Marylebone Theatre, an exciting new London cross-arts venue, is launching with a rediscovery of an unfinished visionary work by Friedrich Schiller, which offers a revelatory perspective on the current crisis on Europe’s eastern borders.
Dmitry is written by Peter Oswald (resident playwright at Shakespeare’s Globe under Mark Rylance) after peerless dramatist Schiller’s play Demetrius, left incomplete at his death. This explosive world premiere will start the opening season of Marylebone Theatre, a new venue with bold ambitions to present the best new writing alongside high quality dance, music and spoken word. World-renowned Tim Supple, former Artistic Director of the Young Vic (National Theatre; Royal Shakespeare Company; Midsummer Night’s Dream), will return to London to direct this thrilling production, which reflects the bold programming ambitions of the venue.
Acclaimed English verse dramatist Oswald follows his celebrated vision of Schiller’s Mary Stuart (Donmar Warehouse, West End, Broadway) with this potent new play, dramatizing a story of compelling contemporary relevance with a thrilling classical perspective. Supple returns to the London theatre scene after 15 years of international work to bring this urgently relevant piece to life. Inspired by real events in the early 17th century, Dmitry is a timely exploration of the historic and tragic conflict between Russia’s leaders and the West.
In 1605 in Moscow, ruthless tsar Boris Gudonov, former chief of Ivan the Terrible’s secret police, rules through fear and oppression. In Poland, a formidable young opponent – Dmitry – appears claiming to be the missing son of Ivan the Terrible and the rightful tsar of Russia. The Polish army, fuelled by the fear of the Russian threat, takes up Dmitry’s cause to march on the Kremlin to capture the throne. This poetic drama cuts to the heart of 21st century politics through a rich imagining of Eastern Europe and Russia’s shared history. Oswald’s pulsating dramatic verse brings Dmitry and his allies to life, while Supple’s cutting edge direction ensures a gripping world premiere at Marylebone Theatre. The creative team is led by designer Robert Innes Hopkins (Royal Shakespeare Company; National Theatre; Royal Opera House).
Marylebone Theatre, originally known as Steiner Hall, has recently been beautifully refurbished. A short walk from Baker Street, the theatre will produce its own work as well as receive incoming companies. As a mid-size venue (212 seats) with a West End-sized stage, it is perfect for music and dance as well as theatre. Further productions and music as part of the opening season will be announced. The theatre intends to carve out a special place on the London cultural scene as a beautiful and grand but intimate setting. Patrons of Marylebone Theatre include Academy Award-winning actor Sir Mark Rylance, director of the English National Opera Martyn Brabbins, and the esteemed cross-bench peer Baroness Usha Prasher.
Artistic Director of Marylebone Theatre Alexander Gifford comments, We are starting as we mean to go on with a production that is bold and important. Dmitry is a gripping rollercoaster ride through the battles and intrigues of the 17th century right to the heart of the politics of our times. It pairs our greatest living verse dramatist, Peter Oswald, with the internationally acclaimed director Tim Supple while drawing on the vision and inspiration of the incomparable Friedrich Schiller. I hope it will launch Marylebone Theatre as an important new presence on the London cultural scene, which develops brilliant new drama whilst also hosting and supporting the best artists in the fields of music, dance and poetry.
Dmitry Director Tim Supple says, I can think of no more thrilling prospect than to open a new theatre space in London with a new play by the exceptional Peter Oswald. That this play should resurrect an unfinished work by Schiller and shine a brilliant light on a most urgent concern of the modern era is a further miracle. How daring to defy the challenges of our time and open a theatre with a verse drama that reaches back through the lens of a European master to grasp the intractable and thorny question of how it is that Russia and the West are locked in such a deadly embrace, and how it might be possible to transform bloodshed into kinship. A great matter of our time distilled into exhilarating human drama. The experience of a new old play in a brand new venue. What an offering to audiences and what a task for a director!
The Dmitry cast and the remainder of the launch season will be announced in June.
Dmitry will run at Marylebone Theatre Thursday 29th September – Saturday 5th November 2022