Donmar stages all-female Tempest

Published May 25, 2016

The Donmar Warehouse will complete its trilogy of Phyllida Lloyd-directed all-female Shakespearean trilogy this autumn with Harriet Walter returning to star as Prospero in The Tempest.

The new production, which will be staged alongside revivals of previous hits Julius Caesar and Henry IV, will not run at the Donmar’s Covent Garden home, but at a newly built 420-seat temporary theatre in-the-round in King’s Cross. The shows run from 23 September to 17 December.

Also returning for the King’s Cross run are previous cast members Jade Anouka, Shiloh Coke, Jackie Clune, Karen Dunbar, Clare Dunne, Zainab Hasan, Jennifer Joseph, Sophie Stanton, Sharon Rooney and Caroline Valdés, who will be joined by Sheila Atim and Martina Laird.

The Tempest tells the story of an Italian Duke who, having been banished on a seemingly deserted island with only his daughter for company, has the opportunity to take magical revenge when his banishers sail too close to his shore.

The King’s Cross venture will aim to increase the accessibility of theatre to young people by offering 25% of its tickets free to theatregoers aged 25 and under. The majority of this will be achieved through the sponsorship of Delta Air Lines, though regular theatre fans have the ability to help by purchasing a YOUNG AND FREE ticket on behalf of a young person for £20.

Speaking about the scheme, Josie Rourke, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, said: “Although proud of this expansion, we’re most enthused about the launch of YOUNG AND FREE. We’re living in a London where half our young people don’t attend a theatre, a museum or a music event each year. We want to make a quarter of Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy tickets free to those young people. We also hope that YOUNG AND FREE will inspire seasoned theatre-goers to pay it forward, and we hope that young people, inspired by their generosity will walk through our doors to experience the Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy.”

The Donmar’s Shakespeare trilogy are the latest shows to take advantage of theatrical space in King’s Cross, joining the Olivier Award-winning pair The Railway Children and In The Heights in north London.

Details of the programme for the Donmar’s Covent Garden home this autumn are yet to be announced. Current hit Elegy plays until 18 June and is followed by the revival of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, which stars Stephen Dillane, Gina McKee and Ron Cook, and plays until 20 August.