The Dance of Death

August Strindberg, in a new version by Conor McPherson

13 December 2012 - 05 January 2013

On an isolated island, Military captain Edgar and his wife, Alice, live a bitter life, their marriage soured by hatred. When the possibility of redemption and escape arrives for Alice in the shape of their former comrade Kurt, it seems that Edgar is prepared to use his very last breath to make their lives a living hell. Strindberg’s compelling battle of wills is laced with black comedy and biting humour. Now Conor McPherson brings his uniquely humane voice to this visceral new English version. Donmar Trafalgar season is generously supported by United House.

Run time: 2 hours and 5 minutes including an interval

Cast & Creative Team

  • Daniel Lapaine - Read bio

    Daniel Lapaine - Biography

    Daniel Lapaine


    Theatre: includes Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), All My Sons (Apollo), Scenes from the Back of Beyond, F**king Games (Royal Court), Les Parents Terribles, King Lear (Sydney Theatre Company), Island (Belvoir Street), Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Hamlet (Bell Shakespeare Company).
    Film: includes Dead in Tombstone, Gozo, Zero Dark Thirty, Jack the Giant Killer, Shanghai, Last Chance Harvey, Love Live Long, Collusion, The Abduction Club, Ritual, The Journeyman, Double Jeopardy, Elephant Juice, Brokendown Palace, 54, Say You’ll Be Mine, 1999, Dangerous Beauty, Polish Wedding, Lucinda, Muriel’s Wedding.
    Television: includes Vexed, Lewis, Vera, Black Mirror, Waking the Dead, Identity, Moonshot, Hotel Babylon, Sex, the City and Me, Jane Hall, The Good Housekeeping Guide, Golden Hour, Jericho, Poirot, Death on the Nile, Red Cap, Helen of Troy, I Saw You, Tenth Kingdom, G.P., A Country Practice, The Feds: Deception.

  • Kevin R McNally - Read bio

    Kevin R McNally - Biography

    Kevin R McNally


    For the Donmar: includes Hamlet (Wyndham’s/Elsinore/New York), Ivanov (Wyndham’s), World Music.
    Theatre: includes Hay Fever (Noël Coward), Boeing Boeing (Comedy), The Lady in the Van (Queen’s), Naked (Almeida), Dead Funny (Savoy), Exact Change (Lyric Hammersmith), The Orestia, The Mysteries, Larkrise to Candleford, Dispatches, The Iceman Cometh (NT), Prayer for My Daughter, Three More Sleepless Nights, Not Quite Jerusalem (Royal Court), Loose Ends, Four Door Saloon (Hampstead), Airbase (Arts/Oxford Playhouse), The Tutor (Old Vic), Extremities (Duchess), Glengarry Glenross (Mermaid), Scenes from an Execution (Almeida).
    Film: includes The Raven, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Valkyrie, Tuesday, The Phantom of the Opera, De-Lovely, Johnny English, High Heels and Low Lifes, Entrapment, Sliding Doors, Spiceworld, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Long Good Friday, Cry Freedom.
    Television: includes Final Flight, Burn Notice, Downton Abbey, CSI, Supernatural, Room at the Top, Margaret, Wuthering Heights, Life on Mars, Dunkirk, Bedtime, Spooks, Shackleton, Conspiracy, Underworld, Dad, Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, All Things Bright & Beautiful, Love and Reason, Full Stretch, Murder Most Horrid, The Common Pursuit, Bottom, Commitments, Poldark, I Claudius, The Duchess of Duke Street, Maria Marten, Diana, Dream Baby, Tygo Road, The Survivors, The Contract, The New Statesman, Minder, Hard Cases, Massada, An Act of Will, Jekyll & Hyde.

  • Indira Varma - Read bio

    Indira Varma - Biography

    Indira Varma


    For the Donmar: Twelfth Night (Wyndham’s), The Vortex, Privates on Parade.
    Theatre: includes Hysteria (Theatre Royal Bath), Ingredient X, The Vertical Hour, The Country (Royal Court), The Skin of our Teeth (Young Vic), Five Gold Rings, Celebration (Almeida), Ivanov, Remembrance of Things Past, Othello (NT), Celebration, One for the Road (New York), Three Sisters (Oxford Stage Company), As You Like It (Nottingham Playhouse).
    Film: includes All You Need is Kill, Mindscape, Risk Addiction, Bride and Prejudice, Jinnah, Sixth Happiness, Clancy’s Kitchen, Kama Sutra.
    Television: includes Hunted, Silk, World Without End, Human Target, Luther, Hustle, Inside the Box, Moses Jones, Bones, Whistleblowers, 3lbs, Torchwood, Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Waste of Shame, Broken News, Love Soup, Quatermass, Rome, Donovan, Reversals, The Sea Captain’s Tale, Attachments, Whistleblowers, Other People’s Children, In a Land of Plenty, Ten Crazy Days, Psychos.


  • 'A profoundly seminal work'

  • 'Kevin R McNally - bloated, boiling with rage, extravagantly uncouth - is tremendous as Edgar'

  • 'Shockingly funny'

    The Times
  • "Kevin R McNally has surely never been better."

    The Sunday Times
  • "Fun and loathing."

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