The Almeida Theatre has announced a new season for 2021. Productions will be filmed and released digitally where possible.
- World premiere of and breathe… by Yomi Ṣode a theatrical adaptation of poems from his forthcoming collection Manorism. Directed by Miranda Cromwell, featuring David Jonsson.
- A run with in-person audiences for Lolita Chakrabarti’s Hymn.
- World premiere of Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia by Josh Azouz, directed by Eleanor Rhode.
- The Tragedy of Macbeth, directed by Yaël Farber, featuring Olivier-nominated James McArdle and four-time Academy Award-nominated Saoirse Ronan, making her UK stage debut.
- The first London revival of Spring Awakening, the award-winning musical by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, directed by Rupert Goold. Cast includes Laurie Kynaston and Amara Okereke.
- The Key Workers Cycle – a collection of new plays by Francesca Beard, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Josh Elliott, Annie Jenkins, Eno Mfon, Nessah Muthy, Danusia Samal, Yomi Ṣode and Molly Taylor. Produced in partnership with All Change and Clean Break.
and breathe…, Hymn, Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia, The Tragedy of Macbeth and Spring Awakening will all get Almeida For Free performances (all tickets free to 25s and under). Previously postponed productions of Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy”: A Melodrama, Beth Steel’s The House of Shades and Carmen Nasr’s The Maladies will be staged in 2022.
Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold said: “Although still battered and bruised by the last 14 months, and keenly aware that many within this industry continue to suffer as a result of the pandemic, this announcement today feels like an exhalation and moment to pay tribute to the endurance and creativity shown by so many friends and colleagues.
“We’re announcing six new productions, including three world premieres (four if you include Hymn which plays to in-person audiences for the first time), plus two classic revivals, and a list of writers, directors and actors who are largely new to the Almeida.
“As with our brief re-opening to audiences in December last year, considerable work has gone into ensuring that the theatre is safe and in line with the latest Covid government guidelines, including upgraded fresh air ventilation. We will initially go on sale with social distancing in place and this will be reviewed as the government guidelines change.”
16 June to 10 July 2021 (Press night is 21 June)
The world premiere of a live theatrical adaptation of poems, taken from Nigerian British writer and performer Yomi Ṣode’s forthcoming collection Manorism, directed by Miranda Cromwell and performed by David Jonsson. Centring on the loss of a beloved matriarch, the piece explores family relationships, bonding and culture. This deeply personal and poetic play tackles the unspoken, between what we leave unsaid to protect each other and how we internalise the world. Features music composed and performed live by Femi Temowo.
16 July to 13 August 2021 (Press night is 20 July)
Benny is a loner anchored by his wife and children. Gil longs to fulfil his potential. They form a deep bond but as cracks appear in their fragile lives, they start to realise that true courage comes in different forms. Following a sold-out run of live streamed shows in February, Hymn returns to the Almeida for the first time in front of a live audience. Written by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti, this soulful new play, filled with music, asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son.
Directed by Blanche McIntyre, Hymn features Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani.
Once Upon A Time In Nazi Occupied Tunisia
21 August to 18 September 2021 (Press night is 26 August)
Four months into the Nazi occupation of Tunisia. You’re imprisoned in a labour camp. You’re buried up to your neck in the middle of the burning hot desert. You’re dying of thirst, you miss your wife and your best friend just pissed on your face. How could things possibly get any worse? Eleanor Rhode directs the world premiere of Once Upon A Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia – a brutally comic new play by Josh Azouz about home and identity, marriage and survival, blood and feathers.
The Tragedy Of Macbeth
25 September to 20 November 2021 (Press night is 5 October)
Yaël Farber directs James McArdle and Saoirse Ronan in an elemental production about a world in transformation, the shadows in all of us, and one couple’s spine-chilling quest for power. Olivier Award-nominee McArdle plays the title role while four-time Academy Award-nominated Saoirse Ronan makes her UK stage debut as Lady Macbeth.
30 November 2021 to 22 January 2022 (Press night is 14 December)
Winner of the Tony and Olivier awards for best musical, Spring Awakening tells a story of adolescent anarchy, set to one of the most loved scores of the 21st century. Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold directs the first London revival of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s acclaimed musical, based on the ground-breaking and once-banned 19th century play by Frank Wedekind. Cast includes Amara Okereke as Wendla and Laurie Kynaston plays Melchior. Further cast to be announced.
The Key Workers Cycle
31 January to 5 February 2022
By Francesca Beard, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Josh Elliott, Annie Jenkins, Eno Mfon, Nessah Muthy, Danusia Samal, Yomi Ṣode and Molly Taylor. A chorus of delivery drivers singing through the night, a support worker haunted by visions of the women who depend on her, a funeral director showing off his dab hand with a pair of clippers. The Key Workers Cycle presents a cycle of nine short plays celebrating the humour, the hope and the stories of those who keep our daily lives running. Performed by a company of professional actors, local community participants and key workers, the production is presented in partnership with All Change and Clean Break.