Richard Eyre will return to Islington's Almeida Theatre this winter to direct the world premiere of Nick Dear's The Dark Earth and the Light Sky.

Set deep in the Hampshire countryside the play tells the tragic story of Edward Thomas, a disaffected husband and tormented writer whose life is turned around in 1913 when he meets American poet Robert Frost. The friendship helps propel Edwards towards huge success as a poet but then the Great War arrives and he enlists...

Nick Dear’s work was seen at the National Theatre last year where his adaptation of Frankenstein was directed by Danny Boyle and earned joint Best Actor Olivier awards for Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller on Sunday.

The production will feature designs by Bob Crowley , lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by John Leonard. Casting will be announced shortly.

Richard Eyre was director of the National Theatre from 1988 to 1997. His work includes the award-winning production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible on Broadway, the world premières of Nicholas Wright’s Vincent in Brixton and The Reporter (both for the National Theatre) and the stage musicals Mary Poppins and Betty Blue Eyes for Cameron Mackintosh.

The Almeida has also announced details of its 2012 festival celebrating the best of international theatre. Over four weeks (2 –28 July) the Almeida Festival 2012 will feature productions by Inua Ellams, Inspector Sands, Lost Dog and Custom/Practice with return visits from the TEAM, Greyscale and Young Friends of the Almeida.

Inua Ellams – Knight Watch: Poet, writer, teacher and performer Inua Ellams opens the festival with a 45 minute site-specific performance accompanied by two musicians, Michael keeps away from the warring tribes until a passerby helps him out of a tight situation. Instantly, he is pulled into the culture he has tried to escape. As the city spirals out of control around him and battle lines are drawn, will Michael succeed in ending the war? Knight Watch will be performed on 2 and 3 July 2012 at 7.30pm at an off-site venue yet to be announced.

Inspector Sands – Mass-Observation: In 1937 a young woman is discovering the world; in 2012 a young man gets lost in his grandfather’s care home. Mass-Observation, the latest show from the award-winning Inspector Sands is about 95 years that have gone by in a flash and an afternoon that lasts an eternity. This devised work will play from 5 to 14 July 2012.

Exterior of the Almeida Theatre. Photo credit: Bridget Jones
Custom/Practice – A Midsummer Night's Dream: This edited production of moves from a bleak modern, inner city school detention room to the fantastical world of princes and lovers, forests and fairies. Performances will take place from 16 to 21 July 2012.

Lost Dog – It Needs Horses / Home for Broken Turns: The first tells the tale of two down at heel performers and their increasingly desperate attempts to entertain the crowd while the second (a new work from Lost Dog) is the story of a faded ringmaster and his bedraggled assistant. Performances from 23 to 28 July 2012.

Greyscale – Gods Are Fallen and All Safety Gone: Written and directed by Selma Dimitrijevic, the play presents a lifetime of conversations, condensed into four versions of the same moment and examines what happens when people discover their parents are flawed human beings. Performances are on 18 and 19 July 2012 at 7.30pm.

The Team – RoosevElvis: New York company the Theatre of the Emerging American Moment returns to London for the first time since 2009 when it presented Architecting at the Barbican. In RoosevElvis “an enormous man strides through western landscapes in a place called 'the Badlands'. His dead wife visits him at night in fever dreams. And somewhere else, warmer and decades into the future, in a place called 'Graceland' another man lies face down on a toilet”. Performances from 9 to 12 July 2012.

The festival will also feature performances by the Young Friends of the Almeida of Parallax by Rebecca Prichard and The Mini Dream, a shortened version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream.