London's Donmar Warehouse to Revive City of Angels, Starring Samantha Barks; Season Details Announced

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27 May 2014

Samantha Barks
Samantha Barks

London's Donmar Warehouse will produce the first major revival of Cy Coleman, David Zippel and Larry Gelbart's 1990 Broadway musical City of Angels with a cast that includes Hadley Fraser, Rosalie Craig and Samantha Barks.

In addition, Phyllida Lloyd will return to the Donmar following the success of her all-female production of Julius Caesar to reunite with Harriet Walter for an all-female production of Henry IV starring Walter in the title role.

The season will open with a new production of Kevin Elyot's 1994 play My Night with Reg, which won the 1995 Olivier Award for Best Comedy after its transfer from the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs to the West End's Criterion Theatre. It will begin performances in July prior to an official opening Aug. 5, for a run through Sept. 27.

Current Donmar Warehouse trainee associate director Robert Hastie will direct a cast that comprises Julian Ovenden, Matt Bardock, Jonathan Broadbent, Richard Cant, Lewis Reeves and Geoffrey Streatfeild. The prduction will be designed by Peter McKintosh, with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Gregory Clarke.

The play, which is set in London’s gay community in the summer of 1985 against the backdrop of the mounting AIDS crisis, defined a moment in the lives of gay men. At Guy’s London flat, old friends and new gather to party through the night. But for Guy and his circle, the world is about to change forever. According to press materials, the play captures the fragility of friendship, happiness and life itself.

Henry IV will begin performances Oct. 3 prior to an official opening Oct. 9, for a run through Nov. 29. Phyllida Lloyd will direct a cast that includes Hariet Walter (in the title role), Jade Anouka (Hotspur), Clare Dunne (Hal) and Ashley McGuire (Falstaff). The production will be designed by Ellen Nabarro, with costumes by Deborah Andrews, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Gary Yershon and movement by Ann Yee. Original designs are by Bunny Christie.

The production follows the 2012 all-female production of Julius Casear that placed the play in a women's prison. Henry IV will now form the second instalment in a trilogy of prison Shakespeares. In a press statement, Josie Rourke commented, "During one of the education workshops around Phyllida’s production of Julius Caesar, teachers heard one of their students, a girl, speak for the first time. We, and Phyllida, knew that the important journey of this work could not end there. This trilogy of productions will ask 'who owns Shakespeare' and continue to open up our national playwright to those who have been denied him through gender, heritage or class."

In addition to Julius Caesar, Lloyd's previous credits for the Donmar include Boston Marriage, The Threepenny Opera and Mary Stuart, the latter of which won the 2006 South Bank Show Theatre Award, and later transferred to the West End and Broadway

City of Angels will begin performances Dec. 5 prior to an official opening Dec.16, for a run through Feb. 7, 2015. Donmar Warehouse artistic director Josie Rourke will direct a cast that includes Samantha Barks (who played Eponine in the film version of "Les Miserables") as Mallory/Avril, Hadley Fraser (returning to the Donmar after playing Aufidius in Coriolanus) as Stine and Rosalie Craig (Olivier-nominated for The Light Princess at the National, and shortly to play the title role in Strindberg's Miss Julie at Chichester) as Gabby/Bobbi.

The production will be directed by Donmar Warehouse artistic director Josie Rourke, staging her first musical since taking over the theatre. She is currently represented by her production of James Graham's Privacy at the theatre, where she has also directed The Recruiting Officer, The Physicists, Berenice and The Weir (which transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre).

City of Angels, which has music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel and book by Larry Gelbart, premiered on Broadway in 1990 and in the West End in 1993. It won both the Tony Award and Olivier Award for Best New Musical. In the show, Hollywood comes calling for a New York novelist. The offer is too good to refuse:  Adapt the private detective protagonist of his books into a big-screen hero. The siren songs of Los Angeles are a dangerous temptation and while his movie plays out in black and white, his new life is all-too colorful. It is described in press materials as "a celebration of film noir and Hollywood in black & white and color."

The production will be designed by Robert Jones, with lighting by Howard Hudson, musical direction by Gareth Valentine, sound by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster for Autograph, and choreography by Stephen Mear.

Public booking for the season will open June 18, with the first sale of Barclays Front Row £10 tickets going on sale for My Night with Reg July 21, for Henry IV Sept. 22 and for City of Angels Nov. 24. To book tickts, contact the box office on 0844 871 7624, or visit