Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
NORTH London's Almeida Theatre has recently
announced its forthcoming productions - from September 2005 to
The season opens with David Mamet's Romance,
which runs from September 14 to October 22, 2005. Described as
'a satirical courtroom farce', it tackles wide-ranging subjects
from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to sexual fidelity.
It received its world premiere in February of this year, at Off-Broadway's
Atlantic Theater Company which Mamet co-founded 20 years ago with
actor, William H Macy.
It will star British-born actor, John Mahoney who is probably
best-known as Father Marty Crane from TV's Frasier - a
role he played from the show's inception in 1993 to its final
episode in 2004.
Mahoney has though, appeared many times on stage - in The
Dresser, Death and the Maiden, Of Mice and Men and Absent
Friends - all in Chicago; and in The Man Who Came to
Dinner at London's Barbican, in 1998.
His film credits too, are numerous and include Moonstruck,
Barton Fink, In the Line of Fire, The Hudsucker Proxy and
Romance will be directed by Lindsay Posner whose recent
West End productions include another of Mamet's works, Sexual
Perversity in Chicago (which starred Matthew Perry and
Minnie Driver); Oleanna
and A Life in
the Theatre (with Patrick Stewart and Joshua Jackson).
This will, in fact, be the first time the Almeida has featured
Mamet whose other stage works include Glengarry Glen Ross
(winner of the Pulitzer Prize and currently being revived on Broadway),
American Buffalo and Speed-the-Plow.
Posner will also direct the season's second production - Richard
Bean's new version of Moliere's 1673 play, The Hypochondriac
(or as it sometimes called, The Imaginary Invalid), which
will run from November 17, 2005 (previews from November 10) to
January 7, 2006.
Hypochondriac, a character-based
comedy, is about Argon who just loves to be sick.
Third up and from January 12 to March 4, 2006, will be Sam Shepard's
The Late Henry Moss, which will be produced by
Michael Attenborough, in his third season as artistic director
of the Almeida.
After a long absence, two brothers return to their home near
the Mexican border. A confrontation ensues and family secrets
Shepard, an accomplished film and stage actor, has to date, written
45 plays, including True West, Fool for Love and Buried
Child which only last year, was revived at the NT. Like Glengarry
Glen Ross, it was winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
The Late Henry Moss is followed, from March 16 (previews
from March 9) to April 29, 2006, by Howard Davies' revival of
Tennessee Williams' 1960 play, Period of Adjustment,
in what will be its first staging since 1962 - the same year that
the film version, starring a young Jane Fonda, was released in
The story takes place over a 24 hour period, as Korean war veteran
George Haverstick and his new bride, drive to Florida in an old
hearse, to visit one of George's old comrades.
Like Mamet and Shepard, Williams is also the recipient of the
Pulitzer Prize - two in fact, for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
and A Streetcar Named Desire. His other plays include
The Glass Menagerie, Sweet Bird of Youth and The
Night of the Iguana.
The 2005/2006 season concludes with Attenborough's production
of David Hare's new version of Gorky's 1906 play, Enemies,
which will run from May 11 to June 24, 2006.
Originally outlawed in his native Russia, Gorky's drama is set
on a provincial family estate where the liberal-minded owner's
brother is killed in a scuffle with one of the workers.
Gorky's other plays include Summerfolk, The Lower Depths
and Children of the Sun.
The current production, Blood
Wedding, featuring Mexican screen star Gael Garcia Bernal,
completes its sell-out run on June 25, 2005, and will be followed,
from June 29 to July 9, by the annual Almeida Opera Season.
Footnote: It has just been announced that Stephen Dillane's solo
interpretation of Macbeth will be staged for
just 10 performances, from October 28 to November 5 (previews
from October 26).