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Cinema screening: Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston

October 18, 2013 

From 30 January 2014

Coriolanus starring  Tom Hiddleston

Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston

National Theatre Live will broadcast to cinemas the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus starring  Tom Hiddleston in the title role, live from their Covent Garden home on 30 January 2014.

Also starring Mark Gatiss as Menenius, the production is directed by Josie Rourke.


National Theatre Live


The Weir at the Wyndham’s Theatre

July 12, 2013 

Josie Rourke’s acclaimed revival of Conor McPherson’s masterpiece The Weir transfers from the Donmar Warehouse to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre.

Starring Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwan, Risteard Cooper, Peter McDonald and Ardal O’Hanlon, The Weir is running at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 16 January 2014 for a limited season.

In Brendan’s pub, isolated above the town, the men are gathering for their daily pint. The arrival of a stranger in their midst – a woman – spurs them to impress her with stories. They are stories of souls past and of spirits very much present. But one story is more chilling and more real than any of the men could have foreseen.

On its première in 1997, The Weir won the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards for Best New Play, and established McPherson’s place as one of our greatest living playwrights. Josie Rourke’s production marks the first major British revival of this undoubted modern classic.

The play won rave reviews from the critics when it ran at the Donmar Warehouse, with Charles Spencer of the Telegraph giving it FIVE STARS and writing that, “Josie Rourke directs a pitch-perfect production that does full justice to both the humour and the depth of Conor McPherson’s wonderful play”.

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Theatre: Wyndham’s Theatre


July 12, 2013 

  • The Donmar Warehouse announces that its critically acclaimed production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir will transfer to the West End in January 2014.
  • This marks the first West End transfer for Artistic Director, Josie Rourke since her appointment at the Donmar.
  • The full original cast of the Donmar production will reprise their roles in the West End transfer.
  • The Weir will preview from 16 January 2014 at Wyndham’s Theatre, following its sold out run at the Donmar earlier this year.
  • Full cast: Risteárd Cooper, Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwan, Peter McDonald and Ardal O’Hanlon.
  • PRESS NIGHT: Wednesday 22 January 2014, 7pm

Today the Donmar Warehouse announces that its critically acclaimed production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir will transfer to the West End in January 2014. Directed by Josie Rourke, this marks the first West End transfer from the Donmar since her appointment as Artistic Director. The Weir sold out at the Donmar during its eight week run earlier this year and tickets go on sale for the West End run on Friday 12 July at 12noon.

The full original Donmar cast, Risteárd Cooper, Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwan, Peter McDonald and Ardal O’Hanlon, will reprise their roles for the West End transfer.

The Weir is recognised as McPherson’s masterpiece, winning the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1999. Josie Rourke’s production is the first major British revival of this undoubted modern classic. Following the success of this revival, the Donmar premiered McPherson’s latest play, The Night Alive, which continues to perform to full houses until 27 July.
Conor McPherson (Playwright) most recently directed his latest play, The Night Alive, at the Donmar Warehouse. He was named by The New York Times as “the finest playwright of his generation”. He won the George Devine Award in 1997 with his play St Nicholas. In 2006 he received a Tony Award nomination for Shining City and an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play for The Seafarer. In 2011 he wrote and directed The Veil for the National Theatre and in 2012 adapted Strindberg’s The Dance of Death for the Donmar Trafalgar Season. Conor recently worked on the BBC series, Quirke.

Josie Rourke (Director) became Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse in 2012. Since her appointment she has directed Berenice, The Physicists, The Recruiting Office and The Weir. She is currently directing The Machine, a new play by Matt Charman, as part of the Manchester International Festival, which will tour to New York later this year. Rourke trained at the Donmar, under Sam Mendes, through the theatre’s annual Resident Assistant Director Scheme. Prior to the Donmar, she was Artistic Director at the Bush Theatre, London, from 2007 to 2011. Her 2010 production of Men Should Weep by Ena Lamont Stewart ran in the Lyttelton at the National Theatre. In 2011 her production of Much Ado About Nothing, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, ran in the West End at Wyndham’s Theatre and received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Revival.

