“I don’t want realism, I want magic”

In Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, fading southern belle Blanche DuBois unexpectedly appears at her sister’s home in the stifling world of downtown New Orleans. With delusions of grandeur, Blanche stands in stark contrast to her new surroundings and her brother-in-law Stanley. His determination to reveal her secrets leads her to withdraw ever further away from reality, into a world of illusions. 

A Streetcar Named Desire defined Williams’s reputation as one of the greatest American playwrights and won him a Pulitzer Prize. The play has been performed numerous times on stages both sides of the Atlantic, with the role of Blanche viewed as a defining one for any actress. The play was also made into an iconic film starring Marlon Brando as Stanley and Vivien Leigh as Blanche. 

Weisz returns to the Donmar Warehouse to play Blanche. The British actress previously appeared there in Suddenly Last Summer and Design For Living. She is best known, however, for her screen work in major films Definitely Maybe, The Constant Gardener, Runaway Jury, About A Boy, The Mummy, Enemy At The Gates and Stealing Beauty.

Elliot Cowan, who appeared in the Donmar’s hugely successful production of Frost/Nixon, plays Stanley. 

They are directed in A Streetcar Named Desire by Rob Ashford, who received critical acclaim for his first directorial effort, Parade, at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007. This is the first non-musical outing for the choreographer-turned-director. 

For more about A Streetcar Named Desire at the Donmar Warehouse, read the First Night Feature or the Big Interview with Ruth Wilson.

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