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The Dark Earth and the Light Sky - Almeida Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

RICHARD Eyre will return to the Almeida Theatre to direct the world premiere of Nick Dear’s The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, which runs from November 15, 2012 (previews from November 8) to January 12, 2013.

Deep in the Hampshire countryside Edward Thomas scrapes a living; disaffected husband, exhausted father and tormented writer. Then in 1913 he meets American poet Robert Frost and everything changes.

As their friendship blossoms Edward writes, emerging from his cocoon of self-doubt into one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century. On the verge of success he makes the drastic decision to enlist, confounding his friends and family.

The Dark Earth and the Light Sky delves into the life of this enigmatic and complex character in an era of change and destruction.

Playwright Nick Dear’s adaptation of Frankenstein premiered at the National Theatre last year, directed by Danny Boyle. Previously the National has presented his adaptations of Gorky’s Summerfolk and Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme as well as his play Power.

For the Royal Shakespeare Company, his credits include The Art of Success, Zenobia and Pure Science. His opera libretti include The Palace in the Sky (Hackney Empire) and Siren Song (Almeida Theatre). He has also written the screenplays for Jane Austen’s Persuasion, for which he received a BAFTA, The Gambler and Byron.

Richard Eyre was Director of the National Theatre from 1988 – 1997. His more recent work as a Director for the stage includes the award-winning production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Noel Coward’s Private Lives (on Broadway), the world premières of Nicholas Wright’s Vincent in Brixton and The Reporter (National Theatre) and the musical Mary Poppins.

Previously for the Almeida, he has directed David Hare’s The Judas Kiss – his first production after leaving The National Theatre – The Novice and Hedda Gabler.

His television credits include Changing Stages – a BBC Series on the history of theatre in the 20th century which he co-wrote with Nicholas Wright and presented – and the BAFTA award-winning Tumbledown. And for the BBC’s 2012 Shakespeare Season, he will direct Henry IV Parts 1 and 2. His film credits include Iris, Stage Beauty, Notes on a Scandal and The Other Man.

The Dark Earth and the Light Sky will be designed by Bob Crowley, with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by John Leonard. Casting will be announced shortly.

Filumena continues at the Almeida until May 12, 2012. It will be followed – from May 17 to June 30, 2012 – by Children’s Children.