McGregor, Ejiofor & Reilly Head Donmar's OthelloDate: 11 May 2007
Michael Grandage has assembled a Rolls Royce trio of Donmar Warehouse alumni – and screen stars - for the final production in his fifth season as the theatre’s artistic director. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ewan McGregor (pictured) and Kelly Reilly will star in Grandage’s new staging of Othello, which runs from 4 December 2007 (previews from 29 November) to 23 February 2008.
All three actors have previously been directed by Grandage in Donmar hits. Launching Grandage’s reign as artistic director in 2002, Ejiofor, who takes the title role in Othello, played Nicky Lancaster in a revival of Noel Coward’s The Vortex. In 2003, Reilly (playing Desdemona) was Olivier-nominated for her title performance in Patrick Marber’s re-imagining on Strindberg, After Miss Julie. And in 2005, McGregor made his musical debut as Sky Masterson in the West End-originated Donmar revival of Broadway classic Guys and Dolls, for which he won Whatsonstage.com’s Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Commenting on his cast and his tenure at the Donmar, Grandage said today: “This production of Othello is an exciting culmination of my first five years of work as artistic director. It also launches us into the next stage of our development. Over the next few years, we aim to keep producing work of the highest quality and to continue to present a challenging repertoire of plays. We will also seek to produce more work in the West End and on tour, alongside the body of work we present in our Covent Garden home, in our constant desire to reach an increasingly diverse audience. I believe the Donmar continues to be an important part of the national and international theatre scene and I look forward to developing this further in the years ahead.”
Chiwetel Ejiofor was seen on stage earlier this year with Kristin Scott Thomas in The Seagull at the Royal Court, concluding that theatre’s 50th anniversary season. His other theatre credits include Blue/Orange, Romeo and Juliet and Sparkle Shark for the National. His film credits include Children of Men, Kinky Boots, Love Actually, Amistad and Dirty Pretty Things.
Kelly Reilly also took part in the Royal Court’s anniversary season, starring in the premiere of Terry Johnson’s Piano/Forte last September. Her other credits include Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Blasted, Look Back in Anger, A Prayer for Owen Meaney, The Graduate and The London Cuckolds on stage and Pride and Prejudice, The Libertine, Last Orders and Mrs Henderson Presents on screen.
Ewan McGregor is internationally famous for his many films including Miss Potter, Moulin Rouge, The Island, Young Adam, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Rogue Trader, Down with Love, Black Hawk Down, Velvet Goldmine, Little Voice Brassed Off, Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. McGregor’s last stage play was Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, which transferred from Hampstead Theatre to the West End in 1999.
Currently at the Donmar (See News, 23 Feb 2007), Kiss of the Spider Woman, starring Rupert Evans and Will Keen, continues until 26 May. It’s followed by: Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (31 May to 21 July), starring Samuel West, Toby Stephens and Dervla Kirwan; Absurdia (26 July to 8 September), a collection of three absurdist plays, two by NF Simpson and a new one by Michael Frayn, directed by Douglas Hodge; and the UK premiere of Jason Robert Brown’s Tony Award-winning 1998 musical Parade (14 September to 24 November).
In his first five years at the Donmar, Michael Grandage has personally directed ten award-winning productions, also including Caligula, Henry IV, Grand Hotel, The Wild Duck and the premiere of Frost/Nixon, which has just opened to rave reviews – and a clutch of new award nominations – on Broadway, starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella.
- by Terri Paddock