Risteárd Cooper’s (playing Finbar) theatre credits include Juno and the Paycock (National Theatre & Abbey Theatre, Dublin) and Pygmalion (National Theatre of Ireland). Television credits include The Crisis, in which he was nominated for Best Comedy Actor at the Monte Carlo Television and Film Awards, Apres Match, Chasing the Lions and The State of Us. He also appeared in the films Batman Begins and The Closer You Get.

Brian Cox (playing Jack) has performed in the West End, on Broadway, at the National Theatre, the Royal Court and numerous other theatres across the UK. He has a hugely prolific television and film career and films include The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity, Troy and X-Men 2. Television credits include Bob Servant Independent, The Day of the Triffids, Doctor Who and Frasier.
Dervla Kirwan (playing Valerie) has previously performed at the Donmar in Betrayal. Other theatre credits include Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival), Aristocrats and Exiles (National Theatre), A Handful of Stars (Bush Theatre), Fathers and Sons (Gate Theatre, Dublin) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Bristol Old Vic). Television credits include The Fuse, The Silence, Marple: The Secret of Chimneys and Material Girl. Films include Ondine and December Bride.

Peter McDonald (playing Brendan) has previously performed at the Donmar in Days of Wine and Roses and A Lie of the Mind. He has performed at the National Theatre, the Royal Court, The Old Vic, West End and numerous other UK theatres. He has worked with Conor McPherson on a number of projects including the film Saltwater. His extensive work on screen includes the film The Damned United and recent television includes Mayday and Moone Boy.

Ardal O’Hanlon (playing Jim) is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer and star of hit television series Father Ted and My Hero. His theatre work includes Conor McPherson’s Port Authority (Southwark Playhouse), The God of Carnage (Gate Theatre, Dublin) and See You Next Tuesday (West End). O’Hanlon is a bestselling author with his debut novel, The Talk of the Town. He starred in the feature film Wide Open Spaces and continues to tour internationally with his stand up show.


Book tickets to THE WEIR

Matilda The Musical scoops 7 Olivier Awards

April 15, 2012 

Matilda The Musical dominated the 2012 Olivier Awards this evening at the Royal Opera House, winning seven awards.

The 2012 Olivier Awards were presented at the Royal Opera House today in a star-studded ceremony organised by The Society of London Theatre.

Matilda creators Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin

Matilda creators Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin

The awards were dominated by the RSC’s production of Matilda The Musical which scooped seven awards including Best New Musical, Best Director for Matthew Warchus, Best Actress in a Musical for the four young Matilda leads, Sophia Kiely, Kerry Ingram, Cleo Demetriou and Eleanor Worthington Cox, and Best Actor in a Musical for Bertie Carvel. The show also won Best Sound Design for Simon Baker, Best Theatre Choreography for Peter Darling and Best Set Design for Rob Howell. Based on Roald Dahl’s best-selling children’s book and written by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by comedian Tim Minchin, the show continues to play to packed audiences at the Cambridge Theatre in London.

Other big winners tonight included the Donmar’s production of Anna Christie which scooped Best Revival for Rob Ashford’s production and Best Actress for Ruth Wilson.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller were jointly awarded the prize for Best Actor for their alternating roles in Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein at the National theatre, plus Bruno Poet won Best Lighting Design for the show. The National Theatre also took home Best New Play for Collaborators by John Hodge, although missed out on any awards for its blockbuster comedy One Man, Two Guvnors now playing on Broadway and at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The Open Air Theatre’s production of Crazy For You won both Best Musical Revival and Best Costume Design for Peter McKintosh. Other musical nods included the Radio Two Audience Award which went to Les Miserables and Nigel Harman winning Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Sheridan Smith, who won Best Actress in a Musical last year for her role in Legally Blonde, kept the momentum by taking home a Best Performance in a Supporting Role award for her role in Trevor Nunn’s Flare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre went to the Theatre Royal Stratford East in association with the Barbican and Traverse Theatre for Roadkill.

