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Arbuzov, Strindberg & Vercors feature in final Donmar Trafalgar season

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The Donmar Warehouse has announced the third and final Donmar Trafalgar season, which showcases the work of its young directors at Trafalgar Studios 2.

The new season will see Alex Sims, Titas Halder and Simon Evans each stage a production – Aleksei Arbuzov's The Promise, Strindberg’s The Dance of Death and Vercors’ The Silence of the Sea respectively.

Running from 19 November to 8 December 2012 (previews from 15 November), The Promise is set during the siege of Leningrad in 1943, where three teenagers are thrown together by history. Using a new version by Penelope Skinner (The Village Bike), the production is directed by Alex Sims who was the Resident Assistant Director (RAD) at the Donmar from 2007-2008.

It’s followed, from 17 December 2012 to 5 January 2013 (previews from 13 December), by Titas Halder’s revival of Strindberg’s classic The Dance of Death. Set on an isolated island, the plays sees military captain Edgar and his wife Alice live a bitter life, their marriage soured by hatred. Halder, who was RAD at the Donmar in 2010-11, will use a new English version by Conor McPherson.

Rounding off the season is Anthony Weigh’s new version of The Silence of the Sea by Vercors (the pseudonym of Jean Bruller), which runs from 14 January to 2 February (previews from 10 January). Secretly published as a novella in 1942, the story examines an excruciating dilemma faced by both the occupier and the occupied.

Announcing the line up, Donmar artistic director Josie Rourke said: “As a graduate of the Donmar’s Resident Assistant Director Scheme myself, I can confidently say it gives the best training to an aspiring director.  Not only did it give me an amazing insight into the great craft of British theatre, the relationships I made started my career as a professional director.  It is these concrete opportunities for new directors that the industry and young people need right now.”

“The first two years of the Donmar Trafalgar season have been a huge success with critics and audiences alike, and I wanted to build on this by commissioning leading playwrights Penelope Skinner, Conor McPherson and the Donmar’s associate artist Anthony Weigh to write new versions of European classics for this year’s young directors.”

First launched in 1994, the RAD scheme at the Donmar has been supported by Jon and NoraLee Sedmak and the Sedmak Wooten Family Foundation since 2003. The post is advertised every October in the national press and at www.donmarwarehouse.com.


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