The Donmar Warehouse today announces full casting for playwright Steve Waters’ searing new drama Limehouse. The play imagines what happened when the ‘Gang of Four’ met in 1981 to break away from the Labour party and form the SDP. Casting includes Roger Allam as Roy Jenkins and Tom Goodman-Hill as David Owen, joining the previously announced Paul Chahidi as Bill Rogers and Debra Gillett as Shirley Williams. Nathalie Armin will play Debbie Owen, wife of David Owen and co-host of that momentous day in east London. The production is directed by Olivier Award-winning Polly Findlay, who makes her Donmar debut.
A divisive left-wing leader at the helm of the Labour party. A Conservative prime minister battling with her cabinet. An identity crisis on a national scale.
This is Britain 1981.
One Sunday morning, four prominent Labour politicians – Bill Rodgers, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and David Owen – gather in private at Owen’s home in Limehouse, east London. They are desperate to find a political alternative. Should they split their party, divide their loyalties, and risk betraying everything they believe in? Would they be starting afresh, or destroying forever the tradition that nurtured them?
Steve Waters' thrilling new drama takes us behind closed doors to imagine the personal conflicts behind the making of political history.
LIMEHOUSE is a fictionalised account of real events. It is not endorsed by the individuals portrayed.
Making theatre accessible to as many people as possible remains at the heart of the Donmar’s mission. Limehousewill see the start of KLAXON TICKETS: a new allocation of tickets, starting from £10, will be made available every Monday for performances two weeks later. Tickets will also be available across the auditorium at every price band.
The Donmar’s new YOUNG+FREE scheme, which provides free tickets to those aged 25 and under will also continue throughout the season, with releases for tickets on the last Friday of each month. YOUNG+FREE is made possible thanks to donations from Donmar audiences via PAY IT FORWARD. The Donmar has now received almost 2,750 donations alongside their partnership with Delta Airlines, which has enabled the venue to allocate almost 5,600 free tickets so far to those aged 25 and under.
Audiences can sign up to receive information about tickets on the Donmar's new website,www.donmarwarehouse.com
Roger Allam (Roy Jenkins) returns to the Donmar Warehouse following his Olivier Award-winning role in Privates on Parade directed by Michael Grandage. Other theatre credits include The Moderate Soprano and Seminar (Hampstead Theatre), The Tempest and the Olivier Award-winning role as Falstaff in Henry IV Parts I and II (Shakespeare’s Globe), Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival Theatre), Boeing, Boeing (Comedy Theatre) and The God of Carnage (UK Tour). On television he is best known for his roles as Peter Mannion in the BBC political satire The Thick Of It and Detective Inspector Fred Thursday in the Morse prequel Endeavour. Film credits include Tamara Drewe and The Queen.
Nathalie Armin (Debbie Owen) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Limehouse. Theatre credits include Another World: Losing Our Daughters to Islamic State, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Dara and Behind the Beautiful Forevers (National Theatre), The Complaint (Hampstead Theatre), The Bomb/First Blast (Tricycle Theatre), On the Record(Arcola), Lidless (High Tide/Trafalgar Studios), Arabian Nights and Othello (RSC), Crazy Black Muthaf**kin’Self (Royal Court). For television her credits include Humans, Maigret: Maigret’s Dead Men, Luther, Doctors, EastEnders and SPOOKS. Nathalie’s film credits include Denial and Grow Your Own.
Paul Chahidi (Bill Rodgers) returns to the Donmar Warehouse having appeared in The Vote and Privacy directed by Artistic Director Josie Rourke. His theatre credits include As You Like It (National Theatre), Shakespeare in Love(Noel Coward Theatre), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe/Apollo Theatre/NY), as well as numerous credits for the Royal Court, RSC, National Theatre, Young Vic and in the West End. Paul is also an RSC Associate Artist. His extensive film credits include The Death of Stalin, This Beautiful Fantastic, Undisputed, Love is Thicker Than Water, The Voices, Venus, The Libertine, and Notting Hill. Television credits include And Then There Were None, Chad, This Country of Ours, Maigret, Him & Her, The Tunnel, What Remains, The Hour and Holy Flying Circus.
Debra Gillett (Shirley Williams) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Limehouse. Her theatre credits include Young Chekhov: The Seagull, Young Chekhov: Ivanov, Three Days in the Country, A Small Family Business, Tartuffe (National Theatre), The Recruiting Officer (Chichester Festival Theatre), as well as numerous other credits for the RSC, Glasgow Citizens Theatre and the National Theatre. Film credits include Bridget Jones’s Baby, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Notes on a Scandal, Breathtaking, A Nice Arrangement and The Witches. Debra’s television credits include Call The Midwife, Cranford Chronicles, Dr Who, Spooks, and Cold Feet.
Tom Goodman-Hill (David Owen) returns to the Donmar Warehouse having starred in The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union in 2005. Theatre credits include Rabbit Hole (Hampstead Theatre), The Effect and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre), Death and the Maiden (Harold Pinter), Enron (The Coward Theatre, Chichester and Royal Court), and Spamalot (Palace Theatre). Television and film credits include The Secret Agent, Humans, Mr Selfridge, Call the Midwife, Black Mirror, The Truth Commissioner,Everest and The Imitation Game.
Steve Waters (Writer) returns to the Donmar Warehouse following his play Temple in 2015 and World Music which was staged in 2004 (also Sheffield Crucible). His plays include Why Can’t We Live Together? (Menagerie Theatre Company/UK Tour/Soho Theatre/Theatre 503), Europa co-authored (Birmingham Rep/Dresden Staatspielhouse/Teater Polski/Zagreb Youth Theatre), Ignorance/Jahiliyyah, English Journeys and After the Gods (Hampstead), Capernaum in Sixty-Six Books, Little Platoons, The Contingency Plan and In a Vulnerable Place(Bush), Amphibians (Bridewell), Out of Your Knowledge (Menagerie Theatre), Fast Labour (Hampstead/West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Habitats (Gate and Tron Theatre Glasgow). For radio, Steve has written Scribblers, Bretton Woods and The Contingency Plan for BBC Radio 3 and Deep Swimmer, The Air Gap, Little Platoons, Morning, The Parliament of Rooks and The Moderniser for BBC Radio 4. For the screen, Steve has written The Contingency Plan; Safe House. Steve is the author of The Secret Life of Plays.
Polly Findlay (Director) makes her directing debut at the Donmar Warehouse with Limehouse. Polly was the joint winner (with Derren Brown) of the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment for DERREN BROWN: SVENGALI. She won the JMK Award for Young Directors in 2007, and was awarded the 2006/7 Bulldog Princeps Bursary at the NT Studio. Directing credits include Ghosts (HOME Manchester) The Alchemist (RSC and The Barbican), As You Like It (National Theatre), Frǿken Julie (Aarhus Theatre, Denmark), The Merchant of Venice (RSC), Treasure Island(National Theatre), Krapp’s Last Tape (Sheffield Crucible), Arden of Faversham (RSC), Protest Song (The Shed, National Theatre), Gefährten/Warhorse (National Theatre/Theater des Westens, Berlin), A Taste of Honey (Sheffield Crucible), The Country Wife (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Antigone (National Theatre), Good (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Swan and Nightwatchman (Double Feature - National Theatre, Paintframe), Twisted Tales (Lyric Hammersmith), Honest (Royal & Derngate and Milnes Bar, Edinburgh, 2011), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Thyestes (Arcola Theatre), Eigengrau (Bush Theatre), and Romeo and Juliet (BAC).