NEWS: Gemma Arterton joins Stephen Dillane at Almeida for The Master Builder

Gemma Arterton will join Stephen Dillane in the Almeida Theatre production of The Master Builder.  Directed by Travis Preston and in Kenneth McLeish’s translation of Henrik Ibsen’s original, The Master Builder previews from 12 November and runs until 8 January 2011, with press night on 18 November.  Designs are by Vicki Mortimer with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by John Leonard.  Further casting will be announced shortly. 
Master Builder Halvard Solness has reached the pinnacle of his career.  But at a cost; his family life is in ruins and he lives in fear that the next generation will rise up and brush him aside.  When Hilde Wangel, a bewitching young woman, arrives to collect a decade-old debt, she breathes new life into his professional pride.  As Solness completes his architectural masterpiece, will Hilde be the Master Builder’s ultimate downfall?
Gemma Arterton makes her Almeida debut as Hilde Wangel.  Earlier this year she made her West End debut in The Little Dog Laughed at the Garrick Theatre.  She made her film debut in St Trinian’s as Head Girl Kelly Jones and went on to play Bond girl Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace as well as Io in Clash of the Titans and Princess Tamina in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.  She will be seen playing the title role in Tamara Drew which is due to be released in the Autumn.  On stage she was also seen as Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.  On television she played Elizabeth Bennett in Lost in Austen and Tess in Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Stephen Dillane, who will play Master Builder Solness, was last at the Almeida in his one man Macbeth directed by Travis Preston.  He can currently be seen at the Old Vic in Sam Mendes’ productions of The Tempest and As You Like It as part of The Bridge Project 2010.  His award-winning theatre work includes Hamlet at the Gielgud Theatre and The Real Thing for the Donmar Warehouse.  For the National Theatre his credits includeThe Coast of Utopia, Angels in America and Dancing at Lughnasa and at the Royal Court Theatre he has been seen in Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, Our Late Night and Hush.  His film credits include The Hours, Hamlet, Welcome to Sarajevo, The Greatest Game Ever Played and the Goal trilogy.  On television his credits include John Adams and The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall.
Travis Preston, Artistic Director of the Center for New Performance at Cal Arts, the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, is an internationally celebrated director of theatre and opera.  He directed the acclaimed production of Macbeth with Stephen Dillane which opened at the Almeida Theatre in 2005 and then toured to Sydney and Adelaide, Australia with performances also taking place at the California Institute for the Arts.
The Almeida has previously presented Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Rosmersholm and When We Dead Awaken.


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