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West End transfer for Mary Stuart

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IT HAS just been announced that the Donmar Warehouse production of Mary Stuart will transfer to the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue this coming autumn.

Schiller's tragedy which focuses on Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I's cousin and rival for the throne, completes its sell-out season at the Donmar on September 3, before re-opening at the Apollo on October 19, 2005, (previews from October 7).

This will be the first Donmar production to transfer to the commercial West End since Michael Grandage took over from Sam Mendez as artistic director in 2002.

It will, however, be the second Schiller play to be seen in the West End this year, after Grandage's own Sheffield Crucible production of Don Carlos which starred Derek Jacobi and Richard Coyle - a surprise hit for the Gielgud Theatre.

The majority of the Donmar cast - including Janet McTeer (pictured) and Harriet Walter who play Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I respectively - will reprise their roles.

The Apollo's current production, The Big Life, the West End's first black musical, will close on October 1, 2005.

Mary Stuart is initially booking to January 14, 2006.

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Previously Posted: Full casting for Peter Oswald's adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart has just been announced. Joining Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter will be:

Barbara Jefford whose incredible acting career has included over 50 Shakespeare productions, the most recent, Richard III which was directed by the Donmar's Michael Grandage, who is currently responsible for the hit musical Guys and Dolls. Jefford's most recent West End appearance was in Simon Gray's The Old Master.

David Burke who has appeared in a number of National Theatre productions - Copenhagen, Pericles, The Crucible, The Voysey Inheritance and Hamlet.

James Fleet who is probably best-known for his screen roles in Sense and Sensibility and Four Weddings and a Funeral and, of course, the 'dopey' Hugo Norton from TV's The Vicar of Dibley. He has, however, appeared on stage in Art.




Burke and Fleet have, in fact, previously worked together in Three Sisters at the Playhouse Theatre in 2003.

David Horovitch whose stage credits include Losing Louise and for the RSC, Cymbeline and The Tamer Tamed.

Guy Henry who played opposite Dame Judi Dench in the RSC's production of All's Well That Ends Well. He's also appeared in King John, Twelfth Night, Volpone, The Coast of Utopia, The School for Scandal and The Voysey Inheritance.

Rory Kinnear whose stage credits include The Taming of the Shrew, The Tamer Tamed, The Tempest and The Seagull. His most recent West End appearance was in the Lyric Theatre's highly-acclaimed production of Festen.

And finally, Rufus Wright who comes to the production fresh from playing Hibbert in the revival of Journey's End.

Previously Posted: Peter Oswald's new version of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart opens at the Donmar Warehouse on July 20, 2005 (previews from July 14) - until September 3, 2005.

The play is an account of the extraordinary relationship between England's Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

German playwright Schiller (1759 - 1805) wrote his first play, The Robbers, in 1782, during his enforced military service. Discovered and banned from further writing, he deserted, lived under an assumed name and worked as a court playwright and stage manager.

His other plays include Intrigue and Love, Don Carlos, Wallenstein's Camp, Wallenstein's Death, Maid of Orleans and William Tell.

Schiller's friendship and collaboration with Goethe, made the Weimer Theatre one of the most prestigious in Germany. He died in 1805 from tuberculosis.

Mary Stuart will star Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter.

McTeer's London stage credits include A Doll's House at the Playhouse Theatre in 1996, The Duchess of Malfi at the National Theatre in 2003 and, in the same year, The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare's Globe.

Walter has appeared on the London stage many times between 1994 and 2003 - in Dinner, Much Ado About Nothing, Life x 3, The Royal Family, Macbeth, Old Times and The Children's Hour.

Mary Stuart will be directed by Phyllida Lloyd.


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