Donmar's Be Near Me, with McDiarmid, Begins London Run Jan. 22

News   Donmar's Be Near Me, with McDiarmid, Begins London Run Jan. 22 The Donmar Warehouse's co-production (with the National Theatre of Scotland) of Be Near Me begins previews Jan. 22 at the Donmar prior to an official opening Jan. 26.
Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid

Ian McDiarmid's new stage adaptation of Andrew O'Hagan's novel, in which McDiarmid also stars, played a short run at Kilmarnock's Palace Theatre (Jan. 14-17) prior to the Donmar run, and will embark on an eight-week tour after it to Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow, Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, the Traverse in Edinburgh, Perth Theatre, the Lowry in Salford Quays, the Curve in Leicester and the Hall for Cornwall in Truro.

Published in 2006, the Booker Prize-nominated novel is described as a story of love, morality, identity and regret that revolves around an Oxford-educated Catholic priest, David Anderton, who is assigned to a parish in a dispirited Scottish town, where he befriends two unstable teenagers from the local school and is drawn into their exotic world. As events spin out of control, he is forced to face his greatest trial yet.

McDiarmid, who plays Father David Anderton, previously appeared at the Donmar in the title roles of Michael Grandage's productions of John Gabriel Borkman and Pirandello's Henry IV. He was most recently seen on the London stage in Rupert Goold's production of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. Previously joint artistic director at the Almeida (alongside Jonathan Kent) from 1990 to 2001, his roles there include Teddy in a 2001 revival of Brian Friel's Faith Healer. When he reprised the role on Broadway in 2006, he won the Tony Award for Best Perormance by a Featured Actor in a Play.

McDiarmid is joined in the company by Jimmy Chisholm (The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre), Blythe Duff (Jacke Reed in TV's "Taggart"), Kathryn Howden (credits include appearances at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), David McGranaghan (last seen on the London stage in The Wizard of Oz at the Royal Festival Hall and Betwixt at the King's Head), Richard Madden (Noughts and Crosses for the RSC and Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare's Globe), Helen Mallon (seen in the NTOS's productions of 365 and Wolves in the Walls, both of which transferred to London's Lyric Hammersmith), Colette O'Neil (<>Home: Glasgow for NTOS), Benny Young (Six Characters in Search of an Author for NTOS) and Jimmy Yuill (Through a Cloud at London's Arcola Theatre, "Rebus," "Dalziel and Pascoe," "Inspector Linley" on TV).

The play is directed by John Tiffany, who is associate director (new work) for NTOS, where his productions include the award-winning Blackwatch (subsequently seen in London at the Barbican and in New York) and The Bacchae (transferred to the Lyric Hammersmith). Designs are by Peter McKintosh, with lighting design by Guy Hoare, sound design by Gareth Fry and musical direction is by Davey Anderson. To book tickets for the Donmar Warehouse run, contact the box office at 0870 060 6624 or visit www.donmarwarehouse.com.

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