THE DONMAR IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CHANNEL 4 ANNOUNCES
- Initial casting for Josie Rourke’s production of the vote by James Graham: Fisayo Akinade, Madalena Alberto, Jade Anouka, Nicholas Burns, Paul Chahidi, Jackie Clune, Pandora Colin, Rosalie Craig, Heather Craney, Judi Dench, Rachel Denning, Hadley Fraser, Mark Gatiss, Llewella Gideon, Alice Hewkin, Kadiff Kirwan, Aïcha Kossoko, Wanda Opalinska, Bill Paterson, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Nina Sosanya, Catherine Tate, Yusra Warsama, Timothy West And Finty Williams.
- Set in a fictional London polling station, The Vote dramatises the final ninety minutes before the polls close in this year’s General Election. On that exact day, May 7, at that precise time 8.30 – 10pm, the play will be broadcast live on More4 from the Donmar stage.
- A national television event and a first for theatre and television, the vote is an unprecedented experiment and a major innovation in theatre and television from channel 4, the Donmar and the team behind Educating Yorkshire.
- There will be two weeks of performances at the Donmar in the run-up to the live broadcast on May 7. All of these tickets will be available through a ballot. The ballot opens 10am on Monday 30 March 2015.
The Donmar Warehouse in partnership with Channel 4
A play for theatre and television by James Graham
Live broadcast from the Donmar on May 7. Broadcast on More4 8.30pm – 10pm. Limited Donmar run in the build-up to live broadcast, 24 April – 6 May.
Director Josie Rourke
Designer Robert Jones
Lighting Designer Oliver Fenwick
Sound Designer Nick Lidster for Autograph
Composer Michael Bruce
Movement Stephen Mear
Following their celebrated collaboration on Privacy, writer James Graham and Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Josie Rourke will reunite for The Vote, a drama and unique television event set in a fictional polling station, during the final ninety minutes of voting on election day.
An ensemble cast of actors will represent the team of polling station volunteers, polling officers, and the diverse array of characters that are the voting public, with initial casting that includes Fisayo Akinade, Jade Anouka, Madalena Alberto, Nicholas Burns, Paul Chahidi, Jackie Clune, Pandora Colin, Rosalie Craig, Heather Craney, Judi Dench, Rachel Denning, Hadley Fraser, Mark Gatiss, Llewella Gideon, Alice Hewkin, Kadiff Kirwan, Aïcha Kossoko, Wanda Opalinska, Bill Paterson, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Nina Sosanya, Catherine Tate, Yusra Warsama, Timothy West and Finty Williams.
The Vote will be an unprecedented national television event, broadcast on More4 at the precise time in which the drama is set, and deploying cutting-edge fixed rig technology (as used on popular Channel 4 series Educating Yorkshire, 24 Hours in A&E and One Born Every Minute) to capture theatre performance for the very first time. Set in a fictional London Polling Station on Thursday 7th May 2015 in the final ninety minutes before the polls close, The Vote will be beamed directly into living rooms around the UK at that precise time 8:30-10pm live from the Donmar Stage. Channel 4 has commissioned Twofour – the award-winning factual, features and entertainment producers behind Educating Yorkshire – to produce the broadcast.
The Vote looks at what happens in Britain on election night through the eyes of those at the polling station. Every five years we assert our right as citizens to uphold or replace our government – but, characteristically, we do it in the most unremarkable and understated of ways –at local parish churches, primary schools and community centres across the country. Set in a fictional polling station, James Graham’s new play shines a light on the diverse, diligent and often hilarious individuals who turn these unglamorous settings into places where history is made.
There will be two weeks of performances at the Donmar (Friday 24 April – Wednesday 6 May) in the run-up to the live broadcast. All of these tickets will be made available through a ballot, which opens on Monday 30 March at 10am viawww.donmarwarehouse.com (opens in a new window).
Josie Rourke, Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director and The Vote Director, said:
Broadcast live to the nation on the night of the General Election, this is a unique opportunity for the Donmar to make a small theatre feel very big. Some of the nation’s greatest actors are coming together this election night to give theatre a seat at the table of a national event. Everyone involved is approaching this experiment with a sense of adventure. To work with a playwright and company of this calibre and significance on such a bold project is a dream come true. When James Graham and I collaborated on Privacy, we were attempting something no-one had tried before. This is our next step in pushing the boundaries of how theatre speaks to audiences in a brave, new and popular language about the times in which we live. This huge acting company will be portraying a ninety minute slice of our nation as it goes to the polls. The scale and scope of this incredible company of actors is going to make this a very special event. This is the first time Judi Dench has been back on the Donmar stage since 1976. To have her at the heart of this incredible company of actors makes this great event a total joy.
John Hay, Commissioning Editor for Arts, Channel 4 said:
Lots of channels make programmes about artists, but at Channel 4 we try to give artists the chance to make programmes about us. The Vote is a major step forward in that long tradition. Josie told me when we first began talking about it we’d have a wonderful cast, but I’m still delighted and more than a little star-struck by the list. I’m hugely grateful to them for joining forces with her to realise James’ brilliant script, and to Twofour for bringing it to the screen in such an innovative way.
Twofour’s Creative Director and Executive Producer for the show, David Clews, said:
The unobtrusive nature of a fixed rig allows us to make incredibly intimate and beautifully observed documentaries. It’s really exciting to take this technique into the dramatic space, enabling us to film the actors on stage in such close up detail. We’re delighted that we are working with James, Josie and the Donmar, and of course the stellar cast.
James Graham (Writer) returns to the Donmar following his recent play Privacy. James’ other theatre writing credits include The Angry Brigade (Paines Plough), Finding Neverland (American Repertory Theatre, Boston), This House, Bassett (National), The Whisky Taster and SuddenLossOfDignity.com (Bush), Sons of York, Little Madam, Eden’s Empire for which he won the Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play, Albert’s Boy (Finborough), Tory Boyz (Soho) and Coal Not Dole (Edinburgh Festival). Television and film credits also include Coalition, Prisoner’s Wives, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Khao San Road, Caught In A Trap, X + Y, Gypsy Boy, Garagistas and Mrs Queen Takes the Train.
Josie Rourke (Director) is Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse. At the Donmar she has directed The Recruiting Officer, The Physicists, Berenice, The Weir (which transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre), Coriolanus (which was broadcast to cinemas around the world in partnership with National Theatre Live), James Graham’s play Privacy, and the Olivier Award nominated production of City of Angels. In 2013 she directed The Machine, a new play by Matt Charman, as part of the Manchester International Festival, which also played at Park Avenue Armory, New York. Rourke trained at the Donmar, under Sam Mendes, through the theatre’s annual Resident Assistant Director Scheme. Prior to the Donmar, she was Artistic Director at the Bush Theatre, London, from 2007, leaving in 2011 having opened the new Bush Theatre and won Theatre of the Year. Her 2010 production of Men Should Weep by Ena Lamont Stewart ran in the Lyttelton at the National Theatre. In 2011 her production of Much Ado About Nothing, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, ran in the West End at Wyndham’s Theatre and received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Revival.
Commissioned for Channel 4 by John Hay, Commissioning Editor for Arts and David Brindley, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries. Executive Producer for Twofour is David Clews.
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For the Donmar: Henry IV; Julius Caesar (also St Ann’s Warehouse).
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For the Donmar: The Recruiting Officer.
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Television includes: Esio Trot; Cranford.
Accolades include six Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, an Academy Award and ten BAFTA Awards.
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Radio includes: The Raj Quartet.
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