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Plays by Brenton & Mamet announced for Hampstead Theatre

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A new play by Howard Brenton about exiled Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will premiere at Hampstead Theatre in April, followed by the UK premiere of David Mamet's Race.

Titled #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, Brenton's play is based on recent conversations with the artist and runs from 17 April to 18 May 2013 (previews from 11 April).

Directed by James Macdonald, making his Hampstead main stage debut following And No More Shall We Part in the downstairs studio last year, the play is billed as "A portrait of the artist in extreme conditions" and "an affirmation of the centrality of Art and of freedom of speech in civilised society."

Brenton returns to Hampstead Theatre following his acclaimed historical drama 55 Days last season. His other recent credits include Never So Good, Danton's Death (National Theatre) and Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare's Globe).

#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei will be followed by the UK premiere of David Mamet's 2009 play Race, directed by Olivier Award-winner Terry Johnson.

Running from 29 May to 29 June 2013 (previews from 23 May), the play is set in a hotel room and centres on a man accused of rape. "The accused is white, the accuser black. Two lawyers, one black and one white, must uncover and sift the facts of the case. Is the man guilty? And, irrespective of that, can his case be won?"

Pulitzer Prize-winner Mamet's many acclaimed plays include Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, American Buffalo, The Spanish Prisoner, The Untouchables and Speed-the-Plow

Johnson returns to Hampstead following Old Money last season. His other productions at the venue include The Memory of Water, Cracked and Dead Funny. Elsewhere, he directed the Tony Award winning Menier Chocolate Factory revival of La Cage Aux Folles, as well as One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and his stage adaptation of The Graduate.


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