Location: 41 Earlham Street
Currently Showing: The York Realist
Access: Covent Garden
Theatre producer Donald Albery formed Donmar Productions around 1953, deriving the name from the first three letters of his name and those of his wife’s, Margaret. In 1961, Albery bought the warehouse, and his son, Ian, theatre producer and design consultant, converted the premises into a rehearsal studio.
In 1977, the Royal Shakespeare Company acquired the venue and opened it as the Warehouse on 18th July with Bertolt Brecht’s Schweik in the Second World War. The RSC also performed Macbeth (which starred Judi Dench and Ian McKellen) and Educating Rita (with Julie Walters and Mark Kingston) before Nica Burns took over the venue from 1983 to 1989.
In 1990, Roger Wingate purchased the theatre and rebuilt it, creating the venue as seen today. Wingate remains involved with the Donmar Warehouse to this day.
In 1992, Sam Mendes (artistic director) reopened the Donmar with Sondheim’s Assassins and followed this production with numerous revivals, including: Cabaret, The Glass Menagerie, and Habeas Corpus.
Mendes was succeeded by Michael Grandage in 2002, who appointed Douglas Hodge and Jamie Lloyd as Associate Directors. Guys and Dolls showed at the theatre in 2005 and this production transferred to the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre. The small venue was host to Othello, starring Ewan McGregor. Due to high ticket demand, a new one-year season of four productions by Donmar West End (Ivanov, Twelfth Night, Madame de Sade and Hamlet), directed by Grandage, was organised and performed at Wyndham’s Theatre and started on 12th September 2008.
In 2012, Josie Rourke took over as artistic director of Donmar. Her first production was Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer. The venue went on the host to Holman’s Making Noise Quietly, Thorne’s adaptation of Duerrenmatt’s The Physicists, and Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come.
The Donmar Warehouse is located on Earlham Street, which is very close to Seven Points and the Cambridge Theatre. The Donmar is a small theatre and so the view for most seats in the auditorium is excellent and unrestricted.
Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden are all within ten minutes’ walk of the theatre and have many bars, cafes and restaurants, some with outside seating.
Our favourite restaurants nearby are:
- The Ivy – West Street, British
- Rossopomodoro – Covent Garden, Italian
- Sartori – Great Newport Street, Italian