The Almeida Theatre has announced a new production of Friedrich Schiller’s MARY STUART for autumn 2016, as well as further casting for upcoming productions of THEY DRINK IT IN THE CONGO and OIL, the latter led by Anne-Marie Duff.
Associate Director Robert Icke will adapt and direct MARY STUART, with Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams trading the play’s central roles of the two queens, the title character and Queen Elizabeth I, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin. English folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling joins the creative team to compose original music for the production. Full details and bios follow.
by Friedrich Schiller adapted and directed by Robert Icke
Friday 2 December 2016 – Saturday 21 January 2017
Press Night: Friday 9 December at 7pm
Following his critically acclaimed productions of Uncle Vanya and Oresteia, Associate Director Robert Icke will adapt and direct Friedrich Schiller’s MARY STUART. Playing both Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams trade the play’s central roles, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin.
Two queens. One in power. One in prison.
It’s all in the execution.
Schiller’s political tragedy takes us behind the scenes of some of British history’s most crucial days.
Mary Stuart will be designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Jackie Shemesh, video by Tim Reid, and original composition by Laura Marling. Casting is by Julia Horan CDG.
Juliet Stevenson returns to the Almeida Theatre having previously appeared in Duet for One alongside Henry Goodman. Most recently she played Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days at the Young Vic. Other theatre credits include The Seagull, Private Lives, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Hedda Gabler and Yerma at the National Theatre; Les Liaisons Dangereuses, As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSC; The Heretic, Alice and Death and The Maiden (Olivier Award for Best Actress) at the Royal Court. Her film credits include Departure, Mona Lisa Smile, Bend it Like Beckham, Emma, Truly Madly Deeply and the upcoming Let Me Go. Her television credits include The Enfield Haunting, The Village, White Heat, The Accused, The Road from Coorain, The Politican’s Wife and the forthcoming BBC drama One of Us. She was awarded a CBE in 1999 for her services to drama.
Lia Williams returns to the Almeida having previously appeared in Oresteia (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress) and Harold Pinter’s Celebration. Other theatre credits include Old Times in the West End; Arcadia and Skylight on Broadway, at the National Theatre and in the West End (Tony and Olivier Award nominations for Best Actress); Earthquakes in London, The Hothouse and Mappa Mundi at the National Theatre; Oleanna, King Lear and My Child at the Royal Court; The Homecoming at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in the West End and on Broadway; and The Lover and The Collection at the Donmar Warehouse. Her television credits include The Crown, Secret State, Doc Martin, May 33rd, The Russian Bride, Imogen’s Face, A Shot Through the Heart, Flowers of the Forest, Seaforth and Mr Wroe’s Virgins. Film includes: Jonathan Toomey, The King is Alive, Different for Girls, The Fifth Province, Firelight, Dirty Weekend and La Suite Blanche-Neige. As Director, her credits include The Match Box for the Liverpool Playhouse and the Tricycle Theatre and the films Feathers, The Stronger, Dog Alone, and the feature documentary Nanabozhung.
Since joining the Almeida in 2013, Associate Director Robert Icke has created and directed new adaptations of Uncle Vanya, Oresteia (also West End; winner of the Olivier, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Director) and the multi-award winning 1984 with Duncan Macmillan (also West End as well as UK, USA and international tours) at the Almeida. His work as a director includes The Fever (The May Fair Hotel), and Mr Burns at the Almeida, and Boys and Romeo and Juliet for Headlong. He will make his National Theatre debut directing The Red Barn, at the Lyttelton Theatre in October.
Laura Marling is a Brit Award winning and multiple Mercury Music Prize nominee who has released 5 studio albums and garnered global critical acclaim. Debut album Alas I Cannot Swim cemented Laura’s place at the helm of a new wave of young acoustic musicians spearheading a folk revival. Her following albums are I Speak Because I Can, A Creature I Don’t Know, Once I Was An Eagle and Short Movie. Laura Marling has a timeless sound which transcends the folk origins and has seen her regaled as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of her generation.
Tickets for Mary Stuart and Hamlet – in which Stevenson plays Gertrude opposite Andrew Scott – will go on public sale on Thursday 8 September. Priority Booking will open to Almeida Members at Designers’ Circle level and above on Tuesday 30 August. Booking for Friends opens on Thursday 1 September.
