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Goold, Page and McCrory in Almeida new season

Published 17 April 2008

The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot, directed by Rupert Goold, and Anthony Page’s rescheduled production of Ibsen’s Rosmersholm, with Helen McCrory and Paul Hilton, will follow Pinter’s The Homecoming in the Almeida’s 2008 season.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot opens on 3 April following previews from 28 March. Billed as a ‘time-bending, serio-comic drama in an imagined world between Heaven and Hell’, the play re-examines the fate of Judas Iscariot, the New Testament’s most infamous sinner. The drama imagines figures including Pontius Pilate and Sigmund Freud testifying in a trial against Judas. Guirgis uses the energy of modern America to explore timeless questions of free will, responsibility, faith and fate.

Goold is the acclaimed Artistic Director of Headlong, which co-produces this play with the Almeida. Goold’s recent London credits with Headlong include Rough Crossings at the Lyric Hammersmith and Faustus at the Hampstead. His Chichester Festival Theatre production of Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, is currently playing the Gielgud before a planned New York transfer.

No casting has yet been confirmed for The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot, which runs until 10 May.

McCrory, Hilton and Malcolm Sinclair lead the cast of Ibsen’s Rosmersholm, in a new version by Mike Poulton. The production had been scheduled for this autumn, but was delayed after McCrory fell pregnant with her second child. It now runs from 15 May-5 July 2008.

Ibsen’s 1886 play charts the struggle between freedom and the cruelty of conscience in an age of political division. The house of former clergyman Rosmer (Hilton) has always been a stronghold of religious and political conservatism, but the tragic suicide of his wife and the influence of the mysterious Rebecca West (McCrory) bring his new libertarian beliefs into the light. Isolated by their beliefs and afraid of the force of their love, Rosmer and Rebecca’s journey leads them to a tragic conclusion.

McCrory has previously worked at the Almeida on Five Gold Rings, Platonov and The Triumph Of Love. Her other London stage credits include Old Times, Uncle Vanya, Twelfth Night and How I Learned To Drive at the Donmar, The Seagull at the National and David Lan’s production of As You Like It at the Wyndham’s in 2005, for which she was nominated for a 2006 Laurence Olivier Award. She has appeared on screen in Frankenstein, Casanova, Becoming Jane and The Queen.

Hilton was last seen in the West End in the cast of In Celebration at the Duke Of York’s, and has London stage credits including On The Third Day at the New Ambassadors, The Wild Duck at the Donmar and The Storm at the Almeida, plus many appearances at the National and the Royal Court. On television his credits include True Dare Kiss, Dalziel And Pascoe and Wire In The Blood, among others.

Sinclair, who plays Professor Kroll, is currently in the cast of Dealer’s Choice at the Menier Chocolate Factory. His extensive stage credits include The History Boys at the National, Journey’s End at the Playhouse, My Fair Lane at Drury Lane and Privates On Parade at the Donmar. He was previously at the Almeida in Heartbreak House and Cressida.

Director Page returns to the Almeida after Edward Albee’s The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? in 2004, which transferred to the Apollo. His recent directorial credits on the London stage include The Lady From Dubuque at the Haymarket earlier this year, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at the Apollo and The Night Of Iguana at the Lyric.

In other news, the Almeida has announced casting for its first family show, Marianne Dreams (14 December 2007-26 January 2007, press night 19 December). The cast is Selina Chilton (recently seen in The Drowsy Chaperone) as Marianne, Mark Arends as Mark, Siubhan Harrison as Miss Chesterfield, Jack James as Dr Burton and Sarah Malin as Helen. At certain performance Marianne will be played by Sarah Boulton.

Adapted by Moira Buffini from Catherine Storr’s children’s classic, Marianne Dreams follows 10-year-old Marianne, drawing to pass the time after being confined to bed through illness. That night she dreams, and is transported into her own picture. The show is directed by Will Tuckett.

CB

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