Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Josie Rourke and Executive Producer Kate Pakenham announce today a new autumn season of plays in Covent Garden to run alongside the Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy at King’s Cross. Kwame Kwei-Armah returns to the London stage to direct the UK premiere of One Night in Miami…, followed by Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, starring Gemma Arterton and directed by Rourke.
Kwame Kwei-Armah returns to the UK with a new production of Kemp Powers’ compelling play One Night in Miami…, running October to 3 December 2016, with a press night on 11 October. A fictional account of a real night in 1964, the play imagines a 22-year-old Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) , fresh from his world heavyweight boxing title win choosing to celebrate with his three closest friends – activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke, and football star Jim Brown. The cast includes David Ajala as Jim Brown, Francois Battiste as Malcolm X, Sope Dirisu as Cassius Clay and Arinze Kene as Sam Cooke.
Artistic Director Josie Rourke will revive Bernard Shaw’s seminal play Saint Joan, which is based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc, running 9 December 2016 to 18 February 2017. Gemma Arterton will play Shaw’s central character – a figure who has been described variously through history as a saint, a witch, an illiterate farm girl and a political genius. Other casting includes Matt Bardock as Robert De Baudricourt and D’Estivet, Richard Cant as De Stogumber, Hadley Fraser as Dunois and Elliot Levey as Cauchon.
As previously announced, this autumn the Donmar will open a new theatre in King’s Cross to stage Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Shakespeare Trilogy led by Harriet Walter – Julius Caesar, Henry IV and The Tempest. 25% of all tickets will be made free to 25s and under, with a new ticket initiative Young+Free, which invites the public to pay forward a ticket to a new generation of theatregoers.
The Donmar New York Season begins on 2 July with a new production of James Graham and Josie Rourke’s Privacy at The Public Theater. The season continues this autumn with Josie Rourke’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Broadway’s Booth Theater starring Janet McTeer, Liev Schreiber and Mary Beth Peil, and the transfer of Phyllida Lloyd’s The Tempest to Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Artistic Director Josie Rourke said:
“The Donmar Autumn Season features two plays which explore revolution, faith and the mythic status of two iconic figures. We are delighted to welcome back director Kwame Kwei-Armah to the UK, staging a new production of One Night in Miami… by writer Kemp Powers. One Night in Miami… is a fictional account of the real life, late night meeting between Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown. The production was long-planned to be staged at the Donmar in 2016, however since the passing of the legend, Muhammad Ali, the play has taken on a new and added poignancy. We are honoured to be producing its UK premiere.
“I am thrilled to be directing Gemma Arterton, one of our most luminous and compelling stage actors in Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. The play is something I’ve long wanted to stage at the Donmar and I am immensely proud to be presenting a season of work in which female and diverse voices take on great figures of history and great roles from the canon. Phyllida Lloyd’s productions of all-female Shakespeare has been genuinely ground-breaking and I can’t wait to see the Trilogy installed in Donmar’s new temporary second home at King’s Cross. This weekend, our urgent new production of Privacy at The Public Theater will open the Donmar New York Season. This autumn also sees the Broadway transfer of Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses – with the electrifying pairing of Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber evoking the world of pre-revolutionary France.”
Executive Producer Kate Pakenham said:
“This autumn the Donmar is presenting three seasons of work simultaneously – two fascinating plays at our Covent Garden home, Phyllida Lloyd’s ground-breaking all-female Shakespeare Trilogy at a temporary new venue at King’s Cross and transfers of Privacy, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Tempest in New York. These three seasons represent our ongoing ambition to share the Donmar’s work as widely as possible, and to reach new audiences.
“We are hugely grateful to the many partners – artists, sponsors, theatres, schools, philanthropists, trusts and foundations, charities, producers and friends – who we are bringing together to make these seasons possible.”