The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Announces Cast For Second Leg of UK and Ireland Tour






Simon Friend Entertainment is today delighted to announce the latest additions to the cast of the box office sensation The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Simon Friend, producer of the show, commented: “It has been an incredibly heart-warming experience touring this wonderful production, filling theatres with audiences who have otherwise been slower to come back to plays following the pandemic. While touring a play with a large cast in this climate was a considerable risk, this show has demonstrated that regional play-going audiences are certainly hungry for theatre, and never before has this life-affirming story been more relevant.”

Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel in BBC 1’s Only Fools and Horses, ITV’s Grantchester), Ruth Madoc (Gladys Pugh in BBC 1’s Hi-de-Hi! and Little Britain; Calendar Girls UK Tour), Belinda Lang (ITV’s Second Thoughts;BBC 1’s 2point4 Children) and Graham Seed (Nigel Pargetter in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers) are to join the cast of Deborah Moggach’s celebrated show, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Tessa Peake-Jones will perform as Evelyn, Ruth Madoc will appear as Muriel, Belinda Lang joins the cast as Madge and Graham Seed as Norman from Tuesday 28 February 2023 when the play opens at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham.

Today’s newly announced cast members join Paul Nicholas (Jesus Christ Superstar, BBC 1’s Just Good Friends, Eastenders) who continues in the role of Douglas having joined the tour in September 2022 alongside Tiran Aakel (The Kite Runner, UK and Dubai Tour; Umm Kalthoum and The Golden Era, Dubai Opera House) who performs as Mr Gupta, Rekha John-Cheriyan as Mrs Kapoor (KerbsTomb RaiderDream Horse); Shila Iqbal (East Is East, Octagon Theatre; Eaten by Lions); as SahaniKerena Jagpal (Mismatch and Twitch, Birmingham Rep; Circle Game, Southwalk Playhouse) as Kamila, Nishad More (King Lear, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Sonny Kapoor, Anant Varman (who makes his professional UK stage debut with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotelas Mohan and Adam Morris (Dial M for Murder and The Messiah, UK Tours); and Julie Wood (Brave New World, Harrogate Theatre) who join the company as male and female understudies.

Further casting to be announced.


Television includesMrs Chapman, series regular in Grantchester (ITV); Raquel, series regular and Christmas specials in Only Fools and Horses (BBC) and a variety of TV shows including Unforgotten (ITV), Legacy (UPN); Poirot (ITV);  Poppy Shakespeare (Channel 4); Dalziel and Pascoe (BBC); A Summer in the Suburbs (BBC); Births Marriages and Deaths (Tiger Aspect Productions); Holby City (BBC); Tom Jones; Midsomer Murders (Bentley); Two Gentleman of Verona (BBC); The Bell (BBC) and Quartermaine’s Terms (ITV).

Theatre includes: Ladies of Letters (The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre); The Winslow Boy (Chichester Festival Theatre and UK Tour); Bang Bang! (Northcott Theatre and Tour); While We’re Here (Bush Theatre and Tour); Beacons (Park Theatre); Home (Arcola); Brimstone and Treacle (Arcola); Park Avenue Cats(The Arts Theatre); The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder (National Theatre); Shirley Valentine (Haymarket Theatre); The Park (RSC); Pride and Prejudice (Old Vic); Hamlet and Comedy of Errors(RSC) and a year at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round. Tessa was a founder member of Tight Assets Theatre Ltd and has done numerous radio plays.

Film includesBonobo (Fable Films); The Devil Went Down to Islington (Skinned Productions and Reelscape Films) and First Night (Scorpio Films).


Ruth Madoc is well known for the iconic roles of Gladys Pugh in nine series of Hi-de-Hi! for the BBC & Dafydd’s Mum in Little Britain (also BBC). Other recent TV appearances include Alice in The Tuckers (BBC), Millie Faulkner in Casualty (BBC) and Jean March in Doctors (BBC).

