Ian McDiarmid to star in 'The Lemon Tables' at Salisbury Playhouse

Wiltshire Creative, Malvern Theatres, Sheffield Theatres and HOME in association with MGC today announce Ian McDiarmid in the world première of Julian Barnes’ The Lemon Table, directed by MGC’s Artistic Director Michael Grandage

The production, which McDiarmid has adapted for performance, opens at Salisbury Playhouse part of Wiltshire Creative on 15th October 2021, with a preview on 14th October 2021, before touring to Sheffield Theatres; Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford; HOME Manchester and Malvern Theatres

In The Lemon Table, Julian Barnes brings his unsentimental, wryly comic, perspective to the complicated business of ageing, with its attendant, and often bizarrely, fluctuating emotions.

Olivier and Tony Award-winning Ian McDiarmid and Michael Grandage have collaborated to bring The Lemon Table to the stage for the first time. In McDiarmid’s one man performance we encounter a spectrum of bitter-sweet pleasures, wild eccentricity and dark secrets. 

The Lemon Table sees McDiarmid and Grandage renew their long-term creative collaboration, having previously worked together on productions including The Doctor’s Dilemma (Almeida Theatre and UK tour), The Jew of Malta (Almeida Theatre and UK tour), Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse and UK tour), and John Gabriel Borkman (Donmar Warehouse). 

Ian McDiarmid said today, “Two connected stories from Julian Barnes’ The Lemon Table, his witty and touching reflections on mortality and the workings of love, seem positively to invite the engagement and tensions of live performance.

“It’s a delight to be working once again with Michael Grandage and, at this particular time, to be embarking on a tour of the English regions with the enthusiastic support of a cohort of producers and venues.”

Michael Grandage added, “Ian McDiarmid is the reason I’m a director. He has been my collaborator and mentor for over a quarter of a century. We’ve worked together many times, many of those times on tour – we both believe passionately in presenting work to as wide an audience as possible. This year, in particular, it felt important to share this beautiful piece by Julian Barnes with audiences nationwide.”


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