Maggie Smith returns to stage In A German Life, a new play by Christopher Hampton, directed by Jonathan Kent

A German Life

Maggie Smith will return to the stage for the first time in twelve years in A German Life, a new play by Christopher Hampton drawn from the life and testimony of Brunhilde Pomsel (1911-2017).  Maggie Smith, alone on stage, plays Brunhilde Pomsel.

 Directed by Jonathan Kent, previews begin on 6 April 2019 with the opening night on Friday 12 April for a five-week run until 11 May.  All performances are at 7.30pm.  Booking opens today to Bridge priority members and public booking is from 10am (GMT) on 26 February.

Design is by Anna Fleischle, lighting by Jon Clark with sound by Paul Groothuis.

Brunhilde Pomsel’s life spanned the twentieth century. She struggled to make ends meet as a secretary in Berlin during the 1930s, her many employers including a Jewish insurance broker, the German Broadcasting Corporation and, eventually, Joseph Goebbels.

Christopher Hampton’s play is drawn from the testimony Pomsel gave when she finally broke her silence shortly before she died to a group of Austrian filmmakers, and from their documentary A German Life (Christian Krönes, Olaf Müller, Roland Schrotthofer and Florian Weigensamer, produced by Blackbox Film & Media Productions).

“I had no idea what was going on. Or very little. No more than most people. So you can’t make me feel guilty.”

Maggie Smith has had an extensive career in theatre, film and television. Her many awards include two Academy awards, five BAFTAs, four Emmys, nine Evening Standard awards and a Tony. She was made DBE in 1990 and a Companion of Honour in 2014.


Full Cast announced for UK première of Florian Zeller’s The Son

Amanda Abbington
Amanda Abbington

Amanda Abbington

As the world première of Ishy Din’s Approaching Empty opens at Kiln Theatre, the company’s Artistic Director, Indhu Rubasingham, announced the casting for the UK première of Florian Zeller’s The Son, in a translation by Christopher HamptonMichael Longhurst directs Amanda Abbington, Laurie Kynaston, John Light, Oseloka ObiAmaka Okafor and Martin Turner. The production opens on 26 February, with previews from 20 February, and runs until 6 April.

The Son is the 4th première in the opening season at the newly refurbished Kiln Theatre, following Alexis Zegerman’s Holy Sh!t, Stephen Sharkey’s adaptation of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Ishy Din’s Approaching Empty. 46% of the customers who have booked for the opening season are first time attenders (White Teeth attracted over 58% new customers to the theatre); with 24% of bookers from Brent or Camden; and 15% of audiences are the least likely to be engaged in the arts (10% higher than the national average). White Teeth was the fastest selling show in the venue’s history with the majority of performances at 95% capacity (of an increased capacity compared to the old auditorium), making it the also the most financially successful show in the theatre’s history.

‘It’s just that I’m not like the others.’

 As a family breaks down, a son begins to unravel. Nicolas is skipping school, lying to his family, hiding strange objects under his mattress. Is this typical teenager behaviour or a warning sign of hopelessness?

The highly anticipated UK première of The Son follows the sold-out Olivier Award-winning The Father (Theatre Royal Bath, Tricycle Theatre, West End, national tour) and the critically-acclaimed The Mother. The Son completes this trilogy of plays and has been nominated for 9 Molière awards including Best Play in a Commercial Theatre and Best Playwright.

Florian Zeller is a French novelist and playwright. Zeller won the prestigious Prix Interallié in 2004 (Fascination of Evil) and several Molière Awards for his plays La Mère (The mother) and Le Père (The father). L’Autre, le Manège, Si tu mourais, Elle t’attend, La Vérité (The truth) and Une heure de Tranquillité were successfully produced in France and internationally. L’Envers du décor, starring Daniel Auteuil was produced in Paris in 2016. Avant de s’envoler was on the same season, and recently played at the Wyndham’s Theatre (The Height of the Storm) with Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins directed by Jonathan Kent. Le Père (The father), was nominated as Best New Play at the 2016 Olivier Awards, with Kenneth Cranham winning for Best Actor in a Play. It also received two nominations for the 2016 Tony Awards – Best Play and Best Performance by an Actor, the latter was won by Frank Langella. This play has been performed in over 35 countries. Christopher Hampton has translated most of Zeller’s plays into English; and his plays have received many international awards.

