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2009 Almeida Season to Include Stevenson, Goodman, Hampton, LaBute and More

The 2009 season at The Almeida Theatre will include five premieres, two major revivals and a Shakespeare. The season is as follows:                     

Juliet Stevenson AND Henry Goodman IN Tom Kempinski’S

DUET FOR ONE

Matthew Lloyd will direct Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman as Stephanie Abrahams and

Dr Feldmann in Tom Kempinski’s two-hander Duet for One runs at the Almeida from 22 January – 14 March 2009, with press night on 29 January.  Designs are by Lez Brotherston with lighting by Jason Taylor and sound by John Leonard.  Duet for One is sponsored by Pinsent Masons.

Celebrated concert violinist Stephanie Abrahams is forced to rethink her career and her life after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  On the advice of her husband, a successful composer she consults psychiatrist Dr Feldmann, whose probing questions delve deep into her complex personality.  For the first time, Stephanie is forced to consider a future without music.

Kempinski’s Duet for One received its world premiere at the Bush Theatre in 1980 with a cast comprising Frances de la Tour and David De Keyser.  The production then transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre where it played for almost a year prior to a Broadway run.  Subsequently Duet for One has played in 46 countries and has won many awards internationally.   In 1981 the play was filmed for television with its original cast and in1986 Duet for One was made into a film starring Julie Andrews and Max Von Sydow.  

Henry Goodman returns to the Almeida to play Dr Feldmann, where he was last seen as Argan in Lindsay Posner’s production of The Hypochondriac.  His other recent theatre credits include Teyve in Fiddler on the Roof for Sheffield Theatres and the Savoy Theatre, Performances for Wilton’s Music Hall, The Exonerated for Riverside Studios, The Birthday Party at the Duchess and the title role in Richard III for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  For The National Theatre he played Shylock in Trevor Nunn’s production of The Merchant of Venice, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Roy Cohn in Angels in America and Philip Gellburg in Broken Glass.  For the Royal Shakespeare Company his work includes Volpone, The Comedy of Errors and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? In the West End his roles include Billy Flynn in Chicago, Freud in Hysteria and Eddie in Feelgood and on Broadway his work includes The Producers and Art.  His television and film work includes Damned United, Churchill, Colour Me Kubrick, Notting Hill, Mary Reilly, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Foyle’s War and Cold Lazarus.

Multi award-winning actor Juliet Stevenson will make her Almeida debut as Stephanie Abrahams.  Stevenson was last on stage at The National Theatre as Arkadina in The Seagull.  Previously her theatre credits include Alice Trilogy and The Country for the Royal Court, We Happy Few at the Gielgud, Private Lives for The National Theatre and Beckett Shorts for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Stevenson played Paulina in Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden for which she won the Laurence Olivier Best Actress Award and Anna in the UK premiere of Langford Wilson’s Burn This opposite John Malkovich.  On film she played opposite Alan Rickman, directed by Anthony Minghella, in Truly, Madly, Deeply for which she won the Evening Standard Film Award for Best Actress. Her other film credits include Breaking and Entering, Being Julia, Mona Lisa Smile, Bend it Like Beckham and Drowning by Numbers. On television her credits include The Politician’s Wife, Hear the Silence, Stanley, and most recently A Place of Execution.

In addition to Duet for One, playwright, Tom Kempinski’s work includes Sell Out, Flashpoint, Separation - which was directed by Michael Attenborough during his time as the Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, The Beautiful Part of Myself, Dreyfuss, Mayakowksi and Addicted to Love.  


Matthew Lloyd is Artistic Director of The Actors Centre.  Previously he was an Artistic Director at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre where his productions included An Experiment with an Air-Pump and Waiting for Godot. Lloyd was Associate Director at Hampstead Theatre where his work included The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Slavs! and the award-wining The Lucky Ones.  He has directed over twenty premieres of new plays for the Bush Theatre, as well as productions for the Theatre Upstairs and the Glasgow Citizens Theatre.   
 

Ian Rickson TO DIRECT EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF Jez Butterworth’S

PARLOUR SONG

Ian Rickson will direct the European premiere of Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song which runs at the Almeida from 19 March - 9 May 2009 with press night on 26 March.  Designs are by Jeremy Herbert and lighting is by Peter Mumford.  Casting for Parlour Song will be announced shortly.