Tim Rice was honoured with a Special Award

Tim Rice was honoured with a Special Award

In dance, the Outstanding Achievement in Dance went to Edward Watson for his acclaimed performance in The Metamorphosis at the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Opera House’s Dame Monica Mason was presented with a Special Award by Zoe Wanamaker for her extraordinary contribution to British dance. The Best New Dance Production went to DESH by Akram Khan Company at Sadler’s Wells.

In the Opera categories, English National Opera triumphed by winning both awards: Best New Opera Production for Castor And Pollux and the Outstanding Achievement in Opera award for the breadth and diversity of its artistic programme.

Best Entertainment and Family show was won by Derren Brown for Svengali, taking home his second Entertainment Olivier Award.

The evening ended with a Special Award tribute to lyricist Sir Tim Rice, with Siobhan McCarthy and Maria Friedman singing I know Him So Well from Chess, Elaine Paige performing Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita and the cast of The Lion Ling.

Hosted for a second year by Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, who are currently starring in Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi Theatre, the awards celebrate the best of London’s West End Theatre.


See the full list of Olivier Awards 2012 winners here

Olivier Awards microsite

WATCH the Olivier Awards on BBC iPlayer


Anna Christie starring Jude Law at the Donmar Warehouse – Round-up of Reviews

August 11, 2011 

As Michael Grandage ends his 10 year stewardship as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, he’s certainly going out with a bang.

Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse. Photo: Johan Persson

Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse. Photo: Johan Persson

In a final season that includes some big names, including Jude Law, Ruth Wilson, Douglas Hodge, Karen Gillan and Eddie Redmayne, it’s Law and Wilson up first in a new production of Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie (until 8 October 2011).

Eugene O’Neill’s epic, Pulitzer prize winning play is directed by Donmar associate Rob Ashford, fresh from directing Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and with design is by Paul Wills, whose Donmar productions include The Man Who Had All The Luck and Novecento.

Both Jude Law and Ruth Wilson are returning to the Donmar after performances in 2009: Law in Hamlet for the Donmar West End season and Ruth Wilson in A Streetcar Named Desire.

So what did the critics think? See our round-up of reviews, below.


Olivier Awards: National, Legally Blonde

March 14, 2011 

In a star-studded awards ceremony last night, Sunday 13 March, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, the Society of London Theatre held their 35th annual theatre awards ceremony.

Best actress in a musical winner Sheridan Smith

Best actress in a musical winner Sheridan Smith

Hosted by musicals star Michael Ball and actress Imelda Staunton, the awards celebrate the best of the year’s London theatre.

Big winners last night included the National Theatre, which swept up seven awards for two of its productions: Thea Sharrock’s revival of Terence Rattigan’s After the Dance, which won awards including best revival, best actress for Nancy Carroll and best actor in a supporting role for Adrian Scarborough; and its production of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The White Guard, including best director for Howard Davies and best set design for Bunny Christie.

In other subsidised venues the Royal Court picked up three awards, including best new play for Bruce Norris’s comedy Clybourne Park, which is now playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End, and two awards for the Donmar Warehouse, including David Thaxton picking up best actor in a musical for Passion.

Roger Allam won best actor for his performance as Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, beating stiff competition from Rory Kinnear, Derek Jacobi, David Suchet and Mark Rylance.

The Olivier Awards were held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The Olivier Awards were held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The most successful musical of the night was Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre, which picked up three major awards: best new musical, best actress in a musical for Sheridan Smith and best performance in a supporting role in a Musical for Jill Halfpenny.

Other musicals rewarded at the event included We Will Rock You, which won the Olivier Audience Award voted for by members of the theatregoing public, and the Open Air Theatre’s summer production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.

Stephen Sondheim was presented with an Olivier Special Award for his enormous contribution to theatre, with the award presented by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and legendary actress Angela Lansbury.

Big shows to miss out on awards this year included Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, which failed to pick up any awards despite seven nominations, and End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios, which was nominated for four awards including best actress for Tracie Bennett in her performance as Judy Garland.

