The Lehman Trilogy – a banking tragedy

The Lehman Trilogy – a banking tragedy
Image: The Lehman Trilogy featuring 2022 Cast L to R Howard W. Overshown, Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley at Ahamnson Theatre LA. © Craig Schwartz

Described by the Washington Post as “a spellbinding exercise in storytelling”, The Lehman Trilogy has announced the casting for its Australian premier.

The multi-award-winning play has just finished a 17-week sold-out run in London’s West End after numerous runs in the US since 2019.

During 2022, The Lehman Trilogy became the most awarded production on Broadway, collecting gongs for Best Play, Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Actor at the Tony Awards.

The production also received the Drama League Award for Best Play and six Outer Critics Circle awards, including Best Play.

The Lehman Trilogy, New York, N.Y.,2021. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

The Lehman Trilogy was originally commissioned by director Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions and developed in conjunction with the National Theatre from the script by Stefano Massini, later adapted by Ben Power.

The Australian production will be presented in association with Trafalgar Entertainment, the operators of the Theatre Royal Sydney.

The story of The Lehman Trilogy starts on a New York dockside in 1844 when a 23-year-old Bavarian, Henry Lehman disembarks with dreams of a new life. 

Opening a dry-goods store Henry is soon joined by his brothers Emmanuel and Mayer and turn to trading in cotton, the product of slave plantations.

Aaron Krohn, Howard W. Overshown and Adrian Schiller have been cast for the Sydney show. Image: supplied

Branching out into other commodities, the financial powerhouse, Lehman Brothers, takes shape and eventually becomes the fourth largest investment bank in the world, along the way becoming the exemplar of the American Dream.

That is until the global financial crisis of 2008, when it is the first major victim.

Filing for bankruptcy, the bank exposes the faults in subprime mortgages and becomes the face of a failing global banking system, exposing the dark side of rampant capitalism.

The Lehman Trilogy featuring 2022 Cast L to R Simon Russell Beale, Howard W. Overshown, Adam Godley at Ahmanson Theatre LA. © Craig Schwartz

Three actors will play the main roles plus all the children and grandchildren in the three act play.

A recent development has seen the much anticipated announcement of the cast for the Theatre Royal shows.

Adrian Schiller will play Henry Lehman in the Sydney shows, with previous credits including Abigail Graham’s production of The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2022.

Howard W Overshown will reprise his role of Emmanuel Lehman from the 2022 production of the play at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Lehman Trilogy featuring 2022 Cast L to R Howard W. Overshown, Adam Godley, Simon Russell Beale at Ahmanson Theatre LA. © Craig Schwartz

Overshown was an original cast understudy, having performed in the 2012 Mendes production of Richard III and will be familiar to many for playing four roles in the television series Law and Order.

Having  previously worked with Mendes in the  2010 production of As You Like It, which ran for three years, and the 2014 Tony Award winning production of Cabaret is Aaron Krohn, who will play Mayer Lehman.

In Sydney, Mendes will be joined by set designer Es Devlin, costume designer Katrina Lindsay., video designer Luke Halls, lighting designer Jon Clark, composer and sound designer Nick Powell, music director Candida Caldicot, movement director Polly Bennett and pianist Cat Beveridge.

February 21 – March 24, 2024

Theatre Royal, 108 Kings St, Sydney

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