Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall (pictured), Rhys Ifans and Penelope Wilton will join Ian McDiarmid in the casting line-up for the Donmar Warehouse’s upcoming 2006/7 season (See News, 22 Jun 2006). Cattrall will make her Donmar debut in Josie Rourke’s new production of David Mamet’s The Cryptogram, while Ifans and Wilton, both returning for their second stints at the venue, will star in artistic director Michael Grandage’s productions of, respectively, Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho and David Eldridge’s new version of Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman.

The new season kicks off, from 17 October to 25 November 2006 (previews from 12 October), with The Cryptogram. In Mamet’s elliptical 1995 three-hander about the end of childhood, John is afraid to fall asleep because he doesn’t understand what’s happening or why his father hasn’t returned home.

Kim Cattrall, who plays John’s mother Donny, made her West End debut last year in Peter Hall’s revival of Whose Life Is It Anyway?. Her US stage credits include A View From The Bridge, Three Sisters, Miss Julie, The Misanthrope and Wild Honey (NT production). Cattrall is best known for her role as sex-hungry Samantha Jones in US TV series Sex and the City, for which she won a Golden Globe Best Actress award. Her film credits include Police Academy, Mannequin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Star Trek VI and the forthcoming Tiger’s Tail.

The Cryptogram is followed, from 6 December 2006 to 10 February 2007 (previews from 30 November), by Grandage’s world premiere production of Don Juan in Soho, Marber’s 21st-century take on Molière’s 1665 classic. Ifans takes the title role as the infamous amoral hedonist whose antics are relocated to modern-day Soho where the broken and brazen, hustlers and hoorays all pack in to one seething square mile.

Best known to film fans as Hugh Grant's dopey flatmate Spike in the 1999 film Notting Hill, Rhys Ifans’ other screen credits include Enduring Love, Not Only But Always, The Shipping News, Vanity Fair, Twin Town and Love, Honour and Obey. He was last seen on the London stage playing the maniac in the 2003 Donmar Warehouse production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist. His other theatre credits include Volpone, Under Milk Wood, Beautiful Thing and Thyestes.

Don Juan in Soho is followed by David Eldridge’s new version of Ibsen's penultimate play John Gabriel Borkman, running 20 February to 14 April 2007 (previews from 15 February). Written in 1896, John Gabriel Borkman paints a devastating picture of capitalist ambition. Disgraced and destitute following a fraud scandal and imprisonment, Borkman paces alone in an upstairs room. Downstairs, his family are trapped in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a household bound for explosion.

As previously announced, Ian McDiarmid - who starred in Grandage’s Donmar revival of Pirandello’s Henry IV two years ago and who last month won a Tony Award for Faith Healer on Broadway (See News, 12 Jun 2006) – is Borkman, with Penelope Wilton as Ella Rentheim, the dying sister of Borkman’s estranged wife.

Wilton has previously appeared at the Donmar in the 2001 revival of The Little Foxes, while her other recent stage credits include Women Beware Women (RSC), The House of Bernarda Alba (NT) and Afterplay (West End). Her screen credits include Falling, Dr Who and Mrs Warren’s Profession on TV, and The History Boys, Pride and Prejudice and Calendar Girls on film.

Currently at the Donmar, Thea Sharrock’s revival of John Mortimer’s A Voyage Round My Father, starring Derek Jacobi, continues until 5 August 2006, after which Michael Grandage directs the world premiere of TV writer Peter Morgan’s debut stage play Frost/Nixon, starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella. Running from 15 August to 7 October 2006 (previews from 10 August), Frost/Nixon concludes the Donmar’s current 2005/6 season (See News, 6 Dec 2006).

- by Terri Paddock