Islington’s Almeida theatre is to launch into the new year with the British premiere of Becky Shaw, the world premiere of David Eldridge’s The Knot Of The Heart and a revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance.
Gina Gionfriddo’s drama Becky Shaw, which runs from 13 January to 5 March, is a tale of tangled love lives, which premiered off-Broadway in 2009. It follows title character Becky, who, following an unsuccessful blind date with Max, becomes an object of devotion for her boss Andrew. When Andrew’s wife Suzanna turns to her stepbrother Max for comfort, their mutual desire begins to resurface.
The play’s title role is taken by Daisy Haggard, who returns to the Almeida theatre, where she previously appeared in Ivanov, though she is probably best known for her appearances in TV comedies including Psychoville, Man Stroke Woman, Green Wing and Saxondale. Haggard is joined by former Billy Elliot The Musical star and Royal Shakespeare Company alumnus Haydn Gwynne, London theatre regular Anna Madeley, newcomer Vincent Montuel and American star David Wilson Barnes. The production will be directed by Peter DuBois, who previously directed Barnes in Becky Shaw’s off-Broadway premiere.
The Almeida theatre’s Artistic Director Michael Attenborough directs David Eldridge’s latest play The Knot Of The Heart, which runs from 10 March to 30 April. The tale of Lucy, whose career and happiness is threatened by the growth of a social drug habit into a serious addiction, marks the Almeida return of actress Lisa Dillon, who has previously appeared at the North London venue in When The Rain Stops Falling, A Period of Adjustment and Hedda Gabler. The star of TV series including Cambridge Spies and Cranford, Dillon can currently be seen in the Old Vic production of Design For Living and will stay at the Waterloo venue for the forthcoming production of A Flea In Her Ear, which runs during the winter.
The Knot Of The Heart also stars Abigail Cruttenden, best known for her roles in TV series Sharpe and Benidorm, and Margot Leicester, whose previous London credits include Coriolanus (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Lucky Ones (Hampstead theatre) and Memory Of Water (Vaudeville theatre).
Much acclaimed actress Penelope Wilton, currently lending her class to ITV costume drama Downton Abbey, leads the final production of the Almeida spring season, A Delicate Balance, directed by James Macdonald.
The tale of socialites Agnes and Tobias, whose lives become increasingly strained with the return of a recently divorced daughter, the constant presence of an alcoholic sister and the late night arrival of close friends, A Delicate Balance is the latest Albee play to be staged by the Almeida theatre following successful productions of The Goat Or Who Is Sylvia?, The Play About The Baby and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
Wilton is a regular on the London stage with a long list of credits at the National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse and in the West End, where she was most recently seen playing Gertrude to Jude Law’s Hamlet. Her films include The History Boys and Calendar Girls, while on television her credits range from Ever Decreasing Circles to Doctor Who.
The Almeida theatre is currently staging a theatrical adaptation of David Mamet’s movie thriller House Of Games, which runs until 6 November, when it will be replaced by Henrik Ibsen’s drama The Master Builder, performed by a cast including Stephen Dillane and Gemma Arterton.