News: Hampstead Theatres reveals its 2022-23 plans

Hampstead Theatre announces four new plays and the full cast and creative teams for the world premieres of Rona Munro’s Mary and Joe White’s Blackout Songs


By Rona Munro
Directed by Roxana Silbert
Designer Ashley Martin-Davis
Lighting Designer Matt Haskins
Composer and Sound Designer Nick Powell
Movement Director Ayse Tashkiran
Casting Director Helena Palmer CDG
Assistant Director Marlie Haco

Cast Douglas HenshallRona MorisonBrian Vernel

Dates: Friday 21 October – Saturday 26 November 2022
Captioned Performance: Tuesday 22 November with captioned post-show Q&A
Audio Described Performance: Saturday 19 November at 2.30pm with a Touch Tour at 1pm 

“She made some very poor decisions. You tried to warn her. You love her yet, and that’s a credit to you, but you need to think about what’s best for Scotland…”

It’s 1567.  Meet James Melville, an intelligent, charismatic and skilled diplomat who is also one of the most loyal servants of Mary Stuart, the troubled Queen of Scots.  It’s a time of political turmoil and the shocking crimes he has witnessed have shaken him.  Now he needs to decide who’s guilty, who’s innocent, and who is too dangerous to accuse.  Change is coming, but at what price?

Rona Munro’s new political thriller marks her welcome return to Hampstead after many successes since 1991.  Famous for her work on Doctor Who as well as her writing for film, TV and radio, Mary is a standalone play but also a companion piece to The James Plays cycle, winner of the Evening Standard and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards in 2014.

Roxana Silbert, Hampstead’s Artistic Director reunites with Munro, having previously directed her plays Iron (Royal Court) and Little Eagles (Hampstead).

Douglas Henshall, star of BBC’s Shetland and last seen at Hampstead in 2012 as Oliver Cromwell in 55 Days, returns to play Melville.  His theatre work includes Network (National Theatre); Betrayal (Comedy) and The Cryptogram (Donmar). For film and television, Shetland (series 1-7); The Small Hand; Outlander; Hotel Taliban and Primeval (3 Series).

He is joined by Rona Morison.  Her theatre work includes The Haystack (Hampstead Theatre); The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Donmar); The James Plays (National Theatre) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Regent’s Park).  For film and television, Our Ladies; Solo: A Star Wars Story; The Control Room and Absentia.

Brian Vernel also stars.  Theatre work includes Stories (National Theatre); The Seagull (Lyric Hammersmith) and Four Parts Broken (National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre/Oran Mor).  His film and TV work includes, Dunkirk; Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Gangs of London (Series 1 & 2); Collateral; The Tunnel and Dr Who.


By Stephen Karam
Directed by Bijan Sheibani
Dates: Friday 2 December 2022 – Saturday 14 January 2023
Captioned Performance: Tuesday 10 January at 7.30pm with captioned post-show Q&A
Audio Described Performance: Saturday 14 January at 2.30pm with a Touch Tour at 1pm

“Every family’s got their stuff, right? The Douaihys have a habit of dying tragically.

We’re like the Kennedys without the sex appeal.”

Joseph Douaihy, a gay American-Lebanese Maronite Christian in rural Pennsylvania, has a pretty complicated life.  When his father dies as the result of a prank, life truly spirals towards the bizarre… With unexplained pain blocking his athletics career, a desperate new boss who wants to capitalize on his grief, a dependent uncle who thinks he’s his legal guardian and a very wayward younger brother, Joseph has a lot on his plate… So he really should not be spending time with the attractive journalist who’s looking for the inside scoop on his father’s accident…

Following Hampstead’s 2018 smash-hit with The Humans comes Sons of the Prophet, ‘the absolutely wonderful new comedy-drama by Stephen Karam’ (New York Times) which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play in 2012.

Bijan Sheibani returns to Hampstead to direct; his recent credits include The Arrival (Bush), Dance Nation (Almeida), Barber Shop Chronicles and A Taste of Honey (National Theatre).

Full cast and creative team to be announced in due course


By Ruby Thomas
Directed by Owen Horsley
Dates: Friday 27 January – Saturday 4 March 2023
Audio Described Performance: Saturday 25 February at 2.30pm with a Touch Tour at 1pm
Captioned Performance: Tuesday 28 February at 7.30pm with captioned post-show Q&A

“There are things you do not know.  Things that would alter your view of me entirely.  Things that, were I a worthy man, should prevent me from making any claim on such a rare, intelligent woman as you.”

