Hay Fever was first seen in June 1925 when it ran for a year on the West End, first at the Ambassadors Theatre and then at the Criterion. The comedy of bad manners starts with the arrival of four guests invited independently by different members of the Bliss family for a weekend at their country house near Maidenhead. As the family rows, the guests are alternately amused, ignored, humiliated and ultimately abandoned to slink away by themselves.
The cast is headed by McEwan as Judith Bliss. The multi award-winning film and stage actress has appeared in many seasons at the National and last year starred in Theatre de Complicite's production of The Chairs at the Royal Court and on Broadway. She is joined by Peter Blythe, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Malcolm Sinclair, Cathryn Bradshaw, Monica Dolan, Scott Handy, Stephen Mangan and Anne White.
Hay Fever unites the acclaimed talents of the former Cheek by Jowl creative team, director Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod. In addition to his many UK stage awards, including an Olivier, Donnellan is the first British director to receive the coveted Golden Mask Award in Russia for his production of The Winter's Tale, with the Maly Drama Theatre Company, which embarks on a UK tour next week.