British screen stars James Norton and Imogen Poots will star in the UK premiere of American playwright Amy Herzog’s acclaimed play Belleville at London’s Donmar Warehouse. The production, directed by Michael Longhurst, is one of three new shows announced today for winter 2017/2018, along with a revival of Peter Gill’s 2001 play The York Realist, marking this year’s 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act which partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales, and a major new production of Restoration comedy classic The Way of the World.
The Donmar Warehouse announces today three new productions for the late 2017/2018 period. First, American playwright Amy Herzog’s play Belleville will be given its UK premiere at the Donmar this winter. James Norton (Happy Valley, Grantchester, War and Peace) and Imogen Poots (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) will play newlywed New York expats living in Paris, along with Faith Alabi and Malachi Kirby. Award-winning Michael Longhurst (Caroline, or Change, Amadeus, Constellations) will make his Donmar debut directing this twisting tale of friendship and lies. Belleville runs 7 December 2017 to 3 February 2018.
The Donmar will then revive Peter Gill’s seminal play, The York Realist. Donmar Associate Robert Hastie (My Night with Reg, Splendour) will direct this delicate piece about first (gay) love and family ties in rural Yorkshire, in a co-production with Sheffield Theatres, where he has recently taken over as artistic director. Casting includes Ben Batt, Lucy Black, Lesley Nicol, Katie West and Matthew Wilson. The York Realist runs 8 February to 24 March 2018.
Finally in the new season, the Donmar will transport audiences back to the 1700s with a revival of The Way of the World by William Congreve. James Macdonald (Roots) returns to the Donmar to direct Linda Bassett as Lady Wishfort in this hilarious Restoration treat of tricks, love and money. Further casting is to be announced. The Way of the World runs 29 March to 5 April 2018.
Commenting on the new season, Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Josie Rourke said:
“I am delighted to share with you the Donmar’s new season: a premiere of an American play, a revival of a modern classic, and one of the great Restoration comedies.
“At the end of this year the Donmar will stage the UK premiere of American playwright Amy Herzog’s dazzling play Belleville. Set at Christmas in a bohemian quarter of Paris, James Norton, Imogen Poots, Faith Alabi and Malachi Kirby will all make their Donmar debuts. I am also thrilled to welcome the director Michael Longhurst to the Donmar for the first time, after his acclaimed productions of Caroline, or Change, Amadeus and Constellations.
“Peter Gill’s work as a playwright has been part of the Donmar’s story for the past decade. We’re proud to be reviving his influential play, The York Realist. Donmar Associate Robert Hastie, who delighted Donmar audiences with his celebrated productions of My Night with Reg and Splendour, will direct this delicate piece about love and family ties in rural Yorkshire. He has assembled another stunning cast which includes Ben Batt, Lucy Black, Lesley Nicol, Katie West and Matthew Wilson.
“Finally, we are transported back to 1700 with arguably the best comedy written in the English language: William Congreve’s Restoration comedy The Way of the World. We welcome James Macdonald back to the Donmar, after his mesmerizing production of Roots to direct this hilarious classic treat of tricks, love and money. His cast includes Linda Bassett as the brilliant and witty Lady Wishfort.
“With this season the Donmar aims to bring audiences world-class artists and essential stories for our times told within the intimate setting of our Covent Garden home.”
Also announced today and taking place in November at the Donmar’s Dryden Street offices, Donmar associate artist Tom Scutt will curate Donmar on Design, a week-long festival celebrating the power of design in theatre, and the designers who make it happen. The festival will feature a Designers’ Open Studio, free panel discussions with some of the UK’s leading theatre-makers including Es Devlin, Lizzie Clachan, Anna Fleischle, former Donmar Resident Design Assistant Rosie Elnile, Chloe Lamford, Peter McKintosh, Tom Piper and Rosanna Vize, and careers workshops for design students alongside a schools programme for designers of the future.