Donmar Warehouse, London

The Donmar Warehouse announces new 2017 Season

Lenny Henry stars in new season at the Donmar

Lenny Henry

The Donmar Warehouse in central London have today announced details of their 'Power' 2017 season which will include two plays and a new musical about the struggle for, the rise to, and the exercise of power.

Speaking today, Artistic Director Josie Rourke said of the season: "Kate Pakenham and I want the Donmar to step up to what’s happening, and so we have worked with a seriously great group of artists to create the Power Season. Here is a new musical and two plays that concern themselves with truth and accountability; democracy and demagoguery; passion, despair and the rebirth of hope. Throughout this season, characters fight for, rise to and exercise their power. In creating the Power Season, we’re trusting that theatre will deploy its power to speak with swift and urgent clarity into the present."

The season features:

Limehouse, a new play by Steve Waters from our political history that speaks to our political present and imagines what happened behind closed doors during a pivotal moment in history – the formation of the SDP, which split the Labour party in 1981. Polly Findlay will direct the production.

The production will run from 2 March to 15 April 2017 with an official opening on 8 March 2017. It features designs by Alex Eales, lighting by Jon Clark, sound design by Emma Laxton and music by Rupert Cross. Initial casting includes Paul Chahidi as Bill Rodgers and Debra Gillett as Shirley Williams.

"A divisive left-wing leader at the helm of the Labour party. A Conservative prime minister battling with her cabinet. An identity crisis on a national scale. This is Britain 1981. One Sunday morning, four prominent Labour politicians – Bill Rodgers, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and David Owen – gather in private at Owen’s home in Limehouse, east London. They are desperate to find a political alternative. Should they split their party, divide their loyalties, and risk betraying everything they believe in? Would they be starting afresh, or destroying forever the tradition that nurtured them?"

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht with Lenny Henry in his Donmar debut as Ui directed by Simon Evans. Bertolt Brecht’s satirical masterpiece is a timely comic parable about the rise of a demagogue, and will be given a new translation by Pulitzer-, Olivier- and Tony-award winning American playwright, Bruce Norris.

Running from 21 April to 17 June 2017, with an official opening on 2 May 2017.

"Chicago! A city of jazz and gangsters, prohibition and poverty. Amongst the murk of the Great Depression, there’s room for a small time crook like Arturo Ui to make a name for himself. Ui and his henchmen just want to look after you, to offer protection for workers, for jobs, for businesses. Nothing to fear. But a little bribery here, some harmless corruption there, and soon something much more dangerous takes hold."

The Public Administration & Constitutional Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall's Relationship with Kids Company a new musical written by Josie Rourke and Hadley Fraser with music by Tom Deering directed by Adam Penford. This production is based on the Parliamentary transcript of the oral evidence session on 15 October 2015 and the words spoken by those participating in the Inquiry.

It will run from 24 June to 12 August 2017, with an official opening on 3 July 2017.

"What happens when something goes wrong? Who holds us accountable? On 15 October 2015, as part of an inquiry into ‘The collapse of Kids Company’, Camila Batmanghelidjh and Alan Yentob gave evidence to The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Hadley Fraser, Josie Rourke and composer Tom Deering have transformed that evidence session into a new musical."

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