National Theatre Announces New Productions, Including Emma Rice and Tony Kushner Adaptations
Emma Rice adapts and directs Emily Brontë's iconic masterpiece WUTHERING HEIGHTS, in a new co-production with Wise Children in association with York Theatre Royal. With her trademark musical and visual style, Emma Rice brings new life to the classic story in this elemental new stage adaptation. The production will open in the Lyttelton Theatre in autumn 2020 before touring across the UK, venues to be announced.
MANOR, a timely new play by Moira Buffini, will open in April in the Lyttelton with Ben Daniels (House of Cards) joining Nancy Carroll in the cast. Amy Forrest (Small Island) and Edward Judge (The Play That Goes Wrong) will also join the cast, directed by Fiona Buffini.
Diana Stuckley and her daughter are struggling to keep the roof on their run-down manor house. As a violent storm sweeps the coast, neighbours and strangers begin to appear, seeking shelter from the floods. Among them are the leaders of a far right organisation. Stranded together, this explosive mix of people must survive the weather and each other. This darkly comic drama reunites the writer and director behind Dinner.
Exploring life and love during a time of austerity, Martinez herself plays the lead role of Jess in this powerful, timely and characterful comedy drama. Jess has a job she loves, friends and a sense of humour. She needs one, because when the government come calling, the life she has built - she has had cerebral palsy since birth - comes under threat. Set and costume design will be by Georgia Lowe, lighting design by Anna Watson, composition by Stephen Warbeck and sound design by Gregory Clarke.
On sale to the public from 11 October:
The Visit Or The Old Lady Comes To Call
based on the play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
adapted by Tony Kushner
Previews from 31 January, with press night 13 February, on sale until 4 April with further performances to be announced
In the town of Slurry, New York, post-war recession has bitten. Claire Zachanassian, improbably beautiful and impenetrably terrifying, returns to her hometown as the world's richest woman. The locals hope her arrival signals a change in their fortunes, but they soon realise that prosperity will only come at a terrible price.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt's visionary revenge play is transported into mid-20th century America by Tony Kushner (Angels in America). Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things, This House) directs Lesley Manville (The Phantom Thread, Long Day's Journey into Night) as the ruthless heiress and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) as her former love. Jason Barnett, Sam Cox, Richard Durden, Sara Kestelman, Joseph Mydell, Tony Turner, Douglas Walker and Nicholas Woodeson also join the cast.
Set design by Vicki Mortimer and costume design by Moritz Junge. The lighting design is by NT Associate Paule Constable, composition by Paul Englishby, sound design by Paul Arditti and movement direction by Polly Bennett.
The Visit is presented in association with David Binder Productions. Original English language translation by Maurice Valency. Stage rights by Diogenes Verlag AG Zürich. The New American Work Programme is supported by The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Lawton W Fitt & James I McLaren Foundation and Kathleen J Yoh.
a new play by Lucy Kirkwood
Previews from 15 January, press night 22 January, on sale until 28 March with further performances to be announced
Rural Suffolk, 1759. As the country waits for Halley's comet, Sally Poppy is sentenced to hang for a heinous murder. When she claims to be pregnant, a jury of 12 matrons are taken from their housework to decide whether she's telling the truth, or simply trying to escape the noose. With only midwife Lizzy Luke prepared to defend the girl, and a mob baying for blood outside, the matrons wrestle with their new authority, and the devil in their midst.
Lucy Kirkwood (Mosquitoes, Chimerica) returns to The National Theatre with her new play, directed by James Macdonald. Maxine Peake (Black Mirror, Funny Cow) plays Lizzy, and Ria Zmitrowicz (The Doctor), Sally. Cast also includes Nadia Albina, Natasha Cottriall, Aysha Kala, Wendy Kweh, Cecilia Noble, Philip McGinley, Dawn Sievewright and Brigid Zengeni.
This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award. Production supported by the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater.
The Seven Streams Of The River Ota
by Ex Machina / Robert Lepage
From 6 March to 22 March
First staged at The National Theatre in 1996, Robert Lepage's masterpiece returns to London for just nine performances. Presented as part of a world tour, this new staging marks 75 years since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Tracing survivors and their descendants across five decades, this giant theatrical journey through time and space explores the way in which a few kilograms of uranium falling on Japan changed the course of human history.
