Watson Not Kidman Will Star in Mendes Donmar AdieuDate: 5 April 2002
British film star Emily Watson (pictured) will replace Nicole Kidman in Sam Mendes' double bill of classics at the Donmar Warehouse this autumn. The new outings of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which run in repertory from 5 September to 30 November 2002, will mark Mendes' final Donmar productions after a high-profile decade as the theatre's artistic director.
Watson will play, respectively, Yelena and Viola opposite Simon Russell Beale (currently at the West End's Gielgud Theatre in Humble Boy) as Malvolio and Vanya. Casting continues though other company members confirmed to date are Mark Strong and David Bradley.
Award-winner Watson's many screen credits include Breaking the Waves, Metroland, Hilary and Jackie, Angela's Ashes, Cradle Will Rock, The Luzhin Defence and Robert Altman's Gosford Park.
Kidman - whose turn in Mendes' 1998 production of The Blue Room was famously deemed "theatrical Viagra" - had been hoping to return to work with Mendes at the Donmar before his departure, but had to withdraw in January because of excessive film commitments.
In December 2002, Mendes will be succeeded as artistic director of the 250-seat Donmar Warehouse by Michael Grandage, whose award-winning productions there as an associate include Passion Play, Merrily We Roll Along and, most recently, Privates on Parade.
- by Terri Paddock