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Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL

Bomb-blasted London. A Soho den in the hangover from World War II, where members drink into the darkness, night after night. Lying, fighting and seducing, these lost souls and bruised lovers struggle from the rubble of war towards an unknown future.

Rodney Ackland's extraordinarily provocative play was condemned as 'a libel on the British people' when first performed in 1952. Now it emerges as an intoxicating plunge into post-war Soho; full of despair and longing. Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the NT to direct a large ensemble in this new production.

The cast includes Esh Alladi, Elizabeth Andrewartha, Ashley Byan, Jonathan Coote, Rachel Dale, Carole Dance, Joanna David, Charles Edwards, Patricia England, Kate Fleetwood, Jenny Galloway, Frazer Hadfield, Aaron Heffernan, Simon Hepworth, Lloyd Hutchinson, Martins Imhangbe, Stephanie Jacob, Fiz Marcus, Sinéad Matthews, Connor Mills, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Anita Reynolds, John Sackville, Liza Sadovy, Jonathan Slinger, Eileen Walsh, Danny Webb and JADE YOURELL.

With set design by Lizzie Clachan, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Jon Clark, associate direction and movement by Jenny Ogilvie, sound design by Paul Arditti and music direction by Harvey Brough.

Absolute Hell was first performed at the National Theatre in the Lyttelton Theatre in 1995, directed by Anthony Page. The cast included Judi Dench as Christine Foskett, who won an Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance the following year.

Photo Credit: Johan Persson

high res photos

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Kate Fleetwood

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
the company

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Aaron Heffernan

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Lloyd Hutchinson

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Sinéad Matthews and Martins Imhangbe

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Jonathan Slinger, Charles Edwards and Sinéad Matthews

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Fiz Marcus (foreground) and Jenny Galloway

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Esh Alladi, Rachel Dale and Lloyd Hutchinson

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
the company

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Ashley Byam, JADE YOURELL and Jenny Galloway

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Joanna David

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
the company

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Stephanie Jacob

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Carole Dance

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Jenny Galloway

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
the company

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Jonathan Slinger

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Danny Webb

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
John Sackville and Martins Imhangbe

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Anita Reynolds

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Prasanna Puwanarajah

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Simon Helpworth

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
Director Joe Hill-Gibbins

Photos: First Look at the National's ABSOLUTE HELL
the company


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