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Donmar Warehouse - Spring 2017


Season preview

THE Donmar Warehouse has announced its programme for Spring 2017. Entitled the Power Season, it includes Limehouse, a new play by Steve Waters; a revival of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui starring Lenny Henry; and a new musical with book and lyrics edited from the transcript of a House of Commons Select Committee evidence session on Whitehall’s Relationship with Kids Company.

The season opens with Steve Waters’ Limehouse, which runs from Thursday, March 2 to Saturday, April 15.

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 audiences 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.

Polly Findlay directs a cast that includes Paul Chahidi as Bill Rodgers and Debra Gillett as Shirley Williams.

Steve Waters returns to the Donmar following his play Temple in 2015 and World Music which was staged in 2004 (also Sheffield Crucible).

His other 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 Theatre), Capernaum in Sixty-Six Books, Little Platoons, The Contingency Plan and In a Vulnerable Place (Bush Theatre), Amphibians (Bridewell Theatre), Out of Your Knowledge (Menagerie Theatre), Fast Labour (Hampstead/West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Habitats (Gate/Tron Theatre Glasgow).

Polly Findlay, who will be making her directing debut at the Donmar Warehouse with Limehouse, 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.

Her directing credits include The Alchemist (RSC and The Barbican), As You Like It, Treasure Island, Protest Song and Antigone (National Theatre), Frǿken Julie (Aarhus Theatre, Denmark), The Merchant of Venice and Arden of Faversham (RSC), Krapp’s Last Tape (Sheffield Crucible), Gefährten/War Horse (National Theatre/Theater des Westens, Berlin), A Taste of Honey (Sheffield Crucible), The Country Wife (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Twisted Tales (Lyric Hammersmith), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Thyestes (Arcola Theatre) and Romeo and Juliet (BAC).

Paul Chahidi returns to the Donmar after appearing in The Vote and Privacy. His theatre credits elsewhere include As You Like It (National Theatre), Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward Theatre) and Twelfth Night (Globe/Apollo Theatre/NY). He has also worked extensively for the Royal Court, RSC, National Theatre, Young Vic and in the West End. He is also an RSC Associate Artist.

Chahidi nulerous screen credits include The Death of Stalin, This Beautiful Fantastic, Undisputed, Love is Thicker Than Water, The Voices, Venus, The Libertine and Notting Hill (film); And Then There Were None, Chad, This Country of Ours, Maigret, Him & Her, The Tunnel, What Remains, The Hour and Holy Flying Circus (TV).

Debra Gillett, who will be making her Donmar Warehouse debut in Limehouse, has also appeared on stage in Young Chekhov: The Seagull, Young Chekhov: Ivanov, Three Days in the Country and A Small Family Business (National Theatre) and The Recruiting Officer (Chichester Festival Theatre), plus numerous other credits for the RSC, Glasgow Citizens Theatre and the Royal National Theatre.

Her screen work includes Bridget Jones’s Baby, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Notes on a Scandal, Breathtaking, A Nice Arrangement and The Witches (film); Call The Midwife, Cranford Chronicles, Dr Who, Spooks and Cold Feet (TV).

Limehouse is designed by Alex Eales, with lighting by Jon Clark and sound by Emma Laxton. Composer is Rupert Cross.

The Donmar will continue its YOUNG+FREE ticket scheme into 2017, after a successful launch during the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy at King’s Cross this autumn. The scheme will offer free tickets to those 25 and under, every night across the spring season. YOUNG+FREE is made possible by the generosity of the public through PAY IT FORWARD. In addition, to ensure constant affordable access to the Donmar for everyone, tickets from £10 will be released every Monday at 10am during each production’s run.

Kemp Powers’ One Night in Miami…, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, continues at the Donmar Warehouse until December 3. It will be followed – from December 9 to February 18, 2017 – by Josie Rourke’s revival of Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, starring Gemma Arterton in the title role.