Samuel West and Penelope Wilton return to the Donmar Warehouse to star in T S Eliot’s The Family Reunion, which opens on 25 November, after previews from 20 November.
The play tells of a family haunted by the ghosts of their past. Harry returns to the ancestral home after an eight year absence to celebrate his mother’s birthday. Tormented by a dark secret, he confides in Aunt Agatha only to discover that other family members also have their own hidden demons.
West (Harry) was last seen at the Donmar Warehouse in Pinter’s Betrayal in May 2007. As an actor he has worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Sheffield Theatres, where he was also Artistic Director, and has been seen in television dramas including The Long Walk To Finchley, Cambridge Spies and Persuasion. His films include Howard’s End, Notting Hill and Iris, alongside Wilton. He is also a director, and his production of Dealer’s Choice at the Menier Chocolate Factory recently had a successful transfer to Trafalgar Studios.
Wilton (Agatha) is a regular at the Donmar Warehouse, where she is currently starring in Enid Bagnold’s The Chalk Garden, which ends on 2 August. Her other work at the Donmar includes John Gabriel Borkman, The Little Foxes and A Kind Of Alaska, and she has also been seen at the National Theatre in The House Of Bernarda Alba and in Women Beware Women for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her screen work includes Dr Who (as Harriet Jones), Bob And Rose, Victoria And Albert, plus the films The History Boys, Shaun Of The Dead, Pride And Prejudice and Calendar Girls.
The pair is directed by Jeremy Herrin, whose recent directorial credits include The Vertical Hour at the Royal Court, Statement Of Regret at the National and That Face at the Royal Court and Duke of York’s.
The Family Reunion, which plays until 10 January 2009, is the centrepiece of a T S Eliot festival at the Donmar, which includes rehearsed readings of Four Quartets (14-17 January), Murder In The Cathedral (2 December) and The Cocktail Party (17 December), plus two evenings of readings of Eliot’s verse (1 December and 5 January).