The National Theatre Announces 15 Productions Of New Plays And Fresh Adaptations By Leading Writers
The National Theatre has announced 15 productions of new plays and fresh adaptations by leading writers.
Following a sell-out run at Rose Theatre Kingston, the acclaimed two-part adaptation of Elena Ferrante's MY BRILLIANT FRIEND by April De Angelis is reworked for the Olivier stage by Melly Still (Coram Boy). When the most important person in her life goes missing without a trace, Lenu 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 Lenu 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. But even as life repeatedly tries to pull them in separate directions, they remain inextricably bound to one another. Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack reprise their roles as Lenu 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. 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. 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, puppetry direction by Toby Olié, and fight direction by Rachel Bown-Wiliams and Ruth Cooper-Brown for Rc-Annie Ltd. My Brilliant Friend, a co-production with the Rose Theatre Kingston, in which Ferrante's four novels become one play, presented in two parts, previews from 12 November, with a two-show press day on Tuesday 26 November, in rep until Saturday 18 January with further performances to be announced.
In February, the Olivier and Tony Award-winning writer of Angels in America and Caroline, Or Change, Tony Kushner, offers a post-war American context for his new version of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's blackly comic masterpiece, THE VISIT, or The Old Lady Comes To Call. Lesley Manville, last seen at the NT in Mike Leigh's Grief, will play Claire Zachanassian, cast also includes Richard Durden, Sara Kestelman, Joseph Mydell and Nicholas Woodeson. Directed by Jeremy Herrin with set design by Vicki Mortimer and costume design by Moritz Junge. The lighting designer is NT Associate Paule Constable, composition by Paul Englishby and the movement director is Polly Bennett. The Visit is presented in association with David Binder. 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.
JACK ABSOLUTE FLIES AGAIN, written by Richard Bean and Oliver Chris, based on Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals, and directed by Thea Sharrock, opens in the Olivier Theatre in April. In the year of the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, this classic restoration comedy is relocated to World War II as Spitfires roar over the grounds of Malaprop Hall, now requisitioned by the RAF. By night pilot Jack Absolute flies out against the Luftwaffe, by day he tries to win the love of Air Transport Auxiliary Pilot Lydia Languish. That's not an easy task, as principled Lydia demands to be loved on her own terms. Richard Bean's previous plays for the NT include One Man, Two Guvnors and Great Britain. Oliver Chris makes his NT playwriting debut. Set and costume design is by Mark Thompson.
Lyricist, novelist, poet and playwright, Kate Tempest makes her NT debut in June as the writer of PARADISE a potent and dynamic reimagining of Philoctetes by Sophocles. Lesley Sharp will play Philoctetes with further cast to be announced. Paradise is directed by Ian Rickson who collaborates with Kate to bring the epic story of the rivalry between Odysseus and Philoctetes to the Olivier Theatre. Once comrades, now enemies after Odysseus abandoned Philoctetes to suffer a terrible wound alone, Odysseus is prepared to use any means necessary to get the shell-shocked Philoctetes back to the front and win the Trojan war. Set and costume design is by Rae Smith.
In THREE SISTERS, which opens in December in the Lyttelton, Chekhov's iconic characters are transported to 1960s Nigeria in this new version by Inua Ellams, after Chekhov. Owerri, 1968, the eve 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. As the conflict encroaches on their provincial village, the sisters long to return to their former home, Lagos. As the war rages, fuelled by foreign intervention, the bonds of sisterhood are tested. Theatre Royal Stratford East Artistic Director Nadia Fall returns to the NT to direct this impassioned retelling. Cast includes Ronke Adekoluejo, Jude Akuwudike, Ken Nwosu, Racheal Ofori, Sule Rimi and Natalie Simpson. With set and costume design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Peter Mumford, movement direction by Polly Bennett and music direction and vocal arrangements by Michael Henry. Three Sisters is a co-production with Fuel, originally commissioned by Metta Theatre. Previews from Tuesday 3 December, with a press night on Tuesday 10 December, continuing in rep until 4 January with further performances to be announced. Supported by Leila Maw Straus and Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation. Hundreds of £15 tickets will be available for every performance.
