UK News: Autumn 2005 - Summer 2006 at the Almeida Theatre

Autumn 2005 - Summer 2006 at The Almeida Theatre

EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF David Mamet'S

R O M A N C E

The Almeida will present the European premiere of David Mamet's courtroom farce, Romance, which will be directed by Lindsay Posner. Romance opens on 2 September with press night on 8 September and runs until 22 October.

Casting will be announced shortly.

Romance, which received its world premiere earlier this year at the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York, is a satirical farce set in a modern day courtroom exploring subjects ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sexual fidelity, and world peace.

Lindsay Posner's more recent theatre work includes David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre and Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party which is currently playing at the Duchess Theatre. His other work includes Mamet's Oleanna at the Garrick Theatre, Sexual Perversity in Chicago at the Comedy Theatre and Moliere's Tartuffe at The National Theatre.

Romance marks the first play by David Mamet to be produced at the Almeida. His other works as a playwright include Oleanna, Glengarry Glen Ross (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and is currently playing on Broadway), American Buffalo , A Life in the Theatre, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Speed-the-Plow. As well as translations and adaptations his other writing includes five volumes of essays, children's books, as well as poems and novels. His films, as a writer, include The Postman Always Rings Twice , The Verdict, The Untouchables and The Winslow Boy and as writer/director, House of Games, Oleanna, The Sp ani sh Prisoner , State and Main and Heist.

Richard Bean'S NEW VERSION OF MOLIERE'S

T H E H Y P O C H O N D R I A C

Richard Bean's new version of Moliere's The Hypochondriac will be directed by Lindsay Posner, opening on 10 November with press night on 17 November and running until 7 January. Designs are by Giles Cadle with lighting by Jean Kalman, music by Matthew Scott and sound by John Leonard.

Argan loves to be sick. Being sick is his main occupation. Telling Argan that he is looking well is considered a dire offense. Stretching comic boundaries and mixing a heady cocktail of religion and medicine, this exciting new version by young writer Richard Bean updates Moliere for today's audiences.

Richard Bean's work includes the award winning Under the Whaleback directed at the Royal Court by Richard Wilson, Honeymoon Suite also for the Royal Court , The God Botherers at the Bush and The Mentalists, presented in The Loft season at The National Theatre where he was Writer in Residence.

Moliere's other major works include The School for Wives and Tartuffe, both of which have been produced by the Almeida, as well as The Misanthrope, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and The Miser. The Hypochondriac was Moliere's final play.

Lindsay Poster directs (see biography above).

Michael Attenborough TO DIRECT EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF Sam Shepard ' S

T H E L A T E H E N R Y M O S S

The British premiere of Sam Shepard's The Late Henry Moss will be directed by the Almeida's Artistic Director, Michael Attenborough. The Late Henry Moss opens on 12 January 2006 with press night on 19 January and runs until 4 March. Designs are by Rob Jones.

Set near the Mexican border, The Late Henry Moss sees family secrets revealed as two brothers return home after a long absence to confront each other, their violent past and the death of their father. Fluctuating between the present and the past, Henry comes to life and re-enacts events leading up to his mysterious and exotic death.

Sam Shepard has written 45 plays - including Simpatico, True West, Fool for Love and A Lie of the Mind - eleven of which have won Obie Awards. As an actor he has appeared in numerous films, including The Right Stuff for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and The Pelican Brief. His other awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Buried Child and the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Paris , Texas . Most recently he was seen in Wim Wenders' Don't Come Knocking which was shown in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

As Artistic Director of The Almeida Theatre Company Michael Attenborough's productions have been The Mercy Seat, Five Gold Rings and Brighton Rock. On leaving the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was Principal Associate Director, he was invited to become an Honorary Associate Artist. In September Michael Attenborough will direct the world premiere of David Edgar's Playing with Fire as part of the Travelex £10 season in the Olivier Theatre at the National.

The Late Henry Moss received its world premiere in San Francisco in 2000 directed by the author, and its New York premiere in 2002.

ALMEIDA'S ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR DIRECTS TENNESSEE WILLIAMS'

P E R I O D O F A D J U S T M E N T

Howard Davies returns to the Almeida to direct Tennessee Williams' Period of Adjustment opening on 9 March with press night on 16 March and running until 29 April.

Korean war veteran George Haverstick hastily marries Isabel, whom he met in hospital while he was recovering from a nervous condition. To Isabel ' s horror, they drive to Florida on their honeymoon in an old hearse. They spend much of the time quarreling, and then, on Christmas Eve, they visit George ' s war buddy Ralph Baltz. Ralph ' s wife Dorothea has just walked out on him, taking their child. A tangled and explosively funny 24 hours ensues.