Christopher Hampton has translated plays by Ibsen, Molière, Chekhov, Yasmina Reza (including Art and Life x 3) and Florian Zeller’s The Father, The Mother and The Truth. He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the adaptation of his own play, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (released as Dangerous Liaisons). He was nominated again in 2007 for adapting Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. His television work includes adaptations of The History Man and Hotel du Lac.

Amanda Abbington plays Anne. Her theatre credits include The God of Carnage (Theatre Royal Bath), A Little Princess (Royal Festival Hall), Abigail’s Party (Theatre Royal Bath/UK Tour), God Bless This Child (Royal Court), Love Me Tonight (Hampstead Theatre), The Safari Party (Stephen Joseph Theatre /Hampstead Theatre), Something Blue(Stephen Joseph Theatre), Taming of the Shrew (Queen Mother Theatre) and Tin Soldiers (New End Theatre/Grace Theatre). For television her credits include Flack, Safe,  Sherlock, Mr Selfridge, Being Human, Case Histories, Psychoville, Man Stroke Woman, Booze Cruise, Teachers and Coupling; and for film, We The Kings, Crooked House, Another Mother’s Son and Ghosted.

 Laurie Kynaston plays Nicolas. His theatre credits include The Ferryman (Gielgud Theatre), JumpyThe Winslow Boy (Theatre Clwyd). For television, his work includes Derry Girls, The Feed, Cradle to Grave, Murder Games and Our World War; and for film, How To Build a Girl, Undercliffe and England is Mine.

John Light plays Pierre. Theatre credits include Mary Stuart (Duke of York’s Theatre), The Winter’s TaleA Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Three Days In The Country (National Theatre), The Blackest Black (Hampstead Theatre), Julius Caesar (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (The Print Room),Luise Miller (Donmar Warehouse), The Master Builder, Certain Young Men (Almeida Theatre), True West (Sheffield Crucible) and Apologia (Bush Theatre). For television, his work includes Agatha Raisin, Mars, Maigret, Father Brown, Silk, Dresden, North and South, Cambridge Spies, Band of Brothers, Love in a Cold Climate and Aristocrats; and for film, Albert Nobbs, Scoop, The Lion in Winter and A Rather English Marriage.

Oseloka Obi plays Nurse. His theatre work includes Timbuktu (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Edward II (Greenwich Theatre), Crossing the Line (Cockpit Theatre), Twelfth Night, Richard II (Drayton Arms Theatre) and We Raise Our Hands in the Sanctuary (Albany Theatre).

Amaka Okafor plays Sofia. Her theatre credits include I’m Not Running, Macbeth, Saint George and The Dragon, Peter Pan (National Theatre), Hamlet (Almeida Theatre), Grimly Handsome, I See You (Royal Court Theatre) and Hamlet (Barbican).

Martin Turner plays The Doctor. His theatre work includes The Plague (Arcola Theatre), The Crucible (Storyhouse), Uncle Vanya (Theatr Clwyd and Sheffield Theatres), The Haunting of Hill House (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse), The King’s Speech (Chichester Festival Theatre and tour), Medea (National Theatre), Twelve Angry Men (Garrick Theatre and Birmingham Rep) and A Life of Galileo (RSC). For television, his work includes A Very English Murder, Mother’s Day, Follow the Money, Maigret, New Tricks, The White Queen and Dark Matters; and for film, Urban Hymn and Labirent.

Michael Longhurst directs. His credits include the recent revival of Caroline or Change (Chichester, Festival Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, and Playhouse Theatre), and Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus (National Theatre) and Nick Payne’s Constellations starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall at Royal Court Theatre and in the West End, and with Ruth Wilson and Jake Gyllenhaal on Broadway. Longhurst also worked with Gyllenhaal on his American stage debut in If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet (Roundabout Theatre, New York). Other credits include Gloria (Hampstead Theatre), Belleville (Donmar Warehouse), Bad Jews (Theatre Royal Bath/West End), and Linda (Royal Court Theatre). Longhurst was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse.


Uncensored – Simon Callow leads a cast of actors in a tour of Troublesome Texts as part of the Maly Drama Theatre season



To mark 50 years since the end of state theatre censorship in the UK, a team of actors led by Simon Callow will perform excerpts from a selection of canonical plays and books adapted for the stage that have been banned and censored in a variety of countries and time periods.

After the performance, there will be a panel discussion featuring leading figureheads in the industry, including a senior member of the Maly Drama Theatre, playwrights Christopher Hampton and Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, free speech campaigner Jodie Ginsberg and theatre critic Michael Billington, discussing: Is Censorship Ever Good?