Lucy Kirkwood brings her new play, THE WELKIN, to the Lyttelton Theatre in January. 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 twelve 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. Maxine Peake returns to the NT for the first time since 2002 to play Lizzy Luke in a production directed by James Macdonald. The cast also includes Natasha Cottriall, Cecilia Noble, Dawn Sievewright and Ria Zmitrowicz with further cast to be announced. With set and costume design by Bunny Christie, lighting design by Lee Curran, sound design by Carolyn Downing and fight direction by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of RC-Annie Ltd.
MANOR, a new play by Moira Buffini, will open in April. 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. Nancy Carroll plays Diana with further casting to be announced. This darkly comic drama is directed by Fiona Buffini, reuniting the writer and director behind Dinner, with set and costume design by Lez Brotherston and lighting design by Paule Constable.
THE SEVEN STREAMS OF THE RIVER OTA returns to the National Theatre where it first played in 1996, to mark 75 years since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. The acclaimed seven-hour saga by Ex Machina, directed by Robert Lepage, is a giant theatrical journey through time and space. In this new edition of his masterpiece, Lepage continues to explore how a few kilograms of uranium falling on Japan changed the course of human history and how the tragedies of the Holocaust and Hiroshima permeate the experience of not only the survivors, but also their descendants. As the play traces seven stories from 1945 to 1995, a common theme emerges: the quest for meaning and peace when facing death and horror. We encounter characters who embrace hope and sensuality and laugh in the face of adversity. The Seven Streams of the River Ota plays at the National Theatre in March 2020 as part of a world tour.
Artist in Residence Alexander Zeldin returns to the NT with his new play, FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY in September, the third piece in his trilogy of plays that tell the stories of people forced to the margins, following Beyond Caring and LOVE. 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. Faith, Hope and Charity takes us to the heart of our brutal and uncertain times in a radical story of redemption, perseverance and love. The cast includes Nick Holder, Dayo Koleosho, Susan Lynch, Cecilia Noble, Bobby Stallwood, Hind Swareldahab and Alan Williams. The set and costume designer is Alexander's frequent collaborator, Natasha Jenkins, the lighting designer is Marc Williams, the movement director is Marcin Rudy, the sound designer is Josh Anio Grigg, the rehearsal music director is Laurie Blundell and the associate director is Diyan Zora. Previews from 9 September, press night Tuesday 17 September, playing until 12 October. Production supported by The Polonsky Foundation.
Following acclaimed runs of The Flick and John, Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Baker returns to the National Theatre with her latest play, THE ANTIPODES. 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. Cast includes Matt Bardock, Arthur Darvill, Imogen Doel, Hadley Fraser, Conleth Hill, Sinéad Matthews, Stuart McQuarrie and Bill Milner. Directed by Annie Baker and Chloe Lamford, with set and costume design by Chloe Lamford, lighting design by Natasha Chivers, and sound design by Tom Gibbons. In previews from 21 October, with a press night on Wednesday 30 October, playing until 23 November. The 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, bestselling author of American Gods, Coraline, Stardust and the Sandman series, will play in the Dorfman over Christmas. A modern myth about the childhood truths that swim beneath our adult selves, adapted by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd, this adventure will excite, unsettle and thrill those brave enough to face its hidden depths. 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 eleventh birthday, when his dad was struggling to make ends meet and his friend Lettie claimed it wasn't a pond, but an ocean... Plunged into a magical world, Alex and Lettie's survival depends on their ability to reckon with dark, ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them. Cast includes Josie Walker and Samuel Blenkin, with further cast to be announced. 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 and puppetry by Finn Caldwell. Suitable for ages 12+, with half price tickets available for under-18s. In previews from Tuesday 3 December, with a press night on Wednesday 11 December, playing until Saturday 25 January.
