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Ben Whishaw to feature in the Almeida’s Greek season

Ben Whishaw in Peter and Alice at the Noel Coward Theatre. Photo: Johann Persson.
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Ben Whishaw and Bertie Carvel will star in a new version of Euripides’ Bakkhai as part of a season of Greek tragedies at the Almeida Theatre.

The season, which is made up of three new versions of classic Greek plays, also includes Oresteia and Medea.

Whishaw and Carvel will feature in a new adaptation of Bakkhai by Anne Carson, directed by James Macdonald. It will run from July 23 to September 19, with press night on July 30.

The production is designed by Antony McDonald, with lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Paul Arditti, music by Orlando Gough and musical direction by Lindy Tennent-Brown. Choreography is by Jonathan Burrows and Gillie Kleiman and casting is by Anne McNulty.

The cast for Bakkhai also includes Ameira Darwish, Eugenia Georgieva, Kaisa Hammarlund, Hazel Holder, Melanie la Barrie, Elinor Lawless, Catherine May, Louise Mills and Belinda Sykes.
Meanwhile, Kate Fleetwood will play the title role in Medea, which is a new version by Rachel Cusk and is directed by Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold.

The production will run from September 25 to November 14 with press night on October 1.

Design is by Ian McNeil, costume is by Holly Waddington, music and sound is by Adam Cork and choreography is by Scott Ambler. The production has casting by Julia Horan.

Elsewhere, Robert Icke creates and directs a new version of Oresteia, which will star Lia Williams as Klytemnestra. It will run from May 29 to July 18 with press night on June 5.

The production will be designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Tom Gibbons and video by Tim Reid. Casting is by Julia Horan.

Goold said: “At the Almeida we strive to create theatre that asks questions of its audiences, of who they are and the world they live in, work that is alive and resonant. When we came to the writers of Ancient Greece we wanted to be true to their plays – staging them in full complexity, presenting their formal iconoclasm, their humour, musicality, politics, violence and unswerving drama.

“These writers took society’s old myths and made them new: changed them, exploded them, set them loose as contemporary stories that spoke to their city. At the same time they posed big, provocative, uncomfortable questions; ones which two thousand years later, we still struggle to answer.”

He added that the season would also include a festival of other work in the theatre and off-site, which will include talks, readings and panels.

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