Almeida Theatre announces new season for 2021

almeida-theatre-announces-new-season-for-2021

Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold said today, “Although still battered and bruised by the last 14 months, and keenly aware that many within this industry continue to suffer as a result of the pandemic, this announcement today feels like an exhalation and moment to pay tribute to the endurance and creativity shown by so many friends and colleagues. We’re announcing six new productions, including three world premieres (four if you include Hymn which plays to in-person audiences for the first time), plus two classic revivals, and a list of writers, directors and actors who are largely new to the Almeida.

“As with our brief re-opening to audiences in December last year, considerable work has gone into ensuring that the theatre is safe and in line with the latest COVID government guidelines, including upgraded fresh air ventilation. We will initially go on sale with social distancing in place and this will be reviewed as the government guidelines change.

“It’s particularly exciting to announce Almeida For Free performances across the whole season, with all tickets for those performances available for free to anyone 25 and under, alongside our long-standing commitment of £5 tickets for those aged 25 and under across all runs.

“I want to thank everyone that has supported us since we first closed the theatre in March 2020. We wouldn’t be here without you. We can’t wait to fully open again as a theatre for London and Islington and are delighted that we can pay tribute to some of our extraordinary local residents in January 2022 with The Key Workers Cycle. Over the coming months we will be recruiting local community participants to get involved with the production.”

World Premiere

and breathe…

by Yomi Ṣode

Directed by Miranda Cromwell

Wednesday 16 June – Saturday 10 July

Press night: Monday 21 June, 3pm and 7pm

A live theatrical adaptation of poems, taken from Yomi Ṣode’s forthcoming collection, Manorism.

Performed by David Jonsson.

“I was a bunch of O’s as if I was giving birth to this grief”

Though we sense the moods of those closest to us in breaths, are we really listening?

We think we are, and later we realise that we never heard a thing.

Centring on the loss of a beloved matriarch, and breathe… explores family relationships, bonding and culture. This deeply personal and poetic play tackles the unspoken, between what we leave unsaid to protect each other and how we internalise the world.

Yomi Ṣode is a Nigerian British writer, performer, and facilitator. He is a recipient of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship 2019 and was recently shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021. He has read his work internationally at various festivals and performed his debut solo show (COAT) to sold-out audiences. His debut poetry collection, Manorism will be published in spring 2022 by Penguin Press.

This World Premiere production will be performed by actor David Jonsson (BBC2’s Industry) who was due to star in “Daddy”: A Melodrama at the Almeida last year and is directed by the Olivier Award-winning director Miranda Cromwell (Young Vic’s Death of a Salesman). Featuring music composed and performed live by Femi Temowo.

HYMN

by Lolita Chakrabarti

Directed by Blanche McIntyre; Set and Costume: Miriam Buether; Lighting: Prema Mehta

Sound: Gregory Clarke; Musical Director: D.J. Walde; Movement Director: Robia Milliner

Friday 16 July – Friday 13 August

Press night: Tuesday 20 July

Two men meet at a funeral.

Gil knew the deceased. Benny did not.

Before long their families are close.

Soon they’ll be singing the same tune.

Benny is a loner anchored by his wife and children. Gil longs to fulfil his potential. They form a deep bond but as cracks appear in their fragile lives, they start to realise that true courage comes in different forms.

Following a sold-out run of live streamed shows in February, Hymn returns to the Almeida for the first time in front of a live audience.

Written by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti, best known for her internationally acclaimed play Red Velvet and her recent stage adaptation of the novel Life of Pi, this soulful new play, filled with music, asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son.

Directed by Blanche McIntyre (The Writer), Hymn features Adrian Lester (Hustle) and Danny Sapani (Killing Eve), ‘two actors at the top of their game’ (Evening Standard)

World Premiere

ONCE UPON A TIME IN NAZI OCCUPIED TUNISIA

by Josh Azouz

Directed by Eleanor Rhode

Saturday 21 August – Saturday 18 September

Press night: Thursday 26 August

“On the way over I saw three vipers copulating…I know what you’re thinking…monogamy is under threat.”

1943. Four months into the Nazi occupation of Tunisia. You’re imprisoned in a labour camp. You’re buried up to your neck in the middle of the burning hot desert. You’re dying of thirst, you miss your wife and your best friend just pissed on your face.

How could things possibly get any worse?

Eleanor Rhode directs the world premiere of Once Upon A Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia – a brutally comic new play by Josh Azouz about home and identity, marriage and survival, blood and feathers.

Josh Azouz’s plays include The Mikvah Project (Orange Theatre Theatre and Yard Theatre) and Buggy Baby (Yard Theatre). Eleanor Rhode has recently directed Rust (Bush Theatre/HighTide), King John (RSC) and Boudica (Shakespeare’s Globe).

The Genesis Foundation Kickstart Fund has supported Josh Azouz on the development of Once Upon A Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia.

THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Yaël Farber

Saturday 25 September – Saturday 20 November

Press night: Tuesday 5 October

“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.”

A little later than now, in the ruins of a theatre, three witches make a prophecy.

A warrior and his wife enter the darkness. A war begins.

