Donmar Season Will Include Roger in Piaf, Rickman Directing Strindberg

News   Donmar Season Will Include Roger in Piaf, Rickman Directing Strindberg
A new production of Pam Gems' Piaf — originally produced in 1978 at the Donmar Warehouse when the RSC used to run it as their new writing studio home — will launch the Covent Garden venue's new season, beginning previews Aug. 8, opening Aug. 13 and running through Sept. 20.
Elena Roger
Elena Roger

Being presented in a revised, reworked version, the play will star Elena Roger in the title role, returning to the London stage after originating the role of Eva Peron in the 2006 revival of Evita and subsequently taking over as one of the air hostesses in Boeing-Boeing. The production will be directed by Jamie Lloyd, who has been newly appointed as an associate director at the Donmar; Lloyd was also Michael Grandage's associate director on Evita. Lloyd is currently represented in the West End by his production of the Pinter double-bill The Lover and The Collection at the Comedy Theatre.

The Donmar season will continue with Strindberg's Creditors, presented in a new version by David Greig, that Alan Rickman will direct, opening on Sept. 30 (following previews from Sept. 25) for a run to Nov. 15. Written in 1890 and described in press materials as Strindberg's most mature work, Creditors is a darkly comic tale of obsession, honor and revenge, and the production continues the Donmar's commitment to presenting European drama in new adaptations for a modern audience. Rickman, best known as an actor, has also previously directed My Name Is Rachel Corrie (Royal Court Theatre and subsequently at the West End's Playhouse Theatre and Off-Broadway) and The Winter Guest at the Almeida. Playwright/translator Greig previously provided the Donmar with a new version of Caligula, while his original play The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union was revived at the Donmar in 2005.

Next, the Donmar will stage T.S. Eliot's The Family Reunion as the centrepiece of a landmark festival offering audiences the opportunity to engage with one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. Jeremy Herrin will direct The Family Reunion, opening on Nov. 25 (following previews from Nov. 20) for a run to Jan. 10, 2009. Described in press materials as a poetic and powerful tale of sin and redemption that reveals a family haunted by the ghosts of their past, it will be complemented during its run by a host of other Eliot events. Katie Mitchell will direct Stephen Dillane in a reading of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, and a string quartet from the Philharmonia Orchestra will perform Beethoven's op 132, for six performances, Jan. 14-17, 2009. Dillane previously appeared at the Donmar in a revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing that subsequently transferred to Broadway. Donmar associate directors Douglas Hodge and Jamie Lloyd will respectively direct reading of Murder in the Cathedral on Dec. 2 and The Cocktail Party on Dec. 17. There will also be readings of Eliot's Verse, produced and directed by novelist Josephine Hart, on Dec. 1, 2008, and Jan. 5, 2009.

The Donmar will also join forces with the National Theatre of Scotland to present a stage adaptation of Andrew O'Hagan's novel Be Near Me, adapted by and starring Ian McDiarmid. Running first at the Palace, Kilmarnock, for a four-night run from Jan. 14-17, 2009, it will then come to the Donmar, to open on Jan. 26 (following previews from Jan. 22) for a run to March 14. Published in 2006, the Booker Prize-nominated novel is described as a story of love, morality, identity and regret that revolves around an Oxford-educated Catholic priest who is assigned to a parish in a dispirited Scottish town, who befriends two unstable teenagers from the local school there. McDiarmid previously appeared at the Donmar in the title roles of Michael Grandage's productions of John Gabriel Borkman and Pirandello's Henry IV. The new play will be directed by John Tiffany, associate director of the National Theatre of Scotland for whom he has directed Black Watch (due at London's Barbican later this year as part of a world tour) and The Bacchae (also touring this year).

Tickets for the new Donmar Warehouse season go on sale to the public on June 2 by calling the box office at 0870 060 6624 or by visiting

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