Damian Lewis on Stage: The Misanthrope

Continuing the countdown to Damian’s return to stage next week (!) with The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, let’s take a visit to his penultimate play, The Misanthrope. It was 2009 when Damian played the lead role of Alceste in Martin Crimp’s modernized version of Moliere’s 17th century comedy. After his appearance in The Misanthrope he was not seen on stage again until American Buffalo six years later. Dare we say, The Misanthrope marked a turning point for Damian, the last one where he was the nearly A-list actor playing against decidedly A-list’er Keira Knightley. NOW, of course, he is not nearly anything but a full-blown highly sought commodity on stage and screen. In this post, I’ll tell you a bit about the play, then, beg your indulgence as I wax philosophical about the extent to which the themes of the play translate to Damian’s own career trajectory.

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What were you doing in 1995? Cynthia’s Story

Hello all! Damianista here. Welcome to Fan Story Tuesday!

Those of you from Michigan may know Cynthia from her program Stateside on Michigan Radio, part of the NPR digital network. Cynthia has had work experience in radio and TV for more than 35 years.  She has been a popular radio host, a TV news anchor, producer and a medical and consumer reporter. She has won a number of awards for her writing and reporting — including an Emmy! And, in addition to all this, Cynthia is a Damian Lewis fan. Big thanks go to her for being one of the first to respond to our call for fan stories and sharing this very special story.

Without further ado: What were YOU doing in 1995? This is Cynthia’s story.

copyright: Cynthia Canty

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Imagine the Unimaginable: A First Look at The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? *UPDATED*

“Four decades after ‘Virginia Woolf’ sent shock waves through the mainstream theater, Mr. Albee still asks questions that no other major American dramatist dares to ask.”

Ben Brantley, NY Times Critic, 2002

We are extremely thrilled Damian Lewis is making a wonderful comeback to stage in the West End revival of Edward Albee’s late masterpiece The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? on March 24! Damian is headlining the play as Martin Gray along with Sophie Okonedo playing Martin’s wife Stevie, Archie Madekwe as his son Billy and Jason Hughes as his oldest friend Ross. Tom Kirdahy Productions is producing and Ian Rickson, who served as the artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1998 to 2006, is directing the play. And as if we needed another reason to get excited about it, The Guardian critic Michael Billington cites The Goat in his Unmissable Theatre of 2017 list! And Damian has recently been on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC2 Radio to talk about his return to stage. You can hear the program here and Damian’s bit starts at around 1:40:00.

The Goat is arguably the most provocative and controversial play by Albee who unfortunately passed away last September at the age of 88. The play won all the major theater awards; namely Tony, New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle, for Best New Play of the Year when it was first staged on Broadway in 2002. As we hope it will repeat that with Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo at the helm, it’s time for a first look, without any major spoiler, at The Goat!

Well, it’s time to meet The Grays!

Continue reading “Imagine the Unimaginable: A First Look at The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? *UPDATED*”

Damian Lewis on Stage: Pillars of the Community

We now have two weeks to go until Damian Lewis makes his return to the West End stage in The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? and we are continuing our countdown with Damian Lewis in Ibsen’s Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre. My story of finding out about this play is quite fun.

It all starts with a good colleague with whom I share love for theater asking me to name my favorite male and female stage performances in 2015. Easy. It’s Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts and Damian Lewis in Mamet’s American Buffalo (with Mark Strong in Miller’s A View From the Bridge as a close second). And what is it about these performances that make me LOVE them?  Just one word: Precision.

topperfs

Then I think about the heart-breaking performance Lesley Manville gives in Ghosts which, in fact, has brought her an Olivier Award in 2014 (I saw the play much later when it visited Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015). I know Manville mostly from her work on big screen such as Secrets and Lies (1996), Vera Drake (2004), Another Year (2010) and Mr Turner (2014) all of which were some of my favorites in the year they were released. But I really do not know about her stage work. So I google her. And this is one of the first images I hit!

source: telegraph.co.uk
source: telegraph.co.uk

Ha! Small world. Have you heard of the saying that Brits have 10 actors? I am about to believe that! 😀 And it’s time we dig into the play! Continue reading “Damian Lewis on Stage: Pillars of the Community”

Damian Lewis on Stage: Five Gold Rings or When Damian Met Helen :D

Matt Wolf, a theater critic who interviews Damian Lewis at Times Talks London in May 2014, spends quite some time talking to Damian about each and every play he has done to date at length, well, except for one: When it comes to Five Gold Rings, Wolf mentions it briefly and as more of a personal highlight than a professional one for Damian!

Matt Wolf: “One production at The Almeida called Five Gold Rings was perhaps not that successful except that it has the woman whom you ended up marrying so I would assume it was a success in that way.”

Damian laughs: “Yeah.”

Sweet! And it goes without saying that today’s walk in memory lane will be as much about Five Gold Rings as about When Damian Met Helen 😀 Continue reading “Damian Lewis on Stage: Five Gold Rings or When Damian Met Helen :D”

Finding Damian Lewis in the Least
Expected Places: June’s Story

Hello all, Damianista here! It’s Fan Stories day!

Many found out about Damian in Band of Brothers in early 2000s. Many more joined the fandom with Homeland. As we saw in Krista’s story last week, Damian is still gaining new fans with Billions. But then there are fans who “discovered” Damian in the least expected places.

June is one of them.

June is a published author under the name Struben Clinton and I believe you may want to read her Red Crocodile series once you read her fan story. Big thanks go to her for this unique contribution to our Fan Stories series and for the lovely pics she provided to go with the story!

I’d been writing my great romance for nearly a year but while looking for an image to help me visualize my hero I changed him a number of times, never satisfied I had the right one. Then I happened to see “Have I got News for You” and the chairman there was this red-head who seemed exactly what I was looking for.

source: dailymotion.com screencap

Continue reading “Finding Damian Lewis in the Least
Expected Places: June’s Story”