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Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus

By • West End

The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new play The Same Deep Water as Me, a revival of Arnold Wesker's Roots starring Jessica Raine and Linda Bassett, and Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston.

The season will open with The Same Deep Water as Me directed by John Crowley, which will run from 6 August to 21 September 2013 (previews from 1 August).

The play, Payne's first since his award-winning Royal Court hit Constellations, was inspired by an encounter the playwright had with Rourke's brother, a fraud lawyer.

"We call him the Eliot Ness of whiplash," Rourke joked at this morning's launch, revealing that Payne had observed her brother at work in court as part of his research.

The Same Deep Water as Me stars previously rumoured Daniel Mays as Andrew Eagleman, an injury lawyer working for 'Scorpion Claims'. Mays' recent theatre credits include Trelawny of the Wells and Moonlight at the Donmar, while his TV credits include Mrs Biggs and Outcasts.

The cast will also include Monica Dolan (Anne Gunn/Georgina Burns), Peter Forbes (Guy Haines/Judge Appleton), Joanna Griffin (Terri/Attendant), Nigel Lindsay (Barry Paterson) and Niky Wardley (Jennifer Needleman).

Next in the season will be Arnold Wesker's Roots, starring Jessica Raine and Linda Bassett and directed by James Macdonald. Running from 8 October 2013 to 30 November 2013 (previews from 3 October), Roots is the second play in the 'Wesker Trilogy', and explores the domestic lives of working class rural Norfolk.

The cast also features Michael Jibson and Emma Stansfield.

Hiddleston's Donmar return

Tom Hiddleston will play the lead in Coriolanus, directed by Josie Rourke, running from 17 December 2013 to 8 February 2014 (previews from 6 December).

Hiddleston, who previously told Whatsonstage.com that he would soon be returning to the stage, was last seen at the Donmar Warehouse in 2008 when he appeared in Othello and Ivanov.

The cast will also include Mark Gatiss, who starred in Rourke's inaugural production at the Donmar, The Recruiting Officer.

Public booking opens on 25 June 2013, and Coriolanus will be broadcast to cinemas around the world on 30 January 2014 as part of NT Live.

Speaking to Whatsonstage.com at this morning's season launch, Josie Rourke revealed she's been in discussions with Hiddleston, whose film credits include Thor and War Horse, for "about a year" regarding Coriolanus.

Regarding his Hollywood status, she said: "He's first and foremost a great classical actor... It's a bit of an urban myth that you wind up with people who don't have a desire or a background in classical acting doing Shakespeare plays. Tom went to RADA, and of course he's going to want to do classical roles."

The new season also sees Phyllida Lloyd's all-female production of Julius Caesar transfer to New York, opening at St Ann's Warehouse in October. And, as previously confirmed, Matt Charman's new play The Machine, directed by Rourke, will premiere at Manchester International Festival before transferring to New York's Park Avenue Armory in September.

- by Rosie Bannister & Theo Bosanquet

Tags: West EndDonmar WarehouseNick PayneJosie RourkeRootsArnold WeskerJessica RaineLinda BassettTom Hiddleston


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