Since the beginning of theatrical history, governments and people have prevented the performance of play texts for political, social and cultural reasons. Directors and playwrights also frequently adapt banned and censored books for the stage – the event coincides with the premiere of Lev Dodin’s adaptation of Vasily Grossman’s once banned Life & Fate, and Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Moliere’s once censored Tartuffe, both performing at the Haymarket this May.

In an era where freedom of speech if constantly re-examined, this event explores banned texts and the power of language and performance.

Tickets £15

This event is presented by Belka Productions and the London tour of the Maly Drama Theatre with their production of Life & Fate, in collaboration with JW3.

Uncensored: A Tour of Troublesome Texts – Banned and Censored Plays Through the Ages

As part of this series, JW3 present a very special evening exploring Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, which has been described as the War and Peace of the 20th century. The event will offer a rare insight into this novel about a Russian Jewish family in the Soviet Union during World War II. This event will also feature an exclusive interview with legendary theatre director Lev Dodin about his journey of adapting Grossman’s book for the stage.

The internationally acclaimed Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg return to London for the first time in over a decade to play a highly anticipated ten-show engagement, opening at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket on May 8thDescribed by Peter Brook as ‘the finest ensemble theatre in Europe’, casting is today announced for their forthcoming UK premiere of Vasily Grossman’s magnum opus, Life and Fate, and their critically acclaimed production of Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya.

The 28-strong cast sees Peoples’ Artist of Russia, Stanislavsky and Golden Soffit Award-winner Sergey Kuryshev, who has been a part of the company since 1989, lead both Life and Fate as Viktor Shtrum and Uncle Vanya in the titular role.

Thursday 10 May 2018, 7pm

 Theatre Royal Haymarket | 18 Suffolk St, London SW1Y 4HT

 Tickets £15 | Click HERE to reserve places

Exploring Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate – Featuring an Interview with Lev Dodin

Thursday 17 May 2018, 7pm

JW3 | London Jewish Cultural Centre| 341-351 Finchley Rd, London NW3 6ET

 Tickets £12.00 | Click HERE to reserve places


First Look: Production Images: Christmas Eve Starring Niamh Cusack and Patrick Baladi

Menier Chocolate Factory announces the English language world premiere of Florian Zeller’s The Lie

The Lie

The Lie

The Lie

With The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical currently running at the theatre and Funny Girl on tour nationwide, the Menier Chocolate Factory today announced the English language world première of Florian Zeller’s The Lie in a translation by Christopher Hampton. The production sees the return of Zeller, Hampton and director Lindsay Posner to the Menier following the huge success of The Truth in 2016, which later transferred to the West End and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

Alice spots her friend’s husband with another woman.  Should she tell her friend the truth…or lie?  Her husband Paul is convinced that it is better to lie.  But in doing so, who is being protected and who suffers?  Both find out that in matters of the heart, the line between the truth and a lie can be a dangerous one to cross.

Tickets go on sale to supporters of the Menier at 9am on 26 July, with public on sale at 9am on Wednesday 2 August.

Florian Zeller is a French novelist and playwright. His work has been translated into several languages. Zeller wrote his first novel,Neiges artificielles (Artificial Snow), when he was twenty-two years old. His second novel, Les Amants du n’importe quoi (Lovers or Something Like It)was well received but it was his third novel, La Fascination du pire (Fascination of Evil)which won the 2004 Prix Interallié, and which made him a household name in France. The book was selected for the Prix Goncourt.  In addition to The Truth(Olivier nomination for Best New Comedy), The Father (which won the 2014 Molière Award for Best Play), The Mother (winner of the 2011 Molière for Best Comedy) – all adapted into English by Christopher Hampton – Zeller’s other theatre credits include L’AutreLe ManègeSi tu mourais (Prix Jeune Théâtre of the Académie Française), Elle t’attend Une Heure de tranquillité and Le Mensonge. His other novels include Les Amants du n’importe quoi (Lovers or Something Like It); La Fascination du pire (The Fascination of Evil); Julien Parme and La Jouissance.

Christopher Hampton has translated plays by Ibsen, Molière, Chekhov, Yasmina Reza (including Art and Life x 3) and Florian Zeller’s The Father, The Mother and The Truth. He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the adaptation of his own play, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (released as Dangerous Liaisons). He was nominated again in 2007 for adapting Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. His television work includes adaptations of The History Man and Hotel du Lac.

