Mendes' Bridge Project Opens at London's Old Vic June 9

News   Mendes' Bridge Project Opens at London's Old Vic June 9 The London leg of the Bridge Project – a three-year, transatlantic partnership uniting the Old Vic with Brooklyn Academy of Music and Neal Street Productions – officially opens June 9 with Sam Mendes' inaugural productions of The Winter's Tale (matinee) and The Cherry Orchard (evening).
Ethan Hawke, Simon Russell Beale and Josh Hamilton
Ethan Hawke, Simon Russell Beale and Josh Hamilton Photo by Joan Marcus

The productions, which started previews May 23, play in rep through Aug. 15.

The Bridge Project launched at BAM in January, with The Cherry Orchard opening officially Jan. 14 (following previews from Jan. 2) and The Winter's Tale following it, opening officially Feb. 20 (following previews from Feb. 10); they then ran in rep through March 8. The productions then went on to tour Singapore Repertory Theatre, Auckland New Zealand's EDGE Performing Arts Centre, Madrid's Teatro Español and Germany's Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, before arriving in London.

The Winter's Tale features Simon Russell Beale as Leontes, Sinead Cusack as Paulina, Rebecca Hall as Hermione, Richard Easton as Old Shepherd/Time, Josh Hamilton as Polixene, Ethan Hawke as Autolycus and Paul Jesson as Camilo. The Cherry Orchard, which is presented in a new adaptation by Tom Stoppard, features Simon Russell Beale as Lopakhin, Sinead Cusack as Madame Ranevskaya, Rebecca Hall as Varya, Richard Easton as Firs, Josh Hamilton as Yasha, Ethan Hawke as Trofimov and Paul Jesson as Gaev.

Completing the cast are Aaron Krohn, Dakin Matthews, Michael Braun, Selina Cadell, Morven Christie, Charlotte Parry, Gary Powell, Tobias Segal, Mark Nelson, Hannah Stokely and Jessica Pollert Smith.

The Winter's Tale, equal parts psychological drama and comedic farce, is billed as a "magical testament to the follies of hasty judgment and the force of love as a means of redemption." According to press notes, The Cherry Orchard charts the precipitous descent of a wealthy family into the throes of ineptitude, with Mendes bringing Chekhov's daring, droll meditation on bourgeois materialism and what remains in its wake to fresh life. Designing the Bridge Project works are Anthony Ward (set design), Catherine Zuber (costume design), Paul Pyant (lighting design), Paul Arditti (sound design) and Mark Bennett (music). Shrek choreographer Josh Prince choreographs with musical direction by Dan Lipton.

The Bridge Project is presented by Bank of America with support from American Airlines and is produced by The Old Vic, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Neal Street Productions.

To book tickets, contact the box office at 0870 060 6628 or visit www.oldvictheatre.com.

Rebecca Hall and Josh Hamilton in <i>The Winter's Tale</i>
Rebecca Hall and Josh Hamilton in The Winter's Tale