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.


Jonathan Pryce and Dame Eileen Atkins to star in The Height of the Storm, a new play by Florian Zeller

The Height of the Storm
The Height of the Storm

The Height of the Storm

Multi award-winning star of screen and stage Jonathan Pryce and three-time Olivier award-winning Dame Eileen Atkins will star in The Height of the Storm, a new play by Florian Zeller, the internationally acclaimed writer of The Father.

Directed by Jonathan KentThe Height of the Storm will open at Richmond Theatre on Saturday 1 September and play Cambridge Arts Theatre and Bath Theatre Royal, before transferring to London, opening at Wyndham’s Theatre onTuesday 2 October (Press Night: Tuesday 9 October at 7:00pm).

André and Madeleine have been in love for over fifty years. This weekend, as their daughters visit, something feels unusual. A bunch of flowers arrives, but who sent them? A woman from the past turns up, but who is she? And why does André feel like he isn’t there at all?

The Height of the Storm is a beautifully compelling family drama by Florian Zeller, “the most exciting playwright of our time” (The Guardian). Starring two of the greatest actors of their generation on stage together for the first time, this major new play from the writer of Olivier Award-Winning The Father is a searing exploration of love, family and the fragility of life.

Jonathan Pryce is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning actor on stage and screen. His diverse film work includes lauded performances in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, James Foley’s Glengarry Glen RossCarrington for which Pryce won the Best Actor award at both Cannes Film Festival and Evening Standard Awards, Evita and successful blockbusters such asTomorrow Never Dies, the Pirates of the Caribbean series and the G.I. Joe films.

His extensive theatre work includes Comedians in London and on Broadway, for which he won a Tony Award; The Royal Court production of Hamlet, for which he received an Olivier Award; and Miss Saigon in which he starred on both sides of the Atlantic, winning further Olivier and Tony awards.

Pryce’s recent work includes Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote alongside Adam Driver; The Man Who Invented Christmas alongside Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer, and The Wife opposite Glenn Close. He is currently filming upcoming Netflix feature The Pope alongside Anthony Hopkins, directed by Fernando Meirelles.

Pryce’s television work includes Taboo for FX and BBC, alongside Tom Hardy, and Sally Wainwright’s one-off film for BBC television To Walk Invisible. He also starred in Cranford: Return to Cranford, for which he received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama. His other recent television roles include Cardinal Wolsey in the award-winning adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and High Sparrow in the hugely successful series Game of Thrones.

Dame Eileen Atkins is a three-time Olivier award-winning actress, and four-time Tony Award nominee. She is known for her BAFTA and Emmy award-winning performance in Cranford and major roles in Upstairs Downstairs and Doc Martin. Film roles include Gosford ParkThe Hours and Paddington 2.

Atkins’ many stage appearances in the West End include HonourEllen Terry, Three Tall Women and The Female of the Species. She has also played starring roles on Broadway in Retreat from Moscow with John Lithgow, and All that Fall with Michael Gambon, Indiscretions with Jude Law, The Killing of Sister George and Vivat! Vivat! Regina!, all of which she received Tony Award nominations for Best Actress. She can be seen most recently as Queen Mary in Netflix’s The Crown.

The Height of the Storm is translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by Jonathan Kent (GypsyLong Day’s Journey into Night) and produced by Simon Friend, Mark Goucher and Howard Panter. Co-producers will be Gavin Kalin, Act Productions and Scott Landis.


First Look: Production Images: The Slaves of Solitude at Hampstead Theatre


First Look: Rehearsal Images: The Slaves of Solitude at Hampstead Theatre

Full casting announced for SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH at Chichester Festival Theatre

Marcia Gay Harden and Brian J Smith

Marcia Gay Harden and Brian J Smith © Johan Persson

Full casting has been announced for Tennessee Williams’ SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, directed by Jonathan Kent, running at Chichester Festival Theatre from 2 – 24 June, with a press night on Friday 9 June.

The company is headed by two of America’s leading stage and screen actors: celebrated Oscar and Tony Award-winning actor Marcia Gay Harden makes her UK theatre debut as Alexandra, and Brian J. Smith plays Chance. Joining them are: Emma Amos, Hester Arden, Matthew Barker, Victoria Bewick, Alex Bhat, Ray Emmet Brown, Graham Butler,Richard Cordery (as ‘Boss’ Finley), Ingrid Craigie, Joy Cruickshank, Tim Francis, Kurt Kansley, Rob Ostlere, Sam Phillips, Daniel Tuite and Ewart James Walters.

1956, a hotel on the Gulf of Mexico. Alexandra del Lago, a fading Hollywood legend, has fled the ridicule that greeted the premiere of her come-back movie. Desperate for anonymity and forgetfulness, she is holed up in a small seaside town on the Gulf of Mexico. With her is Chance Wayne – a young hustler, trying to lend his wasted, disreputable life some meaning and now returning home to reclaim his childhood love from her ruthless father, the corrupt politician ‘Boss’ Finley.

In perhaps his most searing and personal of plays, Tennessee Williams examines failed ambition, lost youth and love, and the corruption and bigotry that lurks beneath the American Dream. As the present-day United States faces uncertainty and momentous change, Sweet Bird of Youth is a portrayal of the degradation of American values and the corrosive lure of celebrity.

