Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Phyllida Lloyd to direct all-female production of HENRY IV at Donmar Warehouse

The Donmar Warehouse today announces its next season of work.

Premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in 2012, Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female production of Julius Caesar sparked fierce critical and public debate both in the UK and in New York where it transferred in 2013 for a sold out run at St Ann’s Warehouse. The Donmar is delighted to announce a second production in what will become an epic trilogy of shows all of which will challenge the notion of who owns Shakespeare. Once again her cast will feature Harriet Walter as King Henry, Jade Anouka as Hotspur and Clare Dunne as Hal. The cast will also include Ashley McGuire as Falstaff.  The production will develop and enhance what was begun with Julius Caesar in a series of Education and Outreach projects. The company will work extensively with twenty schools, run over 75 workshops as well as offering £5 tickets to over 500 young people. The Donmar and Clean Break Theatre Company will work together on a series of workshops around the production.

The Donmar has for many years run one of the most successful training schemes for young directors in its Resident Assistant Director role. Previous incumbents include current Artistic Director Josie Rourke, Rupert Goold, Sasha Wares and Charlotte Westenra. In recognition of the move into the company’s new base at Dryden Street, in which rehearsal room, office and education space can be under one roof for the first time, the Donmar have inaugurated a second training position, the Trainee Artistic Director.  The role has been created to train the Artistic Directors of tomorrow, offering exceptional insight into the programing, funding and running of a theatre building and company.  Applications for the post will open this summer.

Alongside this development the Donmar Warehouse today also announces the appointment of two resident artists for Donmar Dryden Street. Nick Payne, whose The Same Deep Water As Me at the Donmar was nominated for Best New Comedy at the 2014 Olivier Awards, will become Writer in Residence. Michael Bruce will continue in his role as Composer in Residence. Bruce’s work at the Donmar includes current production, Privacy, as well asCoriolanus, The Machine (Manchester International Festival/Park Avenue Armory, New York), Trelawny of the Wells and Berenice.

Donmar Dryden Street will also allow the Donmar to extend its Education programme with a goal to double the number of people taking part over the next three years. The Tomorrow Project, the theatre’s new programme for local schools, will run for the second year in 2014-15, alongside an increased programme of work accompanying Donmar productions for schools and young people. This season will see over 1,000 young people seeing a Donmar production for £5 or less, and over 300 performing on the Donmar stage as part of our Education programmes.

The Donmar Warehouse is delighted to confirm that Barclays will continue to support the ground-breaking scheme Barclays Front Row, which offers front row tickets for each performance at the Donmar for just £10. Each Monday morning at 10am over 300 tickets are released for sale in the front row of both stalls and circle for a week’s worth of performances two weeks later. Since it began, we have sold over 21,000 Barclays Front Row tickets with almost 50% of ticket buyers being first time visitors to the Donmar.

"And if we live, we live to tread on kings."

In 2012, Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female production of Julius Caesar at the Donmar 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 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.

What makes a King? What makes a father? Shakespeare’s monumental history play travels to the heart of family, duty and country.

In addition to Julius CaesarPhyllida 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 includes Six Degrees of SeparationWild 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 Bohème, Albert Herring, Gloriana, Carmen and Peter Grimes - Royal Philharmonic Society Award and a South Bank Show Award (Opera North), Macbeth (Opéra-Bastille, Royal Opera), The Carmelites (ENO, WNO), The Handmaid's Tale (Royal Danish Opera, ENO), a staged VerdiRequiem and Wagner's Ring Cycle (ENO) and an award-winning film of Gloriana (BBC2). Her most recent film wasThe 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 Clean (Traverse Theatre and 59E59 Theaters, New York), Moon On A Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre), Hamlet (Globe/Tour) and Blood Wedding(Southwark Playhouse). Television work includes regular appearances in the BBC’s Shakespeare Uncovered, Doctor Who and Law & Order.

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).

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 creditsinclude Man Down (Channel 4), The IT Crowd Special and Miranda.

Harriet Walter (playing King Henry) returns to the Donmar after her role as Brutus in Lloyd’s 2012 production ofJulius 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’s extensive theatre credits include Women Beware Women, Dinner, Life Times Three, 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, SuiteFrançaise, From Time To Time and Young Victoria.

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.
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