DEATH OF ENGLAND, a new play by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams which began life as a short film created by the Royal Court and The Guardian, will open in the Dorfman in early February. Featuring Rafe Spall, the play explores the world through the lens of a working class man searching for truth after his father dies. Death of England is directed by Clint Dyer, marking his NT writing and directing debut - and making him the first Black British artist to have acted, written and directed at the NT. Roy Williams' previous plays for the NT include Baby Girl and Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads. Set and costume design is by Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and ULTZ, with lighting design by Jackie Shemesh and sound design by Pete Malkin.
Francesca Martinez makes her NT debut in March with ALL OF US. 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. Her first play, it will be directed by Ian Rickson. 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.
Following its run at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, WELCOME TO IRAN, a new play written and directed by Nadia Fall, will play a limited run in the Dorfman opening in May. Ava is a twenty-something Londoner. Following the death of her estranged father, she journeys to Iran in search of his past and her extended family. Exploring the rich culture and thriving art scene of this oft misunderstood country, Ava is swept into a world of raves, raids and illicit love, all whilst negotiating family politics, Tehran traffic and the morality police. Based on real-life testimonials, Welcome to Iran offers a tender and witty snapshot of modern life in Iran. Set and costume design is by Ben Stones. A Theatre Royal Stratford East and National Theatre co-production.
Public booking opens for Faith, Hope and Charity, The Antipodes, My Brilliant Friend, The Ocean at the End of Lane and Three Sisters on Friday 5 July.
In the Wolfson Gallery
Using cutting edge VR and holographic technology, a new intimate and immersive performance ALL KINDS OF LIMBO: From Calypso to Grime opens in the Wolfson Gallery at the NT. The project is inspired by the current NT production of Andrea Levy's epic novel Small Island, directed by Rufus Norris. In All Kinds of Limbo, audiences will have a rare opportunity to experience the very latest in virtual reality (VR) and hologram technology. A life-size, volumetrically captured performance of vocalist Nubiya Brandon with the NuShape Orchestra will play in two unique, immersive experiences. Through a specially commissioned 10-minute piece of music, Nubiya, Raffy Bushman and the orchestra take audiences through genres including reggae, grime, classical and calypso in a musical journey reflecting the historic influence of West Indian and black culture on the UK music scene. The exhibition is open every day from 17 June until 14 September with showings from 12pm - 8.30pm. Tickets bookable online. All Kinds of Limbo has been developed with the NT's Partner for Innovation, Accenture.
Following Pericles in the Olivier Theatre last summer, Queen's Theatre Hornchurch Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul will direct this year's Public Acts production of Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT in a musical adaptation at the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch from 24 - 27 August. This version of As You Like It is by Laurie Woolery and Shaina Taub, featuring music and lyrics by Taub, and set and costume design by Hayley Grindle. It was first seen at the Delacorte Theater, New York, in 2017 as part of The Public Theater's Public Works programme. Collaborating with Douglas on this production will be Pericles director Emily Lim, Public Acts Director. Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind and niece Celia, escape to the Forest of Arden, a fantastical place where all are welcomed and embraced. Lost amidst the trees, they find community and acceptance under the stars. As You Like It is a Queen's Theatre Hornchurch production, in partnership with the National Theatre.
In August 2020, Cast, Doncaster, one of the NT's Theatre Nation Partner venues, will host the third Public Acts production, with a new version of THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE by Bertolt Brecht, adapted for this project by Chris Bush and will be directed by Public Acts Associate James Blakey. The creative team will work alongside local community partners in Doncaster on this new interpretation of Brecht's classic.
Public Acts is inspired by Public Works, The Public Theater's ground-breaking programme in New York. Supported by Arts Council England's Strategic Touring Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Hertz, Mr & Mrs A Mosawi, Simon & Sue Ruddick and Garfield Weston Foundation. Theatre Nation Partnerships is generously supported by Arts Council England's Strategic Touring Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Garfield Weston Foundation.
