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Almeida Theatre to reopen from December with Lolita Chakrabarti, Adrian Lester, Chris Bush and more

The theatre will be back in action with socially distanced shows

The Almeida
© Philip Vile

The Almeida in north London will reopen for a new series of shows from December.

Rebecca Frecknall (Summer and Smoke), Chris Bush (Standing at the Sky's Edge) and the show's company will create Nine Lessons and Carols, featuring a company of six actors and musicians – Naana Agyei-Ampadu (Caroline or Change), Katie Brayben (Beautiful: the Carole King Musical), Toheeb Jimoh (Anthony), Elliot Levey (Three Sisters), Maimuna Memon (Jesus Christ Superstar) and Luke Thallon (Albion).

It runs from 2 December to 9 January, with the venue capacity being cut down to 120.

Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi) will pen a new play Hymn, which is set to star Adrian Lester (Red Velvet) and Danny Sapani (Les Blancs), with direction by Blanche McIntyre (The Writer).

The show runs from 29 January to 27 February 2021.

The Almeida Youth Company will perform Carmen Nasr's The Maladies, directed by Diyan Zora. Set across 500 years, the show will run from 18 to 22 January.

Artistic director Rupert Goold said: "Having gratefully received a grant from the government's Culture Recovery Fund, we are very pleased to be offering a season of work playing through Christmas and into 2021. The theatre has been reconfigured for social distancing, with a reduced capacity of 120 – about a third of our usual size. Acknowledging the context and timing of our re-opening, we decided that it was imperative to produce new work this winter: to provide employment to staff and freelancers, to welcome our audiences, supporters and local community back into the building, and to reunite our young artist groups.

"Considerable work has gone into ensuring that the theatre is safe for audiences and more information on those measures can be found on our website. For those audiences who can't make it to the Almeida, we will also be offering digital screenings for people to watch at home."

All three shows will be made available digitally for audiences at home.

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