Hiddleston & Riseborough Join Branagh for Ivanov
Whatsonstage.com, by Terri Paddock, 20 June 2008
Full casting has been announced for Michael Grandage’s upcoming production of Chekhov’s 'Ivanov', in a new version by Tom Stoppard, which stars Kenneth Branagh in the title role and launches the Donmar Warehouse’s year-long residency at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre, where it runs from 17 September (previews from 12 September) to 29 November 2008 (See News, 10 September 2007).
Branagh is joined by an all-star company including two-time Whatsonstage.com Award nominee Andrea Riseborough, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Lucy Briers, Lorcan Cranitch and Donmar alumni Gina McKee ('Old Times'), Kevin R McNally ('World Music'), Linda Broughton (Grandage’s current production of 'The Chalk Garden'), Malcolm Sinclair ('Privates on Parade') and Tom Hiddleston ('Othello').
Once a man of limitless promise, Ivanov is plunged into debt. His marriage is in crisis, and his evenings are spent negotiating loans, avoiding love affairs and fighting to resist the small town jealousies and intrigues which threaten to engulf his life.
Kenneth Branagh previously appeared in Grandage’s Sheffield Crucible production of 'Richard III' and returns to the London stage for the first time since starring in the National Theatre’s 2003 revival of David Mamet’s 'Edmond', for which he won the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Actor. Also appointed artistic associate for Donmar West End, he will direct Jude Law in the season’s final production, 'Hamlet', which runs from 3 June (29 May) to 22 August 2009.
Andrea Riseborough’s (who plays Sasha) stage credits include 'The Pain and the Itch', 'A Couple of Poor Polish Speaking Romanians', 'Miss Julie', 'Measure for Measure', 'Citizen/Burn/Chatroom' and 'A Brief History of Helen of Troy'. She’s just been seen on screen as Margaret Thatcher in 'The Long Walk to Finchley'. Tom Hiddleston (Lvov) competed against himself in this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards for the Best Newcomer in a Play prize for the Donmar’s 'Othello'and Cheek by Jowl’s 'Cymbeline', eventually winning for the latter.
In addition to their Donmar credits, Kevin R McNally (Lebedev) is well known for 'The Pirates of the Caribbean' on screen and has starred on stage in 'Boeing-Boeing', 'The Lady in the Van' and 'Naked'; Gina McKee (Anna Petrovna) has just been seen in the Pinter double bill of 'The Lover' and 'The Collection' in the West End and has screen credits including 'The Forsyte Saga', 'Our Friends in the North', 'Atonement', 'Wonderland' and 'Notting Hill'; and Malcolm Sinclair’s ('Count Shabelsky') myriad stage credits include 'Dealer’s Choice', 'The History Boys', 'What the Butler Saw', 'Journey’s End', 'My Fair Lady' and the current production of 'Rosmersholm' at the Almeida.
Sylvestra Touzel (currently in 'Topless Mum' at the Tricycle) plays Zinaida, Lucy Briers (whose recent stage credits include 'Some Kind of Bliss' and 'The Voysey Inheritance') is Babakina, Irish actor Lorcan Cranitch ('Three Sisters', 'The Field', 'The Price') is Borkin and Linda Broughton is Avdotya.
Also in the 'Ivanov' cast are John Atterbury and James Tucker. The production is designed by Christopher Oram, with lighting by Paule Constable and music and sound by Adam Cork.
Branagh & Law Lead Donmar to West End in 2008
What's On Stage, 10 September 2007
As his first five years at the Donmar Warehouse comes to a close, artistic
director Michael Grandage has announced, at a press briefing
held in London today, his plans to secure the theatre's long-term future,
including the purchase of its Covent Garden base and the launch of a
year-long West End residency at Wyndham's Theatre where Kenneth
Branagh, Jude Law and Derek Jacobi will be amongst
those heading the bill.
Donmar West End
The 'Donmar West End' season will run from September 2008 to August 2009.
It launches with Grandage's new production of Chekhov's first play, 1887's
"Ivanov", in a new version by Tom Stoppard. Kenneth
Branagh - who has previously been directed by Grandage in "Richard III" at
Sheffield Crucible, where Grandage was previously in charge, and who won
the Whatsonstage.com Best Actor Award for his last London stage appearance,
David Mamet's Edmond at the National in 2003 - will take the title role.
Branagh was previously due to appear in Ivanov at the Bristol Old Vic this
autumn, but when those plans evaporated following the regional theatre's
decision to close, he brought the project to the Donmar. Grandage's
production will run from 17 September (previews from 12 September) to 29
It will be followed by another Grandage production, of Shakespeare's
"Twelfth Night", from 10 December 2008 (previews from 5 December) to 7 March
2009. Derek Jacobi - who appeared in the Donmar revival of John
Mortimer's "A Voyage Round My Father", which transferred to Wyndham's in 2006
- will play Malvolio. Jacobi has also appeared in Grandage's productions of
Don Carlos and The Tempest, both originated at Sheffield and transferred to
the West End.
Grandage will also direct the third piece in the West End season, Yukio
Mishima's 1965 Japanese play "Madame de Sade", translated by Donald Keene and
running from 18 March (previews from 13 March) to 23 May 2009. The rarely
seen drama centres on five women affected by the debauchery of the Marquis
de Sade, including his wife and mother. No casting has yet been announced.
The Wyndham's programme culminates with Kenneth Branagh, who has
been named an artistic associate for Donmar West End, taking over directing
duties for a "Hamlet" in which British screen star Jude Law will
take the title role. Law has had a long association with the Young Vic and
its artistic director David Lan, who has directed the actor in his last two
stage outings, Doctor Faustus in 2002 and "'Tis Pity She's a Whore" in 1999.
He'd previously discussed plans to tackle the prince of Denmark at the
Young Vic. Instead, his Hamlet will run at Wyndham's care of the Donmar
from 3 June (29 May) to 22 August 2009.
The launch of Donmar West End will coincide with the reopening of Wyndham's
following the final phase in the theatre's extensive refurbishment by owner