The Almeida Theatre announces live streamed performances of Lolita Chakrabarti’s Hymn


The world premiere production which was originally due to play to socially distanced audiences will now be streamed live from the theatre for five performances from Wednesday 17 – Saturday 20 February. Directed by Blanche McIntyre, the play features Adrian Lester in the role of Gil and Danny Sapani as Benny.

Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold said, “After being forced to cancel the run of Hymn, we’re so pleased to have still found a way to offer the show to audiences and are hugely grateful to the whole company for making it possible. We hope that with the actors performing the play live each night, people watching at home will sense some of that joyful energy that comes from being part of a unique shared experience.”

Tickets to the live stream go on sale to Almeida Members from Tuesday 2 February midday and on general sale from Wednesday 3 February midday.

World Premiere


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

Wednesday 17 – Saturday 20 February 2021

Press performance: Thursday 18 February 8pm

“Man, sometimes it takes a long time to sound like yourself”

Miles Davis

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.

Featuring music from Gil and Benny’s lives, Lolita Chakrabarti’s searching, soulful new play asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son.

Directed by Blanche McIntyre (The Writer), Hymn features Adrian Lester (Red Velvet; Hustle) and Danny Sapani (Killing Eve; Les Blancs).

Lolita Chakrabarti is a playwright and actor. Her plays include Life of Pi (WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play 2019, UK Theatre Award for Best New Play 2019 – transfers to West End later this year); Invisible Cities; Red Velvet (Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright); Message in a Bottle for ZooNation/Sadler’s Wells for which she was dramaturg; The Greatest Wealth – a series of monologues curated by Chakrabarti, including her own monologue titled Speedy Gonzalez; and Last Seen (an Almeida Theatre production with Slung Low). As an actor, her theatre credits include Fanny and Alexander (The Old Vic); Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company); Last Seen (Almeida Theatre); Free Outgoing (Royal Court) and John Gabriel Borkman (Donmar Warehouse). For screen, her credits include Criminal; Riviera; Born to Kill; Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands and The Casual Vacancy.​ She can be seen on television later this year in Wheel of Time and Vigil, and on stage in Calmer, her new play at Birmingham Rep.

Blanche McIntyre returns to the Almeida having previously directed The Writer. Her other credits include Botticelli in the Fire (Hampstead Theatre); Tartuffe (National Theatre); Bartholomew Fair, A 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 (St James’ Theatre); Tonight at 8:30, Women in Power 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).

Adrian Lester plays Gil. His theatre work includes Cost of Living (Hampstead Theatre); Othello (National Theatre – winner of Evening Standard Award for Best Actor); Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre, West End and New York – Winner of Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actor); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (West End); Henry V; Sweeney Todd (National Theatre); Hamlet (Theatres des Bouffes du Nord); Company (Donmar Warehouse – Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical); As You Like It (Cheek By Jowl) and Six Degrees of Separation (Royal Court). For television, his work includes Life; The Rook; Curfew; Trauma; Riviera; Undercover; London Spy and Hustle. His film work includes Mary Queen of Scots; Grey Lady; Euphoria, Jimi: All Is by My Side; The Day After Tomorrow and Primary Colors. Directing work includes Of Mary (Winner of Best Short Film at PAFF); Hustle and Riviera on television and The Greatest Wealth (The Old Vic) and the forthcoming Calmer (Birmingham Rep). He was recently made a CBE.

Danny Sapani plays Benny. He previously appeared at the Almeida in Big White Fog. His other theatre credits include Invisible Cities (Manchester International Festival); Les Blancs, Medea, Home, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, The Overwhelming, His Dark Materials, Antony and Cleopatra, The Machine Wreckers and Richard II (National Theatre); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Young Vic); Anderson’s English (Out of Joint); Wig Out and Neverland (Royal Court); The Green Fields Beyond (Donmar Warehouse) and Julius Caesar (Shakespeare’s Globe); For television, his work includes Halo; Killing Eve; Harlots; Mother Father Son; Black Earth Rising; Traitors; Broken; The Crown; Chewing Gum; Bastard Executioner; Penny Dreadful; The Fear; The Town; Blackout and Misfits. His recent film credits include Black Panther and Trance.

Wednesday 17 – Saturday 20 February 2021


by Lolita Chakrabarti

Directed by Blanche McIntyre

Performance times: 8pm, plus 3pm matinee on Saturday 20 Feb

Tickets: From £10.

Box Office Online

Phone 020 7359 4404


Twitter @AlmeidaTheatre


Instagram @almeida_theatre

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