Adrien Brody to make London stage debut in death row play

Oscar-winner Adrien Brody will make his London stage debut in the world premiere of a play about a man who spent 22 years on death row, it has been announced.

The Pianist star, 51, who recently appeared on TV in Succession and Winning Time, will make his debut at London’s Donmar Warehouse in The Fear of 13 by Lindsey Ferrentino.

The play is based on the true story of Nick Yarris, who was convicted and sentenced to capital punishment for a 1981 kidnapping, rape and murder.

His story is already the subject of a 2015 documentary of the same name.

The play will be directed by Justin Martin, who will be making his Donmar Warehouse debut as part of Tim Sheader’s first season as artistic director of the London theatre.

It has also been announced that Calendar Girls actress Celia Imrie and Friday Night Dinner’s Tamsin Greig will star in the world premiere of Anna Mackmin’s new play Backstroke, which examines the mother/daughter relationship, and the impact when the roles are reversed.

British Academy Film Awards 2024 gala – London
Celia Imrie will star in Backstroke (Ian West/PA)

Meanwhile, Sheader will direct the UK premiere of Dave Malloy’s musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, inspired by part of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, while The Handmaid’s Tale actress Samira Wiley will star in a revival of Intimate Apparel by playwright Lynn Nottage, about the empowerment of a black seamstress in New York City in 1905.

Sheader said: “I am hugely honoured to be leading this very special theatre into a new era, building on the legacy of my predecessors.

“With all these new projects, I look forward to welcoming both loyal and new audiences to gather together in our beautiful three-sided auditorium, where connecting with artists and each other is central to every performance.

“It is an immense privilege to be announcing today our first four productions kicking off with a world premiere based on an extraordinary true story, starring Adrien Brody in his London stage debut.

“I’m looking forward to directing a party-fuelled Broadway musical that has never been seen this side of the pond, and then we have a beautiful new play that touches the lives of so many of us led by the brilliant Tamsin Greig and Celia Imrie.

The 91st Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Samira Wiley will feature in a revival of Intimate Apparel at the Donmar Warehouse (Ian West/PA)

“And finally announced today, another opportunity to experience the stellar combination of Lynette Linton and Lynn Nottage’s writing, this time welcoming the amazing Samira Wiley to the Donmar stage for the first time.

“Throughout all these shows you’ll find the Donmar’s DNA – excellent productions, starring outstanding actors, all experienced up close in our intimate theatre.

“We are all too aware that with the hard realities of both cost-of-living and housing crises, younger audiences could be feeling priced out of making theatre a part of their lives.

“We want everyone to have the chance to experience the Donmar, and we have therefore made a brand new commitment to ensuring that across the season there will be thousands of £20 tickets available for audiences aged 35 and under.”

The Fear Of 13 opens at the Donmar Warehouse on October 4 with press night on October 10.