By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
21 Jun 2013
Lansbury told radio personality Margaret Throsby, "A rather exciting event coming up in the fall is a new production of The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold. It's a lovely play, wonderful role, Mrs. St. [Maugham]. We're going to do that on Broadway, so if you're in New York, I hope you'll come and see it."
Directed by Albert Marre, The Chalk Garden opened in October 1955 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, playing 182 performances before closing in March 1956. The original cast included Gladys Cooper, Siobhan McKenna, Marian Seldes, Betsy von Furstenberg, Fritz Weaver, Percy Waram and more.
Nominated for the 1956 Tony Award as Best Play, The Chalk Garden is a poetic comedy that has the sheen of a mystery. It centers on wealthy and eccentric Mrs. St. Maugham, who is raising her spoiled teenaged granddaughter with the help of an ex-convict butler. A mysterious new governess, Miss Madrigal, shakes things up as she coaxes flowers in a sterile garden to grow — and urges the granddaughter to bloom, too.
British playwright, novelist and nonfiction writer Bagnold (1889-1981) penned the novels "National Velvet" and "Serena Blandish." A nurse in World War I, she wrote about her wartime experiences in the books "A Diary Without Dates" and "The Happy Foreigner." Her other Broadway plays are Gertie, The Chinese Prime Minister and A Matter of Gravity.
An Off-Broadway revival of The Chalk Garden starring Jacqueline Brookes blossomed in fall 2003 and returned in 2004. TACT/The Actors Company Theatre produced an unrelated concert reading of the play in spring 2004.
No official announcement about the Broadway production has been made.
PHOTO ARCHIVE: Angela Lansbury on the Broadway Stage