A world-premiere of a play by Michael Frayn and the London premiere of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s tuner “Parade” are the centerpieces of the new Donmar Warehouse season announced today by artistic director Michael Grandage.
Frayn’s new one-act, “The Crimson Hotel” forms part of a triple-bill entitled “Absurdia,” running July 26-Sept. 8. The other two plays are “A Resounding Tinkle” and “Gladly Otherwise,” both by N.F. Simpson, the foremost exponent of the early 20th century British Absurdist movement. The trio will be helmed by the Donmar’s newly announced associate director, Douglas Hodge.
“Parade” marks the directing debut of U.S. choreographer Rob Ashford. He and the writing team will create a new version of the show for a cast of 15, down from the 34-member ensemble of the original 1998 Lincoln Center production on which Ashford was assistant choreographer and dance captain.
Also in the season, playing May 31-July 21, is a revival of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” to be directed by Roger Michell, designed by William Dudley and lit by Rick Fisher, the team responsible for the Donmar’s hit 2004 production of Pinter’s “Old Times.”
“I’ve wanted us to revisit that play for a long time,” said Grandage, who regards it as Pinter’s finest work. “Harold was very pleased with Roger’s ‘Old Times’ so when I approached him, Roger’s was the very first name that came up.”
The Donmar season opens April 19 with Manuel Puig’s play (not to be confused with the Kander and Ebb musical), “Kiss of the Spiderwoman,” translated by Allan Baker. Former Donmar resident assistant director Charlotte Westenra helms the first major London revival of the play since its Bush theater premiere in 1985 with Simon Callow and Mark Rylance. Rupert Evans will play the role of Marxist prisoner Valentin.
All further casting on the season has yet to be announced. Grandage will complete the 2007 slate directing a show in the Christmas slot, details of which remain under wraps. The Donmar a.d. makes his Broadway directing debut in spring with “Frost/Nixon,” opening April 22 at the Jacobs.