Donmar production to be directed by Grandage

Michael Grandage will helm a new production of “Othello” at the Donmar Warehouse, with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role alongside Ewan McGregor as Iago and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona. It will play a limited engagement from Nov. 29 to Feb. 23, with a Dec. 4 opening.

Although Grandage sealed his reputation directing “As You Like It” and “Richard III” (with Kenneth Branagh) at Sheffield’s Crucible theater, this is his first Shakespeare outing at the 250-seat Donmar, where he is artistic director.

“As one of Shakespeare’s most intimate plays with one of the smallest casts, it’s perfect for the Donmar,” Grandage told Daily Variety. The strength of this cast will allow us to explore the internal, as well as the external, life of the play.”

The production marks the start of Grandage’s sixth year as Donmar a.d. Play will reunite his favored creative team of designer Christopher Oram, lighting designer Paule Constable and composer-sound designer Adam Cork; all three leading actors have worked with Grandage before as well.

Helmer has been in discussions with Ejiofor about the role since the thesp starred in his production of “The Vortex” in 2002. Reilly played the title role in “After Miss Julie” in 2003, while McGregor created the role of Sky Masterson in Grandage’s revival of “Guys and Dolls,” currently eyeing a Broadway berth.

Grandage also said that following the success of “Frost/Nixon,” the Donmar’s next Gotham project will be the transfer of its 2005 hit production of Friedrich Schiller’s thriller “Mary Stuart.” “Subject to the availability of director Phyllida Lloyd and actresses Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter, we are committed to making this our next Broadway presentation,” he said.

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