Preview by Jack Foley
FRANCESCA Annis is to return to the Donmar Warehouse in
May, for the premiere of Tom Stoppards new version of Pirandellos
Henry IV, before taking it on the Donmars first-ever
tour to Salford, Bristol and Liverpool.
The screen and stage veteran will appear alongside former Almeida
artistic director, Ian McDiarmid, in the production, which runs
from May 4 to June 26, before touring in July.
Henry IV will tells the story of an Italian nobleman who,
after falling from his horse during a pageant, believes himself
to be his carnival character, the medieval German Emperor, King
He subsequently lives this vision for 20 years, until a plot
is hatched to shock him from his 'madness' and into the 21st Century.
Annis, who last appeared in the 2003 revival of Cowards
The Vortex, and McDiarmid, will be joined in the cast by Robert
Demeger, Orlando Wells, David Yelland, Brian Poyser, Nitzan Sharron,
Neil McDermott, James Lance, Stuart Burt and Tania Emery.
The decision to follow the West End run with a national tour
has been taken by the Donmars artistic director, Michael
Grandage, as a way of extending the theatres audience base.
He had planned to do this as part of Londons fringe, before
taking it nationally and internationally, but was advised by the
Arts Council to take it to the current destinations, as they were
viewed as being areas that would welcome high-quality drama from
Subsequent Donmar production tours will be selected from the
as-yet unannounced 2005 season.
Henry IV will be followed at the Donmar, from November
29, 2004 to February 12, 2005, by Grandage's revival of the Tony
Award-winning musical, Grand Hotel.
The current show is Charlotte Jones The Dark, which
receives its world premiere on March 23, and continues until June