Donmar theatre announces new 2023 season including Next to Normal

Hit broadway musical Next to Normal to play London in Summer 2023

Watch on the Rhine revival to star Patricia Hodge, Kate Duchêne & Caitlin FitzGerald 

The Donmar Warehouse in London has announced its first three shows for its 2022 / 2023 season, which will mark the venue’s 30th anniversary.

Led by Artistic Director Michael Longhurst and Executive Director Henny Finch, highlights of the new season include Lillian Hellman’s political thriller Watch on the Rhine, the world première of Diana Nneka Atuona’s Trouble in Butetown, and Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey’s (book and lyrics) Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal.

Watch on the Rhine will have its first major London revival in over 40 years, directed by Ellen McDougall. The cast will include Kate Duchêne, Caitlin FitzGerald and Patricia Hodge, and play at the Donmar from 9 December 2022 to 4 February 2023.

The show’s designer will be Basia Bińkowska, with lighting design by Azusa Ono, sound design by Tingying Dong and fight direction by Cristian Cardenas.

Diana Nneka Atuona received the 50th George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright and the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s Writers Award for Trouble in Butetown, and the production will be directed by Tinuke Craig. The play will run at the Donmar from 10 February to 25 March 2023.

Hit Broadway musical Next to Normal will run in Summer 2023, from 12 August to 7 October 2023, directed by Michael Longhurst. Alongside the production, the Donmar will run a new project exploring mental health and wellbeing with young people in our home boroughs.

There has been speculation for some time whether the show would ever make it to London. In August a giant new immersive version of the show was staged in Barcelona, with Yorkey and Kitt adapting their rock musical into a one hour experience, in a 2,000 square meter space shared by both the actors and the audience.

This powerful rock musical about a far from average family was critically acclaimed on Broadway, and is an intimate exploration of family and loss. At its heart is Diana Goodman, a suburban wife and mother living with bipolar disorder and haunted by her past.

Autumn 2022 will also see the Donmar celebrate its 30th birthday, and to celebrate will offer 3,000 £10 tickets for people under 30, supported by Associate Sponsor Barclays. The centrepiece of the celebrations will see the Donmar stage a fundraiser performance in November with all three former Artistic Directors – Michael Grandage, Sam Mendes and Josie Rourke as special guests, alongside Longhurst, with performances from notable alumni reprising roles they played at the theatre; as well as a free exhibition of production images across the theatre’s public spaces later in the year. The fundraiser will be directed by Simon Evans.

“It is a privilege to be co-helming the Donmar as we approach this major milestone. I am grateful for the talent, tenacity and generosity of all those who have built that history. These shows kick off our birthday celebrations in classic Donmar style with an unearthed gem, a thrilling new play and later in the year, a long-awaited Broadway musical.  Lillian and Diana’s plays offer counterpoint perspectives from across the Atlantic at a pivotal moment in our history, presenting one of the most seminal American female writers of the 20th century alongside an exciting new British female playwriting talent. And I can’t wait for us to blow the roof off the building with an extraordinary rock musical next Summer.  Here’s to the next 30!”

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