NEWS: Almeida Theatre announces Little Eyolf and Uncle Vanya

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The Almeida Theatre today announces to new productions for its winter 2015/2016 season. Tickets for the new productions will first go on sale to Almeida Members on Tuesday 8 September and to the public on Tuesday 15 September.

  • THE ALMEIDA CONTINUES TO REINVIGORATE THE CLASSICS WITH A FRESH TAKE ON TWO OF THE 19TH CENTURY’S GREATEST PLAYWRIGHTS
  • RICHARD EYRE FOLLOWS HIS CELEBRATED HEDDA GABLER & THE MULTI-AWARD WINNING GHOSTS WITH A NEW TRANSLATION OF IBSEN’S LITTLE EYOLF
  • AS HIS ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION OF ORESTEIA TRANSFERS TO THE WEST END, ROBERT ICKE TAKES ON CHEKHOV WITH A NEW VERSION OF UNCLE VANYA

Artistic Director Rupert Goold introduces the new season:

“We follow our Almeida Greeks with a double-header of late nineteenth-century masterpieces by two of the world’s most important and influential playwrights. Written less than five years apart, these plays offer startlingly fresh reflections on our lives and our theatre – and how we can understand them.

First Richard Eyre follows his Hedda Gabler and Ghosts with a new production of Ibsen’s surreal and moving play Little Eyolf. Ibsen’s play is something formally more complex and contemporary than the Victorian naturalism with which he is associated: drawing instead on Norwegian folklore and symbolism, late Ibsen is a stranger, richer playwright than we might expect.

Chekhov hasn’t been performed at the Almeida in over a decade, and though Uncle Vanya was written less than five years after Little Eyolf, its focus on the minutiae of human lives never seems less than surprisingly modern. As his masterful Oresteia transfers to the West End, I’m thrilled that our Associate Director, Robert Icke, will be taking on Chekhov for the first time at the Almeida.”

THE SEASON…

LITTLE EYOLF

Henrik Ibsen
a new version created by Richard Eyre

19 November 2015 – 9 January 2016
Press Night 26 November 7pm

Completing a trilogy of revelatory Ibsens, Richard Eyre returns to the Almeida Theatre with a new version of Little Eyolf. Jolyon Coy and Lydia Leonard lead a cast which also includes Sam Hazeldine, Eve Ponsonby and Eileen Walsh.

Adapted and directed by Eyre, Little Eyolf follows the success of Ghosts and Hedda Gabler which he also adapted and directed. Hedda Gabler won great acclaim at the Almeida in 2005 before transferring to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End. Ghosts opened at the Almeida in 2013, transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End and won three Olivier awards including Best Revival. The production enjoyed a successful run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York earlier this year.

How is a life well-lived? Alfred Allmers comes home to his wife, Rita, and makes a decision. Casting aside his writing, he dedicates himself to raising his son. But one event is about to change his life forever.

Ibsen’s Little Eyolf is a forensic examination of a marriage as it explosively falls apart.

Design is by Tim Hatley with light by Peter Mumford, sound by John Leonard and video by Jon Driscoll. Casting is by Cara Beckinsale.

Richard Eyre’s credits at the Almeida include The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, The Judas Kiss – his first production after leaving the National Theatre where he was Director from 1988 until 1997 – The Novice, Hedda Gabler and Ghosts. His recent stage credits include The Pajama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End), Quartermaine’s Terms and Stephen Ward The Musical (both West End), Vincent in Brixton and The Reporter (both National Theatre), The Crucible and Private Lives (both Broadway) and Mary Poppins (West End, Broadway and upcoming UK Tour). For television his work includes Changing Stages – a BBC Series on the history of theatre in the 20th century, which he co-wrote with Nicholas Wright and presented – and the BAFTA award-winning Tumbledown. Eyre directed the critically-acclaimed Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, part of The Hollow Crown season shown onBBC 2, as well as the upcoming screenplay adaptation of The Dresser starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, soon to be broadcast by the BBC. His film credits include Iris, Stage Beauty, Notes on a Scandal and The Other Man.

Jolyon Coy previously worked with Richard Eyre on the BBC’s critically-acclaimed Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, part of The Hollow Crown season. Previous theatre credits include Creditors (Young Vic), Holy Warriors and Anthony and Cleopatra (both Shakespeare’s Globe), Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), Our Boys (West End) and Posh (Royal Court and West End). On television, Jolyon’s credits include Mr Selfridge and the BBC’s upcoming War and Peace. His film credits include Disney’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast, Testament of Youth, The Fifth Estate and The Deep Blue Sea.

Lydia Leonard most recently appeared on stage in Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies (RSC, West End and Broadway) earning a Tony Award nomination for her performance as Anne Boleyn. Other theatre credits include Onassis (West End), Electra (Young Vic), Time and the Conways (National Theatre) and Frost/Nixon (Donmar Warehouse and West End). Her television credits include the recent Life in Squares, Ambassadors, Spooks, Whitechapel and Law and Order. On film, Lydia has appeared in The Fifth Estate, Born of War and Archipelago.

UNCLE VANYA
Anton Chekhov
in a new version by Robert Icke

5 February – 26 March 2016
Press Night 12 February 7pm

Following his bold reimagining of Oresteia, currently running in the West End,Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke directs a new production of Chekhov’s greatest play. Paul Rhys makes his Almeida debut in the title role.

Things your life could be:
(1) a farce. (2) a tragedy. (3) pointless. (4) all of the above.

Things you could do about it:
(1) keep living. (2) stop living. (3) stop someone else living. (4) nothing.

Even so, what has your life been worth?

Chekhov’s late masterpiece examines human behaviour in all of its beautiful, terrible, laughable contradiction.

Robert Icke is Associate Director of the Almeida where he most recently directed The Fever, Mr Burns and Oresteia, which is currently running in the West End at the Trafalgar Studios. Other Almeida credits include 1984, a co-production with Headlong and Nottingham Playhouse co-created with Duncan Macmillan, for which he won the 2014 UK Theatre Award. 1984 is currently running at the Playhouse Theatre in the West End, having already enjoyed one successful West End run and two UK tours.Robert was previously Associate Director at Headlong.

Paul Rhys won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Performance in a Shakespearean Role for the Complicite and National Theatre co-production of Measure for Measure. His work at the National Theatre also includes The Invention of Love and King Lear (for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor). Further stage credits include The Master and Margarita (Barbican Theatre), Hamlet and Long Day’s Journey Into Night (both Young Vic) and Design for Living (Donmar Warehouse). Recent television credits include Casanova, The Assets, Borgia, Being Human, The Queen and Spooks. On film, Paul has appeared in Deader, The 10 Commandments, Food of Love, From Hell and Chaplin.

Website: www.almeida.co.uk
Twitter: @AlmeidaTheatre

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Press Releases on Twitter
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MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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