The text is by members of the Ex Machina company including Eric Bernier, Gérard Bibeau, Normand Bissonnette, Rebecca Blankenship, Marie Brassard, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Normand Daneau, Richard Fréchette, Marie Gignac, Patrick Goyette, Robert Lepage, Macha Limonchik and Ghislaine Vincent.
Cast are Rebecca Blankenship, Lorraine Côté, Christian Essiambre, Richard Fréchette, Tetsuya Kudaka, Myriam Leblanc, Umihiko Miya, Audrée Southière, Philippe Thibault-Denis and Donna Yamamoto.
Director and designer Robert Lepage, creative director Steve Blanchet, dramaturg Gérard Bibeau, music and sound design by Michel F. Côté, original set design by Carl Fillion, set designer for the adaptation Ariane Sauvé, lighting design by Sonoyo Nishikawa, images designer Keven Dubois, costumes designer Virginie Leclerc and properties designer Claudia Gendreau.
Death Of England
Previews from 31 January, press night 6 February, playing until 7 March
After the death of his dad, Michael is powerless and angry. In a state of heartbreak, he confronts the difficult truths about his father's legacy and the country that shaped him. At the funeral, unannounced and unprepared, Michael decides it is time to speak.
Rafe Spall (Hedda Gabler, Black Mirror) performs this fearless one-person play which asks explosive and enduring questions about identity, race and class in Britain.
It is written for him by Roy Williams (Sucker Punch, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads) and Clint Dyer (The Happy Tragedy of Being Woke), who will become the first Black British artist to have performed, written and directed at The National Theatre.
Productions currently on sale:
by David Hare
after Henrik Ibsen
a co-production with Edinburgh International Festival
Last chance to see - playing until 8 October
Ibsen's classic is reinvented as a riotous adventure for the 21st century.
Peter Gynt is searching for something: himself. Travelling from the mountains of Scotland to the pool-sides of Florida, he'll meet talking hyenas, two-headed trolls and even an Egyptian Sphinx. But his ultimate transformation may not be all that he hoped for.
Playing the rebellious antihero, James McArdle (Angels in America) is reunited with David Hare and Jonathan Kent, the partnership behind the triumphant Young Chekhov at Chichester Festival Theatre and The National Theatre.
The cast also includes Philip Cairns, Tamsin Carroll, Jonathan Coy, Anya Chalotra, Caroline Deyga, Tia Dutt, Lauren Ellis-Steele, Ezra Faroque Khan, Oliver Ford Davies, Andrew Fraser, Guy Henry, Dani Heron, Ryan Hunter, Isabelle Joss, Rehanna MacDonald, Lorne MacFadyen, Marc Mackinnon, Adam McNamara, Martin Quinn, Ann Louise Ross, Nabil Shaban and Jatinder Singh Randhawa, Sonnyboy Skelton and Hannah Visocchi.
Directed by Jonathan Kent, set and costume design by Richard Hudson, lighting design by Mark Henderson, composition by Paul Englishby, music direction by Kevin Amos, sound design by Christopher Shutt, movement direction by Polly Bennett, video design by Dick Straker, illusions by Chris Fisher and fight direction by Paul Benzing.
by Brian Friel
Previews from 15 October, press night 21 October, playing until 18 December
Following a sold-out run in 2018, Ian Rickson's exquisite production returns.
Owen, the prodigal son, returns to rural Donegal from Dublin. With him are two British army officers. Their ambition is to create a map of the area, replacing the Gaelic names with English. It is an administrative act with radical consequences.
Brian Friel's modern classic is a powerful account of nationhood, which sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in one quiet community.
Ciarán Hinds reprises his critically acclaimed role of patriarch and school master, Hugh, whose livelihood and culture are at risk. He will be re-joined by Dermot Crowley, Seamus O'Hara, Judith Roddy and Rufus Wright. Further casting includes Jack Bardoe, Gareth Clarke, Adam Collier, Liadán Dunlea, Fra Fee, Paul Lloyd, Michael-David McKernan, Sarah Madigan, Julian Moore-Cook and Amy Molloy.
My Brilliant Friend
Parts One and Two
based on Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels
adapted by April De Angelis
a co-production with Rose Theatre Kingston
Previews from 12 November, press day 26 November, playing until 22 February
When the most important person in her life goes missing without a trace, Lenù Greco, now a celebrated author, begins to recall a relationship of more than 60 years.
First meeting on the dangerous streets of post-war Naples, friends Lila and Lenù experience turbulent social and political change, from the rise of the Camorra to the sexual revolution and the transformation of their neighbourhood, city and nation. Even as life repeatedly tries to pull them in separate directions, they remain inextricably bound to one another.
