The Red Barn a new play by David Hare, based on the novel La Main by Georges Simenon, opens in the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre on 6 October 2016 (press night 17 October), starring Mark Strong and Hollywood’s Hope Davis and directed by Robert Icke.
The great detective writer Georges Simenon escaped France at the end of World War Two, and arrived in the USA to start again. With his American wife, he settled at Shadow Rock Farm in Lakeville, Connecticut. Years later, he wrote La Main, a psychological thriller set in a New England farmhouse.
David Hare has taken this novel and forged from it a startling new play that unfolds in Connecticut in 1969. On their way back from a party, two couples struggle home through the snow. Not everyone arrives safely.
Further casting will be announced later this summer. Design is by Bunny Christie, lighting by Paule Constable, video design is by Tim Reid and sound is by Tom Gibbons.
The Red Barn plays in the Lyttelton Theatre from Thursday 6 October and is currently booking to 19 November 2016, with additional performances to be announced. The Red Barn is produced in association with Scott Rudin.
Mark Strong returns to the stage following his highly acclaimed performance as Eddie Carbone in A View from the Bridge for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor, and on transferring to Broadway was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his performance. Mark’s television appearances include Our Friends in the North, Prime Suspect and Low Winter Sun and films such as Stardust, Body of Lies, Sherlock Holmes, The Young Victoria, Kick-Ass, Zero Dark Thirty, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Imitation Game, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Grimsby. Mark last appeared at the National Theatre as Dan in the 1997 production of Patrick Marber’s Closer.
Hope Davis makes her UK stage debut in The Red Barn. For her role in the original Broadway production of God of Carnage in 2009, she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play/ Hope has received two Emmy Award nominations, for her 2009 television roles in the series In Treatment (HBO) and in the film The Special Relationship and Golden Globe nominations for The Special Relationship (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television) and American Splendor (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture). Other television credits include American Crime (ABC), The Newsroom (HBO) and Mildred Pierce (HBO). On film Hope has starred in The Secret Lives of Dentists, Hearts in Atlantic and the upcoming Rebel in the Rye.
Playwright David Hare has written over 30 stage plays which include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy’s View, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, South Downs, The Absence of War, The Judas Kiss and The Moderate Soprano. For film and television he has written 25 screenplays which include Licking Hitler, Dreams of Leaving, Saigon: Year of the Cat, Wetherby, Damage, The Hours, The Reader and the Worricker Trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. He has also written English adaptations of plays by Brecht, Gorky, Chekhov, Pirandello, Ibsen and Lorca. His first memoir The Blue Touch Paper was published last year. In the NT millennial poll of the greatest plays of the 20th century, five of the top 100 were David Hare productions.
Robert Icke is an award-winning writer and director, and is currently Associate Director at the Almeida Theatre. Forthcoming Almeida work includes his adaptation of Schiller’s Mary Stuart, starring Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams, and Hamlet, starring Andrew Scott. Most recently at the Almeida, Icke directed his new version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Previous Almeida credits include Oresteia, which also transferred to the West End, The Odyssey and The Illiad, co-directed with Artistic Director, Rupert Goold, The Fever and Mr Burns. Oresteia won him the Best Director Award at both the 2015 Evening Standard Awards and Critics’ Circle Awards, and the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Director (making him the youngest recipient of the Best Director Olivier Award to date). Icke’s first production for the Almeida – 1984 (a co-production with Headlong and Nottingham Playhouse and co-created with Duncan Macmillan) is currently on its third West End run, following two UK tours, and won him the UK Theatre Award 2014. Icke was previously Associate Director at Headlong (2010-2013), Artistic Director of Arden Theatre Company (2003-2007) and the Swan Theatre Company (2005-2008).