“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!
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.
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!
“My heroes were all in the theatre. I wanted to be part of that great tradition that ran back to Garrick and Macready and Kean. That’s what I wished for, when I was asleep and dreaming.” – Damian Lewis in an interview with Telegraph
Now that we have the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lit up, winter holidays are officially here! … and it’s the most wonderful time of the year 🙂 The beauty is in that everyone is celebrating something. It is Christmas, or it is Hannukah, or it is Kwanzaa, or it is Winter Solstice, or it is New Year’s or it is Festivus for the rest of us (Seinfeld, anyone?)… 😀
Holidays are COMING — most fabulous time of the year that we spend with family and friends and make new happy memories! That’s why I thought it would be FUN to have Damian talk about some happy memories of his own today on the blog. And I cannot think anything better than the sweet stories he shared with us when he was Kirsty Young’s Castaway on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs (DID) two years ago.
Here’s the drill if you are not familiar with the program: The castaway comes having done his homework; with eight pieces of music — one of which he will choose as his favorite — plus a book and a luxury item that he will take to his island with him. You hear the music during the program accompanied with a story from the castaway about why he has chosen this particular piece. We focus on Damian’s selections today on the blog, and you can listen the entire Damian Lewis DID here and download it to listen on the go, too!