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The Way of The World full casting announced | Donmar Warehouse

The Way of the World at the Donmar Warehouse - Photographer Eivind Hansen
The Way of the World at the Donmar Warehouse – Photographer Eivind Hansen

The Donmar Warehouse today announces full casting for James Macdonald’s new revival of William Congreve’s Restoration comedy masterpiece The Way of The World.

Haydn Gwynne will be playing the role of Lady Wishfort, replacing Linda Bassett who has sadly had to withdraw from the production before the start of rehearsals for personal reasons.

Full casting also includes Fisayo Akinade, Alex Beckett, Gabrielle Brooks, Phoebe Francis Brown, Sarah Hadland, Jenny Jules, Simon Manyonda, Caroline Martin, Tom Mison, Justine Mitchell, Christian Patterson, Geoffrey Streatfeild and Nathan Welsh.

Family, money, desire: the rules of the game, the way of the world.

Lady Wishfort’s sprawling, dysfunctional family are riven by desire – there’s everything to lose and six thousand pounds to gain. Congreve’s glorious ensemble of characters battles it out in this satirical comedy where everyone needs to win just to get by.

James Macdonald (Director) previously directed the acclaimed production of Roots by Arnold Wesker at the Donmar Warehouse. He was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1992 to 2007 during which time he directed Drunk Enough to Say I Love You (also Public Theater, New York), Dying City (also Lincoln Center, New York), Fewer Emergencies, Lucky Dog, Blood, Blasted and 4.48 Psychosis, and more recently Cock, Love and Information and Circle Mirror Transformation (Royal Court in Haggerston). His other directing credits include The Arrest of Ai Wei Wei, And No More Shall We Part (Hampstead Theatre), King Lear, The Book of Grace, Top Girls (Broadway/MTC), A Delicate Balance, Judgment Day, The Triumph of Love (Almeida), Dido, Queen of Carthage, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Exiles (National Theatre) and Glengarry Glen Ross in the West End.

Fisayo Akinade (Witwoud) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after appearing in Josie Rourke’s Saint Joan opposite Gemma Arterton, as well as James Graham’s play for theatre and television The Vote, also directed by Josie Rourke and broadcast live on More 4 on the night of the general election. Recent theatre work includes Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre), Pigs and Dogs and The Crossing Plays (Royal Court), and The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe). Other theatre includes Barbarians (Young Vic), As You Like It (New Wolsey), Refugee Boy and Waiting for Godot (West Yorkshire Playhouse), and Neighbours (Hightide). Fisayo’s television credits include A Very English Scandal, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ordinary Lives, Cucumber, Banana, and Fresh Meat.

Alex Beckett (Waitwell) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after appearing in Hotel in Amsterdam. His theatre credits include Grimly Handsome (Royal Court), Pygmalion (Headlong), Blue Heart (Orange Tree/Tobacco Factory), Edward II (National Theatre), Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales), Here (Rose Kingston), The Changeling (Young Vic), 66 Books – A Nobody (Bush), Fen (Finborough), Much Ado About Nothing (West End), Natural Selection (Theatre 503), Hamlet, The Brothers Grimm (Creation), Letters (Union), Starbucks 24hr Plays (Old Vic New Voices), Swallow Song (Oxford Playhouse), Playing Hamlet (King’s Head), What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (True Fiction) and Gull (Antic Co-operation). Alex’s television credits include Stath, The End of the F**King World, W1A, I Live with Models, Love, Nina, The Aliens, Cockroaches, Cuffs, Top Coppers, Twenty Twelve, The Job Lot, The Scandalous Lady W, Burton & Taylor, A Touch of Cloth, A Childs’s Christmases in Wales, Married Single Other, The Persuasionists, The Bill and Emmerdale, and film credits include Mary Queen of Scots, Youth, Ministry of Guilt and Survivor.

Gabrielle Brooks (Mincing) makes her debut at the Donmar Warehouse in The Way of the World. Her theatre credits include The Wizard of Oz and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Sheffield Theatres), Queen Anne (RSC/Theatre Royal Haymarket), Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), Red Snapper (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), I Can’t Sing (London Palladium), Our House (Savoy), and Avenue Q (UK Tour). For television her credits include Coming Down the Mountain, and for film she appeared in Notes on a Scandal.Phoebe

Frances Brown (Betty/Peg) makes her debut at the Donmar Warehouse in The Way of the World. Phoebe’s theatre credits include (sorry) (Birmingham Rep), Finding Nana (Soho Theatre) and Life According to Saki (New York Theatre Workshop). For television she has appeared in My Mad Fat Diary.