Lindsay Posner returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory having previously directed The Truth, Dinner with SaddamCommunicating Doors and Abigail’s Party (also Theatre Royal Bath, Wyndham’s and UK tour).  His recent productions include The End of Longing (Playhouse and New York), Hay Fever (Duke of York’s), Harvey (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Speed the Plow(Playhouse),   Relatively Speaking (Wyndham’s), A Little Hotel on the Side (Theatre Royal Bath), Other Desert CitiesThe Winslow Boy and Noises Off  (Old Vic), The Turn of the Screw (Almeida Theatre) and Uncle Vanya (Vaudeville).  He was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1987-1992 where his productions included Death and the Maiden (which transferred to the Duke of York’s and won two Olivier Awards), Colquhoun and McBryde and The Treatment.

Listings Information                                                                                                                                      The Lie

Venue:                                 Menier Chocolate Factory

Address:                              53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU

Press performance:         27 September at 8pm

Dates:                                   14 September – 18 November

Times:                                  Tue – Sat 8pm, matinees Sat and Sun 3.30pm

Box Office:                          020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)

Website:                     (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)

Tickets:                                 Prices vary, as below from discounted preview tickets to premier seats. With the emphasis on ‘the sooner you book, the better the price’:

Prices from £32.50

A meal deal ticket includes a 2-course meal from the pre-theatre menu in the Menier Restaurant as well as the theatre ticket.

Twitter: @MenChocFactory

Theatre Royal Bath announces a season of international UK premieres at the Ustinov Studio 

Christmas Eve

Theatre Royal Bath today announced a season of international UK premieres which open at the Ustinov Studio this Autumn. Daniel Kehlmann’s latest work, Christmas Eve will run from 12 October to 11 Novemberfollowed by Will Eno’s award-winning play The Open House, in a co-production with Print Room at the Coronet, from 23 November to 23 December.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Thursday 12 October – Saturday 11 November

Riveting new thriller Christmas Eve launches the season of international UK Premieres, reuniting the team behind the Ustinov Studio’s The Mentor. The latest play from multi-award winning writer Daniel Kehlmannwill be directed by Laurence Boswell, in a translation by Christopher Hampton.

On Christmas Eve 2017, a philosophy professor is on her way to celebrate Christmas when she is bundled into police headquarters and an interrogation room. Opposite her the senior officer is cynical, smart and relentless. Played out in real time, two powerful antagonists are pitted head to head against each other. Both think they are saving their country but only one of them will win.

Daniel Kehlmann is a German-language author whose novel Measuring the World, sold three million copies in Germany alone and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Christopher Hampton previously translated Florian Zeller’s play The Father for the Ustinov Studio, launching its international success. He won an Academy Award for the adaptation of his own play, Dangerous Liaisons.

Laurence Boswell is an Olivier Award winner, Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio and an Associate Artist of the RSC. His recent productions include The Mentor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Theatre Royal’s Main House, and Trouble in Mind, The Mother, Intimate Apparel and The Spanish Golden Age Season in the Ustinov Studio.

Open House

Open House

Thursday 23 November – Saturday 23 December

Former Artistic Director of the RSC, Michael Boyd directs Will Eno’s The Open House, which receives it UK Premiere at the Ustinov Studio having won the Obie Award for Playwriting in 2014. In Eno’s signature, inimitable style, the production offers a wildly subversive and darkly hilarious take on the archetypal family drama.

Son and Daughter have come home to celebrate their Mother and Father’s wedding anniversary, but the atmosphere is strained and the dog is nowhere to be seen. Just as they hit stalemate things start to take a very unexpected turn…

Will Eno’s Broadway debut play, The Realistic Joneses, was the winner of a Drama Desk Special Award. Other writing credits include The Open House (Off-Broadway), which won the Obie Award for Playwriting and most recently Wakey, Wakey (Off-Broadway).

Michael Boyd’s directing credits for Ustinov Studio include Right Now, The Harvest and The Big Meal. Other recent directing credits include The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Hampstead Theatre) and Tamburlaine (Broadway). He was formerly Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

Christmas Eve
By Daniel Kehlmann
In a translation by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Laurence Boswell
Dates: Thursday 12 October – Saturday 11 November
Press Night: Wednesday 18 October, 7pm
Performance schedule: Mon – Sat 7.45pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm
(No matinee Thursday 12 October)
Tickets: £22.50 / £17.50 discounts (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)

The Open House
By Will Eno
Directed by Michael Boyd
Dates: Thursday 23 November – Saturday 23 December
Press Night: Wednesday 29 November, 7pm
Performance schedule: Mon – Sat 7.45pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm
(No matinee Thursday 23 November)
Tickets: £22.50 / £17.50 discounts (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)