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Almeida Theatre

Paul Mescal, Andrew Rannells, more set for Almeida Theatre 2022-23 season

The season includes two plays and two musicals.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Almeida Theatre has set its 2022-23 season, with four productions going up between October and May. The season includes two world premieres, a U.K. premiere, and a revival of a celebrated classic play.

Beginning the season is the world premiere of the new musical Tammy Faye, about the televangelist Tammy Faye Messner, from 13 October to 3 December and opening on 26 October. The show features music by Elton John, lyrics by Jake Shears, and a book by David Graham; Rupert Goold directs.

The cast for Tammy Faye features Olivier Award winner Katie Brayben as Tammy Faye; Tony Award nominee Andrew Rannells as her husband, Jim Bakker; and Olivier nominee Zubin Varla as Jerry Falwell. The cast also includes Kelly Agbowu, Amy Booth-Steel, Ashley Campbell, Peter Caulfield, Danny Collins, Richard Dempsey, Fred Haig, Georgia Louise, Robyn Rose, Nicholas Rowe, Martin Sarreal, Steve John Shepherd, and Gemma Sutton.

The creative team includes choreographer Lynne Page; set designer Bunny Christie; costume designer Katrina Lindsay; lighting designer Neil Austin; sound designer Bobby Aitken; musical supervisor, co-orchestrator, and arranger Tom Deering; co-orchestrator Mark Dickman; video designer Finn Ross; and musical director Oli Jackson.

Messner was also the subject of the award-winning film The Eyes of Tammy Faye in 2021, starring Jessica Chastain as Faye and Andrew Garfield as Jim.

Following Tammy Faye in Almeida's season is a revival of Tennessee Williams's classic A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Cabaret Olivier Award winner Rebecca Frecknall. This production will star Lydia Wilson as Blanche, a former Southern belle who loses everything and comes to live with her sister and brother-in-law, but he threatens to expose her past. The show also stars BAFTA Award winner Paul Mescal as Stanley, Anjana Vasan as Stella, and Dwane Walcott as Mitch.

A Streetcar Named Desire will run from 10 December to 4 February, opening on 20 December.

Right afterward, beginning 11 February, is the world premiere of Lulu Rackza's Women, Beware the Devil. Goold also directs this play about Lady Elizabeth, a woman in 1640s England who hires a young servant, who is suspected to be a witch, to help protect her family's home and legacy when threatened.

Opening night of Women, Beware the Devil is 22 February, and the production runs to 25 March. Cast and creative team have yet to be announced.

The final production in Almeida's season is the U.K. premiere of The Secret Life of Bees, the musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's award-winning 2001 book. The show follows 14-year-old Lily and and her family's maid, Rosaleen, who flee abuse and hardship in their small South Carolina town, taking shelter with three sisters on a beekeeping farm.

A New York Theatre Guide review of the world-premiere production of The Secret Life of Bees musical called it "moving, thoughtful and musically exhilarating."

Whitney White will direct The Secret Life of Bees in the U.K., which will run from 4 April to 27 May. The musical features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, music by Tony and Grammy Award winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. Casting has yet to be announced.

Between the summers of 2023 and 2025, Almeida will also present three shows about living, loving, celebrating, working, praying, and mourning in Islington. Each of the productions — 24 (Day), 81 (Life), and 1000 (Millennia) — will feature professional actors alongside local artists and performers from the community.

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