Operation: Rebrand Britney is gathering pace. Days after her celebrated cameo in US sitcom How I Met Your Mother - where the former teen icon excelled as a ditzy, obsessive receptionist - Britney has reportedly been offered a meatier role to chew over: she has been tapped up to play Blanche Dubois in a West End production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.
It's not rare for the enervating effects of the London stage to be used as a tonic for a fallen star's flagging career, and the coupling of Spears and Dubois has a certain logic. While the age difference between Britney and Williams' tragic heroine may be considerable, other parallels exist: both are Southern belles arguably past their prime, whose search for redemption in the public eye has led to mental breakdown. Or, as the Daily Star delicately puts it:
A wanton paramour like Britters will find she has much in common with Blanche. After all, one is a fading relic of the Old South – and the other is Blanche.
Ba-dum! Yep, there's nothing like a bit of Brit-bashing to flog a few more copies.
If Spears is to come over here she might want to ignore the rantings of her former tonsil-tennis buddy Madonna, who has been fulminating about the rotten state of public transport, among other things. Come on, Madge, think of London's poor paparazzi - a Spears in town could really help them make ends meet.
Image of Britney at Madame Tussaud's from MuLaN's Flickrstream