LaBute's Mercy Seat Gets UK Premiere at AlmeidaDate: 3 February 2003
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 30 Aug 2002), London's Almeida Theatre will host the British premiere of Neil LaBute's post-9/11 drama The Mercy Seat. The new production, directed by Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough, will open on 30 October 2003 (previews from 23 October) and continue until 6 December.
12 September 2001. While the dust is still settling, Ben and Abby can choose to see what has happened as a tragedy, a catastrophe ... or an opportunity. With New York City choked with xeroxes of missing persons, this is their chance to disappear - to be dead to the world or to start a new life.
In November 2002, LaBute himself directed the world premiere of the two-hander about adultery at New York's MCC Theater, New York. That production starred Hollywood's Sigourney Weaver (pictured in the play) and Liev Schreiber. The play will be recast for London, where it will be designed by Es Devlin.
The Almeida has previously presented the British premiere of LaBute's Bash and, during its residency at King's Cross, world premieres of The Shape of Things and The Distance From Here. Followings its extended Almeida season, The Shape of Things transferred to New York with the original cast and was subsequently made into a feature film to be released later this year. LaBute's other film work includes In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty and Possession.
The Almeida has also confirmed dates for Attenborough's previously announced inaugural season as artistic director (See News, 9 Dec 2002). Pam Gems' new translation of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea, directed by Trevor Nunn and designed by Rob Howell, will run from 15 May to 28 June 2003 (previews 8 May). It'll be followed by the annual Almeida Opera season from 30 June to 27 July 2003.
The world premiere of Anthony Sher's I.D., directed by Shared Experience's Nancy Meckler and designed by Katrina Lindsay, runs from 4 September to 18 October 2003 (previews 28 August). It's followed by The Mercy Seat run, and the season then concludes with the world premiere of Joanna Laurens' Five Gold Rings, also directed by Attenborough and designed by Devlin, which runs from 17 December 2003 to 17 January 2003 (previews 11 December).
Casting has not yet been confirmed for any of the above productions.
- by Terri Paddock