Theatre credits include: Jessie in Calendar Girls (Calendar Girls: The Musical); Grandma Rose in The Wedding Singer(UK Tour); Matron in Be My Baby (Autumn tour 2016); Ada in You’re Never Too Old (Edinburgh Fringe); Older Dorothy Squires in Say it with Flowers (Sherman, Cymru); Marie in Calendar Girls (Various UK Touring); Miss Hannigan in Annie (UK Tour); The Vagina Monologues(UK Tour); Dorothy Brook in 42nd Street (UK Tour); Mrs Bardell in Pickwick The Musical (Apollo Leisure) & Mama Rose in Gypsy (Newpalm Productions).

Film work includes: the short films Cardiff (Alpha Productions) and Skinny Fat (BBC Wales); Journey Man (Wild Films) and feature films Very Annie Mary (Film Four/Dragon Pictures); Crossed Swords (Warner Bros); Prince and the Pauper (Miramax); Fiddler on the Roof (MGM).


Most recent theatre credits include: Duet For One (National Tour); Humble Boy (Orange Tree); The Country Wife (Chichester); Oklahoma! (Royal Albert Hall and UK tour) and The Constant Wife (Gate, Dublin).

London Theatre credits include: The Letter of Last Resort (Tricycle/Traverse Edinburgh); Liberty (Globe); The School For Scandal (Park Theatre); The Killing Of Sister George (Arts Theatre); Hay Fever (Haymarket Theatre); Forgotten Voices (Riverside Studios); Ring Round The Moon (Playhouse Theatre); The Secret Rapture (Lyric) Theatre); What The Butler Saw (Hampstead Theatre/Criterion); Life x 3 (Savoy Theatre); My Boy Jack (Hampstead Theatre); Things We Do For Love (Duchess Theatre); Dead Funny (Savoy) and Mrs Klein (Apollo).

For her company, Haig Lang Productions she has done National tours of My Boy Jack and Private Lives. Other tours include Single Spies, Gabriel, Ladies in Lavender and A Song at Twilight.

Her leading roles on television include Bill in 2 Point 4 Children, Agatha Troy in The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Christine Hamilton in Justice in Wonderland and she can most-recently be seen as Mrs Clam in The Sister Boniface Mysteries and as Josephine McAfee in the Sky drama This England.

She has translated numerous French plays, film scripts and television dramas.

Her work as a director includes Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children for Salisbury Playhouse; national tours of An Hour and A Half Late, Present Laughter, The Reluctant Debutante, and also This Was a Man at the Finborough Theatre. Her next project is to be Rocchiccioli’s Letters From the Heart due to open in Sidney in 2023.


Theatre credits includeBloody Difficult Women (Riverside Studios and Edinburgh Festival); Dead Sheep, (Park Theatre and National Tour)An Audience with Jimmy Savile (Park Theatre); Bedroom Farce and Separate Tables (Salisbury Playhouse); Jim Hacker in Yes Prime Minister (National Tour); Basket Case(National Tour); The Mousetrap (60th Anniversary tour and India); Toad of Toad Hall (WestEnd); Me and My Girl (Adelphi Theatre); The Ladykillers, Journey’s End, Flare Path, TranslationsDesign for LivingRelatively Speaking, A Chase Maid of Cheapside and Confusions (National Tours); Someone to Watch Over Me (Frankfurt); The Skin Game (Orange Tree); Nelson (Nuffield, Southampton); Present Laughter(Theatr Cymru); Accolade (Finborough Theatre). He has also played many repertory seasons including: Birmingham, Greenwich, Library Theatre, Manchester, and Perth.

TV credits include: DoctorsCasualtyThe Durrells, I, Claudius, Edward VII, Brideshead Revisited, Mike Leigh’s Who’s Who, Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV, Jeeves and Wooster, The Cleopatras, Crossroads, Coronation Street, Brookside, Prime Suspect, Nature Boy, Dinnerladies, Station Jim, Band of Brothers, The Chatterley Affair and Midsomer Murders.

