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Law, Hodge, Redmayne line up Donmar stints

Grandage sets slate for his final season at London theater

Thesps Jude Law, Douglas Hodge and Eddie Redmayne are returning to the Donmar Warehouse for artistic director Michael Grandage’s farewell season.

Grandage told Daily Variety the season would feature three plays, opening with Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie” starring Ruth Wilson opposite Law (Aug. 4-Oct. 8), helmed by Donmar associate director Rob Ashford (“Promises, Promises”) and designed by Paul Wills.

Wilson won the 2009 Olivier award for her performance as Stella in Ashford’s well-received Donmar staging of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Hodge, the former Donmar associate director who scored a Tony for “La Cage aux Folles,” will lead the company in a revival of “Inadmissable Evidence,” John Osborne’s 1964 drama about a middle-aged man in meltdown. Helmed by associate director Jamie Lloyd (“Passion,” “Piaf”), the production is designed by Soutra Gilmour and runs from Oct. 13-Nov. 26.

Grandage will end his 10-year tenure by reuniting with Redmayne (Tony winner for “Red”), who will star in Grandage’s own production of Shakespeare’s “Richard II.” Designed by Richard Kent, it runs Dec. 1-Feb. 4, 2012.

Commenting on his final season, Grandage said, “I am delighted this final year celebrates so much of the repertoire we have presented over the last decade.

“It is these collaborations and creative partnerships both on stage and with the staff at the Donmar that have made the achievements of the past 10 years possible.”

Since Grandage took over as a.d. in November 2002, the 250-seat Donmar has presented 70productions and won 80 international awards including eight Tonys plus Oliviers, Critics’ Circle, Evening Standard and Drama Desk awards. “Frost/Nixon,” “Mary Stuart,” Hamlet,” “Red” and “Creditors” all received Gotham runs, and in 2009 the company’s work played across four continents.

During his decade there, Grandage introduced U.K. touring and launched and developed a wide-ranging education program.

He also created parallel company Donmar West End, taking over Wyndham’s Theater with a year-long season of plays headed by Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Law and Kenneth Branagh that played at the top price of £32.50 ($51); with one sixth of all tickets at £10 ($16), it achieved 98% capacity.

In addition, Grandage also said that he has fixed the long-term future of the Donmar by securing a property in Covent Garden near the theater for rehearsal and office space on a 112-year lease.

Until now, the theater has had to rent space for its administration and rehearsal activities.

This capital asset supplements the purchase of the theater’s own building, which took place under Grandage’s stewardship in 2008.

Grandage’s current SRO production of “King Lear” will screen worldwide Feb. 3 as part of the National Theater’s NT Live, and runs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for five weeks beginning Apr. 28.

He is currently editing the BBC Radio version of one of his most successful productions, his revival of Enid Bagnold’s “The Chalk Garden” starring Penelope Wilton (“Downton Abbey”).

The play will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in March and will be available worldwide via the BBC iPlayer.

A Donmar spokesperson said the search for Grandage’s successor would begin in the coming weeks.

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