By Mark Shenton
18 Jun 2013
Originally premiered at New York's Atlantic Theatre Company in 2008 and subsequently seen at LA's Geffen Playhouse, it was turned into an Oscar-nominated screenplay as "The Ides of March," written by Willimon, George Clooney (who also directed the film) and Grant Heslov (who also co-produced it).
In the play, "Stephen Bellamy is a bright young man with a ruthless political ambition. At twenty-five, he is already press secretary to a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. He is self-confident, charismatic and strategically brilliant; a player on a meteoric rise to the top. But when Stephen receives an unexpected phone call at a crucial period in the campaign, a decision made in the heat of the moment unleashes a chain of events even he can't control."
Willimon is also head writer of the U.S. version of "House of Cards," and his other plays include Lower Ninth (seen in London as part of the Donmar Trafalgar season in 2010) and Spirit Control (produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in 2010). The play is directed by Guy Unsworth and produced by Peter Huntley Productions. Casting and further creative details are still to be announced.
Also in Southwark Playhouse's fall season, Matthew Dunster will direct Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Love Girl and the Innocent, beginning performances Oct. 9 prior to an official opening Oct. 15, for a run through Nov. 2. In the play, which is described as being about the struggle between sex, humanity and survival, Nemov is a new arrival at the camp, sent straight from the army front line to take charge of the prisoners. Confronted with the system's hypocrisy, he is pushed to the limits. How long can he endure the barbarity and injustice of the camp; a system that thrives on power, corruption, and sexual amorality?
It will be followed by the world premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Ajax, beginning performances Nov. 6 prior to an official opening Nov. 8, for a run through Nov. 30. Produced by Natural Perspective, David Mercatali will direct the play that is described as an "epic drama of heroism, love and homeland. Developed from interviews with current and former servicemen and women, it brings Sophocles's Ajax to new life, as torn between army politics and the love of his soldiers on the front line of war, the legendary leader begins to spiral out of control."
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7407 0234, or visit www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk for more details.