The Almeida Theatre announces a new season for spring 2022

The Almeida Theatre announces a new season for spring 2022 including new dates for the previously scheduled “Daddy” by Jeremy O. Harris and The House of Shades by Beth Steel which were postponed due to COVID restrictions.

Anne-Marie Duff leads the cast of The House of Shades, with further casting for The House of Shades and “Daddy” to be announced in due course.

Also announced is a new version of Eugène Ionesco’s tragic farce The Chairs starring Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni and Toby Sedgwick in Omar Elerian’s 

The Key Workers Cycle – a collection of new plays by Francesca Beard, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Josh Elliott, Annie Jenkins, Eno Mfon, Nessah Muthy, Danusia Samal, Yomi Ṣode and Molly Taylor celebrating the stories of those who keep our daily lives running, performed by professional actors, local community participants and key workers. Produced in partnership with All Change, Clean Break and Graeae.

Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold said today, “When we shut the theatre in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, the set for Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy” was already installed waiting for tech to commence. For six months, it gathered dust like a ghostly relic. Now, close to two years later, we’re very pleased to confirm the return of both “Daddy” and Beth Steel’s The House of Shades which we also had to postpone last year.

“Accompanying those two new plays in the season are Omar Elerian’s new version of Ionesco’s The Chairs, featuring three legendary physical theatre performers in Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni and Toby Sedgwick, and The Key Workers Cycle, a collection of nine new plays starring a local community company of actors.

“Just as The Key Workers Cycle allows us to celebrate our incredible neighbours and local residents, I also want to thank the viewers from all corners of the globe who tuned into for our recent live stream of Macbeth, as well as those who have returned to the Almeida for our current season of work. We continue to ensure that the theatre is safe for audiences, in accordance with latest government guidelines.”

Outside London, the Almeida have also announced new dates for the previously postponed runs of Robert Icke’s productions Hamlet and Oresteia at Park Avenue Armory, New York.

Full season details:


by Eugène Ionesco

Translated and adapted by Omar Elerian

Director: Omar Elerian; Designer: Cécile Trémolières; Lighting Designer: Jackie Shemesh

Saturday 5 February – Saturday 5 March 2022

Press night: Thursday 10 February

"I have a message. A struggle, a mission. Something deep in my guts, a message to share with humanity."

The water is rising. The world outside is crumbling. Alone in a room, an old man and an old woman set out chairs ready for the arrival of a very special audience.

They’ve invited everyone. The dancers, the chancers, the editors, the creditors, the picketers, the hecklers, the Leavers, the Remainers, the Remoaners. Even the bankers. All the movers and shakers are gathering to hear the old man’s final message to humanity. But will the message ever be delivered?

Translated, adapted, and directed by Omar Elerian (Misty), this exhilarating new version of Eugène Ionesco’s tragic farce reflects on a life lived together: on what has been, what might have been, and what it all really means.

The cast features Olivier Award-winner Kathryn Hunter, "one of the greatest stage actors alive" (Vanity Fair), Marcello Magni, co-founder of pioneering theatre company Complicité, and Olivier Award-winning choreographer and performer Toby Sedgwick.

Almeida Theatre, in partnership with All Change, Clean Break and Graeae, present


by Francesca Beard, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Josh Elliott, Annie Jenkins, Eno Mfon, Nessah Muthy, Danusia Samal, Yomi Ṣode, and Molly Taylor

Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 March 2022

If the Tube ground to a halt . . .

If the supermarket shelves emptied . . .

If your bins overflowed . . .

Would it feel like something, or someone, was missing?

A chorus of delivery drivers singing through the night, a support worker haunted by visions of the women who depend on her, a funeral director showing off his dab hand with a pair of clippers.  In an echo of the Medieval Mystery Plays – which brought together communities of craftsmen and merchants to act out the stories of famous miracles – The Key Workers Cycle presents a cycle of nine short plays celebrating the humour, the hope and the stories of those who keep our daily lives running.

Performed by a company of professional actors, local community participants and key workers, The Key Workers Cycle places Islington’s community at its heart.


The Social Care Workers’ Play by Francesca Beard

The Teachers’ Play by Sonali Bhattacharyya

The Funeral Directors’ Play by Josh Elliott

The Delivery Drivers’ Play by Annie Jenkins

The Women’s Centre Workers’ Play by Eno Mfon

The Midwives’ Play by Nessah Muthy

The Refuse Collectors’ Play by Danusia Samal

The Supermarket Workers’ Play by Yomi Ṣode

The TFL Workers’ Play by Molly Taylor

UK Premiere


A Melodrama

by Jeremy O. Harris

Director: Danya Taymor; Set Designer: Matt Saunders; Costume Designer: Montana Levi Blanco

Lighting Designer: Isabella Byrd; Sound Designer: Lee Kinney; Movement Director: Anjali Mehra

Musical Director: Tim Sutton; Intimacy and Fight Director: Yarit Dor; Casting Director: Amy Ball

Saturday 26 March – Saturday 30 April 2022

Press night: Tuesday 5 April 2022

I will be your father figure. Put your tiny hand in mine.

I will be your preacher teacher. Anything you have in mind.

A young black artist meets an older white art collector.

A gospel choir emerges from an infinity pool.

A mother stops at nothing to save her son’s soul.

When it’s summer every day…when even is it?

In this Bel Air tale of love and family, intimacy is a commodity and the surreal gets real.

Jeremy O. Harris’ previous work includes Slave Play (nominated for a record 12 Tony Awards and returning to Broadway this autumn) and A24’s acclaimed film Zola, directed by Janicza Bravo.

Danya Taymor’s previous directing work includes Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizon); Pass Over (Broadway/Lincoln Center/Steppenwolf); Familiar (Steppenwolf); queens (Lincoln Center Theater).

Cast: to be announced.

The production of “Daddy” is supported by Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and the London Community Foundation.

World Premiere


by Beth Steel

Director: Blanche McIntyre; Set Designer: Anna Fleischle; Costume Designer: Liam Bunster; Lighting Designer: Richard Howell; Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke; Casting Director: Annelie Powell

Saturday 7 May – Saturday 18 June 2022

Press night: Tuesday 17 May

Nothing cuts into us like the family knife.

The Webster House.

1965. 1979. 1985. 1996. 2019.

Death silences no one, least of all the dead.  

Blanche McIntyre directs the world premiere of Beth Steel’s revelatory new play which spans five decades of the lives, and deaths, of the Webster family.

Inside their home, set against the ever-changing industrial landscape of working-class Britain, some chase dreams of a brighter future and others are haunted by the nightmares of the past.

The House of Shades was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Beth Steel’s other plays include Labyrinth, Wonderland and Ditch. She was awarded the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014.

Blanche McIntyre returns to the Almeida following her productions of Hymn and The Writer.

The cast includes Beatie Edney, Natalie Gavin, Carol Macready, Anne Marie-Duff, Mark Meadows, Daniel Millar, Issie Riley. Further casting to be confirmed.

The House of Shades is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.


Park Avenue Armory, New York

Tuesday 31 May – Saturday 13 August 2022

Following acclaimed, award-winning runs at the Almeida and in the West End, Robert Icke’s productions of Oresteia and Hamlet transfer to Park Avenue Armory, New York for limited seasons.

For the productions’ North American premieres, which will run in repertory, Lia Williams returns to her role as Klytemnestra in Oresteia, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress, and Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game, The End of the F***ing World) stars as Hamlet.

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