West and Redmayne join Weisz in Donmar season

Published April 17, 2009

Dominic West, Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne are among the actors joining the new season at the Donmar Warehouse, which features a new version of Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life Is A Dream and the premiere of Red, a new play by John Logan.

The shows follow the already announced new production of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Rachel Weisz as Blanche.

Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Michael Grandage said the new season “demonstrates our continued commitment to the European repertoire, the American repertoire, to musicals and to new writing.”
Dates have now been confirmed for A Streetcar Named Desire, which plays from 23 July to 3 October (press night 28 July), with Weisz joined in the cast by Elliot Cowan (Stanley) Ruth Wilson (Stella), Barnaby Kay (Mitch) and Jack Ashton (Young Collector). Williams’s powerful tale of a faded southern belle who clashes with her brutish brother-in-law is directed by Rob Ashford, who returns to the Donmar following the success of his directorial debut production, Parade, in 2007.

A Streetcar Named Desire will be accompanied by rehearsed readings of Williams’s A House Not Meant To Stand and Fugitive Kind, on 14 and 15 September.     

Dominic West, who has been making waves in the US playing Jimmy McNulty in hit crime series The Wire, returns to the UK stage in Life Is A Dream, which plays from 8 October to 28 November (press night 13 October), directed by Jonathan Munby.

Helen Edmundson (Coram Boy at the National Theatre) has created a new version of 17th century Spanish playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s epic, poetic play, which explores illusion, reality, fate and destiny, set against the backdrop of a mythical kingdom. West plays Segismundo, who is condemned for all eternity to protect the country from the horrors prophesied. Banished to a secret world high in the mountains and cut off from the sun, he can only dream of a life reversed, of palaces, empires, freedom and revenge.

West’s previous stage work includes Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘N’ Roll at the Duke of York’s theatre, The Voysey Inheritance at the National Theatre and As You Like It at the Wyndham’s theatre. In addition to The Wire, he has been seen on screen in The Devil’s Whore, Mona Lisa Smile and 28 Days.

Grandage will direct Molina and Redmayne in the final production of the year, John Logan’s Red, which plays from 3 December to 6 February 2010 (press night 8 December).

Logan’s play is a moving and compelling account of 20th century abstract artist Mark Rothko’s struggle to accept his success. Under the watchful gaze of his young assistant and the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, Rothko (Molina) takes on his greatest challenge yet: to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.

Logan’s 14 plays include Speaking In Tongues and Scorched Earth, while as a screenwriter he has worked on acclaimed films Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, The Aviator, Gladiator and The Last Samurai.

Though Molina is an experienced stage actor – with credits including The Night Of The Iguana and Speed-The-Plow at the National Theatre – he is best known for his prolific screen work which includes films The Da Vinci Code, Spiderman II, Frida, Chocolat and the forthcoming The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

He is joined by Redmayne, who returns to the Donmar Warehouse following Hecuba in 2004. Since then Redmayne has enjoyed a burgeoning profile thanks to an acclaimed stage appearance in Now Or Later at the Royal Court last year and a lead role in the BBC’s Tess Of The D’Urbervilles. His films include The Other Boleyn Girl, The Good Shepherd and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.  

While the Donmar Warehouse maintains its reputation at home, it also continues to extend its reach beyond the UK. Its productions of Guys And Dolls, Piaf, Parade, Frost/Nixon and Mary Stuart are all being presented internationally, while the forthcoming Donmar West End production of Hamlet will be staged in Elsinore itself this summer when it plays at Denmark’s Kronberg Castle in August.

Grandage commented: “It’s exciting for us to collaborate with so many writers, actors, directors and designers and to reach out to new audiences on four continents with such an eclectic mix of work. This is everything I want the Donmar to stand for.”

Before the new season begins, the Donmar Warehouse presents a new version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, starring Gillian Anderson as Nora, with Christopher Eccleston, Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens.