Michael Grandage Company Announces West End Season Of Five Plays With Over 100,000 Tickets At £10

James Bierman and Michael Grandage launch their new company with a season of plays at the Noel Coward Theatre spanning 15 months from December 2012 to February 2014

• Over 200 tickets per performance at £10, with over 100,000 across the entire season
• Full education programme including schools’ performances, access and job opportunities
• New work alongside classical and twentieth century plays directed by Michael Grandage
• Privates On Parade play by Peter Nichols, music by Denis King
• Peter and Alice a new play by John Logan
• The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh
• A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
• Henry V by William Shakespeare
• Seven actors join company for new initiative in the West End
• Simon Russell Beale
• Judi Dench
• Jude Law
• Daniel Radcliffe
• Sheridan Smith
• David Walliams
• Ben Whishaw

James Bierman and Michael Grandage said today, “We are delighted to announce the inaugural season of work for the Michael Grandage Company – a programme comprised of new writing alongside the classical and twentieth century repertoire. At its heart is a commitment to reach out to as wide an audience as possible with over 200 tickets for each performance at £10 -over 100,000 across the season and through our schools’ and access work we aim to appeal to new theatregoers and help build audiences for the future. This unique West End season brings together writers, actors and other artists in a single venture over fifteen months dedicated to presenting work of the highest quality at affordable prices.”

This season of five plays will be presented with over 100,000 tickets at £10, free performances for selected schools, a full education programme, captioned performances, audio-described performances, job opportunities for rising young directors and designers and much more. As well as offering audiences a diverse range of plays, the Michael Grandage Company is also reaching out to people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the work they are presenting in the West End.
Over 100,000 tickets have been put aside at £10 – over 200 per performance. The majority of these tickets are bookable in advance, with 24 per performance held as day seats enabling access to every production throughout the run. These £10 tickets are across every level in the auditorium.
Every production in this season will have at least one free performance for schools and colleges from selected areas across London focusing on first-time theatregoers. This will launch MGC Futures, a scheme designed to introduce young people to the theatre.
MGC will also be engaging in a full education programme and reaching out to as many people as possible over the 15 months. There will be a Schools’ group rate offering access to all productions and a range of activities including a post-show talk, in-school workshops and on¬line study guides free of charge.
In addition to this, MGC will undertake an ambitious intergenerational project focused around Henry V – the final production in the season. This will culminate in MGC Education Week, which will see a performance of this work on the stage of the Noel Coward theatre, plus an exhibition of set and costume designs by local primary school children.
MGC will be seeking young directors and designers for each production as part of a training scheme to seek out the next generation of creative artists working in the theatre. Full details of how to apply for these roles will be available via www.michaelgrandagecompany.com
Each show will have audio described performances that include touch-tours and other activities.
In association with Stagetext, MGC are proud to offer all five West End shows with captioned performances.

Michael Grandage Company (MGC) is a new non-building based production company set up by James Bierman and Michael Grandage to produce theatre, film and television. Its theatre work will be seen predominantly in London and New York where it aims to reach out to new audiences through competitive ticket pricing and access. The company is currently developing film projects and commissioning new work beyond 2014.

MICHAEL GRANDAGE is Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company in London. He was Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse (2002–2012) and Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres (2000–05). He is the recipient of Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and South Bank Awards. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by both Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University and is President of Central School of Speech and Drama. He was appointed CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2011. Later this month, his book A Decade At The Donmar, is published by Constable & Robins.
His work for the Donmar Warehouse included Richard II, Luise Miller, King Lear, Red (also New York, Tony and Drama Desk Awards Best Director), Jude Law in Hamlet (also Elsinore and New York), Ivanov (Evening Standard and Critics Circle Award Best Director), Madame de Sade, Twelfth Night, The Chalk Garden (Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards Best Director), Don Juan in Soho, Frost/Nixon (also Gielgud, New York, USA tour, Tony Nomination Award for Best Director), Othello (Evening Standard and Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Director), The Wild Duck (Critic’s Circle Award Best Director), Guys and Dolls (Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production), Grand Hotel (Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production and Evening Standard Award Best Director), The Cut, After Miss Julie, Caligula (Olivier Award Best Director), Merrily We Roll Along (Evening Standard Award Best Director), Passion Play (Evening Standard Award and Critics Circle Award for Best Director). For Sheffield Theatres he directed many productions including Don Carlos (Evening Standard Award Best Director).

JAMES BIERMAN is Executive Producer of the Michael Grandage Company in London. A Tony Award-winning producer for Red, Bierman has worked in professional theatre since 1992 enjoying success in both the commercial and subsidised sectors. During his tenure at the Donmar Warehouse (2006 -11) he was involved in over 45 productions, which won numerous awards including Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and South Bank Awards. Alongside Michael Grandage he produced the Donmar West End Season at the Wyndham’s Theatre season, to both critical acclaim, and financial success. He produced a further two West End, and four Broadway transfers of the company’s work. With Grandage he took the Donmar’s portfolio to a wider audience, touring nationally and internationally, with radio broadcasts of The Chalk Garden and Othello (both BBC Radio 3), as well as the cast recording of Parade, and the NT Live transmission of King Lear in 2011 to over 350 cinemas worldwide. The culmination of their work together at the Donmar came with the purchase of two properties: the theatre in Earlham Street; and a rehearsal, education and office space in Dryden Street. Prior to this, Bierman spent 8 years at the Aldwych Theatre working alongside producer Michael Codron. The Aldwych saw 9 productions during his time and he was responsible for overseeing a £¾million refit of the Grade II listed theatre.