Ned and Joy are a married couple. He is a demolition expert, she is a housewife. They live in a house that adjoins neighbour Dale and seventy eight other houses just like theirs.  Occasionally they enjoy a game of scrabble. But Ned has a recurring dream and a recurring problem; things keep disappearing.  Parlour Song is a comedy that explores what happens when two ordinary people discover they hate who they have become, in a world where all is not what is seems.

Parlour Song received its world premiere at the Atlantic Theater in New York earlier this year.

Jez Butterworth’s first play Mojo opened at the Royal Court in 1995 and subsequently won five drama awards including the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Most Promising Playwright and the Olivier Award for Best Comedy.   He returned to the Royal Court in 2002 with The Night Heron and The Winterling in 2006.  His films Mojo, starring Harold Pinter, and Birthday Girl, starring Nicole Kidman, were both shown at the Venice Film Festival.   In 2007 he received the E.M. Forster Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ian Rickson has previously directed Jez Butterworth’s The Winterling, The Night Heron and Mojo. Rickson was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1998-2007 where his many productions included The Seagull, Krapp’s Last Tape which he also directed for BBC4, Fallout which he directed as a film for Channel 4, The Weir that transferred to the West End and Broadway, Mojo which also transferred to the West End and then New York, and Dublin Carol.  For The National Theatre he has directed The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still.

Michael Attenborough TO DIRECT EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF Andrew Bovell’S

WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING

Michael Attenborough will direct the European premiere of Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling which runs at the Almeida from 14 May - 4 July 2009 with press night on 21 May.  Designs are by Miriam Buether with lighting by Colin Grenfell, music by Stephen Warbeck, sound by Paul Arditti and movement by Imogen Knight. Casting for When the Rain Stops Falling will be announced shortly.
 
An epic play spanning four generations and two continents, When The Rain Stops Falling moves from the claustrophobia of a 1950’s London flat to the windswept coast of Southern Australia and into the heart of the Australian desert. When The Rain Stops Falling weaves together a series of interconnected stories, as seven people confront their mysteries of the past in order to understand their future, revealing how patterns of betrayal, love and abandonment are passed on, until finally, well into the future, as the desert is inundated with rain, one young man finds the courage to defy the legacy. 

When the Rain Stops Falling received its world premiere at the Adelaide Festival of Arts earlier this year and recently won the prestigious Louis Esson Prize for Drama in Australia.

Andrew Bovell is an award-winning writer for theatre, film and television.  His film, Lantana, adapted from a stage play, won numerous awards including the London Critics’ Circle Best Screenplay Award.  His play Speaking in Tongues premiered in Sydney in 1996 and has subsequently been performed across Australia, in London at The Hampstead Theatre, at the Roundabout Theatre in New York and in over 20 countries world-wide.  His other theatre writing includes Shades of Blue, Scenes from a Separation and Distance Lights from Dark Places.  Bovell co-wrote the original screenplay of Strictly Ballroom with Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.   

As Artistic Director of The Almeida Theatre Company Michael Attenborough’s productions have been Neil LaBute’s The Mercy Seat, Five Gold Rings, Brighton Rock, The Late Henry Moss, Enemies, There Came A Gypsy Riding, Big White Fog, Awake and Sing! and, most recently, Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming.  He was Artistic Director at The Hampstead Theatre for five years (1984-89) and then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company for twelve years.  On leaving the RSC, where he was Principal Associate Director, Attenborough was invited to become an Honorary Associate Artist. In November this year Attenborough will direct Neil LaBute’s In a Dark Dark House at the Almeida.
 

James MacDonald TO DIRECT Christopher Hampton NEW VERSION OF VON HORVÁTH’S

JUDGEMENT DAY

James MacDonald returns to the Almeida to direct the world premiere of Christopher Hampton’s new version of Ödön von Horváth’s Judgment Day.   Designs are by Miriam Buether.   Judgment Day will run at the Almeida from 4 September – 17 October 2009, with press night on 10 September.  

Written and set in 1937 in a small village in Austria, diligent station master Thomas Hudetz is a well respected member of his local community. That is until the charms of flirtatious young Anna distract him momentarily from the operation of the signals. There are no survivors from Express Train 405. The small town seeks a culprit but it seems only Anna knows the truth about the conscientious station master.

