London's Almeida Theatre has announced a new season of shows running from autumn 2022 through spring 2023, including the world premiere of Tammy Faye, a new musical about the late televangelist penned by Elton John, Jake Shears, and James Graham.
Directed by Artistic Director Rupert Goold, Tammy Faye A New Musical will begin previews October 13 prior to an official opening October 26 for a limited engagement through December 3.
Olivier winner Katie Brayben (Beautiful) will star as Tammy Faye with Tony nominee Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Girls) as Jim, and Olivier nominee Zubin Varla (Fun Home) as Jerry Falwell. The cast will also include Kelly Agbowu, Amy Booth-Steel, Ashley Campbell, Peter Caulfield, Danny Collins, Richard Dempsey, Fred Haig, Georgia Louise, Robyn Rose, Nicholas Rowe, Martin Sarreal, Steve John Shepherd, and Gemma Sutton.
Featuring music by John, lyrics by Shears, and a book by Graham, the production will also have choreography by Lynne Page, design by Bunny Christie, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Neil Austin, sound design by Bobby Aitken, musical supervision, co-orchestrations, and arrangements by Tom Deering, co-orchestrations by Mark Dickman, video design by Finn Ross, musical direction by Oli Jackson, and casting by Pippa Ailion and Natalie Gallacher.
Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Frecknall (Cabaret) will subsequently direct a revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, running December 10, 2022-February 4, 2023, with an official opening December 20. Lydia Wilson (The Duchess of Malfi) will play Blanche with BAFTA-winning Paul Mescal (Normal People) as Stanley, Anjana Vasan (We Are Lady Parts) as Stella, and Dwane Walcott (Machinal) as Mitch.
The world premiere of Lulu Raczka's Women, Beware the Devil will be presented February 11-March 25. Directed by Goold, opening night is set for February 22. Set in 1640 England, the play centers on a household in crisis. Nothing is more important to Lady Elizabeth than protecting her family’s legacy and their ancestral home. When that comes under threat, she elicits the help of Agnes, a young servant suspected of witchcraft. Casting will be announced.
The U.K. premiere of The Secret Life of Bees—featuring a book by Lynn Nottage, music by Duncan Sheik, and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead —will play the Almeida April 4-May 27. Whitney White will direct the musical based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Presented in association with Sonia Friedman Productions, Lauren Shuler Donner, Marianne Mills, and Robert Cohen, The Secret Life of Bees is set in 1964 South Carolina as Rosaleen is fighting for her right to vote and Lily is escaping her violent father. When this pair flee their small town, they seek salvation at a remote honey bee farm run by the Boatwright sisters. Casting will be announced.
The Almeida has also announced a trilogy of productions over the next three years that will bring together professional creatives, local artists, and community performers to explore what it means to live, work, love, pray, celebrate, and mourn in Islington through a day, a lifetime, and countless millennia. Three productions—24 (Day), 81 (Life), and 1000 (Millennia)—will be staged from summer 2023 through summer 2025.
Artistic Director Goold said, “After a wonderful, if challenging, year since reopening we are thrilled to be presenting this exciting season of work that builds on relationships we have with artists new and familiar, our local community, and above all with the audiences that continue to discover and cherish the uniqueness of our building."
For additional details on the season of works, click here.