THEY DRINK IT IN THE CONGO
a new play by Adam Brace
directed by Michael Longhurst
Friday 12 August – Saturday 1 October
Press Night: Friday 19 August at 7pm
The cast of the world premiere of THEY DRINK IT IN THE CONGO is Kirsty Besterman, Fiona Button (Stef), Richie Campbell, Sidney Cole, Tosin Cole, Roger Evans, Richard Goulding, Joan Iyiola, Anna-Maria Nabirye, Pamela Nomvete, Richard Pepple and Sule Rimi.
What can we do for the worst thing in the world?
The Democratic Republic of Congo. Home to the deadliest conflict since World War II. London. Home to a festival to raise awareness of the Congo. (That is, if Stef can get the festival off the ground.) Hilarious and anarchic, Adam Brace’s provocative new play unpacks the problems of doing something good about something bad.
Following their collaboration on Stovepipe (Sunday Times’ 10 Best Theatre Events of the Decade), Michael Longhurst returns to the Almeida to direct. This is Adam Brace’s second full length play following his collaboration with Michael Longhurst on Stovepipe. Shorter plays include Midnight Your Time, a one woman play for Diana Quick, directed by Michael Longhurst. His first script for film, Best, won the 2013 Sundance London Short Film contest and was officially selected for Sundance Festival 2014 in Utah. Adam is Associate Dramaturg at Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and lectures in Southampton University’s English Department; he regularly works in live comedy as a director and script editor.
Michael Longhurst has previously directed Carmen Disruption for the Almeida. His production of Nick Payne’s Constellations opened at the Royal Court before transferring to the West End and Broadway, and won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play in 2012. His other credits include The Winter’s Tale and ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore at Shakespeare’s Globe; Linda at the Royal Court; Bad Jews at the Theatre Royal Bath, St James Theatre and Arts Theatre, London; A Number for Nuffield Theatre; The Art of Dying and Remembrance Day for the Royal Court; Dealer’s Choice for The Royal and Derngate; The World of Extreme Happiness for the National Theatre; The History Boys for Sheffield Crucible; If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet starring Jake Gyllenhaal on Broadway; and dirty butterfly for the Young Vic, where he was recipient of the Jerwood Directors Award.
They Drink It In The Congo will feature live music performed by Joseph Roberts, Crispin Robinson and Alan Weekes. The production will be designed by Jon Bausor, with movement by Diane Alison-Mitchell, lighting by Jack Knowles, sound by Giles Thomas, composition and musical direction by Michael Henry. The accent and voice coach is Zabarjad Salam, the dialect consultant is Donovan Lee McGrath. Casting is by Anna Cooper CDG.
Kirsty Besterman’s theatre credits include Tipping The Velvet at the Lyric Hammersmith; Arcadia for English Touring Theatre; Playhouse Creatures at Chichester Festival Theatre; The Great Gatsby at Wilton’s Music Hall; The Importance of Being Ernest at the Rose Theatre, Kingston; Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Fiona Button plays Stef. Her theatre credits include Wendy and Peter Pan at the RSC; ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; King Lear at Theatre Royal, Bath; Heartbreak House at Chichester Festival Theatre; An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre; Posh at the Royal Court; Vanya at the Gate Theatre; and Madame De Sade for the Donmar Warehouse at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Television credits include Grantchester, You, Me and the Apocalypse, Pramface, The Cardinal Burns Show, We’ll Take Manhattan, How Not To Live Your Life, Outcasts, Lip Service and The Palace.
Richie Campbell’s theatre credits include To Kill A Mockingbird at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; Truth and Reconciliation and 93.2FM at the Royal Court; Lower Ninth at the Donmar Warehouse; and dirty butterfly at the Young Vic. Film and television credits include: The Frankenstein Chronicles, Waterloo Road, Mid-Morning Matters, Top Boy, Random, The Bill and Babyfather. Film credits include The Mummy, Anuvahood and The Firm.
