Donmar Warehouse announces 2022 shows including The Band's Visit and A Doll's House, Part 2
Noma Dumezweni returns to the stage
The Donmar Warehouse in central London has unveiled its season plans through to the end of 2022.
Noma Dumezweni (The Undoing) will return to the stage for the European premiere of Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2 - directed by James McDonald. Designed by Rae Smith with lighting design by Azusa Ono, the piece runs from 10 June to 6 August. Hnath's play picks up 15 years after Ibsen's text wraps up as Nora returns to the house. The play picked up eight Tony Award nominations in 2017.
Artistic director Michael Longhurst said: "I'm so lucky running a building that has such a pedigree that American writers are drawn here. It's like a boxing match of a play – the Donmar does that so brilliantly. The characters that Nora have left behind have very strong feelings about what she did, so there are a series of brilliant showdowns with amazing plot twists and revelations at the end of each bout."
Speaking of Tony Awards, this winter will mark the European premiere of the ten-time Tony Award-winning The Band's Visit which runs this winter from 24 September to 3 December. Longhurst will direct the new production of the hit show, which has music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Itamar Moses.
Telling the story of musicians who mistakenly come to Israel from Egypt, it has associate direction by Orr Benezra-Segal with Dr Lina Khatib as cultural consultant. Further creatives and casting are to be revealed.
Longhurst told WhatsOnStage: "It's huge. The Donmar is an amazing space for musicals. To have that proximity is so special. The authors were obviously very particular about who they'd let stage their show, so I'm proud that we have a chance to make a new production that fits this space.
"It's a story about discovering genuine humanity and how strangers can change or release us. Plus it's filled with the most amazing music about love and loss."
He admits he never saw the Broadway production, but does have second-hand knowledge of its power thanks to John Cariani, who starred in both The Band's Visit and Longhurst's Broadway production of Caroline, Or Change. He goes on: "It's sort of Chekhovian – people in a town where nothing happens in the most beautiful way."
From 12 August to 27 August, the venue will stage the UK premiere of Dawn King's The Trials. Directed by Natalie Abrahami, the Donmar Local production sees 12 young performers, making their debuts, star alongside leading actors, with the former interrogating the latter on their attitudes to the climate emergency. It had its world premiere at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus last year, and the London run has design by Georgia Lowe, lighting by Jai Morjaria, sound design and composition by Xana, associate direction by Joseph Hancock and sustainability consultation by Julie's Bicycle.
The Donmar Warehouse will partner with Tara Theatre for Sonali Bhattacharyya, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Ishy Din and Alexandra Wood's Silence, a new play adapted from Kavita Puri's Partition Voices: Untold British Stories. Running from 1 to 17 September, the show examines the consequences of the Partition of India, 75 years on. Abdul Shayek directs.
He says today: "As Britain holds up a mirror to its colonial history that has shaped our present day reality, many of us are asking questions of our past and who we are. 2022 provides us with the last big milestone before we lose the survivors and their living memory, giving us the chance to understand the human cost of what occurred in 1947, retelling the stories of those who survived Partition and came to the UK.
"As a group of storytellers we will try to capture the unbiased documentation of these stories in Kavita's book and the very real need to recognise that this is a shared history, this is our shared history, a British story regardless of the colour of your skin."
To accompany the upcoming UK premiere of Marys Seacole will be free exhibition WE. BLACK WOMEN. - curated by Donmar Associate Artist Joan Iyiola. The exhibition sees leading actresses celebrate their unsung heroes. Sheila Atim, Joyclen Buffong, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Noma Dumezweni, Dr Christine Ekechi, Decima Francis, Akua Gyamfi, Naomie Harris, Afua Hirsch, Joan Iyiola, Anaya Kamara, Faith Locken, June Nicol-Dundas, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Susan Wokoma are all involved.
All productions will have captioned, audio described and BSL-interpreted performances.