Howard Davies is Associate Director of The Almeida Theatre where his work has included Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Play About The Baby, Conversations After a Burial and The Iceman Cometh. For The National Theatre his work includes Mourning Becomes Electra, The Talking Cure, All My Sons and, most recently, The House of Bernarda Alba.

Tennessee Williams' many plays include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire - for both of which he won Pulitizer prizes - as well as The Glass Menagerie, Sweet Bird of Youth and The Night of the Iguana. As well as writing for the theatre, he is the author of screenplays short stories, novels and verse.

Period of Adjustment was written in 1960 and received its premiere at the Helen Hayes Theatre in New York the same year. The last London production was directed by Roger Graef in 1962 and in the same year the film version of Period of Adjustment marked the cinematic debut of Jane Fonda.

Michael Attenborough TO DIRECT David Hare'S NEW VERSION OF GORKY 'S

E N E M I E S

Michael Attenborough will direct David Hare's new version of Gorky 's Enemies. Enemies will open on 5 May with press night on 11 May and will run until 24 June.

Set on a family estate in provincial Russia in 1907, Gorky 's powerful drama focuses on a struggle between workers and industrialists. Caught in the middle, the well intentioned liberal- minded owner's brother is sl ain in a scuffle with a workman. The ensuing investigation uncovers a political fervour that sweeps the countryside.

David Hare's versions of The Life of Galileo, The Rules of the Game, Ivanov and Platonov have been presented by The Almeida Theatre, all directed by Jonathan Kent. In 1998 Richard Eyre directed Hare's The Judas Kiss at The Playhouse and in 1999 Jonathan Kent directed his Plenty for the Almeida in the Albery season. As a director at the Almeida in 1979 David Hare directed Shaw's Heartbreak House and as a performer he revived his own play Via Dolorosa before transferring it to Broadway. His other plays include The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Amy's View, The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens. His adaptation of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba is currently playing at The National Theatre.

Michael Attenborough directs (see biography above).

Maxim Gorky's other major work for the theatre includes Summerfolk, The Lower Depths, Children of the Sun and Barbarians, as well as Vassa which was directed by Howard Davies for the Almeida in 1999. He also wrote several novels and short stories as well as an autobiographical trilogy comprising My Childhood, In the World and My Universities.

WEST END TRANSFER FOR Richard Eyre'S CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED

H E D D A G A B L E R

Richard Eyre's critically acclaimed production of Hedda Gabler has transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre following a sold-out run at the Almeida. Hedda Gabler will run for a limited 12 week season until 6 August.

The original Almeida cast - Eve Best (Hedda Tesman), Benedict Cumberbatch (George Tesman), Lisa Dillon (Thea Elvsted), Sarah Flind (Berthe), Iain Glen (Judge Brack), Jamie Sives ( Eilert Loevborg) and Gillian Raine (Juliana Tesman) - recreate their roles at the Duke of York's.

Richard Eyre's production of his version of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler originally opened at The Almeida Theatre on 10 March. Designs are by Rob Howell with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by John Leonard. The Almeida Theatre production of Hedda Gabler is presented in the West End by Robert Fox Limited.

Duke of York's Theatre Box Office 0870 060 6623.

For further press information please call Peter Thompson on 020 7439 1210.

COUTTS & CO

The Almeida is pleased to announce that Coutts & Co, the UK's leading private bank, will continue to support the theatre as Principal Sponsors for a third year until May 2006. Coutts has funded the Almeida since its re-opening in May 2003 and the theatre now forms a major part of Coutts' long term commitment to the performing arts.

"We are delighted to be principal sponsor of the Almeida for the 2005/6 season. This is our third year of sponsorship and our excellent relationship goes from strength to strength. The whole 'Almeida experience' is very popular with our clients - varied cutting edge productions, the intimacy of the theatre, the opportunity to meet the actors as well as helping support the airing of a rich variety of performances on the London stage. Macbeth and Hedda Gabler have both been sell-outs and we are now looking forward with eager anticipation to Blood Wedding and the rest of the new season."

Rick Haythornthwaite, Chair of Almeida Board, said: "I am delighted that Coutts & Co will continue their support for a third year as the Almeida's leading corporate partner. Coutts & Co's commitment to the theatre provides crucial funding for the Almeida's annual programme, facilitating greater artistic freedom'

This partnership has become one that is mutually beneficial, developing organically over time, to include arts based training, business development opportunities and other creative initiatives.



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