Donmar Warehouse

In Autumn 2016, the Donmar Warehouse launched the Shakespeare Trilogy:  all-female productions of three of Shakespeare's greatest plays: Julius Caesar, Henry IV, and The Tempest. Read on to find out how this exciting project came to life...

The Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy
In 2012, Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female production of Julius Caesar placed the play in a women’s prison. It stunned audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and challenged the idea of ‘who owns Shakespeare?’ In 2014, Phyllida reunited with actor Harriet Walter for Henry IV, the second instalment in what was then announced as a trilogy of works from these major artists.In Autumn 2016 the project concludes with The Tempest forming the final part of THE SHAKESPEARE TRILOGY, as we break free from the Donmar Warehouse to perform in a new 420-seat in-the-round temporary theatre at King’s Cross.

The Donmar Warehouse is a 252 seat theatre in Covent Garden, with a reputation as one of the UK's leading producing theatres.

In Autumn 2016, the Donmar breaks free from Covent Garden to open a brand new temporary venue in the heart of London's Kings Cross.

In this brand new venue, we will present The Shakespeare Trilogy: Three all-female productions of THE TEMPEST, JULIUS CAESAR, and HENRY IV, set in a women's prison and with a cast led by Harriet Walter.

The growth of the project
See how the Shakespeare Trilogy has developed since it began in 2012.

In 2012, the Shakespeare Trilogy began its journey at the Donmar Warehouse with Phyllida Lloyd's all-female JULIUS CAESAR. It was hailed by the Observer as 'One of the most important theatrical events of the year'.

After the success of the production in London, JULIUS CAESAR transferred to St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York in 2013, winning wide acclaim and playing to packed audiences.

In 2014, Phyllida Lloyd reunited with Harriet Walter at the Donmar Warehouse for HENRY IV. Following its Donmar run, the production transferred to a school in East London, playing to the local community.

HENRY IV transferred to New York in 2014, and was the first production to be performed at the new St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn.

In 2016, the Donmar is reviving both JULIUS CAESAR and HENRY IV, alongside a brand new production of THE TEMPEST, to complete THE SHAKESPEARE TRILOGY, which plays in a brand new purpose built theatre.

Who owns Shakespeare?
With the Shakespeare Trilogy, director Phyllida Lloyd wanted to challenge conventional notions of who has the right to take on Shakespeare's plays, casting a diverse all-female company from all backgrounds, and putting Shakespeare's words in the mouths of prisoners. The project's education and outreach programme encourages young people to take ownership of Shakespeare for themselves.

Each of the plays in the Shakespeare Trilogy takes place within the setting of a women's prison. , One of the members of the acting company is herself a former offender, and women in prison were consulted throughout the process of rehearsal.

Giving young people a chance to experience and take ownership of Shakespeare has been a key part of the Shakespeare Trilogy project. Over the course of the project, the Donmar has worked with over 6,000 young people.

Credits: Story

Photography by Helen Maybanks, Richard Davenport.
Poster designs by AKA.
Film by TEAfilms.

Credits: All media
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