The Donmar Warehouse has confirmed casting for its next two plays – the Simon Russell Beale-led revival of Christopher Hampton’s The Philanthropist and the European premiere of Sam Shepard’s The God of Hell (See News, 31 May 2005).

In Hampton’s 1970 play, written as a response to Moliere’s The Misanthrope, Russell Beale plays a University don anguishing over sex, marriage, anagrams and the meaning of life. He’s now joined by Simon Day (Anything Goes, The Coast of Utopia, now in the Open Air Cymbeline), Anna Madeley (The Cosmonaut’s Last Message… at the Donmar, Colder Than Here), Danny Webb (Alien 3, TV’s Life Begins, Waking the Dead), Simon Bubb and Siobhan Hewlett. The revival is directed by David Grindley (What the Butler Saw, Abigail’s Party, Journey’s End) and runs from 13 September to 15 October 2005 (previews from 8 September).

Actress-turned-director Kathy Burke’s production of The God of Hell follows from 26 October to 3 December 2005 (previews from 20 October). The black comedy, premiered in New York last year, centres on a couple of American dairy farmers who have a mysterious man hiding in their basement and a slick government official knocking at their door.

The cast are: Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting on stage and screen), Stuart McQuarrie (Dark at the Donmar, TV’s Life Begins), Lesley Sharp (Top Girls, TV’s Clocking Off) and and Olivier Award winner Ben Daniels (All My Sons, Three Sisters, Iphigenia at Aulis at the National, Tales from Hollywood at the Donmar, TV’s Cutting It).

** DON’T MISS our Outing to The God of Hell including Q&A with Kathy Burke – valid 21 October 2005 only – click here for details! **

In other casting updates for upcoming plays:

  • Julian Glover (seen most recently in the West End in The Dresser), Ben Miles (TV’s Coupling, The Forsyte Saga) and Oliver Kieran-Jones will join Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey when he makes his UK Shakespearean debut in the title role of Trevor Nunn’s production of Richard II, running from 4 October to 26 November 2005 (previews from 14 September) at the Old Vic (See News, 11 May 2005).

    ** DON’T MISS our Outing to Richard II including FREE drink & FREE programme – valid 10 November 2005 only – click here for details! **

  • Olivier Award winner David Bamber (My Night with Reg, The Glee Club, The Lisbon Traviata will join Richard E Grant and Anthony Head in the first West End revival of Simon Gray’s Otherwise Engaged, which, following a brief regional tour, will open on 31 October 2005 (previews from 25 October) at the Criterion Theatre (See News, 20 Jul 2005).

  • Paul Rhys (pictured - The Invention of Love, Measure for Measure at the National) will return to the NT Cottesloe to take the title role in the world premiere of the appropriately titled Paul, the latest play by Howard Brenton (The Romans in Britain, Pravda) which explores the phenomenon of faith through the Biblical story of Saul, who changed his name after divine revelation on the road to Damascus (See News, 4 Jul 2005). Directed by Howard Davies, the cast will also feature Lloyd Owen (The York Realist, TV’s Monarch of the Glen) as Peter and Paul Higgins (Macbeth at the Almeida, RSC Measure for Measure) as James. It plays in repertoire from 6 October 2005 (previews from 30 September).

    - by Terri Paddock