Academy Award nominee Emily Watson heads the casts of both productions, which will play in repertory this fall. Chekhov's Vanya begins performances Sept. 5, 2002, and runs through Nov. 20, while Shakespeare's Night plays Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.
Playwright Brian Friel, author of Translations and Philadelphia, Here I Come!, has written the adaptation of the Chekhov classic, which also features David Bradley, Helen McCrory, Cherry Morris, Simon Russell Beale and Mark Strong. Twelfth Night, which will also be performed this summer at New York's Delacorte Theatre in a different production, will star Bradley, Paul Jesson, McCrory, Beale and Strong.
Born in London, England, Watson spent two years at the British Shakespeare School of Acting. Her film debut in "Breaking the Waves" earned the actress an Academy Award nomination as did her role opposite Rachel Griffiths in "Hilary and Jackie." Watson has also been seen in "Angela's Ashes," "The Luzhin Defence" and this season's "Gosford Park."
The mountings of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night mark Sam Mendes' final productions as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, which is located at 41 Earlham Street in London. The telephone number for the theatre's box office is 011 44 20 7369 1732; go to www.donmar warehouse.com for more information. —By Andrew Gans