The Storm is set in a stifling rural community in Russia where Katerina Kabanova is trapped in a passionless marriage and is seeking sexual and spiritual release. Written in 1859, the rarely performed play was the inspiration for Janacek's opera Katja Kabanova. The last major UK production of The Storm was mounted in 1987 by the Royal Shakespeare Company and, before that, in 1966 at the Royal National Theatre.
Ostrovsky was born in Russia in 1923. His other plays include The Snow Maiden, An Ardent Heart, The Bankrupt and The Forest. McGuinness' work includes Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me and, most recently, Mutabilitie, staged last year at the National. His versions of Brecht's The Caucasion Chalk Circle and Ibsen's Rosmersholm have both been produced by the RNT.
The cast for The Storm at the Almeida includes Susan Lynch as 'Katerina', Tom Mannion as 'Kuligin' and Maggie Steed as 'Kabanova'. Lynch has recently appeared in the title role of Miss Julie at the Young Vic and Ashes and Sand at the Royal Court. Other theatre work includes Le Cid and Pericles for the RNT.
Mannion is currently appearing at the Lyric Theatre in Patrick Marber's award-winning Closer. He was last seen at the Almeida playing the title role in Gerry Mulgrew's production of Cyrano de Bergerac. Other theatre work includes Shining Souls at the Old Vic, The Threepenny Opera at the Donmar Warehouse and Rutherford and Son at the RNT.
Steed's recent theatre credits include Mother Courage and Her Children and The Cocktail Party at the Royal Lyceum, The Last Romantics at the Greenwich Theatre and Mrs Warren's Profession at the Lyric Hammersmith.
The Storm is directed by Hettie Macdonald whose recent productions include Beautiful Thing at the Bush Theatre, The Madman of the Balcones at the Gate and Talking in Tongues and The Thickness of Skin at the Royal Court. Earlier this year, Macdonald directed Hey Persephone! for Almeida Opera.
Designs for The Storm are by Robin Don, with lighting by Peter Mumford, music by Deirdre Gribbin and sound by John Owens.
The Almeida's season at its home venue runs in parallel to its first full season in the West End which is taking place at the Albery Theatre. Major productions there this autumn include Phedre, starring Dame Diana Rigg, and Britannicus.
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