Artistic director Rupert Goold announces the Almeida Theatre’s new season for spring 2020

Artistic director Rupert Goold announces the Almeida Theatre’s new season for spring 2020:

  • The return of Mike Bartlett’s acclaimed Albion for a four week run, with Victoria Hamilton reprising her award-winning performance.
  • The UK Premiere of“Daddy”, byJeremy O. Harris (Slave Play), directed by Danya Taymor.
  • The World Premiere ofBeth Steel’s new play The House of Shades, directed by Blanche McIntyre.

Also announced today:

  • The launch of the Genesis Almeida New Playwrights, Big Plays Programme, a new annual scheme that supports emerging and mid-career writers to develop new plays for larger stages. The first cohort of seven writers is Kendall FeaverSami IbrahimCharley MilesAmy NgIman QureshiSam Steiner and Ross Willis.
  • A new Resident Designers scheme to run alongside the Resident Directors programme, now in its fourth year.

Rupert Goold said, “When we first produced Albion a year after the EU referendum, it caught a moment fraught with uncertainty about the future direction of the country. Now, two years later, we face a new moment of juncture, with our country and national identity fracturing along the fault lines of that fateful vote in new ways every week. Returning to the garden of Albion, I find Mike Bartlett’s play resonates with an entirely different tone and, with Victoria Hamilton, whose performance as Audrey is one of the finest in my tenure at the Almeida, agreeing to return, it feels important to bring it back, the first production we have revived.

“Alongside Albion, we present two new voices to Almeida audiences – Jeremy O. Harris has been generating major waves on Broadway with Slave Play and now makes his UK debut with “Daddy”, his brave and brilliant exploration of intimacy and power, mentorship and identity in the glamorous retreats of the LA art world. And Beth Steel, already recognised as one of the country’s most ambitious political writers, gives us her new play The House of Shades, whose ghost-filled story charts the journey of a single family over half a century of social and economic change, as the Labour movement they inherited crumbles and reforms around them.

“As we announce these two new plays, it feels fitting to also announce the brand new Genesis Almeida New Playwrights, Big Plays Programme, featuring seven writers who have all demonstrated their ability to think big, engaging with unusual, imaginative and formally innovative ideas. We can’t wait to guide them over the next year and to see what they produce and are hugely grateful to the Genesis Foundation for giving us this opportunity.”

John Studzinski, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation said, “One of the great gifts of life is to be challenged continually and never to stop learning. The Genesis Foundation works with its partners to identify areas in arts philanthropy that aren’t being fulfilled. Experienced artists wishing to develop their creative work are too often overlooked for support and commissions and don’t get the mentoring they need. It’s important that we support the creation of the Genesis Almeida Writers Programme. By identifying and supporting writers who will benefit most from working with the team at the Almeida we are helping to ensure that they continue to develop their work in new and exciting ways.”

ALBION

by Mike Bartlett

Direction: Rupert Goold; Design: Miriam Buether; Light: Neil Austin;

Sound: Gregory Clarke; Movement Director: Rebecca Frecknall

 Monday 3 February – Friday 28 February 2020

Press night: Wednesday 5 February 7pm

 Cast includes: Victoria Hamilton.

 ★★★★★

“The play that Britain needs right now”

The Telegraph

 This is our little piece of the world, and we’re allowed to do with it, exactly as we like. Yes?

In the ruins of a garden in rural England.

In a house which was once a home.

A woman searches for seeds of hope.

Following a sell-out run in 2017, Albion returns to the Almeida for four weeks only.

Mike Bartlett’s plays for the Almeida include his adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s VassaGame and the multi-award winning King Charles III (Olivier Award for Best New Play) which premiered at the Almeida before West End and Broadway transfers, a UK and international tour. His television adaptation of the play was broadcast on BBC Two in 2017. Other plays include Snowflake (Old Fire Station and running at the Kiln Theatre this Christmas); WildAn Intervention; Bull (won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre); an adaptation of MedeaChariots of Fire13Decade (co-writer); Earthquakes in LondonLove, Love, LoveCock (Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre); Contractions and My Child Artefacts. His writing for television includes PressTraumaDoctor FosterKing Charles III and the forthcoming Life.

Rupert Goold is the Almeida’s Artistic Director where he has previously directed The HuntShipwreck, Albion, Ink (also West End and Broadway), Richard III (broadcast live to cinemas around the world), MedeaThe Merchant of Venice, King Charles III (West End, Broadway, UK and international tour) and American Psycho (also Broadway). He was Artistic Director of Headlong from 2005 until 2013 where his work included The EffectENRON, Earthquakes in London and Decade. Other theatre credits include Made in Dagenham (West End); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Almeida); Macbeth (Chichester Festival Theatre, West End and Broadway) and No Man’s Land (The Gate, Dublin and West End). He has twice been the recipient of the Olivier, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Director. He was Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2009 to 2012 and was Artistic Director of Northampton Theatres from 2002 to 2005. His feature film Judy is currently in cinemas and his other work on film includes the BAFTA nominated Richard II, part of The Hollow Crown; Macbeth for the BBC; True Story starring James Franco and Jonah Hill and a television adaptation of his production of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III for BBC Two. He was awarded a CBE for services to drama in 2017.

