Fresh off the acclaim for her directorial feature film debut, Mary Queen of Scots, Josie Rourke will direct Sweet Charity for her farewell production as the Donmar Warehouse's artistic director.
Starring Anne-Marie Duff (Heisenberg, the National's Macbeth) as Charity Hope Valentine, the taxi hall dancer who still believes in true love in 1967 Manhattan, Rourke's production will co-star Arthur Darvill (Once) as nice-guy Oscar, and feature choreography by Wayne McGgregor. Sweet Charity is scheduled to begin previews April 6 for an April 17 opening. The run is scheduled to end June 8.
“I’m so happy to be joined in my final production as Donmar Artistic Director by the luminous Anne-Marie Duff, making her musical theatre debut, and the great Wayne McGregor," Rourke said in a statement. "They are two of the finest people, and collaborators I’ve worked with, and this reunion with them, and the music of Cy Coleman is a joyous way to end a dozen years as an Artistic Director from the Bush to the Donmar.”
The Sweet Charity design team is comprised of Robert Jones, musical supervisor Gareth Valentine, lighting designer Mark Henderson, sound design by Nick Lidster for Autograph, orchestrations by Larry Blank and Mark Cumberland, and video design by Finn Ross. Casting is by David Grindrod CDG.
Originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse (who also helmed the film adaptation), Sweet Charity boasts a beloved Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields score and a book by Neil Simon, adapting the Fellini film Nights of Cabiria. The original production starred Fosse's wife and collaborator Gwen Verdon, earning her a Tony Award nomination. The show was nominated for a total of nine, winning Best Choreography for Fosse.
For the Donmar production, Friday performances between April 19 and May 31 will be feature Sweet Friday free tickets to those 25 and under, allocated by ballot. Schools from every London borough are invited to participate. Sweet Fridays are made possible with the support of Susie Sainsbury and the Backstage Trust.