Description

THE DONMAR WAREHOUSE is one of London’s leading producing theatres, a 250 seat subsidised (not-for-profit) theatre located in the heart of London’s West End. Under the artistic leadership of Michael Grandage and previously Sam Mendes, the theatre has presented some of London’s most memorable award-winning theatrical experiences as well as garnered critical acclaim at home and abroad. The theatre has a diverse artistic policy that includes new writing, contemporary reappraisals of European classics, British and American drama and small scale musical theatre. Over the last 12 years the theatre has created a reputation associated with artistic excellence: it has showcased the talent of some of the industry’s premier creative artists, and built an unparalleled catalogue of work. The theatre produces at least six productions a year and has begun a highly successful touring programme, allowing other theatres in the UK to host our productions. Since 1992, Donmar generated productions have received 27 Olivier Awards, 17 Critics’ Circle Awards, 9 Evening Standard Awards, as well as 12 Tony Awards from eight Broadway productions.

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History

1870s
The building, which now houses the Donmar, serves as a vat room and hop warehouse for the local brewery in Covent Garden

1920s
The space is used as a film studio and then the Covent Garden Market banana-ripening depot

1961
Theatre impresario Donald Albery buys the warehouse and converts it into a private rehearsal studio for the London Festival Ballet, a company he formed with his friend, the great ballerina Margot Fonteyn. The combination of their Christian names gives the space its current name.

1977-81
The Royal Shakespeare company makes the Donmar its London home to complement its Stratford venue.

1981-89
Under the management of Ian Albery and Nica Burns, the Donmar becomes the West End home for Britain's most innovative touring companies.

1989
Associated Capital Theatres (formerly the Maybox Group) acquires the Donmar, with the intention of re-developing the theatre.

1990
Sam Mendes is invited to take up residency as Artistic director of the theatre with the challenge of presenting an annual eight-month season of home-produced work.

Caro Newling, Senior Press Representative of the RSC, joins him as Executive Producer of the Donmar.

1990-92
Sam Mendes oversees the redesign of the theatre, retaining the distinctive characteristics of the former warehouse, and the unique thrust stage, while making the welcome addition of two bars, adjacent to a spacious foyer, and significant improvements backstage.

The theatre is reopened in its present incarnation as an independent producing house with the British premiere of Sondheim and Weidman's ASSASSINS.

1999
Ambassador Theatre Group takes over from the Associated Capital Theatres as the landlord of the Donmar Warehouse.

2002
Michael Grandage succeeds Sam Mendes as Artistic Director of the Donmar. Nick Frankfort succeeds Caro Newling as Executive Producer.

2004
The Donmar Warehouse starts a national touring programme, taking Tom Stoppard's new version of Pirandello's Henry IV to Salford, Liverpool and Bristol. This is followed by a tour of Neil LaBute's This Is How It Goes in 2005, and Mark Ravenhill's The Cut in 2006.

2005
The Donmar Warehoue collaborates with ATG to produce Guys and Dolls for the West End - the first time the Donmar has collaborated outside of its Covent Garden auditorium.

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