The season will kick off Feb. 28, 2006, with the world premiere of Mark Ravenhill's The Cut with a cast led by Deborah Findlay and Sir Ian McKellen. The Cut will begin previews Feb. 23 and will be directed by Grandage. The play, according to press notes, concerns Paul, "an ordinary man with a shocking secret. At home, he is a loving husband and father. At work, he administers the Cut. In a society sickened by his profession, Paul struggles with his conscience and longs to tell the truth." Ravenhill’s previous works include Shopping and Fucking and Mother Clap’s Molly House.
A new version of Phaedra by Frank McGuinness (after Jean Racine’s Phedra) and starring Clare Higgins in the title role will begin previews April 6 and open April 11. Phaedra will be directed by Tom Cairns (Aristocrats). Actress Higgins is currently appearing with Woody Harrelson in Anthony Page’s revival of Night of the Iguana.
A revival of John Mortimer’s A Voyage Round My Father will follow with previews set to begin June 8 with an official opening June 13. The Gate’s Artistic Director, Thea Sharrock, will direct Mortimer’s autobiographical Voyage, “an affectionate portrait of a son's relationship with his father.” Leading the cast is Derek Jacobi, who was last seen on the London stage in Grandage’s award-winning production of Schiller’s Don Carlos.
The season will conclude with Frost/Nixon, a new play by Peter Morgan, opening on Aug. 15 following previews that begin Aug. 10. Michael Sheen (Caligula, The UN Inspector) will return to the Donmar in screenwriter Morgan’s first stage play that is based on interviews by British television host David Frost with the former American president. The play will also be directed by Grandage, who recently bagged a brace of Evening Standard Best Director Awards for Don Carlos and Grand Hotel.