'Sweeney Todd' writer's 'Red' stars Alfred Molina

LONDON — Dramatist and screenwriter John Logan (“Sweeney Todd”) will world preem his play “Red” as part of the fall-winter 2009-10 season at London’s Donmar Warehouse.

A two-hander directed by Donmar a.d. Michael Grandage (“Frost/Nixon”), “Red” will star Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne. The production marks the first U.K. stage appearance for two-time Tony nominee Molina since 1992, when he starred in “The Night of the Iguana” at the National Theater.

Logan’s play is a study of Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko (Molina) wrestling with fame. Running Dec. 3-Feb. 6, the production will be designed by Christopher Oram with lighting by Neil Austin. Official opening date is Dec. 8.

Also new to the Donmar lineup, 17th century Spanish dramatist Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s “Life Is a Dream” will be helmed by Jonathan Munby from a new verse translation by playwright Helen Edmundson. Dominic West stars in the production, designed by Angela Davies and lit by Austin. Previews begin Oct. 8 ahead of an Oct. 13 opening.

Grandage also announced further casting for Rob Ashford’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The previously announced Rachel Weisz (as Blanche DuBois) will be joined by Elliot Cowan as Stanley Kowalski, Barnaby Kay as Mitch and Ruth Wilson as Stella.

Donmar announcements come in the midst of a period of increased international activity for the not-for-profit house. The company’s staging of “Mary Stuart,” for instance, opens on the Rialto Sunday.Grandage also unveiled further transfer plans for two Donmar productions.

Having already shifted to the West End, Jamie Lloyd’s revival of “Piaf,” starring Oliver winner Elena Roger, will travel to the Teatro Liceo, Buenos Aires, where it will begin a run on July 11. And Grandage’s own forthcoming Donmar West End production of “Hamlet,” starring Jude Law, will transfer for one week to Kronberg Castle, Elsinore, in Denmark — the actual setting of Shakespeare’s play.

“We are demonstrating our continued commitment to the American repertoire, the European repertoire, to musicals and to new writing,” Grandage told Daily Variety. “With ‘Mary Stuart’ opening on Broadway and our production of ‘Guys and Dolls’ in Sydney, Australia, it’s exciting that we are having an opportunity to reach out to theatergoers on four continents with such an eclectic mix of work. This is everything I want the Donmar to stand for.”

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