Jude Law, Douglas Hodge, Eddie Redmayne Return to London's Donmar for Michael Grandage's Final Season
By Mark Shenton
Michael Grandage's farewell season at the helm of London's Donmar Warehouse will see the return of Jude Law, Douglas Hodge and Eddie Redmayne to respectively star in new productions of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie, John Osborne's Inadmissable Evidence and Shakespeare's Richard II.
Law, who played the title role of Hamlet under the Donmar's auspices in its West End season at Wyndham's Theatre in 2009 and subsequently on Broadway, will star in Anna Christie, beginning performances Aug. 4, prior to an official opening Aug. 9, for a season through Oct. 8.Ruth Wilson, previously seen at the Donmar as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, will co-star in the title role, in the production which is being directed by Donmar Associate director Rob Ashford, recently represented on Broadway by his direction and choreography for Promises Promises and soon to co-direct Shrek in the West End with Jason Moore. According to press materials, O'Neill's Pulitzer award winning play about love and forgiveness charts one woman's longing to forget the dark secrets of her past and hope for salvation.
Inadmissable Evidence begins performances Oct. 13, prior to an official opening Oct. 18, for a season through Nov. 26. Donmar Associate director Jamie Lloyd, who last directed Passion at the Donmar, directs a cast led by Douglas Hodge as Bill Maitland, a middle,aged lawyer who struggles to avoid the harsh truths of his life and keep a hold on reality. As those closest to him begin to draw away, he puts himself on trial to fight for his sanity. Hodge has previously appeared for the Donmar in Grandage's production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly, and in The Collection/The Lover. As an associate director for the Donmar, he directed Dimetos, Murder in the Cathedral (part of the Donmar’s TS Eliot Festival) and Absurdia. He is currently appearing on Broadway (through Feb. 13) in La Cage aux Folles, for which he won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Richard II, which Grandage directs as his final production at the helm of the Donmar, begins performances Dec. 1, prior to an official opening Dec. 6, for a season through Feb. 4, 2012. The production features Eddie Redmayne in the title role, returning to the Donmar where he previously starred under Grandage's direction opposite Alfred Molina in Red, for which he won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play when it transferred to Broadway. In the play, King Richard banishes his noblemen and seizes their land to fuel his own wars. As anger mounts, a battle for the soul of England begins and one man's divine right to rule is called into question. The play is described in press materials as an epic tale of destruction, ruin and decay that casts light on the decline of a kingdom and the solitude of power.
As Grandage prepares to leave the Donmar, the lease of whose venue the company purchased under his tenure, he has also announced the company's plans to purchase an office, education and rehearsal space for the company before he departs. This legacy will help secure the long-term future of the Donmar in uncertain financial times.
In a press statement, he commented, "After nearly ten years running the Donmar, it is a very exciting and emotional moment to announce my farewell season. From next month to February 2012 we will be presenting six new productions and I am delighted this final year celebrates so much of the repertoire we have presented over the last decade. It is particularly wonderful to be joined by so many friends and colleagues in this last season of work – it is these collaborations and creative partnerships both on stage and with the staff at the Donmar, that have made the achievements of the past ten years possible, and I hope the range and diversity of our programme continues to reach out to many more people in the year ahead."
Since taking over the company in November 2002, Grandage will, by the time that Richard II closes in February 2012, presented some 70 productions under the Donmar's auspices. Under his leadership, the company has garnered over 80 major awards including Oliviers, Tonys, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards.
Public booking for Grandage's final season will open June 6. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7624, or visit www.donmarwarehouse.com.
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