Artistic Director Josie Rourke today announces a new Spring Season of three plays which includes: Welcome Home, Captain Fox!, a new version of Jean Anouilh’s Le Voyageur Sans Bagage by Anthony Weigh, directed by Blanche McIntyre; a world premiere of a new play by Nick Payne, Elegy, directed by Josie Rourke; and a revival of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, directed by Lyndsey Turner and starring Stephen Dillane and Gina McKee.
The opening play in the Donmar’s 2016 Spring Season will be Welcome Home, Captain Fox!, Anthony Weigh’s new version of Jean Anouilh’s hit 1937 comedy Le Voyageur Sans Bagage. The production will be directed by Blanche McIntyre and will feature Francesca Annis, Michelle Asante, Barnaby Kay, Rory Keenan, Katherine Kingsley, Trevor Laird and Fenella Woolgar.
Artistic Director Josie Rourke will then reunite with playwright Nick Payne, to direct the UK premiere of Elegy. Nick returns to the Donmar following The Same Deep Water as Me, for this new play that imagines a near future in which radical advances in medical science mean that it’s now possible extend life, but at what cost?
For the last play in the season Lyndsey Turner returns to the Donmar, following her productions of Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Fathers and Sons, to direct Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, starring Stephen Dillane as Frank and Gina McKee as Grace.
Beyond the Donmar Warehouse, Phyllida Lloyd’s revelatory staging of Henry IV, with an all-female cast led by Harriet Walter, opened the new St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, and has extended until 13 December. Henry IV is the second in a trilogy of Shakespeare productions set in a women’s prison. Around this production, the Donmar continues to build on its education work in the US, with workshops exploring gender, equality and who owns Shakespeare.
Donmar live in cinemas will continue with National Theatre Live broadcasting the forthcoming production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, starring Elaine Cassidy, Janet McTeer and Dominic West on 28 January 2016. Encore screenings of Coriolanus, directed by Josie Rourke and featuring an Evening Standard Award-winning performance by Tom Hiddleston, continue in the UK and across the world.
Artistic Director Josie Rourke said:
“The Donmar Spring Season features two world premieres by leading writers, and the third play in my tenure as Artistic Director by dramatist Brian Friel, Faith Healer, directed by Lyndsey Turner. Alongside Lyndsey, I’m thrilled to welcome another of the UK’s leading directors – Blanche McIntyre, who is making her Donmar debut. We start the season with her production of Welcome Home, Captain Fox! a new version, by Anthony Weigh, of Jean Anouilh’s superb comic play about identity – Le Voyageur Sans Bagage. Weigh has relocated Anouilh’s story, of an amnesiac soldier reluctantly forced on a quest to reunite with his family after eighteen years, from late 1930’s France to the Hamptons in the late 1950’s. Welcome Home, Captain Fox! boasts a fantastic cast that includes Francesca Annis, Michelle Asante, Barnaby Kay, Rory Keenan, Katherine Kingsley, Trevor Laird and Fenella Woolgar.
“The second show in our season is a world premiere, that reunites me as a director with our Writer-in-Residence, the brilliant Nick Payne. His play Elegy, is a beautiful and moving story about three women, set in the near future. It’s about our developing scientific understanding of consciousness, and what happens when we find ourselves having to make the choice between love and survival.
“Our final play in the season is one of the greatest works of the incomparable Brian Friel, who passed away earlier this year. Lyndsey Turner directs the sublime Stephen Dillane and Gina McKee in Friel’s masterpiece, Faith Healer. After her definitive productions of Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Fathers and Sons, I am thrilled to welcome Lyndsey back to the Donmar, and to Friel’s work.
“This season our £10 Front Row ticket access scheme continues unchanged thanks to the generosity of a group of anonymous donors. Over the past three years, more than 40,000 people have come to the Donmar via Barclays Front Row, over 50% of whom had never seen a show at the Donmar before. It’s crucial to us that there is constant and affordable access to our seats. We’re very grateful to the individuals who are allowing these low-price, front-row tickets to continue next season. Beyond our stage, we’re reaching new audiences with National Theatre Live; in January 2016 we will screen Les Liaisons Dangereuses into cinemas around the UK and internationally.”