Artistic director Rupert Goold announces the Almeida Theatre’s new season for spring 2020. The season includes the return of Mike Bartlett’s acclaimed Albion for a four week run, with Victoria Hamilton reprising her award-winning performance.
The UK Premiere of “Daddy”, by Jeremy O. Harris (Slave Play), directed by Danya Taymor, and the World Premiere of Beth Steel’s new play The House of Shades, directed by Blanche McIntyre will also feature in the season.
Also announced today is the launch of the Genesis Almeida New Playwrights, Big Plays Programme, a new annual scheme that supports emerging and mid-career writers to develop new plays for larger stages. The first cohort of seven writers is Kendall Feaver, Sami Ibrahim, Charley Miles, Amy Ng, Iman Qureshi, Sam Steiner and Ross Willis. A new Resident Designers scheme will run alongside the Resident Directors programme, now in its fourth year.
Rupert Goold said, “When we first produced Albion a year after the EU referendum, it caught a moment fraught with uncertainty about the future direction of the country. Now, two years later, we face a new moment of juncture, with our country and national identity fracturing along the fault lines of that fateful vote in new ways every week. Returning to the garden of Albion, I find Mike Bartlett’s play resonates with an entirely different tone and, with Victoria Hamilton, whose performance as Audrey is one of the finest in my tenure at the Almeida, agreeing to return, it feels important to bring it back, the first production we have revived.
“Alongside Albion, we present two new voices to Almeida audiences – Jeremy O. Harris has been generating major waves on Broadway with Slave Play and now makes his UK debut with “Daddy”, his brave and brilliant exploration of intimacy and power, mentorship and identity in the glamorous retreats of the LA art world. And Beth Steel, already recognised as one of the country’s most ambitious political writers, gives us her new play The House of Shades, whose ghost-filled story charts the journey of a single family over half a century of social and economic change, as the Labour movement they inherited crumbles and reforms around them.
“As we announce these two new plays, it feels fitting to also announce the brand new Genesis Almeida New Playwrights, Big Plays Programme, featuring seven writers who have all demonstrated their ability to think big, engaging with unusual, imaginative and formally innovative ideas. We can’t wait to guide them over the next year and to see what they produce and are hugely grateful to the Genesis Foundation for giving us this opportunity.”
John Studzinski, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation said, “One of the great gifts of life is to be challenged continually and never to stop learning. The Genesis Foundation works with its partners to identify areas in arts philanthropy that aren’t being fulfilled. Experienced artists wishing to develop their creative work are too often overlooked for support and commissions and don’t get the mentoring they need. It’s important that we support the creation of the Genesis Almeida Writers Programme. By identifying and supporting writers who will benefit most from working with the team at the Almeida we are helping to ensure that they continue to develop their work in new and exciting ways.”