Thea Sharrock picks up the Best Revival award for her production of After the Dance at the National Theatre

Thea Sharrock picks up the Best Revival award for her production of After the Dance at the National Theatre

Notable performances during the ceremony included a star turn by legendary American singer Barry Manilow, who also sang a duet with Wicked and Oliver! star Kerry Ellis; current and former stars of The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies – Ramin Karimloo, John Owen-Jones and Sierra Boggess; Emma Williams and Michael Xavier singing Everything We Know from Love Story; Alfie Boe, who is soon to star in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, singing Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific; Susan McFadden and the current cast of Legally Blonde; and Adrian Lester paying tribute to Stephen Sondheim by singing Being Alive from Company, along with Angela Lansbury singing a moving rendition of Liaisons from A Little Night Music and 400 students from national drama schools singing Our Time from Merrily We Roll Along.


BBC iPlayer – Radio 2 coverage

BBC iPlayer – BBC News


Olivier Awards – list of winners

Olivier Awards microsite

Olivier Awards – news

Olivier Awards – Binkie Blog’s Picks and Pans

Donmar Warehouse names new head

March 12, 2011 

The Donmar Warehouse in London has named Josie Rourke as the new artistic director of the successful Covent Garden venue. She will take over from Michael Grandage at the beginning of 2012.

Josie Rourke

Josie Rourke

It has been rumoured for some time that Rourke, 34, who is currently artistic director of the Bush Theatre, would take over at the Donmar. Her stewardship of the Bush since 2007 has seen a number of high profile productions, successful funding drives and the relocation of the venue to a new home, which will open in September this year. She has also worked in Sheffield, at the Royal Court, the Old Vic and London’s National Theatre.

Rourke is also directing the forthcoming high-profile production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre (from 16 May) starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

Grandage has proved a hugely successful artistic director at the Donmar over the past 10 years through a succession of hit shows including his Olivier and Tony Award winning production of Red starring Alfred Molina . He in turn inherited the venue from Sam Mendes, who cemented the Donmar’s reputation as a world-class theatre.

Rourke said that she was “thrilled and honoured” to be taking up the post and that, “ten years ago, I started my career as the Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar. Nothing could make me more proud than to return to the place where I began. Both Michael Grandage and Sam Mendes have always been great friends and invaluable mentors and when I take over as the Donmar’s Artistic Director I will inherit their legacy of twenty years of wonderful productions, extraordinary performances and great nights out at the theatre.”

Michael Grandage commented that the Donmar’s board of directors had made “an inspired appointment” and that “the Donmar will now benefit from that energy and leadership.”

Grandage’s last season at the Donmar will include Jude Law and Ruth Wilson starring in Eugene O’Neill’s play Anna Christie, Douglas Hodge in John Osborne’s Inadmissible Evidence and Eddie Redmayne in Richard II.


More Donmar Warehouse news

More news on Josie Rourke

Book tickets to Josie Rourke’s new production of Much Ado About Nothing


Sunday clash: Chalk Garden vs Oliviers

March 12, 2011 

A great big sigh of irritation that the BBC has scheduled Michael Grandage’s radio version of his acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production of The Chalk Garden at the same time as the Oliviers. Yes I know that those with computers can also listen later on BBC iPlayer, but both deserve exciting live listening me thinks.

Penelope Wilton and Margaret Tyzack in The Chalk Garden at the Donmar

Penelope Wilton and Margaret Tyzack in The Chalk Garden at the Donmar

Enid Bagnold’s play The Chalk Garden starts at 8pm on Sunday 13 March on BBC Radio 3, starring Grandage’s fabulous cast from his 2008 production, including Margaret Tyzack, Penelope Wilton and Felicity Jones.

The Oliviers will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 from 5.30pm on Sunday 13 March, presented by Paul Gambaccini, and with some Red Carpet action hosted by Jodie Prenger.

Digital satellite and cable TV viewers in the UK can also see coverage via the BBC’s red button service. We can but dream of the day that they might also pop it on the proper telly.


BBC Radio 3 – The Chalk Garden
BBC Radio 2 – Olivier Awards
Olivier Awards microsite

In the West End This Week: Wicked, Oliviers

February 7, 2011 

What’s coming up in the West End this week, including The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, Shoes, the Olivier Awards and The Children’s Hour.