Based on the celebrated novels by Elena Ferrante - published in over 50 countries - My Brilliant Friend is an epic story of love, violence, ambition and self-destruction.
Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack reprise their roles as Lenù and Lila alongside returning cast members Justin Avoth, Adam Burton, Martin Hyder, Ira Mandela Siobhan, Victoria Moseley, Emily Mytton, Jonah Russell, Badria Timimi, Emily Wachter and Toby Wharton. Cast also includes Amiera Darwish, Trevor Fox, Danielle Henry, Kezrena James, David Judge, Wela Mbusi, Al Nedjari, Mary Jo Randle, Colin Ryan, John Sandeman, Ben Turner and Elizabeth Mary (Em) Williams.
Directed by Melly Still, with set and costume design by Soutra Gilmour, composition by Jim Fortune, lighting design by Malcolm Rippeth, sound design by Jon Nicholls, movement direction by Sarah Dowling, video design by Tal Yarden, fight direction by John Sandeman and puppetry design and direction by Toby Olié.
a new play by Simon Woods
Limited ticket availability - playing until 25 November
It's a summer's morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital scrapping quickly turns to blood-sport.
Production supported by Marcia Grand in loving memory of Richard Grand, Leila Maw Straus and Shawn M. Donnelley & Christopher M. Kelly. This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award.
'Master Harold'... And The Boys
by Athol Fugard
Previews from 21 September, press night on 1 October, playing until 17 December
St George's Park Tea Room, Port Elizabeth, 1950. On a long rainy afternoon, employees Sam and Willie practise their steps for the finals of the ballroom dancing championship.
Hally arrives from school to hide out in his parents' tea room. These two men have been unlikely best friends to Hally his whole life. But it is apartheid era South Africa: he's Master Harold, and they are the boys.
Tony Award-winning playwright Athol Fugard's semi-autobiographical and blistering masterwork explores the nature of friendship, and the ways people are capable of hurting even those they love.
Production generously supported by Monica Gerard-Sharp and the 'Master Harold'...and the boys Production Syndicate.
a new play by Inua Ellams
a co-production with Fuel
Previews from 3 December, press night on 10 December, playing until 19 February
Chekhov's iconic characters are relocated to Nigeria in this bold new adaptation.
Owerri, 1967, on the brink of the Biafran Civil War. Lolo, Nne Chukwu and Udo are grieving the loss of their father. Months before, two ruthless military coups plunged the country into chaos. Fuelled by foreign intervention, the conflict encroaches on their provincial village and the sisters long to return to their former home, Lagos.
The three sisters will be played by Sarah Niles, Natalie Simpson and Racheal Ofori. Cast includes Ronke Adekoluejo, Jonathan Ajayi, Jude Akuwudike, Tobi Bamtefa, Peter Bankolé, Anni Domingo, Lola May, Jerome Ngonadi, Ken Nwosu, Joseph Ogeleka, Nasa Ohalete, Offue Okegbe, Chloe Okora, Sule Rimi and Diana Yekinni.
With set and costume design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Peter Mumford, movement direction by Polly Bennett, composition by Femi Tomowo, sound design by Donato Wharton and music direction and vocal arrangements by Michael Henry.
Three Sisters is a co-production with Fuel, originally commissioned by Metta Theatre.
Hundreds of £15 tickets will be available for every performance.
Production supported by Leila Maw Straus, Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation and the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater.
Faith, Hope And Charity
a new play by Alexander Zeldin
Currently in previews, press night 17 September, playing until 12 October
In a run-down community hall on the edge of town, a woman has been cooking lunch for those in need. A choir is starting up, run by a volunteer who's looking for a new beginning. A mother is seeking help in her fight to keep her young daughter from being taken into care. An older man sits silently in the corner, the first to arrive, the last to leave. Outside the rain is failing.
Alexander Zeldin's new play promises to be another uncompromising theatrical experience that goes to the heart of our uncertain times
Directed by Alexander Zeldin, the set and costume designer is Natasha Jenkins, the lighting designer is Marc Williams, the movement director is Marcin Rudy, the sound designer is Josh Anio Grigg and the rehearsal music director is Laurie Blundell.
Production supported by The Polonsky Foundation.
by Annie Baker
Previews from 21 October, press night 30 October, playing until 23 November
Their phones switched off, a group of people sit around a table telling, categorising and theorising stories. This is a world that is both familiar and fantastical. Their real purpose is never quite clear, but they continue on, searching for the monstrous. Part satire, part sacred rite, The Antipodes asks what value stories have for a world in crisis.
