Almeida Premieres Judas, Confirms RosmersholmDate: 30 October 2007
The Islington-based Almeida theatre has confirmed full details of its January-July 2008 season. In addition to the previously announced production of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming (See News, 19 Oct 2007), and Marianne Dreams (See News, 25 May 2007), the venue will also stage the European premiere of Stephen Adly Guigis' The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Rupert Goold, and a major revival of Rosmersholm, directed by Anthony Page.
The Homecoming will be directed by the Almeida’s artistic director, Michael Attenborough, with a cast of Kenneth Cranham, Neil Dudgeon, Danny Dyer, Jenny Jules, Nigel Lindsay and Anthony O'Donnell. The play explores the reaction of the family to the homecoming of the eldest son and his wife, and received its world premiere at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1965, directed by Peter Hall. In 1969 Hall directed a film version and in March of this year Thea Sharrock directed a production for Radio 3 with Pinter himself as family patriarch Max. It opens on 7 February 2008 (previews from 31 January) and runs until 22 March. Designs are by Jonathan Fensom with lighting by Neil Austin.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis will be staged in a co-production between the Almeida and Headlong Theatre. It is a time-bending, serio-comic drama in an imagined world between Heaven and Hell that re-examines the plight and fate of the New Testament’s most infamous sinner. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot received its world premiere at New York’s Public Theatre in 2005 with a cast featuring Eric Bogosian, John Ortiz and Sam Rockwell, directed by Philip Seymour. Casting for the production is to be announced. The play will open on 3 April 2008 (previews from 28 March) and run until 10 May. Designs are by Anthony Ward with lighting by Howard Harrison.
Page directs a cast of Paul Hilton, Helen McCrory and Malcolm Sinclair in this production of Henrik Ibsen’s Rosmersholm. This is a new version by Mike Poulton, with designs by Hildegard Bechtler and lighting by Peter Mumford. The play tells the story of the house of Rosmer – a stronghold of religious and political conservatism – and the great changes which take place therein. It charts the struggle between freedom and the cruelty of conscience in an age of political division. The production opens on 22 May 2008 (previews from 15 May) and runs until 5 July.
Full casting has now been announced for Marianne Dreams. Will Tuckett will direct a cast of Mark Arends, Selina Chilton, Siubhan Harrison, Jack James and Sarah Malin. It tells the story of Marianne who, on her tenth birthday, picks up a pencil and starts to draw. That night she dreams and is transported into her own picture and discovers she has the power to change her dreams. The stage play has been specially commissioned by the Almeida, the venue’s first family show, and is adapted by Moira Buffini. Buffini’s other original plays include Dinner, Love Play and Silence. The production is designed by Anthony Ward with lighting by Neil Austin. It opens on 19 December (previews from 14 December) and runs until 26 January 2008.
- by Tom Atkins