Jade Anouka, Clare Dunne & More Join Cast of Phyllida Lloyd's All-Female HENRY IV at Donmar
In 2012, Phyllida Lloyd's all-female production of Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse placed the play in a women's prison. It stunned audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and challenged the idea of 'who owns Shakespeare?' In one of the schools workshops around the production, teachers heard one of their students, a girl, speak in public for the first time. It couldn't end there.
Henry IV marks the return of Phyllida Lloyd, the reunion of the director with Harriet Walter and the second instalment in what will be a trilogy of works at the Donmar from these major artists. They will be joined by a number of the Julius Caesar cast: Jade Anouka, Clare Dunne and Jennifer Joseph. Others joining the company: Elizabeth Chan, Jackie Clune, Shiloh Coke, Karen Dunbar, Cynthia Erivo, Zainab Hasan, Ann Ogbomo, Ashley McGuire, Katie Robinson and Sharon Rooney.
What makes a leader? What makes a father? Henry IV travels to the heart of family, honour and a fight for land. Lloyd's new production will encompass action from both Henry IV Part I and Part II to create a single narrative of Shakespeare's monumental history plays.
Julius Caesar, with its education and outreach work in London and New York, proved how powerfully Shakespeare can develop individual confidence and creativity in those who have never experienced the play before. Henry IV will build on the impact of Julius Caesar, challenging the notion of who owns Shakespeare and inspiring women from all backgrounds.
An extensive education programme around the production will culminate in the production taking up a week's residency at Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets. Mulberry School for Girls, which serves a vibrant, diverse and culturally rich community, is a pioneer in women's education and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. This residency will bring the Donmar's internationally renowned artists to communities in Tower Hamlets, encouraging them to take ownership of Shakespeare and fostering a dialogue on the importance of our national playwright.
Kate Pakenham, Executive Producer at the Donmar Warehouse, today said: "Phyllida Lloyd is one of this country's major theatre artists. Her vision around Julius Caesar was revelatory and it is a thrill to have her return with Henry IV and embark upon the second production in this three-part project. By taking the production to Mulberry School for Girls, and the accompanying education and outreach work, we have a chance to extend this mission beyond the walls of the Donmar."
On working with the Donmar Warehouse, Jill Tuffee, Deputy Head Teacher, Mulberry School, said:
"The decision to bring Henry IV to Mulberry and Tower Hamlets is of great significance. Julius Caesar was a life-changing experience for our students and Henry IV will allow us to share that impact with the wider community in our borough. We couldn't be more grateful to the Donmar for this opportunity."
In addition, the Donmar will run the following education programme around the production:
? Over 500 young people from 24 schools across London will see the production at the Donmar for £5 and take part in a series of in-depth creative workshops
? 80 young women from schools across London will take part in a two-month creative response project around the show entitled Take the Stage, culminating in a performance on the Donmar stage
? An online 'Behind the Scenes' educational resource guide will be made available to download, specifically aimed at those tackling Shakespeare for the first time
? 'One Take Shakespeare', an online competition to encourage girls around the country to make Shakespeare their own by recording and uploading a film of themselves performing a speech originally written for a male voice. The most inspiring participants will be invited to experience Henry IV live at the Donmar
Following their work on Julius Caesar, the Donmar will once again collaborate with Clean Break theatre company, who work with women whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system. Clean Break have supported the Donmar with the casting and development of the production and will also work with the Donmar on a creative response project specifically designed for Clean Break participants, culminating in a performance on the Donmar stage.
Phyllida Lloyd said: "We have been amazed by the explosive reaction to women being given a crack at these jewels in our dramatic crown...The collaboration with Clean Break has been fundamental to the mission."
Lucy Perman MBE, Executive Director, Clean Break, said: "We are thrilled to once again partner the Donmar on such a ground-breaking project. When the Donmar approached us with the idea of setting Shakespeare in a women's prison, we were excited by Phyllida's motivation to explore the work in feminist, non-elitist ways. This speaks to Clean Break as a company and being involved, through casting, backstage and facilitating ways to develop ideas around the experience of women in prison, is a great endorsement of our expertise and track record in this area."
In addition to Julius Caesar, Phyllida Lloyd's credits for the Donmar include Boston Marriage, The Threepenny Opera and Mary Stuart, which won the 2006 South Bank Show Theatre Award, and later transferred to the West End and Broadway.Other theatre work includesSix Degrees of Separation, Wild East (Royal Court), Pericles, The Duchess of Malfi, What the Butler Saw, The Way of the World and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (National Theatre), The Virtuoso and Artists and Admirers (RSC) and MAMMA MIA! (London, New York and worldwide, also 2008 film). Her opera productions include La Bohe?me, Albert Herring, Gloriana, Carmen and Peter Grimes - Royal Philharmonic Society Award and a South Bank Show Award (Opera North), Macbeth (Ope?ra-Bastille, Royal Opera), The Carmelites (ENO, WNO), The Handmaid's Tale (Royal Danish Opera, ENO), a staged Verdi Requiem and Wagner's Ring Cycle (ENO) and an award-winning film of Gloriana (BBC2). Her most recent film was The Iron Lady, reuniting her with Meryl Streep.
Jade Anouka (playing Hotspur) makes her second appearance at the Donmar having previously appeared in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Julius Caesar. Anouka also appeared in the New York transfer of the production at St. Ann's Warehouse. Other theatre credits include Chef (Edinburgh Fringe), Omeros (Sam Wannamaker Playhouse), Clean (Traverse Theatre and 59E59 Theater, New York), Moon On A Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre), Hamlet (Shakespeare's Globe/Tour) and Blood Wedding (Southwark Playhouse). Television work includes regular appearances in the BBC's Shakespeare Uncovered, Doctor Who and Law & Order.
