Almeida Announces Winter/Spring Season 2014/15

The Almeida Theatre in Islington, north London, have announced their Winter/Spring season for 2014/15, which includes a new work by Simon Stephens, a return to the venue for Director Robert Icke, and a collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The first play in the season will be Rupert Goold's production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which will run at the venue from 5 December 2014 to 14 February 2015, with an official opening on 15 December 2014 in a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Former Almeida Artistic Director Ian McDiarmid will play Shylock, alongside a cast that includes Jamie Beamish, Rebecca Brewer, Susannah Fielding, Scott Handy, Caroline Martin and Emily Plumtree.

The production was originally presented by the RSC in 2011, and features designs by Tom Scutt, lighting by Rick Fisher, music by Adam Cork, sound by Gregory Clarke, choreography by Scott Ambler and orchestrations by Alex Baranowski. Goold relocates one of Shakespeare's most controversial plays to the bright lights of Las Vegas in a whirlwind of glitter, gambling and greenbacks.

This will be followed in the New Year by a site specific performance of The Fever, by Wallace Shawn, directed by Robert Icke at The May Fair Hotel (Note: not at the Almeida), which runs from 7 January to 7 February 2015.

Tobias Menzies performs this intimate monologue to an audience of just 28. "In a hotel in a distant city, a man is looking for answers. Back at home, he can only see questions. Does everything have a price? Do people? Does killing?"

Menzies’ previous credits for the Almeida include 'Cloud Nine' and 'Platonov'. His other theatre work includes 'Decade' and 'King Lear' for Headlong and 'Three Sisters' and 'The Children’s Hour' in the West End.

The next production at the venue will be the world premiere of a new play by Mike Bartlett, Game, which will be directed by Sacha Wares. The piece runs from 23 February to 4 April 2015, with an official opening on 3 March 2015, with twice nightly performances each evening at both 7pm and 9.30pm.

Designer Miriam Buether will reconfigure the venue's auditorium for this new production. Set during a housing crisis, a young couple is offered a home of their own. But at what price? Mike Bartlett's latest play invites us to spy on a family as they explore a dangerous new way to live.

The season concludes with a new play by Simon Stephens, Carmen Disruption, which is a dramatic reimagining of Bizet’s opera 'Carmen', running from 10 April to 23 May 2015 with an official opening on 17 April 2015.

Set amongst the opulent grandeur of a European city, a renowned singer abandons the opera house for the truth of the streets. A gorgeous prostitute. A tough-talking taxi driver. A global trader. A teenage dreamer. Everyone’s looking for something.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, Stephens' new play explores the possibility of love in a fractured urban world.

(Public booking for all productions opens on 23 September 2014)

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