Donmar Warehouse will end its three-year residency at Trafalgar Studios with three new adaptations of European classics during its upcoming season. The plays include The Promise adapted by Penelope Skinner, The Dance of Death adapted by Conor McPherson and The Silence of the Sea adapted by Anthony Weigh. The program is aimed at promoting the work of up-and-coming directors. The Promise kicks off the season beginning November 15.
Directed by Alex Sims, The Promise takes place in 1943 in war-ravaged Leningrad. Originally penned by Aleksei Arbuzov, the Russian play follows three teenagers thrown together by history. In the years following the siege, allegiances shift, love falters and their vow of solidarity is stretched to its limits. Sims served as the Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar from 2007-2008, working on Othello, Parade, Absurdia, Betrayal, Kiss of The Spider Woman and John Gabriel Borkman. The Promise runs through December 8.
The Dance of Death, directed by Titas Halder, is set on an isolated island. Military captain Edgar and his wife, Alice, live a bitter life, with their marriage soured by hatred. When the possibility of redemption and escape arrives for Alice in the shape of their former comrade Kurt, Edgar becomes prepared to use his very last breath to make their lives a living hell. McPherson adapts August Strindberg's 1901 play. Halder served as Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar from 2010-2011, working on King Lear, Passion, The Prince of Homburg, The Late Middle Classes and Polar Bears. The Dance of Death begins December 13 and runs through January 5, 2013.
Simon Evans will direct Weigh's adaptation of The Silence of the Sea. Originally written by Vercors in 1942 as Le Silence de la Mer, the play follows a soldier who, during a time of conflict, is put up in the home of an old man and his niece. Powerless to turn him away, they resist him with a silence that becomes their most potent weapon. Evans served as Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar from 2011-2012, working on Richard II, Inadmissible Evidence, Anna Christie, Luise Miller, Moonlight and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The Silence of the Sea runs January 10, 2013 through February 2.
Donmar’s Resident Assistant Director (RAD) program offers the next generation of theater directors the opportunity to stage productions under the Donmar banner. Directors Sam Buntrock, Toby Frow, Rupert Goold, Sacha Wares and the company’s Artistic Director, Josie Rourke are all alumni of the prestigious program.