The multi award-winning Almeida production of Festen, based on the Dogme film of the same name, will launch a UK-wide tour in the new year prior to the play’s Broadway premiere. The tour will open on 3 February 2005 at Birmingham Rep before continuing, until 13 May 2005, to ten more venues with further dates to be announced.

Patriarch Helge Klingenfelt is celebrating his 60th birthday with his family at a magnificent old hotel in the Danish countryside. Gathered together are his loyal wife Else, his sons Christian and Michael and his daughter Helene. As the evening progresses, Christian feels compelled to break the silence surrounding a dark family secret.

Based on the 1997 Danish Dogme film, this new English-language stage version of Festen is adapted by David Eldridge, directed by Rufus Norris and designed by Ian MacNeil, with costumes by Joan Wadge, lighting by Jean Kalman, sound by Paul Arditti and music by Orlando Gough.

It had its world premiere at north London’s Almeida Theatre in March 2004 and transferred later that year for an extended season at the West End’s Lyric Theatre. Amongst the production’s accolades are two Evening Standard Awards, a Critics’ Circle Award, several Olivier nominations and the Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best New Play (See News, 8 Feb 2005).

Following Birmingham, the Festen tour will visit Norwich, Bath, Woking, Cardiff, Glasgow, Canterbury, Brighton, Cambridge, Richmond and Malvern.

- by Terri Paddock