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Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden to star in Measure for Measure at the Donmar Warehouse

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Artistic Director Josie Rourke is to direct Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare’s play about sex and power, which runs at the Donmar Warehouse from October 11 (previews from September 28) to November 24, 2018.

Within every performance, Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden will alternate the roles of the powerful Deputy and powerless Novice.

The tempter or the tempted, who sins most?

Vienna is corrupt. The Duke, who has let the city fall to vice, hands control to his Deputy, a hardline, puritan reformer. The Deputy uses ancient laws to sentence citizens to death for sexual misconduct. But when a religious Novice pleads for clemency, their heady encounter leaves the Deputy guilty of the very crime that the law condemns.

Artistic Director Josie Rourke’s production of Measure for Measure imagines the play in its original year of performance, 1604, and also in 2018.

Josie Rourke is the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse where her directing credits include Saint Joan, starring Gemma Arterton and broadcast live in cinemas around the world in partnership with National Theatre Live; the world premiere of Nick Payne’s new play Elegy; Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Revival and ran at the Booth Theatre, New York; The Vote, which was broadcast live on More 4 on the night of the 2015 UK election to an audience of half a million and was nominated for a BAFTA; City of Angels, which received the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival; Privacy, a new play created by James Graham and Josie Rourke, which also played at The Public Theater, New York, and starred Daniel Radcliffe; Coriolanus, which was broadcast live in cinemas in partnership with National Theatre Live and for which Tom Hiddleston won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor; and The Weir, which transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre.

Hayley Atwell (Angelo/Isabella) makes her Donmar debut in Measure for Measure. Her theatre credits include Dry Powder (Hampstead Theatre), The Faith Machine (Royal Court Theatre), The Man of Mode, Major Barbara (National Theatre), Women Beware Women (RSC) and Prometheus Bound (West End). She has been nominated for two Olivier Awards for her performances in A View from the Bridge (Duke of York’s) and in The Pride (Trafalgar Studios).

Her television credits include Howard’s End, Pillars of the Earth, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination, Black Mirror, Life of Crime, for which she was nominated for a TV Choice Award, Any Human Heart, Restless, The Line of Beauty and the Agent Carter series. She has also appeared in the films Christopher Robin, Cinderella, All is By My Side, The Duchess, Brideshead Revisited and Cassandra’s Dream and as Peggy Carter in the Marvel movie franchise.

Jack Lowden (Angelo/Isabella) also makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in Measure for Measure. His theatre credits include Ghosts (Almeida/West End) for which he received both the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Ian Charleson Award, Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre/West End), and Blackwatch (Barbican). His television credits include War and Peace, The Passing Bells, The Tunnel, Mrs. Biggs, Blue Haven and Being Victor.

His work on film includes the forthcoming motion pictures Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Josie Rourke and Fighting With My Family, directed by Stephen Merchant. Further film credits include Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan, England is Mine, Denial, A United Kingdom, Tommy’s Honour, Calibre, ’71 and uwantme2killhim?

Measure for Measure will be designed by Peter McKintosh and have lighting by Howard Harrison.

Also at the Donmar Warehouse: The Way of the World (until May 26); David Harrower’s new adaptation of Muriel Spark’s iconic novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (June 4 to July 28); and Lyndsey Turner’s revival of Brian Friel’s haunting play Aristocrats (August 2 to September 22, 2018).

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 3282 3808 (no booking fees, £1 postage fee may apply) or visit