When two men are forced to share a cell, an unlikely relationship is formed. Valentin is a young Marxist rebel punished for his ideals, Molina a middle-aged man condemned for his sexuality. Molina reinvents stories of films he loves, including the one of the title, and the cynical Valentin listens. Valentin believes in the just cause which makes all suffering bearable. Molina believes in the magic of love which makes all else endurable. Each has always been alone, and always - especially now - in danger of betrayal.
Translated by Allan Baker, Kiss of the Spider Woman was first performed by Simon Callow and Mark Rylance at west London’s Bush Theatre in 1985. The subsequent film won its star William Hurt a Best Actor Oscar, while Kander and Ebb’s 1993 Broadway musical version, with a book by Terrence McNally, won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The Donmar’s production of Kiss of the Spider Woman will be designed by Ben Stones with lighting by Hartley TA Kemp and sound by John Leonard. Casting is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, along with further programming details of the new spring/summer season. After its dates at the Donmar, Kiss of the Spider Woman will tour to Liverpool, Bristol and Salford, where it concludes on 16 June 2007.
Currently at the Donmar is the world premiere of Don Juan in Soho, Patrick Marber’s 21st-century take on Molière’s 1665 classic, starring Rhys Ifans. It continues until 10 February 2007 and is followed by David Eldridge’s new version of Ibsen's 1896 play John Gabriel Borkman, which stars Ian McDiarmid and Penelope Wilton and which runs from 20 February to 14 April 2007 (previews from 15 February). Both productions are directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage (See News, 14 Jul 2007).
- by Terri Paddock