Prussia, 1720.  Dashing musketeer and skilled seducer Anastasius Linck has no intention of falling in love.  But when he meets passionate young Catharina Mülhahn, so strong is the attraction that the match becomes inevitable.  As the couple strive to build a radical kind of marriage, Catharina’s mother becomes obsessed with her mysterious son-in-law and sets out to uncover his secret – a secret that, if revealed, would threaten to engulf them all…

Ruby Thomas’ epic and playful modern love story takes eighteenth century court records as its starting point.  It follows her two sold-out plays for Hampstead Downstairs: The Animal Kingdom (‘pure theatre’ – The Guardian) and Either (‘marks Ruby Thomas out as a daring and exciting new voice’ – The Arts Desk).

Owen Horsley directs at Hampstead for the first time; his credits for the Royal Shakespeare Company include the recent double bill of Rebellion and Wars of the Roses, as well as Maydays and Salomé.

Full cast and creative team to be announced in due course

Linck & Mülhahn has been supported by the Godwin family and is a T.S. Eliot Foundation commission.


By Joe White
Directed by Guy Jones
Designer Anisha Fields
Lighting Designer Christopher Nairne
Sound Designer Holly Khan
Movement Director Iskandar R. Sharazuddin

Cast Alex Austin, Rebecca Humphries 

Dates: Friday 4 November – Saturday 10 December 2022
Captioned Performances: Wednesday 30 November at 7.45pm and Thursday 1 December at 2.45pm

“You told me you loved me, once. You said you carried me. You remember that? You still carry me? Or did you drop me, somewhere along the line?”

A chance encounter at an AA meeting results in a crazy passionate bond…  But later, once they’re drinking again, they both have this feeling that they might have been here before, together… They should really get sober and figure it out.  Maybe after one last quick drink…

Joe White is a former Channel 4 Playwriting Award winner whose play Mayfly (Orange Tree) won Most Promising New Playwright at the OffWestEnd Awards.

Guy Jones, who directed Mayfly, returns to Hampstead following his triumphant production of Ruby Thomas’ Either.

Blackout Songs is a T.S. Eliot Foundation commission.


By Alexis Michalik
Directed by Tom Jackson Greaves
Dates: Saturday 17 December 2022 – Saturday 28 January 2023
Captioned Performances: Wednesday 25 January at 7.45pm and Thursday 26 January at 2.45pm

“It’s a matter of perception.  The hands of time turn at the same speed for everyone.  Yet a child waits what seems to be an eternity for summer, whilst an old man watches a year pass in the blinking of an eye”

In 1984, as the France vs Yugoslavia match unfolds on TV, a man meets a woman in a Parisian café.  He is returning a bag that she lost on the Paris Métro, but he doesn’t reveal he stole it…  Instead, he tells her the story of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, watchmaker, inventor, and master magician of the 19th century.  Together they set out to find a vanished theatre beneath a bank vault in the Boulevard des Italiens, to break into a museum in the Trocadero, to uncover the mystery of the Mechanical Turk, to witness the birth of the kinetograph… and to delve ever deeper into the art of illusion.

Alexis Michalik’s acclaimed play won three Molière Awards when it premiered in Paris in 2014 where it is still playing.  A Franco-British actor, writer and director, his other plays include Le Porteur d’histoireEdmond and Intra Muros.

Tom Jackson Greaves is a director and choreographer whose recent work has included Whistle down the Wind and The Jungle Book (Watermill).

Full cast and creative team to be announced in due course.


By Michael John O’Neill
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Dates: Friday 10 February – Saturday 18 March 2023
Captioned Performances: Wednesday 15 March at 7.45pm and Thursday 16 at 2.45pm

“There’s nobody on a megaphone.  We just wait and they come.  And we talk to them.

And we find out what’s hurting them.  And we just talk and we pray and that’s pretty much it.”

Gill has come to a remote part of the coast of Northern Ireland – a place that was once her home but has since become the base of a slowly expanding mega-church called Harvest.  She’s on a mission to persuade her younger sister Kelly to leave her new found family in the church… But she also wants to confront their mother, whose abandonment and betrayal of her daughters set them on their divergent paths…

Akedah is Michael John O’Neill’s first full-length play, and won the Bruntwood Prize Original New Voice Award in 2019.

Lucy Morrison returns to Hampstead after The Animal Kingdom. An Associate Director at the Royal Court, her credits include This Is Not Who I Amscenes with girls and The Woods (Royal Court) and Little on the Inside (Almeida).

Full cast and creative team to be announced in due course.

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