London's Donmar Turns Four Corners in March

News   London's Donmar Turns Four Corners in March The Donmar Warehouse's third annual season of new writing opens next week. The Donmar's creative team, headed by artistic director Sam Mendes, has searched the 'four corners' of the British isles for the best in new writing as well as the finest actors, directors and theatre companies to bring it to life. The result, aptly entitled Four Corners 1998, is four weeks of four new plays, including one collaboration featuring Mark Ravenhill whose Shopping and Fucking has caused waves in both London and New York and is about to embark on an extensive international tour.

The Donmar Warehouse's third annual season of new writing opens next week. The Donmar's creative team, headed by artistic director Sam Mendes, has searched the 'four corners' of the British isles for the best in new writing as well as the finest actors, directors and theatre companies to bring it to life. The result, aptly entitled Four Corners 1998, is four weeks of four new plays, including one collaboration featuring Mark Ravenhill whose Shopping and Fucking has caused waves in both London and New York and is about to embark on an extensive international tour.

Four Corners starts with In a Little World of Our Own, by Gary Mitchell, writer in residence at the Royal National Theatre. Running from 3-7 March, the play plumbs the world of hard man Ray, a Loyalist paramilitary, whose latest act of sickening brutality brings damnation upon his entire family. The play is directed by Robert Delameare and produced by The Foundry.

It is followed by Matthew Dunster's Tell Me which charts the collapse of a nuclear family who have nothing left to say to each other. Directed by Richard Gregory and produced by Northern Stage, Tell me runs 9-14 March.

David Greig's Timeless, playing from 17-21 March, investigates the power of friendship to bring generations together. Four old friends meet over the course of many years in a narrative that blends past, present and future together with the assistance of a string quartet. Timeless is directed by the playwright and produced by Suspect Culture.

Ravenhill teams up with fellow young playwrights Hilary Fanin, Stephen Greenhorn and Abi Morgan in the creation of the final Four Corners play, Sleeping Around. The collaborative work looks at sex and relationships in modern Britain in a satirical game of Chinese stage whispers. Dubliner Fanin's debut play, Mackerel Sky, was featured in the Bush Theatre's 25th birthday season last October. Timeless is directed by Vicky Featherstone and produced by Paines Plough. The ethos of Four Corners wafts into the rest of Donmar's spring season with more new writing. April sees the world premiere of Joe Penhall's newly commissioned work The Bullet, directed by Dominic Cooke. And in June, director John Crowley turns his hand to what the Donmar calls "arguably the best new American play around", Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive.

For more information, contact the Donmar Warehouse box office on 44-171-369-1732.

--By Terri Paddock
What's On Stage, London


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