Directed by Annie Baker and Chloe Lamford, with set and costume design by Chloe Lamford, lighting design by Natasha Chivers, sound design by Tom Gibbons, movement direction by Sasha Milavic Davies and illusion design by Steve Cuiffo.
New American Work Programme is supported by The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Lawton W Fitt & James | McLaren Foundation and Kathleen J Yoh.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
based on the novel by Neil Gaiman
adapted by Joel Horwood
Previews from 3 December, with a press night on 11 December, playing until 25 January
Returning to his childhood home, Alex finds himself standing beside the duck pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He's transported to his 13th birthday, spring half-term, when his dad was struggling to make ends meet and his friend Lettie claimed it wasn't a pond, but an ocean...
This adventure will excite and thrill those brave enough to face its hidden depths. Bestselling author Neil Gaiman is the creator of epic American Gods, Coraline, Stardust and the Sandman series.
Directed by Katy Rudd, the cast includes Jade Croot, Fred Davis, Owain Gwynn, Pippa Nixon, Justin Salinger, Jeffrey Sangalang, Marli Siu and Jess Williams alongside the previously announced Josie Walker and Samuel Blenkin.
The set designer is Fly Davis, with costume and puppet design by Samuel Wyer, movement direction by Steven Hoggett, composition by Jherek Bischoff, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by Ian Dickinson, puppetry direction by Finn Caldwell and magic and illusions by Jamie Harrison.
Suitable for ages 12+, with half-price tickets available for under-18s.
National Theatre On Tour
Following its acclaimed run at the Roundhouse this summer, BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES continues a UK tour visiting Birmingham Repertory Theatre (26 - 28 September), Oxford Playhouse (9 - 12 October), Eden Court, Inverness (16 - 19 October), Edinburgh Lyceum (23 October - 9 November), Nuffield Southampton Theatres (13 - 16 November), before returning to Leeds Playhouse (20 - 23 November). Barber Shop Chronicles is a Fuel, National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse co-production. Co-commissioned by Fuel and The National Theatre. Development funded by Arts Council England with the support of Fuel, National Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, The Binks Trust, British Council ZA, Òran Mór and A Play, a Pie and a Pint. The tour has received National Lottery funding through Arts Council England's Project Grants programme and Creative Scotland's Open Funding programme.
Having visited 12 countries around the world, playing to 8 million people over the past 12 years, including a recent sold-out return to The National Theatre, the NT's acclaimed production WAR HORSE, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford, and presented in association with the award-winning Handspring Puppet Company is now on a UK and international tour. War Horse will return to London for a strictly limited run at an exciting new venue, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, located steps away from Wembley Stadium from 18 October to 23 November. War Horse will also tour to The Curve, Leicester (18 September - 12 October), La Seine Musicale, Paris (29 November - 29 December), Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Australia (10 January - 9 February 2020), Lyric Theatre, Sydney (15 February - 15 March 2020), Crown Theatre, Perth (24 March - 12 April 2020), with further international dates to be announced. War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt. Katie Henry is the UK & International Tour Director and Craig Leo is the Associate Puppetry Director. Charlotte Peters is the Associate Director and Matthew Forbes is the Associate Puppetry Director. They are joined by Resident Director, Charlie Kenber and Resident Puppetry Director, Gareth Aled. War Horse is produced on tour by The National Theatre. For more information, visit warhorseonstage.com. War Horse at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is supported by American Express, The National Theatre's preferred Card Partner.
