Francesca Annis, Helen Bradbury and More Set for VERSAILLES at Donmar - Full Cast Announced!

Francesca Annis, Helen Bradbury and More Set for VERSAILLES at Donmar - Full Cast Announced!

As the UK prepares to commemorate the outbreak of First World War in 1914, the Donmar Warehouse presents a series of events inspired by its production of Versailles, Peter Gill's major new play about the consequences of the Great War and the Treaty of Versailles (previewing from 20 February). More details on the series, entitled Impossible Conversations, are announced today.

Impossible Conversations, programmed by Rachel Holmes, will take place throughout the run of Versailles and will provide a forum for some of today's most respected minds to engage with influential voices from the past, discussing the Great War and its legacy. Experts from a variety of fields will have the opportunity to interrogate the historical figures that fascinate them - given voice by a company of leading actors. A. C. Grayling, Shami Chakrabarti, Max Hastings, Susie Orbach and Ahdaf Soueif, will each examine different parts of the historical legacy of both the war and the Treaty of Versailles, giving their own perspective on the people and events whose impact has shaped the world for a hundred years. They will be joined in conversation by eminent writers and thinkers.

5 March - A. C. Grayling with Brigadier Neil Baverstock & Bettany Hughes: Philosophies of war and peace. Philosopher A. C. Grayling will discuss 'Philosophies of war and peace' with Brigadier Neil Baverstock, commander of 145 Brigade, and historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes.

12 March - Shami Chakrabarti with Helena Kennedy and Gabrielle Rifkind: The idea of justice Shami. Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, will explore 'The idea of justice' in conversation with Helena Kennedy, QC and Gabrielle Rifkind, Director of the Middle East programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG).

19 March - Max Hastings with Margaret MacMillan & Kamila Shamsie: 1914-1918: A war worth winning?. '1914 - 1919: a war worth winning?' is the subject of journalist, historian and author Max Hastings' talk. Joining Hastings will be historian Margaret MacMillan and novelist Kamila Shamsie.

26 March - Susie Orbach with Colonel Tim Collins & Renos Papadopoulos: The psychoanalytic case: trauma, shellshock and the horror of war
Psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer and social critic Susie Orbach will examine 'The psychoanalytic case: trauma, shellshock and the horror of war' alongside Colonel Tim Collins and academic Renos Papadopoulos.

2 April - Ahdaf Soueif with John McCarthy & Jamal Mahjoub: Mr Balfour's letter to Lord Rothschild: how the Great War remapped the world For the final talk of the series, novelist and political and cultural commentator Ahdaf Soueif will be joined in conversation with journalist and broadcaster John McCarthy and writer Jamal Mahjab.

Impossible Conversations accompanies Versailles, a major new play from one of our most eminent playwrights, Peter Gill. The work draws startling connections between the Treaty of Versailles and the world we live in today, reminding us that the past is not a foreign country. Set amongst a middle-class

English family in Kent, and with their son in Paris, at the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles, the play is in part a love story, full of tragedy and sadness, as well as an historical examination of the treaty's legacy.

The full cast of Versailles is Francesca Annis, Helen Bradbury, Barbara Flynn, Christopher Godwin, Selina Griffiths, Tom Hughes, Tamla Kari, Edward Killingback, Gwilym Lee, Adrian Lukis, Josh O'Connor, Simon Williams and Eleanor Yates.

Peter Gill (Playwright & Director) is a hugely influential and radical figure in British theatre; he is a renowned playwright and one of the most important directors of the last forty years. Previous Donmar credits include Making Noise Quietly, 2012 (director), Small Change, 2008 (writer) and Days of Wine and Roses, 2005 (director). Peter has directed over eighty productions in the UK, Europe and North America, and held a variety of established positions within the industry, including the post of Associate Director at the National Theatre (1980 - 1997) and Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company (1964/1965 & 1970/1972).

The production of VERSAILLES is sponsored by American Airlines and supported by Stuart & Hilary Williams.

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