Play by Peter Nichols Music by Denis King
1 December 2012 – 2 March 2013
Press night: 10 December
Cast includes: Simon Russell Beale
Director: Michael Grandage; Set and Costume Designer: Christopher Oram Lighting Designer: Paule Constable; Choreographer: Ben Wright
“Come see the privates on parade You’ll say: how proudly they’re displayed”
Private Steven Flowers is posted to the Song and Dance Unit in South East Asia where serving under the flamboyant Captain Terri Dennis he discovers it takes more than just a uniform to become a man.
Simon Russell Beale plays the cross-dressing Captain Dennis whose performances of Marlene Dietrich, Vera Lynn and Carmen Miranda form the centrepiece of Peter Nichols‘ award-winning comedy set against the murderous backdrop of the Malaysian campaign at the end of the Second World War.
Bristol-born playwright Peter Nichols’ principal works include The Hooded Terror, A day in the Death of Joe Egg, The National Health, Born in the Gardens, Passion Play, Poppy, A Piece of My Mind, Blue Murder and Lingua Franca.
Composer Denis King’s theatre credits include Worzel Gummidge, A Saint She Ain’t, Bashville, Stepping Out -The Musical and The Wind in the Willows. Television work includes The Adventures of Black Beauty, Lovejoy, Hannay, We’ll Meet Again, Dick Turpin and over 100 others.
Simon Russell Beale plays Captain Terri Dennis. His extensive theatre credits include for the National Theatre: Timon of Athens, Collaborators, London Assurance, A Slight Ache, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, The Alchemist, The Life of Galileo, Jumpers, Humble Boy, Hamlet (Evening Standard Award for Best Actor, Critics’ Circle Award for Best Shakespearean Performance), Candide (Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical), and Volpone (Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor). Other theatre includes Deathtrap (Noel Coward Theatre), The Cherry Orchard/The Winter’s Tale (Bridge Project – BAM, world tour, Old Vic), Spamalot (Palace Theatre; Schubert Theatre, Broadway), The Philanthropist (Donmar Warehouse – Evening Standard Award for Best Actor) and Uncle Vanya/Twelfth Night (Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards for Best Actor). For television, his credits include Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Spooks, American Experience, Dunkirk, A Dance to the Music of Time (BAFTA and RTS Awards for Best Actor) and Persuasion; and for film, The Deep Blue Sea, My Week With Marilyn, The Gathering, Alice in Wonderland, An Ideal Husband and Hamlet.

World première
A new play by John Logan
9 March – 1 June
Press night: 25 March 2013
Cast includes: Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw
Director: Michael Grandage; Set and Costume Designer: Christopher Oram Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
“Of course that’s how it begins: a harmless fairy tale to pass the hours”
When Alice Liddell Hargreaves met Peter Llewelyn Davies at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932, the original Alice in Wonderland came face to face with the original Peter Pan. In John Logan’s remarkable new play, enchantment and reality collide as this brief encounter lays bare the lives of these two extraordinary characters.
Judi Dench plays Alice, and Ben Whishaw plays Peter in Logan’s first new play since Red, which won six Tony Awards in 2010.
John Logan is a playwright and screenwriter. His numerous plays include the Tony Award-winning Red, which Michael Grandage directed for the Donmar as well as Never the Sinner and Hauptmann. A three-time Academy Award nominated screenwriter, his film work includes Skyfall, Hugo, Rango, Coriolanus, Sweeney Todd, The Aviator, Gladiator, The Last Samurai and Any Given Sunday.
Judi Dench plays Alice Liddell Hargreaves. Dench’s theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Madame de Sade (Donmar West End), Hay Fever, The Breath of Life (Haymarket Theatre), Merry Wives of Windsor, All’s Well That Ends Well (RSC), Amy’s View (National Theatre and Broadway) and A Little Night Music (National Theatre). For television, her credits include Cranford, As Time Goes By and Last of the Blonde Bombshells; and for film, Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, J.Edgar, My Week With Marilyn, Pirates of the Caribean: On Stranger Tides, Jane Eyre, The Quantum of Solace, Notes on a Scandal, Casino Royale, Mrs Henderson Presents, Pride and Prejudice, Iris, Chocolat, Shakespeare in Love (Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress) and Mrs Brown.
Ben Whishaw plays Peter Llewelyn Davies. His theatre work includes The Pride (Lucille Lortel Theatre), Cock (Royal Court Theatre), Some Trace of Her, The Seagull (National Theatre), Leaves of Glass (Soho Theatre), Mercury Fur (Paines Plough) and Hamlet (Old Vic). For television, his credits include Richard II, The Hour, All Signs of Death, Criminal Justice ¬International Emmy Award for Best Actor, Nathan Barley and Other People’s Children; and for film, For Viola And Piano, Skyfall, Cloud Atlas, The Tempest, Bright Star, Brideshead Revisited, I’m Not There and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

