Phaedra, in which Higgins takes the title role as the woman trying to hide her passion for her stepson, opens the new schedule from 11 April to 3 June 2006 (previews from 6 April). Frank McGuinness’ new version of Racine’s 1677 piece of classical tragedy is directed by Tom Cairns. Higgins won an Olivier for last year’s production of Hecuba at the Donmar and has just opened opposite Woody Harrelson in The Night of the Iguana in the West End. Her many other award-winning credits include Death of a Salesman (for which she has just been Whatsonstage.com-nominated), Vincent in Brixton and Sweet Bird of Youth.
It’s followed, from 13 June to 5 August 2006 (previews from 8 June), by a revival of A Voyage Round My Father, John Mortimer’s 1970 autobiographical play about his relationship with his blind barrister father. Derek Jacobi, whose other recent stage credits include Grandage’s staging of The Tempest in Sheffield and the West End, stars in the new production directed by Gate artistic director Thea Sharrock, also making her Donmar debut.
Grandage himself will direct Peter Morgan’s new play, Frost/Nixon, running from 15 August to 7 October 2006 (previews from 10 August) and starring Michael Sheen. In 2003, Sheen took the title role in Grandage’s Donmar production of Caligula, which earned him the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards for Best Actor. His other stage credits include The UN Inspector, Look Back in Anger, The Homecoming and Amadeus. In the new piece, Sheen will play British TV presenter David Frost who, in 1977, interviewed the disgraced former US president Richard Nixon. Will Frost be able to get Nixon to apologise for his crimes?
Frost/Nixon is the first stage play by Morgan who television credits include Metropolis, Colditz, The Jury and The Deal, in which Sheen played Prime Minister Tony Blair (and coincidentally filmed while he was performing in Caligula).
At the Donmar this month, Grandage’s production of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, in a new version by David Eldridge, opens on 13 December 2005 (previews from 8 December 2005) and continues to 18 February 2006. It’s followed, as previously announced (See News, 31 May 2005), by the premiere of Mark Ravenhill’s The Cut, starring Ian McKellen and another of this year’s Whatsonstage.com Award nominees Deborah Findlay (The House of Bernarda Alba), from 28 February to 1 April 2006 (previews from 23 February).
- by Terri Paddock