Full casting has been announced for Michael Grandage’s upcoming production of Chekhov’s Ivanov, in a new version by Tom Stoppard, which stars Kenneth Branagh in the title role and launches the Donmar Warehouse’s year-long residency at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre, where it runs from 17 September (previews from 12 September) to 29 November 2008 (See News, 10 Sep 2007).

Branagh is joined by an all-star company including two-time Whatsonstage.com Award nominee Andrea Riseborough, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Lucy Briers, Lorcan Cranitch and Donmar alumni Gina McKee (Old Times), Kevin R McNally (World Music), Linda Broughton (Grandage’s current production of The Chalk Garden), Malcolm Sinclair (Privates on Parade) and Tom Hiddleston (Othello).

Once a man of limitless promise, Ivanov is plunged into debt. His marriage is in crisis, and his evenings are spent negotiating loans, avoiding love affairs and fighting to resist the small town jealousies and intrigues which threaten to engulf his life.

Kenneth Branagh previously appeared in Grandage’s Sheffield Crucible production of Richard III and returns to the London stage for the first time since starring in the National Theatre’s 2003 revival of David Mamet’s Edmond, for which he won the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Actor. Also appointed artistic associate for Donmar West End, he will direct Jude Law in the season’s final production, Hamlet, which runs from 3 June (29 May) to 22 August 2009.

Andrea Riseborough’s (who plays Sasha) stage credits include The Pain and the Itch, A Couple of Poor Polish Speaking Romanians, Miss Julie, Measure for Measure, Citizen/Burn/Chatroom and A Brief History of Helen of Troy. She’s just been seen on screen as Margaret Thatcher in The Long Walk to Finchley (pictured). Tom Hiddleston (Lvov) competed against himself in this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards for the Best Newcomer in a Play prize for the Donmar’s Othello and Cheek by Jowl’s Cymbeline, eventually winning for the latter.

In addition to their Donmar credits, Kevin R McNally (Lebedev) is well known for The Pirates of the Caribbean on screen and has starred on stage in Boeing-Boeing, The Lady in the Van and Naked; Gina McKee (Anna Petrovna) has just been seen in the Pinter double bill of The Lover and The Collection in the West End and has screen credits including The Forsyte Saga, Our Friends in the North, Atonement, Wonderland and Notting Hill; and Malcolm Sinclair’s (Count Shabelsky) myriad stage credits include Dealer’s Choice, The History Boys, What the Butler Saw, Journey’s End, My Fair Lady and the current production of Rosmersholm at the Almeida.

Sylvestra Touzel (currently in Topless Mum at the Tricycle) plays Zinaida, Lucy Briers (whose recent stage credits include Some Kind of Bliss and The Voysey Inheritance) is Babakina, Irish actor Lorcan Cranitch (Three Sisters, The Field, The Price) is Borkin and Linda Broughton is Avdotya.

Also in the Ivanov cast are John Atterbury and James Tucker. The production is designed by Christopher Oram, with lighting by Paule Constable and music and sound by Adam Cork.

- by Terri Paddock


** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to IVANOV on 7 October 2008 – including a FREE programme & EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with the cast!! – all for £35! - click here for more info! **