Yaël Farber directs James McArdle and Saoirse Ronan, in an elemental production about a world in transformation, the shadows in all of us, and one couple’s spine-chilling quest for power.

Olivier Award-nominee James McArdle plays the title role of Macbeth. His highly acclaimed theatre roles include Louis in the National Theatre and Broadway production of Angels in America, Peter Gynt, Platonov and James I in The James Plays (National Theatre). His screen work includes HBO’s Mare of Easttown, Ammonite, Mary Queen of Scots and Man in an Orange Shirt.

Four-time Academy Award-nominated Saoirse Ronan makes her UK stage debut as Lady Macbeth. She made her Broadway debut as Abigail Williams in The Crucible on Broadway in 2016 to glowing reviews and has been celebrated throughout her career for her performances in films including Atonement, Lady Bird, Brooklyn, and Little Women.

Yaël Farber is an internationally acclaimed director and playwright, whose recent work includes Hamlet (St Ann’s Warehouse, New York); Blood Wedding (Young Vic), Knives in Hens (Donmar Warehouse) and Les Blancs (National Theatre).

SPRING AWAKENING

Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater; Music by Duncan Sheik

Based on the original play by Frank Wedekind

Directed by Rupert Goold

Tuesday 30 November – Saturday 22 January

Press night: Tuesday 14 December

O, I’m gonna be wounded.
O, I’m gonna be your wound. O, I’m gonna bruise you.
O, you’re gonna be my bruise.

A time to learn.

A time to rebel.

A time to love.

A time to burn.

Winner of the Tony and Olivier awards for best musical, Spring Awakening tells a story of adolescent anarchy, set to one of the most loved scores of the 21st century. A group of teenagers – silenced and controlled by a censorious society – discover a new world of feeling and freedom outside the classroom, with beautiful and devastating consequences.

Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold (Ink, Albion) directs the first London revival of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s (American Psycho: A New Musical, Almeida Theatre and Broadway) acclaimed musical, based on the ground-breaking and once-banned 19th century play by Frank Wedekind.

Cast includes Amara Okereke as Wendla (winner of 2018 The Stage Debut Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Les Misérables) and Laurie Kynaston plays Melchior (winner of 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Emerging Talent for The Mother at Kiln Theatre and West End). Further cast to be announced.

This production of Spring Awakening is supported by The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts.

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

Almeida Theatre, in partnership with All Change and Clean Break, present

THE KEY WORKERS CYCLE

by Francesca Beard, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Josh Elliott, Annie Jenkins, Eno Mfon, Nessah Muthy, Danusia Samal, Yomi Ṣode, and Molly Taylor

Monday 31 January – Saturday 5 February 2022

If the Tube ground to a halt . . .

If the supermarket shelves emptied . . .

If your bins overflowed . . .

Would it feel like something, or someone, was missing?

A chorus of delivery drivers singing through the night, a support worker haunted by visions of the women who depend on her, a funeral director showing off his dab hand with a pair of clippers. In an echo of the Medieval Mystery Plays – which brought together communities of craftsmen and merchants to act out the stories of famous miracles – The Key Workers Cycle presents a cycle of nine short plays celebrating the humour, the hope and the stories of those who keep our daily lives running.

Performed by a company of professional actors, local community participants and key workers, The Key Workers Cycle places Islington’s community at its heart.

Including:

The Social Care Workers’ Play by Francesca Beard

The Teachers’ Play by Sonali Bhattacharyya

The Funeral Directors’ Play by Josh Elliott

The Delivery Drivers’ Play by Annie Jenkins

The Women’s Centre Workers’ Play by Eno Mfon

The Midwives’ Play by Nessah Muthy

The Refuse Collectors’ Play by Danusia Samal

The Supermarket Workers’ Play by Yomi Ṣode

The TFL Workers’ Play by Molly Taylor

Booking dates:

and breathe…

All Patrons and Friends – Friday 28 May

General sale – Tuesday 1 June

Hymn and Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia

Almeida Patrons and Bronze, Silver and Gold Friends – Tuesday 22 June

Almeida Friends – Thursday 24 June

General sale – Tuesday 29 June

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Priority booking and general sale – mid-July, exact date TBC

Spring Awakening/The Key Workers Cycle

Priority booking and general sale – September, exact date TBC

ALMEIDA LISTINGS INFORMATION

Address Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA

Box Office Online almeida.co.uk

Phone 020 7359 4404

Nearest Tube: Angel / Highbury & Islington

Website almeida.co.uk

Twitter @AlmeidaTheatre

Facebook facebook.com/almeidatheatre

Instagram @almeida_theatre

PRODUCTIONS and breathe…

Wednesday 16 June – Saturday 10 July

Press night: Monday 21 June 3pm and 7pm

Hymn

Friday 16 July – Friday 13 August

Press night: Tuesday 20 January

Once Upon A Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia

Friday 20 August – Saturday 18 September

Press night: Thursday 26 August

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Saturday 25 September – Saturday 20 November

Press night: Tuesday 5 October

Spring Awakening

Tuesday 30 November – Saturday 22 January

Press night: Tuesday 14 December

The Key Workers Cycle

Monday 31 January – Saturday 5 February 2022

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