Haydn Gwynne (Lady Wishfort) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after appearing in a concert version of Company, as part of the Sondheim at 80 celebrations in 2010. Most recently, Haydn played Volumnia in Coriolanus for the RSC. She was Olivier nominated for The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (West End), and also for the original London production of City of Angels. Other theatre credits include Margaret Thatcher (WhatsOnStage Award) in The Audience (West End), Richard III (Old Vic/BAM New York), Becky Shaw (Almeida), The Memory of Water (Hampstead), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Peer Gynt, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), The Recruiting Officer (Royal Exchange), and her multi award-winning role as the dance teacher in Billy Elliot the Musical (West End and Broadway). Her extensive television work includes Camilla in The Windsors, The C-Word, Ripper Street, Sherlock, Rome, Mersey Beat, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, The Secret and Nice Work. She won Royal Television Society Awards for Dalziel and Pascoe and Peak Practice, and was BAFTA nominated for Drop the Dead Donkey. Films include Beauty and The Beast, Hunky Dory and Remember Me?

Sarah Hadland (Foible) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The Way of the World. Her theatre credits include The War Has Not Yet Started (Theatre Royal Plymouth at Southwark Playhouse), The Norman Conquests (Chichester Festival Theatre), What’s In A Name? (Birmingham), Raving (Hampstead Theatre) and Canvas (Chichester Festival Theatre). Television credits include Hang Ups, The Job Lot (RTS nomination for Best Comedy Performance), Miranda, Burton and Taylor, Inside no 9, The Moonstone, Galavant, Ballot Monkeys, W1A, Ratburger, Hoff The Record, Brotherhood, Radges, Stop/Start, Horrible Histories , The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff , Royal wedding, That Mitchell and Webb Look, Waterloo Road, Marley’s Ghosts, The Jury and Moving Wallpaper. Sarah’s film credits include Now Is Good, Quantum of Solace, Grow Your Own, Confetti, Basil, Leap Year and Magicians.

Jenny Jules (Mrs Marwood) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after appearing in Phyllida Lloyd’s 2013 all-female production of Julius Caesar which also transferred to St. Ann’s Warehouse, New York. Her stage credits also include Her Portmanteau (New York Theatre Workshop), The Crucible (Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway), Henry IV (St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn), Father Comes Home from the Wars (Public Theater, New York), A Raisin in the Sun (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Moon on a Rainbow Shawl and Death and the King’s Horseman (National Theatre), Ruined, King Lear, The Homecoming and Big White Fog (Almeida Theatre) and Fabulation, Gem of the Ocean, Wine in the Wilderness and Pecong (Tricycle Theatre). Jenny’s television credits include Death in Paradise, Eastenders, Law and Order, Skins, Vexed, Father and Son, Casualty and Judge John Deed. Her film credits include The Man Inside, A Short Stay in Switzerland, Octane, SW9, Wit, Up ‘N’ Under and Spiders and Flies.

Simon Manyonda (Petulant) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Way of the World. His theatre credits include Barber Shop Chronicles, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, King Lear, Greenland and Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre), King Lear (Old Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dreaming and Julius Caesar (RSC), Giving and Wildfire (Hampstead Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Sheffield Crucible), The Mamba (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Antony and Cleopatra (Liverpool Playhouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lyric Hammersmith), Red Peppers (Old Red Lion) and All Night I Dream of Being Good (The Yard). His television credits include Shakespeare and Hathaway, King Lear, Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories, Doctor Who, Suspects, Holby City and Whitechapel, and film credits includes Undergods, In Fabric, The Current War, Failure to Thrive, Jawbone, World War Z, Julius Caesar and How It’s Done.

Caroline Martin (Mrs Fainall) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The Way of the World. Her theatre credits include Hamlet directed by Kenneth Branagh, Red Velvet (Garrick Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Almeida Theatre), Medea (Royal National Theatre), A Doll’s House (West End/Broadway), The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth (RSC), and The House of Special Purpose (Chichester Festival Theatre). Her television credits include Requiem, Five Days, Foyle’s War, Endeavour, He Knew He Was Right, Byron, Inspector Lynley and Poirot, and film credits include Happy – Go – Lucky.