Christopher Hampton’s version of Yasmina Reza’s Conversations After a Burial was presented by the Almeida in 2000.  He has also collaborated with Reza on Art and God of Carnage.   He has previously adapted von Horváth’s Tales from the Vienna Woods, Faith Hope and Charity and Don Juan Comes Back from the War and in his own play, Tales from Hollywood, von Horváth features as a major character.  Hampton’s other plays include White Chameleon and The Talking Cure both for The National Theatre where his version of An Enemy of the People was also staged. More recently his adaptations of The Seagull and Three Sisters were produced in London.   His other theatre work includes Les Liaisons Dangereuses - for which he also wrote the Academy Award winning screenplay, and Sunset Boulevard.  His film work includes Carrington, Mary Reilly, The Quiet American and Atonement. 

James MacDonald last directed The Triumph of Love for the Almeida.  His other more recent directing credits include Top Girls on Broadway with Marisa Tomei and Martha Plimpton, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other for The National Theatre and Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo Theatre.  His other credits include Drunk Enough to Say I Love You and Dying City both for the Royal Court and Exiles for The National Theatre.  Previously he has directed Love’s Labour’s Lost and Richard II for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Roberto Zucco and The Tempest for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Blasted, The Changing Room, Cleansed and A Number all for the Royal Court.  His opera credits include Eugene Onegin and Rigoletto for Welsh National Opera, Wolf Cub Village/Night Banquet for Almeida Opera and Lives of the Great Poisoners for Second Stride/Riverside StudiosJames MacDonald’s production of Caryl Churchill’s A Number, starring Tom Wilkinson and Rhys Ifans, has recently been shown on BBC2.  

Writing during the rise of Fascism; the question of moral responsibility lies the heart of von Horváth’s work.  In addition to plays adapted by Christopher Hampton, Ödön von Horváth’s work includes Kasimir und Karoline (Kasimir and Karoline), Figaro lässt sich scheiden (Figaro Gets A Divorce), Italienische Nacht (Italian Night) and Die Unbekannte aus der Seine (The Stranger from the Seine).  Amongst the novels he has written are Jugend ohne Gott (The Age of the Fish)and Ein Kind unserer Zeit (A Child of Our Time).
 

Indhu Rubasingham TO DIRECT WORLD PREMIERE OF Samuel Adamson’S

A QUIET ISLAND

Indu Rubasingham will direct the world premiere of Samuel Adamson’s latest play, A Quiet Island.  A Quiet Island runs at the Almeida from 22 October – 5 December 2009, with press night on 29 October.

Five years ago music icon Tom Stark walked out of a family party and vanished. On a remote Greek Island his teenage daughter Vick is searching for him; two sightings posted on her website offer real hope. On the same island Sean and his wife Charlotte are trying to recover from the recent accidental death of their child. A brief encounter hurtles Sean into a cyber world of die hard fans and a dangerous obsession with Vick, a girl out of control. 

Samuel Adamson’s plays include Southwark Fair and a new version of Ibsen’s Pillars of the Community both presented by The National Theatre, Clocks and Whistles - for which he won a  Time Out Award and Drink, Dance, Laugh and Lie both for the Bush Theatre and Grace Note presented by the Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic. Adamson has also adapted Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard for the Oxford Stage Company and, most recently, Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother for the Old Vic.  His previous play, Mrs Affleck, will open at The National Theatre in January next year.

Indhu Rubasingham has directed Another America:  Fire – an opera presented as part of the PUSH04 Season, and Chain Play II, both for the Almeida.  Her other theatre credits include Wuthering Heights for Birmingham Rep, Free Outgoing for the Royal Court, Pure Gold for Soho Theatre, Heartbreak House for Watford Palace Theatre, Fabulation and Starstruck for the Tricycle, Yellowman at Hampstead Theatre, Bombay Dreams on which she was Associate Director, Tanika Gupta’s Sugar Mummies and Roy Williams’ Lift Off and Club Land all for the Royal Court and The Waiting Room by Tanika Gupta for The National Theatre.


Roger Michell TO DIRECT PatRick Hamilton’S

ROPE

Roger Michell will direct PatRick Hamilton’s classic thriller Rope.  Rope runs at the Almeida from 10 December 2009 – 30 January 2010, with press night on 16 December. Rope will be produced at the Almeida in association with Sonia Friedman Productions.

Said to be inspired by the real life murder of a young boy in 1920 by two University of Chicago students, Leopold and Loeb, Hamilton's thriller is set in a Mayfair apartment. Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo have murdered fellow student Ronald Kentley and deposited his body in a chest in their living room. Believing they are above common morality and suspicion they invite the student’s father, his aunt and several of their friends over for tea, served on the chest.

