Ewan McGregor is to star in the Donmar Warehouse’s final production of the year, playing Iago in William Shakespeare’s Othello, along with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona. The play opens on 4 December (previews from 29 November).
All three actors have previously worked with Donmar Artistic Director Michael Grandage, who directs this production: McGregor originated the role of Sky Masterson in Grandage’s production of Guys And Dolls at the Piccadilly; Ejiofor played Nicky Lancaster in The Vortex, Grandage’s inaugural show at the Donmar in 2002; while Reilly was directed by him in Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie in 2003.
McGregor is best known for his international film career. After the success of Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, McGregor rocketed to success and has starred in a string of hits including A Life Less Ordinary, Down With Love, Moulin Rouge, the Star Wars prequels, Big Fish and the recent Miss Potter. In addition to Guys And Dolls, his London theatre work includes Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs at the Hampstead and the Comedy in 1999.
Ejiofor also has a successful film career, with roles in Dirty Pretty Things, Love Actually, Kinky Boots and Children Of Men, while on television he was acclaimed for his performance in mini-series Tsunami: Aftermath. His extensive stage work includes Ian Rickson’s recent production of The Seagull at the Royal Court, Romeo And Juliet, Blue/Orange and Sparkle Shark at the National and The Triumph Of Love at the Almeida.
Reilly starred in Terry Johnson’s new play Piano/Forte at the Royal Court last year, plus Blasted, also at the Royal Court, Sexual Perversity In Chicago at the Comedy, and A Prayer For Owen Meaney and The London Cuckolds at the National. Her film work includes Mrs Henderson Presents and Pride And Prejudice.
Grandage, whose previous productions for the Donmar include John Gabriel Borkman, Don Juan In Soho, Frost/Nixon and The Wild Duck, commented: “This production of Othello is an exciting culmination of my first five years of work as Artistic Director. It also launches us into the next stage of our development. Over the next few years we aim to keep producing work of the highest quality and to continue to present a challenging repertoire of plays. We will also seek to produce more work in the West End and on tour, alongside the body of work we present in our Covent Garden home, in our constant desire to reach an increasingly diverse audience. I believe the Donmar continues to be an important part of the national and international theatre scene and I look forward to developing this further in the years ahead.”
Othello – another production of which is running at Shakespeare’s Globe this summer – runs at the Donmar until 23 February 2008. Public booking opens on 15 October. Currently running at the venue is Manual Puig’s Kiss Of the Spider Woman, which ends on 26 May. It is followed by a new production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, starring Dervla Kirwan, Toby Stephens and Samuel West, which opens on 5 June.