NEWS: Check in at ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2023


Embrace the power of starting over when the world premiere stage adaptation of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel comes to Milton Keynes Theatre this month.

Based on the Sunday Times bestseller that inspired the hit film, this play promises to whisk theatregoers off to India for a joyous, feel-good tale of new beginnings. It follows an eclectic group of seniors who decide to relocate to an exotic – and less expensive – retirement destination and are charmed in unexpected, life-changing ways.

Assorted struggling British retirees check in at the Marigold Hotel, ready to enjoy their golden years in luxurious surroundings. Unfortunately, the establishment is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and proves to be far from the opulent resort they were expecting. Comedy and optimism then prevail as characters take risks, find love and learn that you are never too old for a new adventure.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Hayley Mills as Evelyn and Rula Lenska as Madge.


Writer Deborah Moggach has adapted her 2004 novel These Foolish Things for the stage. The book was previously transformed into the award-nominated film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which became one of the highest-grossing films of 2012 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Much-loved stars of stage and screen will lead the cast of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at Milton Keynes Theatre. Oscar-winning actress Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, Wild at Heart) is starring as Evelyn. Paul Nicholas (Jesus Christ Superstar, EastEnders) is playing Douglas and Rula Lenska (Rock Follies, Coronation Street) is playing Madge.

The show also features Andy de la Tour (Notting Hill, Star Wars), Rekha John-Cheriyan (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Hollyoaks) and Marlene Sidaway (Coronation Street, Pride and Prejudice). It is directed by Lucy Bailey, with movement direction by Lucy Hind (Girl From The North Country).

For theatregoers who have read the book or seen the film, this production will be an opportunity to reunite with old friends in a new location. For those who haven’t, it will reveal how making a reservation at the Marigold Hotel brings about a new lease of life!


Running time: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, including one interval.

Note that the production includes haze, smoke, sudden loud noises and smoking of herbal cigarettes on stage.


*Production photography by Johan Persson.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 January 2023. The UK tour continues until 10 June 2023.


This preview is also featured on Total MK.


Update 26 January 2023: Read my review of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at Milton Keynes Theatre.



Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.

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