Almeida Theatre announces 2022 / 2023 season: Tammy Faye Musical, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Secret Life of Bees
The Almeida Theatre in North London has revealed its brand new season for Autumn 2022 to Spring 2023. Highlights include the much-touted world premiere of Tammy Faye, a new musical from Elton John, Jake Shears and James Graham, which will be directed by the Almeida's Artistic Director Rupert Goold, and starts performances in October 2022. A top-notch cast includes Katie Brayben, Andrew Rannells and Zubin Varla. Tammy Faye will run at the Almeida from 13 October to 3 December 2022. Also featured in the new season is Cabaret director Rebecca Frecknall's take on Tennessee Williams' classic drama A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Lydia Wilson (The Duchess of Malfi) as Blanche, BAFTA-winner Paul Mescal (Normal People) as Stanley, Anjana Vasan (We Are Lady Parts) as Stella and Dwane Walcott (Machinal) as Mitch. A Streetcar Named Desire plays from 10 December 2022 to 4 February 2023 . The Almeida is also producing the world premiere of Lulu Raczka's new play Women, Beware the Devil, directed by Rupert Goold. Set in 1640's England during the civil war, the play is billed as a "deadly new play... of treachery and trickery" from The Sunday Times Playwriting Award-winner Lulu Raczka (Antigone, Nothing), and runs from 11 February to 25 March 2023. The new season also includes the UK premiere of Broadway musical The Secret Life of Bees, running from 4 April to 27 May 2023. Whitney White will direct the show, which is written by Lynn Nottage, Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead, based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Set in 1964 in South Carolina, the show sees Rosaleen fighting for her right to vote, and Lily is escaping her violent father. When this unlikely pair flee their small town, they seek salvation at a remote honey bee farm run by the remarkable Boatwright sisters. But will their past catch up with them? The show is presented in association with Sonia Friedman Productions, Lauren Shuler Donner, Marianne Mills and Robert Cohen - so expect a possible West End transfer. The Almeida also announced that it is producing a trilogy of community productions from 2023 to 2025, exploring what it means to live, work, pray, celebrate and mourn in Islington; and launching a new annual playwright commission in memory of director Roger Michell. Other news includes the announcement of Almeida's new Young Artist groups, which will include Young Designers and Technicians for the first time; and a Black Out performance and Black Joy scratch event during the upcoming run of Dipo Baruwa-Etti's The Clinic. The Almeida also has a number of successful productions transferring into the West End later this year and into 2023, including The Doctor starring Juliet Stevenson, which starts its run at the Duke of York's Theatre in September; and Peter Morgan's Patriots starring Tom Hollander, which starts at the Noel Coward Theatre in May 2023. Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold said in a statement that: "After a wonderful, if challenging, year since reopening we are thrilled to be presenting this exciting season of work that builds on relationships we have with artists new and familiar, our local community, and above all with the audiences that continue to discover and cherish the uniqueness of our building. It was inspiring to experience the responses to Spring Awakening last Christmas - it seemed that audience members reacted strongly to a musical that chimed so powerfully with contemporary feeling. So we're very excited to be producing two new musicals, from two sets of powerhouse writers, that also speak clearly to the present day. "Our Associate Director Rebecca Frecknall made her name with her extraordinary award-winning production of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke and now she's taking on another Williams classic A Streetcar Named Desire with a blindingly good cast. Since we re-opened the Almeida after Covid lockdowns, we've presented new writing from Lolita Chakrabarti, Yomi Ṣode, Josh Azouz, Beth Steel, Peter Morgan, and Dipo Baruwa-Etti's play The Clinic goes into previews next week. To that list, add another new voice: Lulu Raczka and her play Women, Beware the Devil, a darkly comic, twisting tale of treachery and trickery. Following the success of The Key Workers Cycle earlier this year which featured an 80 strong community cast, we're also announcing a trilogy of community productions taking place over three years, exploring the real Islington featuring people who live and work here. We continue our commitment to offering affordable tickets - our tickets start at £10, with £5 tickets available to 25s and under, in addition to our Almeida For Free performances on all productions."