Academy and Tony Award-winning actor Marcia Gay Harden, whose work embraces independent and studio films, television and theatre, plays Alexandra. Her many film roles include the artist Lee Krasner in Pollock, for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress; Celeste in Mystic River, for which she received another Oscar nomination; Miller’s Crossing, The First Wives Club, Meet Joe Black, Mona Lisa Smile, The Hoax, Used People, Grandma, Into the Wild, American Gun, Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker. She stars in the CBS drama Code Black, while earlier television work includes The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler and Law and Order: SVU, for both of which she received Emmy Award nominations, and the critically acclaimed HBO series The Newsroom.

Marcia Gay Harden made her Broadway debut in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, for which she received a Tony Award nomination as well as Drama Desk and Theatre World awards. She won the Tony Award and Outer Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress in 2009 for Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, a role she reprised in Los Angeles in 2011 with the original Broadway cast.

Brian J. Smith, who plays Chance, earned Olivier and Tony Award nominations for his role as the Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, a role he first played on Broadway and is currently reprising in the West End. His screen work includes Trey in the independent film Hate Crime; Matthew Scott in the TV series Stargate Universe; and Will Gorski in Netflix’s Sense8, of which a new series starts in May.

Director Jonathan Kent returns to Chichester following his hugely successful productions of the Young Chekhov Trilogy (Evening Standard Award for Best Revival), Gypsy and Sweeney Todd (both of which won Olivier Awards for Best Musical Revival) and Private Lives, all of which transferred to London. He was Joint Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre from  1990 – 2002.

The production will be designed by Anthony Ward, with lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Debbie Wiseman, sound by Paul Groothuis and video by Andrzej Goulding.

SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH  is sponsored by Covers Timber & Builders Merchants and Harwoods Group.


Pre-Show Talk with Jonathan Kent           Wednesday 7 June, 5.45pm

Free but booking essential.

Late with Kate & Marcia Gay Harden         Thursday 15 June, Post-Show

Marcia Gay Harden joins Kate Mosse to talk about her extraordinary film career and Tony Award-winning work in theatre.  Free.

Post-Show Talk                                            Monday 19 June

Stay after the performance to ask questions, meet company members and discover more. Free.

 The Trump Effect                             Saturday 24 June, 11am, Steven Pimlott Building

Alongside Caroline, Or Change and Sweet Bird of Youth, a panel of history students and academics from the University of Chichester examine some of the most dramatic periods in American history – times of political and social change. Tickets £5.

 Digital Drafts                                     Saturday 15 July – Saturday 12 August

Listen to a series of new short plays through sound installation boxes in the Festival Theatre Foyer. Using themes from Sweet Bird of Youth as a stimulus, young playwrights will work together to craft their short pieces, which will be recorded in radio play style by members of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre. Free.


Box Office 01243 781312


Tickets from £10. Prologue tickets for 16 – 25 year olds for £5.

Press night: Friday 9 June

Wild Honey at Hampstead Theatre

Wild Honey

Previews from 2 December 2016

Hampstead Theatre

Wild Honey

Wild Honey

Hampstead Theatre presents Michael Frayn’s Wild Honey, directed by Howard Davies and Jonathan Kent. This comedy of errors, drawn from Chekhov’s untitled – and posthumously discovered – early play, is a tale of nineteenth century Russian life replete with classic misunderstandings, irrepressible desires and nostalgia for a vanishing world.

Village schoolmaster Mikhail Vasilyevich has it all: wit, intelligence, a comfortable and respectable life in provincial Russia, and the attentions of four beautiful women – one of whom is his devoted wife… As summer arrives and the seasonal festivities commence, the rapidly intensifying heat makes everyone giddy with sunlight, vodka – and passion. Geoffrey Streatfeild will make his Hampstead Theatre debut in the role of Platonov. The cast also includes Bruce AlexanderJoe BannisterGunnar CautherySimon ChandlerKammy DarweishJoe EvansMatthew FlynnJo HerbertRebecca HumphriesJustine MitchellAdrian RichardsSophie Rundle and Howard Ward. | 020 7722 9301





Guess what: 2015’s GYPSY is out to stream and on DVD soon.
It’s a really, really brilliant musical on film.
This film does not just feature one of the greatest musical theatre performances of all time, it features THE greatest musical theatre performance of all times. Imelda etc etc and so on.
Gypsy DVD Cover Image

Gypsy DVD Cover Image

Awarded with an Olivier Award® for her role as Momma Rose, Imelda Staunton (Maleficent, The Harry Potter Series) gives “the performance of her career” in Jonathan Kent’s dazzling revival. Lara Pulver (Edge of Tomorrow, Spooks), reprises her “stunning” role as Louise and they are joined by Peter Davison (Law and Order: UK) as Herb, in this gloriously entertaining musical fable that features show stopping choreography from Stephen Mear.

Gypsy is based on memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous striptease artist back in 1957, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother”. It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.

Featuring the classic songs “Let Me Entertain You,” “Rose’s Turn” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Jule Styne, this moving and scintillating production of Gypsy was the first to be seen in London for 40 years.

Let there be no doubt about this: ‘GYPSY’ is, as all musical theatre should be, simultaneously absolutely astounding and absolutely majestic.

Don’t believe me? Just watch this EXCLUSIVE clip.

Coming soon: Keep your eyes peeled for a chance to win a copy of GYPSY on DVD!