Film credits include: Peterloo, Gandhi, Good and Bad at Games, Honest, Little Dorrit, These Foolish Things and Wild Target.

Radio credits include: The ArchersWords and Music (Radio 3) Pick of the Week and What the Papers’ Say (Radio 4), The Pargetter Triptych (Podcast)

He was awarded Broadcaster of the Year and the Voice of Listener and Viewer Special Award 2010 for his portrayal of Nigel Pargetter in The Archers for 27 years.


Paul Nicholas became a household favourite in the role of Vince Pinner in the celebrated British sitcom Just Good Friends which won the BAFTA award for Best Comedy Series. Paul has continued to star in many TV series including the evil Gavin Sullivan in EastEnders and can be seen as himself in the BAFTA-nominated series The Real Marigold Hotel and Marigold On Tour.

On stage, Paul’s theatrical success began more than fifty years ago in 1968 when he originated the role of Claude in the London premiere of Hair. Following this, in 1972 he originated the role of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. He starred as Danny Zuko in the original West End production of Grease with Elaine Page and as the Rum Tum Tugger in the original production of Cats. His other leading role musical credits include Jekyll & HydeBarnum42nd StreetSinging In The RainDr. DoolittleA Christmas Carol; Pirates of PenzanceTale of Two Cities; Fiddler On The Roof and Jerry Herman’s Dear World.

Most recently, Paul’s theatrical ventures have included leading roles in The Exorcist directed by Sean Mathias for a UK tour; Quartet directed by Peter Rowe for the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre and a UK tour; And Then There Were None directed by Joe Harmston for a UK tour Paul has also co-produced numerous shows including Grease, Singing in the Rain, Evita, Pirates of Penzance, Chess and Saturday Night FeverIn 2021 Paul published his autobiography Musicals, Marigolds & Me and a three-CD boxset Paul Nicholas Gold featuring his pop and musical career including Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Hair, and Grease.

Deborah Moggach adapts her bestselling novel 2004’s These Foolish Things for the stage, it previously having inspired the BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated film. Directed by Lucy Bailey (Oleanna, UK Tour & West End); Gaslight, UK Tour; Witness for the Prosecution,London’s County Hall) the rest of the creative team comprises Costume and Set Designer, Colin Richmond; Lighting Designer, Oli Fenwick; Sound Designer, Mic Pool; Composer, Kuljit Bhamra; Casting Director, Ginny Schiller CDG; Associate Director, Breman Rajkumar; Movement Director, Lucy Hind; Costume Supervisor, Chris Cahill; Production Manager, Digby Robinson;Props Supervisor, Lizzie Frankl and Associate Props Supervisor, Zoe Wilson.

Based on the Sunday Times bestseller which inspired one of this century’s most treasured films, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel takes us on a journey to India with an eclectic group of British retirees as they embark on a new life. The luxury residence is far from the opulence they were promised, but as their lives begin to intertwine and they embrace the vibrancy of modern-day India, they are charmed in unexpected and life-changing ways.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a joyous, feel-good comedy about taking risks, finding love, and embracing second chances, even in the most surprising of places.

The film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (directed by John Madden) saw its UK theatrical release in 2012. Within two weeks of its cinematic distribution, the film had topped the UK Box Office and went on to become a hit internationally performing as one of the highest-grossing films of 2012 in Australia and New Zealand in addition to the United Kingdom.

The interwoven stories of the film’s stellar ensemble, which included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Celie Imrie, and Ronald Pickup – with Dev Patel as the put-upon owner of a past-its-best hotel for ‘the elderly and beautiful’ – shone a light on issues such as the outsourcing of care and NHS treatments, the complexity of family relationships around the world, love, compassion, and companionship in our twilight years.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is produced by Simon Friend, Jenny King, Trafalgar Entertainment, and Gavin Kalin.

Get ready for the journey of a lifetime.