Tom Mison (Fainall) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Way of the World. Tom’s previous theatre credits include Posh (Royal Court/West End), Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (Theatre Royal Bath), Elektra (Headlong & Young Vic), When The Rain Stops Falling (Almeida Theatre), Hedda (Gate Theatre), The Living Unknown Soldier, Les Enfants Du Paradis (Arcola Theatre), and Time On Fire (National Theatre/Magic Theatre, San Francisco). Television credits include Sleepy Hollow, Parade’s End, Poirot: Third Girl, Lost In Austen, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, and Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. Film credits include One Day, Dead Cat, Salmon Fishing in The Yemen, and Venus.

Justine Mitchell (Millamant) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after her performances in King Lear directed by Michael Grandage and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui directed by Simon Evans. Justine’s extensive theatre credits include Beginning (National Theatre/West End), The Plough and the Stars, Detroit, Children of the Sun, The White Guard and The Night Season (National Theatre), Wild Honey (Hampstead Theatre), For Services Rendered (Chichester Festival Theatre), Love For Love and Twelfth Night (RSC), Man – Three Plays By Tennessee Williams (Young Vic), The Rivals (Arcola Theatre), Mr Burns (Almeida Theatre), and Gastronauts, Bodies and The Stone (Royal Court). Television credits include The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II, Harry and Paul, Your Bad Self, Doctors, New Tricks and Wild At Heart. Justine has also appeared on film in The Stag, Imagine Me and You, Citizen Verdict, The Honeymooners, Goldfish Memory and Conspiracy of Silence.

Christian Patterson (Sir Wilfull Witwoud) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Way of the World. He previously appeared in the Donmar’s UK Tour of Guys and Dolls. His other theatre credits include My Country (National Theatre/Tour), Journey’s End (West End/UK Tour), Macbeth, Ying Tong – A Walk with the Goons, Oliver! (West End), Blackbird, The Dying of Today and Blasted (The Other Room). Christian is proud to be an Associate of Theatr Clwyd where his credits include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Insignificance, All My Sons, Aristocrats, Rape of the Fair Country, Glengarry Glen Ross and As You Like It.His television credits include My Country, Ellen, Holby City, Doctors and Mr Selfridge, and film credits include Pride, Malice in Wonderland and I Know You Know.

Geoffrey Streatfeild (Mirabel) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after playing the part of Daniel in My Night With Reg, which also transferred to the West End. He has appeared on stage in productions including Cell Mates and Wild Honey (Hampstead Theatre), Young Chekhov: Ivanov and The Seagull, The Beaux Stratagem, Children of the Sun, Earthquakes in London, The Pains of Youth, The History Boys and The Bacchae (National Theatre), Macbeth and Copenhagen (Sheffield Crucible), Henry V, Henry IV: Part I, Henry IV: Part II, Henry VI: Part 1, 2 and 3, and Richard III (RSC), Eigengrau and The Contingency Plan (Bush), The Merchant of Venice and Nathan the Wise (Chichester Festival Theatre), and Journey’s End (West End). His extensive television work includes The Miniaturist, Prime Suspect 1973, The Hollow Crown, New Worlds, Endeavour, The Thick of It, Spooks, Ashes to Ashes, Hunter, Elizabeth, The Other Boleyn Girl, 20,000 Streets Under The Sky and Love in a Cold Climate. Film credits include Kursk, Making Noise Quietly, The Lady in the Van, Girls Night Out, Spooks: The Greater Good, Rush, Private Peaceful, City Slacker, Kinky Boots, Angel, Match Point.

Nathan Welsh (Mirabel’s Servant/Wishfort’s Footman) makes his debut at the Donmar Warehouse in The Way of the World. His recent theatre credit includes Circa (The Vaults). Television credits include Dead Pixels, Shetland, Trust Me and Obsession.

By William Congreve
Thursday 29 March – Saturday 26 May 2018
PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 5 April 2018
Director James Macdonald
Designer Anna Fleischle
Lighting Designer Peter Mumford
Sound Designer and Composer Max Pappenheim
Movement Director Francine Watson Coleman


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