Tuesday 18 December 2018

Hayley Atwell takes on Shakespeare with play about sex and power

Jack Lowden will also star in the production at the Donmar Warehouse.

Hayley Atwell (Matt Crossick/PA)
Hayley Atwell (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Hayley Atwell will star in Shakespeare’s play about sex and power – Measure For Measure – on the London stage.

The Avengers Assemble actress and co-star Jack Lowden will swap roles during the performance at the Donmar Warehouse, to explore issues of gender and power.

The new production will be directed by the Donmar Warehouse’s artistic director Josie Rourke.

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Measure For Measure (Donmar Warehouse)

Rourke said that Atwell and Lowden, best known for War And Peace and Dunkirk, will swap roles as the novice nun and powerful politician, who only agrees to save her brother’s life if she will sleep with him, during a single performance.

The play is reimagined in its original year of performance, 1604, and also in 2018.

“Within every performance in this production, Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden will alternate the roles of the powerful and powerless, Angelo and Isabella,” Rourke said.

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Jack Lowden (Ian West/PA)

Another play, political tragedy Mary Stuart, previously saw Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams alternate the lead roles on separate nights  at the “toss of a coin”  in the West End.

Other shows announced at the Covent Garden venue include Lyndsey Turner’s revival of Brian Friel’s haunting play, Aristocrats.

Muriel Sparks’ The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie has previously been announced, and all three plays are directed by women.

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