Three weeks ago, Grandage, who takes over Donmar leadership from Sam Mendes in December, announced his inaugural season up to August 2003 - comprising modern European classics The Vortex by Noel Coward, Caligula by Albert Camus and Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist along with Stephen Sondheim's musical Pacific Overtures.
The lack of any mention of the Divas season, which has traditionally run for four weeks starting in August or early September, prompted some concern amongst theatregoers, and cabaret fans, on the Whatsonstage.com Discussion Forum. In response, Grandage has sought to clarify his new approach.
He told Whatsonstage.com: "We have every intention of continuing cabaret at the Donmar as it is clearly a natural home for such an event. We will be doing it in a more ad hoc way in the future, tailoring events to suit the availability of artists and our own programming of other work. This, hopefully, will allow us an even greater diversity of performers who come to work at the Donmar."
He continued: "The last five years of Divas has been the most perfect springboard to show the skills of great artists at this theatre, and we hope our loyal supporters will keep a keen eye on our programming over the coming years as we plan further such events in the less formal surroundings of a traditional 'diva' season."
Since launching in 1998, the Divas at the Donmar season has included week-long stints from the likes of Barbara Cook, Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Clive Rowe, Sian Phillips and Michael Ball. This year's season, which ran from 5 to 31 August 2002, included Olivier winners Janie Dee and Philip Quast as well as soul singer Ruby Turner and American Kristin Chenoweth.
- by Terri Paddock