Monday 7 February 2011

Mark Evans in Wicked

Mark Evans in Wicked

A new cast joins Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Lee Mead said farewell to the company on Saturday night, and a number of new cast members join the show tonight including Mark Evans as Fiyero, Zoë Rainey as Nessarose and Ben Stott as Boq, alongside current stars Rachel Tucker as Elphaba and Louise Dearman as Glinda.

The Olivier Award nominations will be announced today at 11am at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. This year’s awards – which will be presented on 13 March at Drury Lane – promise to have upped the star and glamour quotient and will be televised by the BBC.

The Wizard of Oz starts previews tonight. This mega new production at the London Palladium, rebooted by Jeremy Sams and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright, sees Over The Rainbow star Danielle Hope join Michael Crawford and Hannah Waddingham.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

A big theatre day! Shoes – the hugely successful Sadler’s Wells show – opens tonight at the Peacock Theatre to give the show a much deserved West End airing.

Million Dollar Quartet, the musical that recreates the historic day when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis all made music together, starts previews at the Noel Coward Theatre on Tuesday.

Also much deserving is Clybourne Park, which gets its official opening at the Wyndhams Theatre starring Sophie Thompson and Stephen Campbell Moore. Bruce Norris’ satirical comedy, directed by Dominic Cooke for the Royal Court, has been sweeping the boards at various awards including the recent South Bank Sky Arts Awards and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.

Also on Tuesday, Showstopper the Improvised Musical begins at the Ambassadors Theatre in London with the the all-singing, all-dancing cast creating a brand new musical from scratch every night in this award-winning production. Plus, the Southwark Playhouse opens its new production of Sondheim’s Company directed by Joe Fredericks.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Elisabeth Moss in The Children's Hour

Elisabeth Moss in The Children's Hour

The Children’s Hour gets its official opening night at the Comedy Theatre tonight, starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Keira Knightley and Ellen Burstyn in Lillian Hellman’s controversial play.

Friday 11 February 2011

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee starts previews as the Donmar Warehouse.

And coming up

Next week sees The Woman in Black celebrate its 23rd birthday, having opened in the West End on 15 February 1989. 2011 promises to be a big year for the show, with a brand new movie version of Susan Hill’s classic horror story opening in cinemas starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Clybourne Park scoops awards

January 25, 2011 

Bruce Norris’s new play Clybourne Park, produced by the Royal Court last year and transferring to the Wyndham’s Theatre from 28 January, has scooped two major best new play awards.

Sophie Thompson in Clybourne Park

Sophie Thompson in Clybourne Park

In ceremonies held today in central London, the South Bank Sky Arts Awards and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards both presented Clybourne Park with Best New Play gongs.

The Royal Court also picked up two more awards from the Critics’ Circle, both mirroring their wins at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards last year: the Most Promising Playwright Award for Anya Reiss’s Spur of the Moment and Daniel Kaluuya for most promising newcomer for Sucker Punch.

The National, RSC and Donmar Warehouse also did well from the Critics’ Circle awards with Michael Grandage and Thea Sharrock  jointly awarded best director for King Lear at the Donmar and After the Dance at the National respectively.

Other winners included theatre veterans David Suchet receiving a best actor award for All My Sons at the Apollo and Derek Jacobi a best Shakespearean performance award for King Lear at the Donmar. Best musical went to the RSC’s Matilda The Musical based on Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book and best actress was awarded to Jenny Jules for her performance in Ruined at the Almeida.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards led by Melvyn Bragg, the first to be presented by the Sky Arts channel following ITV’s axing of Bragg’s South Bank Show last year, saw Dame Judi Dench awarded the Outstanding Achievement award. Alongside Clybourne Park’s win, best opera production was awarded to Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg from Welsh National Opera and best dance was Akram Khan’s Gnosis at Sadler’s Wells.


Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2010 – full list of winners

South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2011 – full list of winners


Book tickets to Clybourne Park at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London

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