Bijan Sheibani's production of A TASTE OF HONEY, Shelagh Delaney's remarkable taboo-breaking 1950s play, which was first produced in the Lyttelton Theatre in 2014, is now on a UK tour. Designed by Hildegard Bechtler, A Taste of Honey is reimagined in an exciting new production featuring a live on-stage band. Jodie Prenger (Oliver!, One Man, Two Guvnors, Abigail's Party UK tour) plays Helen, and Gemma Dobson plays Jo, alongside Liam Bessell, Katy Clayton, Claire Eden, Durone Stokes, Stuart Thompson, Tom Vareyand Marcel White. Written by Shelagh Delaney when she was 19, A Taste of Honey offers an explosive celebration of the vulnerabilities and strengths of the female spirit in a deprived and restless world. An exhilarating depiction of working-class life in post-war Salford, A Taste of Honey opens there at The Lowrytonight, playing until 21 September, with a press night on Friday 20 September. The tour will also visit theKings Theatre, Edinburgh (24 - 28 September); the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (1 - 5 October); Richmond Theatre (7 - 12 October); Grand Opera House, Belfast (15 - 19 October); Leicester Curve (22 - 26 October); Theatre Royal, Bath (28 October - 2 November); Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton (5 - 9 November); and the Norwich Theatre Royal (12 - 16 November). The lighting designer is Paul Anderson, the movement director is Aline David, and the composer and musical arranger is Benjamin Kwasi Burrell. The sound designer is Ian Dickinson for Autograph, and Company Voice Work is by Joel Trill. A Taste of Honey is produced on tour by The National Theatre. National Theatre UK Touring is supported by The Thompson Family Charitable Trust, The Royal National Theatre Foundation, and Jacqueline and Richard Worswick.
HADESTOWN, the acclaimed new musical by Anaïs Mitchell, developed with and directed by Rachel Chavkin, is now playing on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre, and was recently awarded 8 Tony Awards, including Best New Musical. A US tour, visiting over 30 towns and cities in its first year, including Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Tempe; and Washington, DC, with more to be announced, will begin in autumn 2020. For more information, visit hadestown.com
Following sold-out runs at The National Theatre, the Park Avenue Armory, and in the West End, the NT and Neal Street Productions' THE LEHMAN TRILOGY will return to New York when it transfers to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement in spring 2020. The Lehman Trilogy previews at the Nederlander Theatre from 7 March, with an opening night on 26 March 2020. The story of a family and a company that changed the world, told in three parts on a single evening, The Lehman Trilogy is by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power and directed by Sam Mendes. Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles will reprise their acclaimed roles on Broadway as the Lehman brothers, and a cast of characters including their sons and grandsons. The Lehman Trilogy is produced on Broadway by The National Theatre, Neal Street Productions and Scott Rudin/Barry Diller/David Geffen, with set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, video design by Luke Halls, and lighting design by Jon Clark. The Composer and Sound Designer is Nick Powell, the Co-Sound Designer is Dominic Bilkey, with music direction by Candida Caldicot, and movement by Polly Bennett. The Associate Director is Zoé Ford Burnett. The Wall Street Journal is the media sponsor.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time Schools' Tour
Following the success of last year's schools tour, where over 13,000 young people saw the production, the specially staged 90-minute production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME will visit another 60 secondary schools across the UK in Autumn 2019. The tour of Mark Haddon's best-selling novel, adapted by Olivier-award-winning playwright Simon Stephens will visit schools in The National Theatre's six Theatre Nation areas, supported by our partner theatres: Outer East London (with Queen's Theatre Hornchurch), Wakefield (with Wakefield Theatre Royal), Doncaster (with CAST), Sunderland (with Sunderland Culture and Sunderland Empire), Wolverhampton (with The Grand), and Greater Manchester (with The Lowry). The tour will visit new schools in these areas as well as returning to schools we have previously engaged with as we continue to build relationships with them and introduce theatre to different age groups.
The production is directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Marianne Elliott, designed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable. Movement is by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton (who also composed music for War Horse) and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. The Associate Director is Anna Marsland.
Secondary Schools Touring is supported by: The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Delta Air Lines, The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Alex Beard & Emma Vernetti, Behrens Foundation, Lennox Hannay Charitable Trust, Priya Heal, Mulberry Trust, The Robert Gavron Charitable Trust, Carol Sellars and Susie and Stelio Stefanou.
National Theatre Live
National Theatre Live is celebrating 10 years of broadcasting the best of British theatre. Over 10 years, there have been over 80 theatre productions that have been shown in 3500 venues worldwide, reaching an overall audience of nearly 9 million people. NT Live currently screens to 2500 venues across 65 countries.
One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, featuring an award-winning performance by James Corden as Francis Henshall, will return to UK and international venues on 27 September for a special 10th birthday screening.
The debut play from Simon Woods, Hansard, will be broadcast live from the National's Lyttelton Theatreon 7 November. Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings return to the NT to play married couple Robin and Diana, a married couple reckoning with a fundamental difference they cannot resolve. Directed by NT Associate Simon Godwin.
The Old Vic Production of Present Laughter by Noël Coward will be in cinemas from 28 November. Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott in this giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, narcissism and loneliness.
NT Live UK is sponsored by Sky Arts.