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Angela Lansbury wows critics in London stage return

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 8:54 am

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."