English playwright and novelist PatRick Hamilton’s Rope was first produced at the Strand Theatre in 1929.  In1948 Rope was directed as a film by Alfred Hitchcock starring James Stewart, the first of Hitchcock’s films to be made in technicolor.  In 1983 Alan Rickman starred in the radio version of Rope which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.  Last year PatRick Hamilton’s Gaslight was presented by the Old Vic, directed by Peter Gill, with a cast including Rosamund Pike and Kenneth Cranham.  Hamilton’s Hangover Square, adapted for the stage by Fidelis Morgan, has recently enjoyed a sell-out run at the Finborough Theatre. 

Award-winning stage and screen director Roger Michell’s recent theatre credits include The Female of the Species at the Vaudeville Theatre, Betrayal and Old Times both for the Donmar Warehouse and Honour for The National Theatre, where he has also directed productions of Landscape With Weapon, Blue/Orange, The Homecoming, Under Milk Wood and The Coup.  He directed My Night with Reg at the Royal Court and subsequently in the West End.  For six years he was Resident Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company where productions included Restoration, The Constant Couple, Hamlet and The Dead Monkey.  His many screen credits include the hugely successful romantic comedy Notting Hill as well as Venus, Enduring Love, The Mother, Changing Lanes, Titanic Town, Persuasion, My Night with Reg and The Buddha of Suburbia, for which he also co-wrote the screenplay.
 

MICHAEL ATTENBOURGH TO DIRECT William Shakespeare’S

MEASURE FOR MEASURE

Michael Attenborough will direct William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure as the first Almeida production to open in 2010. Further details for this production, including casting, will be announced at a later date.  

Previously Attenborough has directed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice as well as Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra and Henry IV parts I and II.  In Autumn 2007 Attenborough was invited to lead a two week International Shakespeare Workshop in Australia where he worked with a company of multi-national artists.  On leaving the RSC, where he was Principal Associate Director, he was invited to become an Honorary Associate Artist.
 
 
 CASTING UPDATE

IN A DARK DARK HOUSE

Michael Attenborough will direct the European premiere of Neil LaBute’s new play, In a Dark Dark House, which runs at the Almeida from 20 November 2008 - 17 January 2009, with press night on 27 November.  In a Dark Dark House is designed by Lez Brotherston, with lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Howard Wood.   

The cast is Steven Mackintosh (Drew), David Morrissey (Terry) and Kira Sternbach (Jennifer).

Brothers Terry and Drew are worlds apart. The extraordinary circumstances of their reunion force them to relive the carefully forgotten memories of their childhood.  An encounter with a pretty girl putting holes on her father’s miniature golf course sends out shockwaves such that their lives will never be the same again.  This explosive new drama by the controversial Neil LaBute explores the depths of family loyalty with powerful and moving results.

Steven Mackintosh’s (Drew) more recent theatre credits include My Zinc Bed for the Royal Court, The Woman in Black for the Fortune Theatre and Cops for Greenwich Theatre.    His film work includes The Jacket, Underworld:  Evolution, The Escapist, Tulse Luper Suitcases, The Mother, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Land Girls, Prick Up Your Ears and the forthcoming Underworld:  Rise of the Lycans, The Daisy Chain and Good.  His television credits include The Amazing Mrs Pritchard in which he played opposite Jane Horrocks, The Other Boleyn Girl, Our Mutual Friend, Care, The Buddha of Suburbia and Sweet Revenge.

David Morrissey’s (Terry) extensive television credits include Peter Morgan’s The Deal in which he played Gordon Brown in Stephen Frears’ production as well as Sense and Sensibility, State of Play, Holding On, Viva Blackpool, Out of Control, Linda Green and Our Mutual Friend. His theatre credits include Three Days of Rain for the Donmar Warehouse, Much Ado About Nothing at the Queen’s Theatre as well as King John, Richard III and Edward IV all for the Royal Shakespeare Company and El Cid and Twelfth Night for Cheek by Jowl.  His film credits include The Waterhorse: Legend of the Deep, The Other Boleyn Girl, Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, Hilary and Jackie and The One That Got Away.  He has also recently directed The Pool, coming out later this year.

Kira Sternbach (Jennifer), who is making her British stage debut, is appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.


For more information on Almeida Theatre including box office hours, ticket price, complete schedule and special performances and events please visit www.almeida.co.uk 
 


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