In a collaboration with Mirvish Productions and the UK’s Covent Garden Productions, Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’ will premiere at the Grand Theatre in London, On., in March 2020.
Ms. Donoghue, who moved to London in 1998 with her family, wrote and published her haunting novel ‘Room’ while living and working in the city. Published in 2010, ‘Room’ was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. The screenplay garnered an Oscar nomination for Donoghue and a Best Actress Award for Brie Larson in 2016.
“I couldn’t be happier that my home city’s own Grand Theatre is going to be the launch pad for the theatre version of ‘Room’ in North America,” said Ms. Donoghue, who penned the haunting story at various London, Ontario public gathering spots. “I know Dennis Garnhum and the whole Grand team will do an extraordinary job of further developing the show through their COMPASS workshop process. By March 2020 we should end up with an extraordinary, all Canadian-cast for ‘Room’ that we can all be very proud of.”
The intimate and complex ‘Room,’ which explores the power of the imagination and a mother’s love, is a natural for the stage. The Grand’s production will be directed by Cora Bissett, who directed the original stage production that premiered in Dublin in 2017. Bissett also co-wrote songs with Kathryn Joseph.
In an interview in the London Free Press, Donoghue described the songs in the stage version of ‘Room’ as “a relief valve” for the tension in the play, also allowing Ma to sing “all the things she can’t say to her son.”
The Original stage production featured a cast of seven including a role for a child actor, Little Jack, who is shadowed by the play’s narrator, Big Jack.
Following the Grand Theatre North American premiere, ‘Room’ will travel to the CAA Theatre in Toronto as part of the Off-Mirvish 2019/20 season, for an April 2020 engagement. The world premiere of “Room” (May-July 2017), was co-produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre Dublin and directed by Cora Bissett.