Ian McDiarmid to tour with stage adaptation of Julian Barnes stories

Last Updated on 26 June 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

The Lemon Table, a stage adaptation of two short stories by Julian Barnes, is to tour with Ian McDiarmid to Salisbury, Sheffield, Guildford, Manchester and Malvern

Ian McDiarmid The Lemon Table
Ian McDiarmid: Photo: Johan Persson

Ian McDiarmid is to adapt and perform two short stories by Julian Barnes in a new touring production called The Lemon Table.

Directed by Michael Grandage, the solo play will run at Salisbury Playhouse in Wiltshire from 14 October 2021 and then tour to Sheffield Theatres, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford in Surrey, Home in Manchester and Malvern Theatres in Worcestershire.

The two stories are from Barnes’ 2004 collection, The Lemon Table, described as bringing the writer’s “unsentimental, wryly comic perspective to the complicated business of ageing with its attendant, and often bizarrely, fluctuating emotions”.

McDiarmid said: “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.”

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.”

The Lemon Table will run at Salisbury Playhouse from 14 October to 23 October, with opening night on 15 October. It will be at Sheffield Theatres from 26 to 30 October, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from 9 to 13 November, Home Manchester from 16 to 20 November and Malvern Theatres from 23 to 27 November.


About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.