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The Way of the World - full casting announced but Linda Bassett withdraws

The Way of the World at the Donmar Warehouse. Photographer Eivind Hansen.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FULL casting has been announced for The Way of the World, by William Congreve, which runs at the Donmar Warehouse from March 29 to May 26, 2018.

Replacing Linda Bassett, who has withdrawn from the production for personal reasons, is Haydn Gwynne (The Threepenny Opera, Coriolanus, The Audience) as Lady Wishfort.

Completing the cast are Fisayo Akinade, Alex Beckett, Gabrielle Brooks, Phoebe Frances Brown, Sarah Hadland, Jenny Jules, Simon Manyonda, Caroline Martin, Tom Mison, Justine Mitchell, Christian Patterson, Geoffrey Streatfeild and Nathan Welsh.

Previously Posted: The final production in the Donmar Warehouse’s 2017/2018 season is The Way of the World. Written by William Congreve and directed by James Macdonald, it runs from April 5 (previews from March 29) to May 26, 2018.

Family, money, mesire: the rules of the game, the way of the world.

Lady Wishfort’s sprawling, dysfunctional family are riven by desire – there’s everything to lose and six thousand pounds to gain. Congreve’s glorious ensemble of characters battle it out in this exposing, satirical comedy where everyone needs to win just to get by.

Following their collaboration on the mesmerising Roots in 2013, James Macdonald returns to the Donmar to direct Linda Bassett in the role of Lady Wishfort.

As well as Roots, Linda Bassett has also performed at the Donmar in Phaedra. Throughout her prolific career she has performed at the National Theatre, Royal Court and RSC. Her television credits include Call the Midwife, The Life & Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Lark Rise to Candleford and Grandma’s House. She is however, best known for her roles in feature films East is East, The Reader, Calendar Girls, The Hours and Effie.

James Macdonald was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1992 to 2007 during which time he directed Drunk Enough to Say I Love You (also Public Theater, New York), Dying City (also Lincoln Center, New York), Fewer Emergencies, Lucky Dog, Blood, Blasted and 4.48 Psychosis, and more recently Cock, Love and Information and Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court in Haggerston).

His other directing credits include The Arrest of Ai Wei Wei, And No More Shall We Part (Hampstead Theatre), King Lear, The Book of Grace, Top Girls (Broadway/MTC), A Delicate Balance, Judgment Day, The Triumph of Love (Almeida), Dido, Queen of Carthage, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Exiles (National Theatre) and Glengarry Glen Ross (West End).

The Way of the World is designed by Anna Fleischle, with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound and musical composition by Max Pappenheim.

The Donmar’s new season also includes Belleville (December 7 to February 3) and The York Realist (February 8 to March 24, 2018).

Image: The Way of the World at the Donmar Warehouse. Photographer Eivind Hansen.