Sydney Cole’s theatre credits include Our Town for the Almeida; The Initiate for Paines Plough; Les Blancs for the National Theatre; The Full Monty in the West End / UK tour; Macbeth for Out of
Joint / world tour; A Jamaican Airman Forsees His Death at the Royal Court; The Shelter; The Balcony, Two Noble Kinsmen, The Great White Hope, Every Man in his Humour and The Rover for the RSC. Television includes Beautiful People, Silent Witness, Primeval and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard.
Tosin Cole’s theatre credits include Stop at Trafalgar Studios, Sixteen at the Gate Theatre and Mad About The Boy for West Yorkshire Playhouse; he has frequently performed with Intermission Youth Theatre. Film and television includes Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Unlocked, Second Coming, Versailles and The Cut.
Roger Evans’ theatre credits include Salt, Root and Roe at the Donmar Warehouse; Henry VI Parts I, II and III at Shakespeare’s Globe; The Odyssey at Liverpool Everyman and Shakespeare’s Globe; and Britannia Rules the Waves at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Television and film credits include Da Vinci’s Demons, New Tricks, Svengali, Black Mountain Poets and Tarzan.
Richard Goulding played Prince Harry in King Charles III at the Almeida, in the West End and on Broadway (Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play). His other theatre credits include King Lear at the Almeida; A Mad World, My Masters, Titus Andronicus, Candide and The Seagull for the RSC; Posh at the Royal Court and in the West End; and Edgar and Annabel at the National Theatre. Film and television credits include Me Before You, Queen of the Desert, The Iron Lady, Fresh Meat, The Windsors and Ripper Street.
Joan Iyiola’s Theatre includes Omeros at Shakespeare’s Globe; Woman, You’re So Relevant and A Season In The Congo at the Young Vic; Midsummer Night’s Dream, The White Devil, The Arden of Faversham, The Roaring Girl, The Life Of Galileo, Boris Godunov and The Orphan Of Zhao for the RSC; Eclipsed and The Rise And Shine Of Comrade Fiasco at the Gate Theatre.
Anna-Maria Nabirye’s theatre credits include Les Blancs at the National Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe and Deafinitely Theatre; Tamba Tamba for Tiata Fahodzi; Mad Blud at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Television credits include The Littlest Boho, Misfits and Waterloo Road.
Pamela Nomvete’s theatre credits include Teddy Ferrara at the Donmar Warehouse; Belong and Truth and Reconciliation at the Royal Court; The Comedy of Errors, Welcome to Thebes, Racing Demon and Fuente Ovejuna at the National Theatre and Twelfth Night for the RSC. Television and film credits include Coronation Street, Lewis, Generations, Kingmakers, The Special Relationship and A Reasonable Man.
Richard Pepple’s theatre credits include The Burial for the Almeida and Tiata Fahodzi; Belong for the Royal Court and Tiata Fahodzi; Fixer at Oval House Theatre; In The Blood at the Finborough Theatre; High Life at Hampstead Theatre; Medea for the Gate Theatre and Headlong, and Coriolanus for the RSC.
Sule Rimi’s theatre credits include The Suicide at National Theatre; The Rolling Stone at the Royal Exchange and West Yorkshire Playhouse; Boardergame for National Theatre Wales; Downtown Paradise for Welsh Fargo Theatre Company; Othello for Fluellen Theatre Company; Muscle for ShocknAwe; Serious Money for Waking Exploits and New Arrivals for Sherman Theatre Company. Film credits include Francis, Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box, The Machine, Elfie Hopkins and the Gammons, Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection, Panic Button, Eastern Promises and Starter for Ten. Television includes Unforgotten, Stella, Crash and Doctor Who. A Relaxed Performance of They Drink It In The Congo will take place on Wednesday 21 September at 1.30pm. Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability. People have the freedom to come and go as necessary, and a chill-out area is provided for those who need a quiet space. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and some small changes are made to light and sound effects.
a new play by Ella Hickson
directed by Carrie Cracknell
Friday 7 October – Saturday 26 November
Press Night: Friday 14 October, 7pm
Leo Bill, Anne-Marie Duff, Nabil Elouahabi, Yolanda Kettle and Sam Swann join the cast of OIL. Playwright Ella Hickson and director Carrie Cracknell make their Almeida debuts with the world premiere of this explosive new play which drills deep into the world’s relationship with this finite resource.