Victoria Hamilton plays Audrey Walters. She previously appeared in The Doctor’s Dilemma at the Almeida. Her other theatre credits include Love, Love, Love (Royal Court); Twelfth Night (Donmar Warehouse at Wyndham’s Theatre); Once in a LifetimeSummerfolk and Money (National Theatre); Suddenly Last Summer (Donmar Warehouse and UK Tour); Sweet PanicHome & Beauty and The Master Builder (West End); A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Roundabout Theatre, New York and in the West End); The Country Wife and As You Like It at (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield); King Lear, The Provoked Wife and The Seagull (The Old Vic) and Troilus And Cressida and As You Like It (RSC). Her  television work includes the forthcoming Mike Bartlett series LifeDeep StateThe Crown; Doctor Foster; Our Ex-WifeThe CircuitCall the Midwife Christmas SpecialThe GameWhat RemainsToastLarkrise to CandlefordTime of Your LifeTrial and RetributionWide Sargasso SeaThe Shell SeekersA Very Social SecretaryJerichoSpine ChillersTo the Ends of the EarthThe BrontesGoodbye Mr ChipsBaby Father – I & IIVictoria & AlbertThe SavagesKing LearThe Merchant of VenicePersuasion and Pride and Prejudice. Films include French; Scoop; Before You Go and Mansfield Park.

 UK Premiere

“DADDY”

A Melodrama

by Jeremy O. Harris

Direction: Danya Taymor; Design: Matt Saunders

Monday 30 March – Saturday 9 May 2020

Press night: Thursday 9 April 7pm

 I will be your father figure. Put your tiny hand in mine.

I will be your preacher teacher. Anything you have in mind.

 A young black artist meets an older white art collector.

A gospel choir emerges from an infinity pool.

A mother stops at nothing to save her son’s soul.

When it’s summer every day…when even is it?

In this Bel Air tale of love and family, intimacy is a commodity and the surreal gets real.

Danya Taymor directs the UK premiere of “Daddy”, an explosive and blistering melodrama from Jeremy O. Harris (Slave Play) – “one of the most exciting new voices of his generation” GQ.

Jeremy O. Harris’ plays include Slave Play (Golden Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Winner of the 2018 Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences); Xander Xyst; Dragon: 1 and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys. In 2018, he co-wrote A24’s upcoming film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. He is the eleventh recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist, a resident playwright with Colt Coeur, and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons. He is a graduate of the Yale MFA Playwriting Programme.

 Danya Taymor’s previous directing work includes Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizon); Daddy (New Group/Vineyard); Pass Over (Lincoln Center/Steppenwolf); Familiar (Steppenwolf); queens (Lincoln Center Theater); Esai’s Table (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); The Sensuality Party (The New Group); Christina Martinez (Juilliard); Cygnus (Women’s Project); Wyoming (Lesser America); My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer and The Place We Built (The Flea). Her translations include Alejandro Ricaño’s We Are Getting Better at Saying Goodbye, Luis Enrique Guitierrez Ortiz Monasterio’s I Hate Fucking Mexicans and Ettore Scola’s Working on a Special Day. She is a 2014-2016 Time Warner Directing Fellow at Women’s Project, a 2050 fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, an Artist in Residence at Theatre for a New Audience, a member of Ensemble Studio Theater, an Associate Artist at The Flea Theater, New Georges Affiliated Artist and a semi-finalist for the Lange-Taylor prize with Dominic Bracco.

 World Premiere

THE HOUSE OF SHADES

by Beth Steel

Direction: Blanche McIntyre; Design: Anna Fleischle

 Monday 18 May – Saturday 27 June 2020

Press night: Tuesday 26 May 7pm

 Nothing cuts into us like the family knife.

The Webster House.

  1. 1979. 1985. 1990. 2016.

Death silences no one, least of all the dead.

Blanche McIntyre (The Writer) directs the world premiere of Beth Steel’s (Wonderland) revelatory new play which spans five decades of the lives, and deaths, of the Webster family.

Inside their home, set against the ever-changing industrial landscape of working-class Britain, some chase dreams of a brighter future and others are haunted by the nightmares of the past.

 Beth Steel’s plays include LabyrinthWonderland and Ditch. She was awarded the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014.

Blanche McIntyre directs. She returns to the Almeida having previously directed The Writer. Her other credits include Botticelli in the Fire (Hampstead Theatre); Bartholomew FairA Winter’s Tale, As You Like It and The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Norman Conquests (Chichester Festival Theatre); Titus Andronicus and The Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC); Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse); Welcome Home, Captain Fox! (Donmar Warehouse); The Oresteia (HOME, Manchester); Arcadia (English Touring Theatre and Ambassador Theatre Group); Accolade (Finborough Theatre); Tonight at 8:30 and The Nutcracker (Nuffield Southampton Theatres); Ciphers (Out of Joint, Bush Theatre and Exeter Northcott); The Birthday Party (Royal Exchange Theatre) and The Seagull (Headlong Theatre, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Derby Theatre – winter of Best Director at 2013 UK Theatre Awards); Foxfinder and Accolade (Finborough Theatre). She was the winner of the 2011 Critics’ Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award.

GENESIS ALMEIDA NEW PLAYWRIGHTS, BIG PLAYS PROGRAMME

The Genesis Almeida New Playwrights, Big Plays Programme is an annual programme that supports emerging and mid-career writers to develop new plays for larger stages giving them the space and time to experiment with form and scale. Each writer on the programme is commissioned to develop one new play and will be given dramaturgical support from the Almeida’s Literary Manager and artistic team. During the year the writers will also attend twelve masterclasses led by established British and international playwrights and be given a five day R&D workshop to develop their commission.

The Genesis Almeida Writers Programme is made possible by the support of the Genesis Foundation.

The Genesis Almeida Writers for 2019/20 are:

Kendall Feaver

Sami Ibrahim

Charley Miles

Amy Ng

Iman Qureshi

Sam Steiner

Ross Willis

Established by John Studzinski, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as the Almeida Theatre, LAMDA, the National Theatre, The Sixteen and the Young Vic. Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in their career development.