The Waters play, presented in association with Sheffield Theatres (where Donmar boss Michael Grandage is an associate) tells the story of the troubled and bloody relationship between Europe and Africa – and how they rip apart the lives and loves of those caught in the flames. The cast will include Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ray Fearon, Sebastian Harcombe, Kevin R.McNally, Sara Powell, Paul Ready and Assly Zandry. Josie Rourke will direct (she previously directed Frame 312 at the same venue), with designs by Christopher Oram, lighting by Neil Austin and sound design by Gareth Fry. Fearon is an ex-Royal Shakespeare Company Othello and Pericles. McNally, meanwhile, was seen in Alan Bennett’s The Lady In The Van opposite Maggie Smith, and Naked at London’s Almeida opposite Juliette Binoche. The other actors all reprise their roles from the original Sheffield production.
Charlotte Jones is set for a busy year, as she follows up her hit West End play Humble Boy with both Dark and the book for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical The Woman In White. Dark, previewing from March 18, continues Humble Boy’s theme of characters who are isolated, despite living with others. There’s John, who lives with his mothers and is helping the police, Brian and Janet whose son only talks to strangers, and Barnaby and Louisa who cannot name their new baby. A crisis arises when the lights go out. Anna Mackmin directs, with designs by regular Matthew Bourne collaborator Lez Brotherston.
The cast will include Brid Brennan, Anastasia Hille, Stuart McQuarrie and Sian Phillips. Brennan was most recently seen opposite Joan Plowright in the 2003 production of Pirandello’s Absolutely! (perhaps), and was Olivier Award-nominated for her role in the The Little Foxes at the Donmar. Sian Phillips appeared as once of the Divas at the Donmar. She has previously won Olivier, Tony and Drama Desk awards for her portrayal of Marlene Dietrich in the Pam Gems tribute play.