Spriet Stage


2019/20 Season

North American Premiere

“Vital, imaginative theatre.” - Time Out London
“Truthful and beautiful.” - The Guardian
“A triumph.“ - The Times


By Emma Donoghue, based on her novel
Music & Lyrics by Cora Bissett and Kathryn Joseph
Directed by Cora Bissett
A co-production with Covent Garden Productions and Mirvish Productions, Toronto, Canada.

March 10 to 28, 2020
Spriet Stage
Opens March 13

The Grand Theatre is thrilled to announce the North American premiere of Room, based on Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel Room, in a first-time collaboration with Mirvish Productions and the UK's Covent Garden Productions. Room has now been adapted as a new play with songs by Scottish songwriters Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett. Previously adapted by Donoghue for the screen, the film won Academy Awards®, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs.

Kidnapped as a teenage girl, Ma has been locked inside a purpose built room in her captor’s garden for seven years. Her five year old son, Jack, has no concept of the world outside and happily exists inside Room with the help of Ma’s games and his vivid imagination where objects like Rug, Lamp, and TV are his only friends. But for Ma the time has come to escape and face their biggest challenge to date: the world outside Room. Adapted with new music and lyrics, and a cast of seven with Little Jack shadowed by narrator, Big Jack, Room explores the power of the imagination and a mother’s love.

Emma Donoghue

"I couldn't be happier that my home city's own Grand Theatre is going to be the launch pad for the theatre version of Room in North America," said Ms. Donoghue, who penned the haunting story at various London, Ontario public gathering spots. "I know Dennis Garnhum and the whole Grand team will do an extraordinary job of further developing the show through their COMPASS workshop process.  By March 2020 we should end up with an extraordinary, all-Canadian cast that we can all be very proud of."

The production will be workshopped in London, Ontario in a first-time collaboration between the UK and Canadian creative teams as part of the COMPASS New Play Development Program. COMPASS, launched during Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum’s inaugural season with the Grand, is dedicated to creating and premiering new work on the Grand’s Spriet and McManus stages.

This new production of Room celebrates our mission at the Grand Theatre: World Curious and London Proud. We will be partnering with two companies of distinction, Covent Garden Productions in London, England, and Mirvish Productions in Toronto,” said Dennis Garnhum. “We are creating this production with an innovative international collaboration, and of course, London, Ontario’s own renowned Emma Donoghue. I am certain that the North American premiere of Room, which will begin life at the Grand Theatre, will have a very bright future.”

Following the Grand Theatre North American premiere in London, Ontario, Room travels to the CAA Theatre as part of the Off-Mirvish 2019/20 season, for an April 2020 engagement. The world premiere of Room (May-July 2017), was co-produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre Dublin. You will not want to miss this “story that is in some ways a harrowing one, that brings many in the audience to tears. Yet is also a tremendously beautiful, vivid and uplifting show about the power of a mother’s love.” (The Scotsman)

Grade Recommendation: 9+ (depictions of sexual violence)


Pull up a chair for a casual conversation with the artists from the show at our weekly Speak Easy, Wednesdays - March 11, 18, & 25, post-show in the Poster Lounge. The bar will be open!

Join James Reaney and a guest speaker as they delve more deeply into the production with a pre-show talk on Wednesday March 18 at 12:00pm. 


The Cast

Stewart Arnott
Brandon Michael Arrington
Big Jack
Tracey Ferencz
Alexis Gordon
Shannon Taylor
Interviewer / Police Officer
Ashley Wright
Old Nick

Production Team

Cora Bissett
Lily Arnold
Set & Costume Designer
Bonnie Beecher
Lighting Designer
John Gzowski
Sound Designer
Bea Campbell
Stage Manager
Suzanne McArthur
Assistant Stage Manager
Cody Burns
Apprentice Stage Manager
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