The Stone Age. The Bronze Age. The Iron Age. The Age of Oil. The Stone Age didn’t end for want of stones. One woman and her daughter. What do you do when you know it’s going to run out?
An epic, hurtling crash of empire, history and family – OIL drives our imaginations from 1889 to 2016 and beyond. Oil will be designed by Vicki Mortimer, with movement by Joseph Alford, lighting by Lucy Carter, composition by Stuart Earl and sound by Peter Rice. The dramaturg is Jenny Worton. Casting is by Julia Horan CDG.
Ella Hickson’s previous plays include Wendy and Peter Pan for the RSC; Boys for Headlong, Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and HighTide Festival, which subsequently transferred to Soho Theatre; The Authorised Kate Bane at the Traverse Theatre; Gift as part of Decade for Headlong; Hot Mess at the Arcola; Precious Little Talent at Trafalgar Studios; and Eight which played at Bedlam Theatre, P.S. 122 New York and Trafalgar Studios, and won the 2008 Fringe First Award. In 2011 Ella was the Pearson writer in residence at the Lyric Hammersmith. She was the recipient of the 2013 Catherine Johnson Award.
Carrie Cracknell’s work includes The Deep Blue Sea, Medea and Blurred Lines at the National Theatre; Macbeth and A Doll’s House at the Young Vic, which transferred to the West End and Broadway; Birdland, Pigeons and Searched for the Royal Court; and Wozzeck at ENO. Carrie was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, London from 2007 to 2012. She has also previously been Associate Director at both the Young Vic and the Royal Court. Leo Bill’s credits include Hamlet at the Barbican; Secret Theatre at the Lyric Hammersmith; The Silence of the Sea for the Donmar Warehouse at Trafalgar Studios; Posh at the Royal Court and in the West End; The Glass Menagerie at the Young Vic; and Pains of Youth, A Woman Killed with Kindness and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire at the National Theatre. Film includes Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass, The Fall, Mr Turner, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Becoming Jane, The Living and the Dead, 28 Days Later and Vera Drake. Television includes Taboo, The White Queen and The Borgias.
Anne-Marie Duff’s theatre credits include Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the Lincoln Centre Theatre; Husbands and Sons, Strange Interlude, Saint Joan, Collected Stories and King Lear at the National Theatre; Berenice and Days of Wine and Roses at the Donmar Warehouse; Cause Celebre at the Old Vic; The Soldiers Fortune and The Daughter In Law at the Young Vic. Her film credits include Suffragette, Before I Go To Sleep, Molly Moon, Closed Circuit, Nowhere Boy, The Last Station, Is Anybody There? and The Magdalene Sisters. Television includes From Darkness, Murder, The Accused – Mo’s Story, Parade’s End, Margo, The History of Mr Polly, Elizabeth – The Virgin Queen and Shameless.
Nabil Elouahabi’s theatre credits include Another World: Losing Our Children to Islamic State at the National Theatre; Fireworks at the Royal Court; I Call My Brothers and The Nightmares Of Carlos Fuentes at the Arcola; Love Your Soldiers at the Crucible, Sheffield; Crossing Jerusalem and The Great Game – Afghanistan at the Tricycle and on tour in the USA. Television includes: The Missing, 24: Live Another Day, Top Boy, Mad Dogs, Generation Kill, The Path To 9/11 and EastEnders. Film credits include Zero Dark Thirty, Charlie Wilson’s War, In This World, Ali G Indahouse and The Sum of all Fears.
Yolanda Kettle’s theatre credits include The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre; For Services Rendered at Chichester Festival Theatre; Birdland and Anhedonia at the Royal Court Theatre; A Doll’s House at the Young Vic and Duke of York’s Theatre, West End; and Pride and Prejudice at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Her television credits include The Collection, Love Nina and Father Brown.
Sam Swann’s theatre credits include Wendy and Peter Pan and Dunsinane at the RSC; Pomona at the Orange Tree, National Theatre, and Manchester Royal Exchange; The Kitchen and Greenland at the National Theatre; Primetime at the Royal Court; and Mercury Fur at Trafalgar Studios. Television includes Mr Selfridge, Jekyll & Hyde, Vicious, The Five, Atlantis, Gothic and Privates.