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Stars align for Grandage Company's inaugural West End season

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Michael Grandage is launching his new production company in grand style later this year with a residency of five productions at the Noel Coward theatre, starring a who’s who of the contemporary British stage.

Judi Dench, David Walliams, Sheridan Smith, Jude Law, Ben Whishaw, Simon Russell Beale and Daniel Radcliffe are among those taking part in the inaugural season of the Michael Grandage Company, which will run at the Noel Coward for 15 months from December 2012 to February 2014.

Each production will be directed by Grandage and run for 12 weeks, with 200 tickets to every performance being available for just £10.

The season will open on 10 December 2012 (previews from 1 December) with a revival of Peter Nichols' 1977 farce Privates on Parade, starring Simon Russell Beale.

Russell Beale plays the cross-dressing Captain Dennis whose performances of Marlene Dietrich, Vera Lynn and Carmen Miranda form the centrepiece of Nichols‘ award-winning comedy set against the murderous backdrop of the Malaysian campaign at the end of the Second World War.

It’s followed, from 25 March 2013 (previews from 9 March) by a new play by John Logan, whose previous credits include Red, a huge hit for Grandage during his tenure as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse. Titled Peter and Alice it examines the real-life stories behind Alice In Wonderland and Peter Pan and stars Judi Dench as Alice Liddell Hargreaves and Ben Whishaw as Peter Llewelyn Davies - the respective inspirations for the iconic children’s books.

Next up (from 18 June 2013, previews from 8 June) is a new production of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishmaan starring Daniel Radcliffe - who won a Whatsonstage.com Best Newcomer Award for his West End debut in Equus in 2007 and has since appeared on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Then comes an all-star production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring Sheridan Smith as Titania and David Walliams as Bottom. Opening on 17 September 2013 (previews from 7 September), Grandage told the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye it will be an “absolutely sexual production”.

And rounding off the residency is Henry V starring Jude Law - who played Hamlet for Grandage during the Donmar West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre - running from 3 December 2013 (previews from 23 November) to 15 February 2014.

Grandage and executive producer James Bierman said of their stunningly ambitious first season: "We are delighted to announce the inaugural season of work for the Michael Grandage Company – a programme comprised of new writing alongside the classical and twentieth century repertoire.

"At its heart is a commitment to reach out to as wide an audience as possible with over 200 tickets for each performance at £10 - over 100,000 across the season and through our schools’ and access work we aim to appeal to new theatregoers and help build audiences for the future."


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