Elizabeth Chan (playing Northumberland and Peto) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Theatre credits include Chimerica (Almeida Theatre and West End), The Wheel (National Theatre of Scotland), Greenland (National Theatre) and Don't Shoot the Clowns (Fuel). Chan's television work includes Channel 4's Cucumber and Black Mirror.
Jackie Clune (playing Westmorland and Glendower) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Clune's theatre credits include Phyllida Lloyd's production of Mamma Mia! (UK Tour), Candide (Menier Chocolate Factory) Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith), Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace) and Julie Burchill is Away (Soho Theatre). Screen credits include Eastenders, The Bill and Waking the Dead.
Shiloh Coke (playing Mortimer) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Theatre credits include Into the Woods (Stratford Circus Theatre) and Love's Labour Lost, The Crucible, Glasgow Girls and Legally Blonde (all Rose Bruford College).
Karen Dunbar (playing Vernon and Bardolph) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Theatre credits include Can't Forget About You (Lyric Belfast), The Guid Sisters (National Theatre of Scotland) and Men Should Weep (National Theatre). Dunbar has appeared in the pantomime at King's Theatre, Glasgow annually since 2007. Television credits include four series of The Karen Dunbar Show and of Chewin' The Fat (BBC Scotland).
Clare Dunne (playing Hal) makes her second appearance at the Donmar having previously appeared in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Julius Caesar. Dunne also appeared in the New York transfer of the production at St. Ann's Warehouse. Other theatre credits include Major Barbara (Abbey Theatre), Detroit, Juno and the Paycock (both National Theatre) and Three Sisters (Lyric Hammersmith).
Cynthia Erivo (playing Poins and the Earl of Douglas) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Erivo is currently appearing in Dessa Rose at Trafalgar Studios. Other theatre credits include I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical, The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory) Sister Act The Musical (UK Tour), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Gielgud Theatre) and I Was Looking at the Celling and Then I Saw the Sky (Theatre Royal Stratford East).
Zainab Hasan (playing Hostess) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Hasan was part of the 2013 National Youth Theatre Rep Company, performing in The Class, Tory Boyz, Romeo and Juliet, and Prince of Denmark. Other theatre credits include On the Dole (Lyric Hammersmith), Nine Rooms (Old Vic Tunnels) and Routes (Hampstead Theatre).
Jennifer Joseph (playing Sir Walter Blunt) makes her second appearance at the Donmar having previously appeared in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Julius Caesar. Joseph trained with Clean Break theatre company and theatre credits for them include Hours Til Midnight. Film credits include Honey Trap and Stirred Up.
Ashley McGuire (playing Falstaff) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Theatre credits include Home (National Theatre), Housekeeping (Theatre Uncut) and Saved or Destroyed (Battersea Arts Centre). McGuire has previously worked with Clean Break Theatre Company on Fatal Light (Soho Theatre). Recent television credits include Man Down (Channel 4), The IT Crowd Special, Derek and Miranda.
Ann Ogbomo (playing Worcester) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Ogbomo has worked extensively with the RSC, with credits including Julius Caesar, Henry VI Parts 1-3, and Richard III. Other theatre credits include Tamburlaine (Old Vic and Barbican) and Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III and Taming of the Shrew (all Shakespeare's Globe).
Katie Robinson (playing Hotspur's Messenger) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Henry IV. Robinson is a graduate of Clean Break Theatre Company where her work includes Us and Them. Other stage work includes The Wing (Theatre Uncut) and Slamming Gates - StorySLAM (Southbank Centre). Robinson also studied at Leeds College of Music and is an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter.
Sharon Rooney (playing Lady Percy and Gadshill) makes her Donmar Warehouse and professional stage debut in Henry IV. Rooney is best known as Rae Earl in My Mad Fat Diary (E4) and is one of 2013's BAFTA Breakthrough Brits as well as a BAFTA Scotland nominee. Other television credits include Two Doors Down (BBC Scotland) and Miller's Mountain (BBC).
Harriet Walter (playing King Henry) returns to the Donmar after her role as Brutus in Lloyd's 2012 production of Julius Caesar, which transferred to St. Ann's Warehouse in New York, where she received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play. She also appeared at the Donmar, in the West End and on Broadway in Lloyd's 2006 award winning production of Mary Stuart. Walter'sextensivetheatrecreditsincludeWomenBewareWomen,Dinner,LifeTimesThree, The Children's Hour, Arcadia (all National Theatre), Venus and Adonis, Antony & Cleopatra, The Hollow Crown, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth (all RSC), as well as The Royal Family (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), Ivanov (Almeida) and Hedda Gabler (Chichester Festival Theatre & tour). Walter's numerous television credits include The Assets (ABC), By Any Means and Little Dorrit; her film work includes Man Up, Suite Franc?aise, From Time To Time and Young Victoria.
Mulberry School for Girls serves a vibrant and culturally rich community in the Commercial Road area of Tower Hamlets. A pioneer in women's education, the school this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Acclaimed theatre company Clean Break produces plays with women writers and actors at the heart of its work. Founded in 1979 by two women prisoners, the company today has an independent education programme delivering theatre opportunities to women whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system. The company delivers a year-round programme of theatre productions, new writing projects and drama-based education from its North London studios and in women's prisons.
Henry IV tickets are available to all through the Donmar's Barclays Front Row scheme. The first batch of tickets will be released at 10am on Monday 22 September, and thereafter, tickets will be made available every Monday for performances two weeks later. Barclays Front Row tickets are priced at £10 each.