Mamet, whose best-known plays include Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow and American Buffalo, co-wrote House of Games, but he won’t be penning the stage version. It’s being adapted by British playwright Richard Bean (Harvest, England People Very Nice) and directed by Lindsay Posner, whose previously directed high-profile West End revivals of Mamet’s Oleanna, A Life in the Theatre and Sexual Perversity in Chicago as well as, at the Almeida, the UK premiere of Mamet’s Romance.
A conspiracy thriller, House of Games revolves around renowned psychiatrist Margaret Ford, who attempts to cure her patient Mike of his gambling addiction by accompanying him to a game in a bar. The original low-budget film starred Joe Mantegna as Mike and Mamet’s own wife, Lindsay Crouse, as Margaret. No casting has been announced for the Almeida production which will run from 16 September to 6 November 2010 (previews from 9 September).
House of Games will be followed, from 18 November 2010 to 8 January 2011 (previews from 12 November), by The Master Builder, in a translation by Kenneth McLeish. One of Henrik Ibsen's later works, the 1892 classic tells the story of Halvard Solness, a renowned but aging builder, whose obsession with building tall spires for his new house is matched by his fear of younger rivals. When a vivacious young woman arrives to collect on a decade-old promise, she inspires him to build castles in the air, with tragic consequences.
Stephen Dillane, starring as Solness, reunites with Travis Preston, the artistic director for the Center for New Performance at the California Institute of the Arts, who directed him in his one-man Macbeth which ran at the Almeida in 2005. Dillane is currently starring in Sam Mendes’ Bridge Project productions of The Tempest and As You Like It, which arrive at the Old Vic next month.