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Cast: Morrissey in the Dark at Almeida, Donmar Piaf

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David Morrissey (pictured) and Steven Mackintosh will both make rare stage appearances to play brothers in the European premiere of Neil LaBute’s In a Dark Dark House which runs from 27 November 2008 from 17 January 2009 (previews from 20 November) at the Almeida Theatre, directed by artistic director Michael Attenborough (See News, 19 May 2008).

Brothers Terry (Morrissey) and Drew (Mackintosh) are brought together as one undergoes court-ordered rehab. The forced reunion brings to light barely-hidden animosities between the two and their troubled legacy, both inside and outside their dark family home. In a Dark Dark House received its world premiere at Off-Broadway’s MCC Theater in May 2007, but is being reworked by LaBute and Attenborough for this new production.

David Morrissey’s extensive television credits include Peter Morgan’s The Deal, in which he played Gordon Brown, as well as Sense and Sensibility, State of Play, Cape Wrath, Ripley’s Gold, Blackpool, Out of Control, Linda Green and Our Mutual Friend. He was last on the London stage in 1999 in Three Days of Rain at the the Donmar Warehouse.

Steven Mackintosh’s screen credits include The Other Boleyn Girl, The Jacket, The Escapist, The Mother, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Prick Up Your Ears and Land Girls on film and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Our Mutual Friend, Care, The Buddha of Suburbia and Sweet Revenge on TV. His last major London stage role was in David Hare’s My Zinc Bed at the Royal Court in 2000.

Ahead of In a Dark Dark House, the cast for Samuel West’s revival of Harley Granville Barker’s previously banned 1907 play Waste will star Will Keen and Nancy Carroll, along with Richard Cordery, Patrick Drury, Peter Eyre, Helen Lindsay, Hugh Ross and Michael Thomas. Radical independent politician Henry Trebell (Keen) is persuaded to join the Conservative Party in order to champion his bill to disestablish the Church of England, but a liaison with a married woman causes a scandal. Waste runs from 2 October to 15 November 2008 (previews from 25 September).

In other play casting news, the full company has been announced for the Donmar Warehouse’s 30th anniversary revival of Pam Gems’ 1978 bio-play Piaf, which stars Argentine actress Elena Roger as Edith Piaf (See News, 18 Apr 2008). Roger will be joined in the cast by Shane Attwooll, Phillip Browne, Lorraine Bruce, Luke Evans, Michael Hadley, Katherine Kingsley, Leon Lopez, Stuart Neal and Steve John Shepherd. Jamie Lloyd’s production runs from 13 August to 20 September 2008 (previews from 7 August).

Edith Piaf was born in Paris in December 1919 and – after a short tragic life, scarred by abandonment, drink and drugs addiction – she died on 10 October 1963, aged just 43. She is best remembered for her torch song classics including “La vie en rose” – which provided the title for the recent Oscar-winning movie about her life – “Milord”, “Hyme a l’amour” and “Non, je ne regrette rien”, which are sung in French in the stage show.

Piaf explores the torch singer’s life from when she was a teenager to her death. Gems’ play was first staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the same address (pre-Donmar days, when the space was known as the Warehouse), starring Jane Lapotaire in the title role, and revived in the West End in 1993 with Elaine Paige.

- by Terri Paddock


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