Trevor Nunn will direct two of Britain’s most respected actors, Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon, in the London premiere of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall this autumn at the intimate Jermyn Street theatre.
Legendary playwright Beckett’s little known radio play will run from 9 October (press night 11 October) until 3 November at the theatre ‘dubbed the smallest venue in the heart of the West End’.
Described by Nunn as an “extraordinary radio play”, All That Fall charts the journey of the old and unwieldy Mrs Rooney as she drags herself towards a railway station on a Saturday lunchtime to meet her blind husband and guide him home, telling the story of the people she meets along the way.
Atkins and Gambon will reunite to play Mr and Mrs Rooney on the Jermyn Street theatre stage following appearances together in the Barbican theatre’s 1998 production of The Unexpected Man and, more recently, BBC drama Cranford.
Upstairs Downstairs star Atkins is a three times Olivier Award-winning actress who has most recently appeared on the London stage in productions of The Female Of The Species at the Vaudeville theatre, The Sea at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and The Birthday Party at the Duchess theatre.
Gambon, well known for his roles in the Harry Potter films and the BBC’s iconic series The Singing Detective, was last seen on stage in another of Beckett’s play, Krapp’s Last Tapes, at the Duchess theatre. His other extensive theatre credits include The Habit Of Art and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at the National Theatre, and No Man’s Land, Eh Joe and Endgame in the West End.
Speaking about the production, Nunn, who famously directed musicals Cats and Les Misérables, and, more recently the Olivier Award-winning Flare Path, said: “The play moves through comedic situations to a conclusion as disturbingly bleak as anything in his writing. My hope is that audiences won’t try to find and read the play beforehand, but come to it as if it is a new work about which they know almost nothing. The impact of this play will then be at its most devastating.”
Jermyn Street theatre was awarded the title of Best Fringe Theatre of the Year in The Stage 100 earlier this year. Gene David Kirk, the venue’s Artistic Director, spoke of his delight in bringing three theatrical greats to the 70-seat venue, saying: “This is a quadruple coup for Jermyn Street theatre. A rare staging by one of the most influential figures of 20th century theatre directed by one of the most lauded directors of his generation and starring two of the greatest actors working today. Any one of those ingredients would have been massive for a theatre of our size but to have them together makes us immensely proud and excited.”