Life and Rose­mary and Thyme has ap­peared in sev­eral Coward plays dur­ing her ca­reer and at­trib­uted the suc­cess of this two-hour melo­drama to his clever and witty writ­ing.

“It’s about an appalling fam­ily be­hav­ing in­cred­i­bly badly, which I find quite funny,” she said.

“It’s a laugh, which is lovely to have th­ese days with ev­ery­thing that’s go­ing on.”

Set at a ru­ral re­treat, Hay Fever fol­lows an out­ra­geous week­end in the English coun­try­side and is based on a real New York fam­ily who found sport in invit­ing guests to their coun­try house and em­bar­rass­ing them.

“Ju­dith has a love for her fam­ily, but only on the con­di­tion they do ex­actly as she says and they are around her con­stantly,” Ken­dal said.

“She is a re­tired ac­tress who was very suc­cess­ful and wants to still act all the time, on or off the stage, and loves be­ing in the lime­light and cen­tre of at­ten­tion.”

Felic­ity Ken­dal plays the out­ra­geous Ju­dith Bliss in HayFever.

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