In London, Uncle Vanya plays from 5 September to 20 November and is joined in repertory by Twelfth Night from 11 October to 30 November 2002. As with the Donmar's recent sell-out of Proof, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, some tickets (10 seats from £15-£22 and 16 standing room spaces at £5) have been held back for each performance (excludes some dates) during Mendes' farewell season. These will only be available to purchase in person from 10.30am on the day at the Donmar box office. The two plays will transfer to BAM from 9 January to 9 February 2003.
The Donmar double boasts an impressive cast led by Olivier Award winner Simon Russell Beale and British film star Emily Watson, who are joined by Helen McCrory, Mark Strong, Paul Jesson, David Bradley and Cherry Morris. The productions are designed by Anthony Ward, with costumes by Mark Thompston, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, music by George Stiles and sound by Paul Arditti.
Mendes leaves the Donmar, to concentrate on his burgeoning film career, after ten years building the 250-seat theatre into one of London's most high-profile arts institutions. In December, he'll be succeeded as artistic director by Michael Grandage, whose recent award-winning productions there as an associate have included Passion Play, Merrily We Roll Along and Privates on Parade.
- by Terri Paddock