Pryce and Anderson to Star in New Donmar Productions

News   Pryce and Anderson to Star in New Donmar Productions The Donmar Warehouse has added new productions of Athol Fugard's 1975 play Dimetos, which will star Tony Award winner Jonathan Pryce, and Ibsen's A Doll's House, which will feature "X-Files" actress Gillian Anderson, to its roster of productions at its home base in Covent Garden.
Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The productions will run parallel to the company's just-opened West End, year-long residency at Wyndham's Theatre.

Further casting has also be announced on other productions, including T.S. Eliot's The Family Reunion and Andrew O'Hagan's Be Near Me (adapted for the stage by Ian McDiarmid), the latter of which has also now added an eight-week tour across England and Scotland following its Donmar run.

These announcements coincide with the company's significant expansion beyond their home theatre. The Donmar will soon be represented by the West End transfer of its current sold-out production of Piaf to the Vaudeville Theatre; and abroad by a U.S. tour of the Donmar, West End and Broadway hit Frost/Nixon; a Broadway transfer for Mary Stuart; a run of its production of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry's Parade at the newly renovated Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; and a run of the Donmar's West End co-production of Guys and Dolls opening in Sydney in March 2009 following its current successful run in Melbourne.

In a press statement, artistic director Michael Grandage commented, "This is an exciting moment in the theatre's history with 14 Donmar productions playing worldwide over the year ahead. As we continue to expand the work of the Donmar beyond our Covent Garden home we will also continue our high production values at affordable prices."

Joining the previously announced Penelope Wilton and Samuel West in T.S. Eliot's The Family Reunion (running Nov. 20, 2008-Jan. 10, 2009, with an official opening on Nov. 25) are Christopher Benjamin (last at the Donmar in A Voyage Round my Father and The Front Page), Anna Carteret (recently in Howard Brenton's Never So Good at the National), William Gaunt (last seen at the Donmar in The Wild Duck, and most recently seen in London and around the world in the RSC's double bill of King Lear and The Seagull), Gemma Jones (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Lyric), Kevin McMonagle (Fall at the Traverse, Edinburgh), Ann Marcuson (Needle at Soho Theatre), Hattie Morahan (currently in Katie Mitchell's production of …some trace of her at the National), Paul Shelley (last seen in the West End and on Broadway in Rupert Goold's production of Macbeth) and Una Stubbs (Pygmalion at the Old Vic, La Cage aux Folles at the Menier Chocolate Factory). Jeremy Herrin will direct the production that forms the centerpiece of the Donmar's T.S. Eliot Festival, which also includes Katie Mitchell's production of Four Quartets, read by Stephen Dillane and accompanied by a string quartet from the Philharmonia Orchestra; a reading of Murder in the Cathedral, directed by Douglas Hodge; a reading of The Cocktail Hour, directed by Jamie Lloyd; and readings of Eliot's verse, produced and directed by Josephine Hart. Andrew O'Hagan's Be Near Me, running at the Donmar Jan. 22, 2009-March 14, 2009 (with an official opening on Jan. 26), will star its adaptor Ian McDiarmid (currently in Six Characters in Search of an Author). The cast of John Tiffany's production will also include Blythe Duff, Kath Howden, David McGranaghan, Richard Madden, Helen Mallon, Colette O'Neil and Jimmy Yuill. In addition to a short run at Kilmarnock's Palace Theatre from Jan. 14-17, 2009 that precedes the Donmar run, the production will embark on an eight-week tour 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.

Donmar associate director Douglas Hodge (currently about to reprise his role of Albin in the West End transfer of the Menier Chocolate Factory's production of La Cage aux Folles) will direct Jonathan Pryce in the title role of Athol Fugard's Dimetos, running March 19-May 9, 2009 (with an official opening on March 25). Described in press materials as a "powerful and deeply moving story about love, guilt and retribution" that "explores faith in a modern world of moral decay," it revolves around a man who, exhausted by life in the city as a highly skilled engineer, escapes to a remote coastal village with his niece and housekeeper in search of a simpler existence. Five years on, a stranger from the metropolis arrives to tempt him back with devastating consequences. Pryce was most recently seen on the London stage in a revival of Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo Theatre in 2007. On Broadway, he has appeared in Dirty Rotten Scoundels at the Imperial Theatre and in the original company of Miss Saigon, reprising his West End performance as the Engineer.

"X-Files" star Gillian Anderson, previously seen on the London stage in What the Night Is For at the Comedy Theatre and The Sweetest Swing in Baseball at the Royal Court, will play Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House (running May 14, 2009-July 18, 2009, with an official opening on May 19), presented in a new version by playwright Zinnie Harris (Fall at the Traverse in Edinburgh, Solstice and Midwinter for the RSC, Nightingale and Chase for the Royal Court.). According to press materials, this new version is set against the backdrop of British politics at the turn of the last century in a world where duty, power and hypocrisy rule. It will be directed by Kfir Yefet (Is That All There Is? at the Almeida, The Soldier's Tale at the Old Vic), who will be making his Donmar debut.

Booking for The Family Reunion and the T.S. Eliot Festival is currently open; priority booking for Be Near Me, Dimetos and A Doll's House opens Oct. 20 with public booking to follow on Nov. 17. To book tickets contact the box office at 0870 060 6624 or visit www.donmarwarehouse.com.

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