by Martin McDonagh
8 June – 31 August
Press night: 18 June 2013
Cast includes: Daniel Radcliffe
Director: Michael Grandage; Set and Costume Designer: Christopher Oram Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
“I shouldn’t laugh at you Billy … but I will”
Set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighbouring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life. Martin McDonagh’s comic masterpiece examines an ordinary coming of age in extraordinary circumstances and confirms his position as one of the most original Irish voices to emerge in the second half of the twentieth century.
Daniel Radcliffe plays the title role in the first major London revival since its premiere at the National Theatre in 1996.
Martin McDonagh is a multi award-winning Irish playwright, screenwriter and film director. His plays include The Leenane Trilogy: The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West; The Aran Islands Trilogy: The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Banshees of Inisheer (unpublished); The Pillowman and A Behanding in Spokane. His screenplays include Six Shooter (Academy Award), In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths.
Daniel Radcliffe plays Cripple Billy. For theatre, his work includes How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Al Hirschfeld Theatre, Broadway) and Equus (Gielgud Theatre, before transferring to Broadway). For television, his work includes the forthcoming A Young Doctor’s Notebook with Jon Hamm to be broadcast on Sky Arts, My Boy Jack, Extras and David Copperfield; and for film, Radcliffe has played the title role in all eight films in the Harry Potter series; The Woman in Black, and the forthcoming Kill Your Darlings in which he plays Allen Ginsberg.

by William Shakespeare
7 September – 16 November
Press night: 17 September 2013
Cast includes: Sheridan Smith, David Walliams
Director: Michael Grandage; Set and Costume Designer: Christopher Oram Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
“The course of true love never did run smooth”
Lysander loves Hermia and Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius; Demetrius used to love Helena but now loves Hermia. When Hermia’s father insists she choose Demetrius as a suitor she escapes with Lysander into the surrounding forest where Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Fairies are having their own battle of love. As the human and magical worlds collide mischief and chaos erupt as love at first sight proves a reality for some and makes an ass of others.
Sheridan Smith plays Titania and David Walliams plays Bottom in this new production of one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies.
Sheridan Smith plays Titania. Her theatre work includes Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket – Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Actress), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Menier Chocolate Factory & Duke of York’s Theatre), The People are Friendly (Royal Court) and Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse). For television, her credits include Mrs Biggs, Accused, Scapegoat, Little Crackers, Jonathan Creek, Gavin & Stacey, Larkrise to Candleford, Grown Ups, Love Soup, Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps, The Royale Family and Wives and Daughters; and for film, Quartet, Tower Block and Hysteria.
David Walliams plays Bottom. For theatre, his works includes No Man’s Land (Gate Theatre, Duke of York’s Theatre), Little Britain (international tour). For television, his credits as a writer and performer include Come Fly With Me, the multi award-winning Little Britain and Rock Profile. His other acting credits include Blandings, Doctor Who, Rather You Than Me, Capturing Mary, Attachments, and Spaced for television; and Great Expectations, Dinner for Schmucks and Stardust for film. In addition to his acting work Walliams has also joined the judging panel of Britain’s Got Talent and continued his support of Sport Relief, most recently raising £2.5 million for the charity by swimming the length of the River Thames.

by William Shakespeare
23 November 2013 – 15 February 2014 Press night: 3 December 2013
Cast includes: Jude Law
Director: Michael Grandage; Set and Costume Designer: Christopher Oram Lighting Designer: Neil Austin
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”
Can the King of England hold his nerve to embrace his duty, command his men and lead his country to victory in France? Shakespeare’s great play of nationhood investigates the bloody horrors of war and the turbulence of a land in crisis.
Jude Law and Michael Grandage continue their collaboration that began with Hamlet in 2009. Law also appeared in the Donmar’s award-winning production Anna Christie, as part of Grandage’s final season as Artistic Director.
Jude Law plays Henry V. His theatre work includes Anna Christie (Donmar Warehouse), Hamlet (Donmar West End for which he won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Shakespearean Performance – also Denmark and Broadway), Dr Faustus, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Young Vic), Les Parents Terribles (National Theatre and Broadway) and Death of a Salesman (West Yorkshire Playhouse). His film work includes The Bitter Pill, Anna Karenina, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Hugo, Contagion, Repo Men, Sherlock Holmes, The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, Sleuth, My Blueberry Nights, The Holiday, Closer, Alfie, The Aviator, Cold Mountain, Road to Perdition, The Talented Mr Ripley and Wilde.

Release issued by: Kate Morley PR


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📷 Main photo: James Bierman and Michael Grandage launch their new company with a season of plays at the Noel Coward Theatre spanning 15 months from December 2012 to February 2014

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