National makes Statement Of Regret

Published April 17, 2008

A new play by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Statement Of Regret, opens at the National Cottesloe on 14 November, with previews from 7 November.

The play centres on Kwaku Mackenzie, played by Don Warrington, the founder of a black policy think tank, who finds himself in a downward spiral after the death of his father. His misguided attempts to maintain his influential position lead to disaster when he encourages divisions within the black community. Warrington has previously been seen at the National in Elmina’s Kitchen and The Mysteries. Other cast members include Angel Coulby, Oscar James, Trevor Laird, Colin McFarlane, Chu Omambala, Javone Prince, Clifford Samuel and Ellen Thomas. Mike Britton has designed the production, with lighting by Natasha Chivers and sound by Yvonne Gilbert.

Statement Of Regret is Kwei-Armah’s third play for the National, the first being 2002’s Fix-Up. His 2003 play Elmina’s Kitchen, which transferred from the National to the Garrick, was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. Kwei-Armah is also well known for his television appearances, starring in Casualty, Holby City, The Bill and Between The Lines, in addition to appearing on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy.

Also at the National this autumn, Katie Mitchell directs Don Taylor’s radical interpretation of Euripides’s Women Of Troy. The production previews at the Lyttelton from 21 November, with press night on 28 November.

The Greek tragedy, which follows the fate of the women of Troy after the city has been destroyed by war, features Kate Duchêne as the dethroned queen, Hecuba, Sinead Matthews as her doomed psychic daughter Cassandra, Anastasia Hille as grief-stricken widowed princess Andromache, and Susie Trayling as the legendary beauty Helen. Also in the cast are Pandora Colin, Beth Fitzgerald, Michael Gould, Helena Lymbery, Penelope McGhie, Charlotte Roach and Jonah Russell.

This is not Mitchell’s first Greek tragedy at the National, having also directed Euripides’s last surviving work, Iphigenia At Aulis, in 2004. Her other work at the National includes Attempts On Her Life, Waves, The Seagull, Three Sisters, A Dream Play, Ivanov and the Oresteia.

Women Of Troy is designed by Bunny Christie, with costumes by Vicki Mortimer, lighting by Paule Constable and Jon Clark, movement by Struan Leslie and sound by Gareth Fry.

Statement Of Regret and Women Of Troy join War Horse, Much Ado About Nothing, Rafta Rafta, The Hothouse, Present Laughter and The Enchantment in the National’s autumn season.

JFC