The Donmar Warehouse is a gloriously intimate space in London’s West End. Under Michael Grandage, who was Artistic Director for ten years, it presented some of the most memorable and must-see productions of the last decade.
When Grandage took his artistic excellence into the West End as the Donmar West End season, featuring Jude Law, Derek Jacobi and Judi Dench, tickets were astonishingly affordable, bring a new generation of theatre-goers into the West End. Now, having left the Donmar, Grandage has brought that same ethos to bear on his own company.
The Michael Grandage Company season has launched, to critical acclaim, with Simon Russell Beale in Privates on Parade. Forthcoming productions feature Sheridan Smith, David Walliams, Judi Dench, Jude Law, Daniel Radcliffe and Ben Wishaw. Even more notably however, Grandage is continuing his commitment to affordable pricing.
10,000 tickets have been put aside at £10, more than 200 tickets per performance, with 24 tickets per performance reserved as day seats. Grandage and Executive Producer James Bierman said of the venture “At its heart is a commitment to reach out to as wide an audience as possible…and through our schools’ and access work we aim to appeal to new theatregoers and help build audiences for the future”.
Each production in the 15 month season will feature at least one free performance for selected schools – another initiative that is aimed at bringing first-time theatregoers into the West End. In addition to this, there will be a full education programme across the 15 months, a Schools’ group rate offering access to all productions and a range of activities including a post-show talk, in-school workshops and online study guides free of charge.
The final production planned for the season is Henry V, around which the Michael Grandage Company will undertake an ambitious intergenerational project. This will culminate in MGC Education Week, which will see a performance of this work on the stage of the Noel Coward theatre, plus an exhibition of set and costume designs by local primary school children.