In a press statement, artistic director Edward Hall commented, "It is a real thrill to be able to introduce these two outstanding plays to British theatre-goers for the first time. And to be able to introduce them in some considerable style: Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gina Gionfriddo's virtuosic gender comedy, has enticed Emilia Fox back to the stage, whilst David Lindsay-Abaire's funny and tender Good People will see the return of Imelda Staunton to Hampstead Theatre after 20 years. With Peter DuBois and Jonathan Kent - two real master directors - at the helm, we're truly excited about the forthcoming spring season."
Rapture, Blister, Burn premiered at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons in June 2012, where it was also directed by Peter DuBois; it will begin performances Jan.16, 2014, prior to an official opening Jan. 22, for a run through Feb. 22.
The play, which was a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist, is described in press materials as a "witty dissection of gender politics. After university Catherine and Gwen chose opposite paths: Catherine built a career as a rock-star academic, while Gwen built a home with a husband and children. Decades later each woman covets the other's life, and a dangerous game begins as each tries to claim the other's territory."
The playwright and director were previously represented in London by Becky Shaw at the Almeida. Her other plays include After Ashley, and she has also written extensively for television including the popular dramas "Law & Order" and "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey.
DuBois has also previously directed Zach Braff's All New People at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre. He is in his fourth season as the artistic director of the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. Fox has appeared on the London stage in Coriolanus and Richard II at the Almeida, and in Good at the Donmar Warehouse. Other theatre credits include Katherine Howard (Chichester Festival) and The Cherry Orchard (RSC). Film includes "Suspension of Disbelief," "A Thousand Kisses Deep," "Ways To Live Forever" and "Dorian Gray."
Good People, which premiered at Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in 2011 under the auspices of Manhattan Theatre Club, where it was a nominee for the Tony Award for Best Play, will begin performances Feb. 27 prior to an official opening March 5, for a run through April 5.
Imelda Staunton will play the role of single mother Margie, for which Frances McDormand won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. Margie will do anything it takes to pay the bills after loosing yet another job. Hearing that an old boyfriend who has made good is in town, she decides to corner him – old loyalties should be good for something.
Staunton's recent stage credits include Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre and subsequently the West End's Adelphi, for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical), A Delicate Balance (Almeida Theatre) and Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Trafalgar Studios). Film includes "Pride," "Maleficent," "The Awakening," "Another Year," "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" and "Vera Drake" (for the latter of which she was Oscar-nominated as Best Actress). TV includes "The Girl" (for which she was nominated for Emmy and Bafta Awards), "Psychoville" and "Cranford Chronicles."
Kent, who makes his Hampstead Theatre debut, is reunited with Staunton after Sweeney Todd that transferred from Chichester to the West End's Adelphi Theatre. His Chichester production of Private Lives also transferred to the West End's Gielgud Theatre earlier this year.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7722 9301 or visit www.hampsteadtheatre.com.