Preview by Jack Foley
NORTH Londons Almeida Theatre has announced its
second season with Michael Attenborough as artistic director.
Running from September 2004 to April 2005, the season will include
the Almeidas first-ever musical, in the form of the premiere
of John Barry and Don Blacks adaptation of Graham Greenes
Brighton Rock, as well as the world premiere of a new Peter
In addition, Simon Russell Beale will take on Macbeth,
Eve Best will appear as Hedda Gabler and there will be
a second visit from former National Theatre artistic director,
The aforementioned Brighton Rock will open the season,
running from October 5 to November 13, 2004,ahead of its anticipated
transfer to the West End.
The production is being overseen by co-producer, Bill Kenwright,
who has been developing the project for several years.
The musical version is based on Greene's 1938 literary classic
(which starred a young Richard Attenborough in film form) and
relates the tale of gang warfare, at the English seaside town,
where the only witness to Pinkies ruthless murder of a man
is 16-year-old Catholic, Rose.
The production is to be directed by Michael Attenborough, son
of Richard, with music by Oscar-winning film composer, John Barry
(of Out of Africa, Goldfinger fame).
It will be followed, from November 24, 2004, to January 8, 2005,
by the world premiere of Whelans The Earthly Paradise,
which centres around poet and designer, William Morris, his wife,
Janey, and the pre-Raphaelite painter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
a close family friend and Janeys lover, in a country manner
in the Summer of 1871.
The production is to be directed by Robert Delamere, who previously
delivered A Russian in the Woods (also by Whelan) and whose
production of Sebastian Barrys Whistling
Psyche is currently playing at the Almeida.
The new season continues, in 2005, with two classical revivals,
including Simon Russell Beales return to Shakespearean tragedy,
in the title role of Macbeth, which will run from January
20 to March 5, under the direction of John Caird.
It will be followed by Eve Bests portrayal of Hedda
Galber, a new version of Henrik Ibsens 1890 Norwegian
classic, about a woman whose passions exceed the confines of her
The production will be adapted and directed by Richard Eyre,
who was artistic director of the NT, from 1988 to 1997, and whose
other recent credits include the multi award-winning Vincent
in Brixton, on stage, and Iris,
It will bring the season to a keenly-anticipated finale, from
March 16 to April 30, 2005.