Veteran theater director Michael Grandage announced a star-studded line-up to launch his new company in London’s West End. Daniel Radcliffe, Judi Dench, Jude Law and Ben Whishaw are among the actors who will tread the boards in a series of five plays to run from December 2012 to February 2014, with New York transfers possible. Screenwriter/playwright John Logan (Skyfall, Rango, Hugo) will also debut his first play since Red which in 2010 won six Tonys after it moved from London to Broadway.
The season will kick off with Peter Nichols’ Privates On Parade starring My Week With Marilyn’s Simon Russell Beale followed by Dench and Whishaw in Logan’s Peter And Alice. In the story, Dench plays Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the original inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, who in 1932 comes face to face with Peter Llewelyn Davies, the original inspiration for JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. Radcliffe will star in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishman starting September 7, 2013. He’ll play the title role in the dark comedy’s first major London revival since 1996. Re-teaming with Grandage after 2009’s Hamlet, Jude Law will star as Henry V to close out the series’ run starting November 2013. Another Shakespeare adaptation, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will star Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams.
In a move to bring in wide audiences, each of the plays will have at least 200 seats priced at £10 and some performances will be free. Grandage, who is the former artistic director of London’s venerable Donmar Warehouse, recently started The Michael Grandage Company with exec producer James Bierman to produce plays, movies and TV projects in London and New York.