National Theatre Collection
The National Theatre today launches the National Theatre Collection, two new partnerships with Bloomsbury Publishing and ProQuest. This new service draws on 10 years of NT Live broadcasts, alongside high quality archive recordings never previously seen outside of the NT's Archive. The National Theatre Collection will make the best of British theatre available to libraries, schools, universities and the education sector around the world. Available through Bloomsbury's award-winning digital library Drama Online and renowned EdTech leader ProQuest, the Collection will allow access to productions and digitised archive content. It will transform the current landscape of theatre studies and digital learning by connecting students, researchers and teachers across the globe to world-class productions, archive materials and learning resources. The National Theatre Collection will be available via two models: a one-time payment for the full collection, or via an annual subscription.
The National Theatre Collection will go live in September with 15 plays, growing to 30 titles by March 2020, and will feature a wide range of works regularly studied at secondary/high school and degree level. Unique in its scope, the collection will encompass:
- Greek classics such as Medea by Euripides, in a contemporary adaptation by Ben Power, directed by Carrie Cracknell with Helen McCrory in the title role
- Vibrant modern stagings of Shakespeare, such as Twelfth Night, directed by Simon Godwin, with Tamsin Greig in the role of 'Malvolia'
- 20th century classics such as Lorraine Hansberry's Les Blancs and the Young Vic's production of Lorca's Yerma, adapted and directed by Simon Stone with Billie Piper in the title role
- Literary adaptations, such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein adapted by Nick Dear and directed by Danny Boyle, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller
- Comedies such as She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, directed by Jamie Lloyd with a cast including Cush Jumbo and Katherine Kelly and One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean, directed by Nicholas Hytner, and featuring James Corden's Tony Award-winning performance
- Alongside many more
In addition, UK schools will now be able to access a greater range of productions through the National Theatre Schools Collection on Drama Online. The productions available as part of the Schools Collection will complement the curriculum and be free for UK state-funded schools to access, together with learning resources, ensuring access to the arts as part of a rich and broad education for young people.
The National Theatre Collection is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Fondation Hoffman, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation and The Attwood Education Foundation.
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 Queens 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 encourage engagement with their local theatres.
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. Casting will be announced later this year.
Schools Touring is supported by: The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Alex Beard & Emma Vernetti, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, Lennox Hannay Charitable Trust, Priya and Marcus Heal, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust, Newcomen Collett Foundation, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, The Robert Gavron Charitable Trust, Carol Sellars, St Olave's Foundation Fund, Susie and Stelio Stefanou, and The Topinambour Trust.
The National Theatre's Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Previously announced productions already on sale:
Andrea Levy's epic, Orange Prize-winning novel, SMALL ISLAND, bursts into new life on the Olivier Stage. A company of 40 tell a story which journeys from Jamaica to Britain through the Second World War to 1948, the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. Based on the novel by Andrea Levy and adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson Small Island follows the intricately connected stories of two couples. Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK. Directed by Rufus Norris, with set and costume design by Katrina Lindsay, projection design by Jon Driscoll, lighting design by Paul Anderson, composer Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, sound design by Ian Dickinson, movement direction by Coral Messam and fight direction by Kate Waters. In repertoire until 10 August. Hundreds of £15 tickets available for every performance. Broadcast as part of the NT Live Season on 27 June. Production supported by Areté Foundation / Betsy & Ed Cohen.
PETER GYNT by David Hare after Henrik Ibsen previews from 27 June with a press night on 9 July, playing until 8 October in a co-production with Edinburgh International Festival. Peter Gynt has always set his heart on being special, on being a unique individual, on being unlike anyone else. When he steals the bride from a local wedding, he sets off on a lifetime journey which will take him to Florida, to Egypt, to a mountain of trolls, and finally, only when death approaches, back to his home in Scotland. In this radical new version David Hare kidnaps Ibsen's most famous hero and runs away with him into the 21st century. James McArdle takes the title role in this epic story of transformation, following his acclaimed performances in Platonov and Angels in America. He 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, 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 and video design by Dick Straker. Playing at Edinburgh International Festival from 1 - 10 August.
Sydney Theatre Company's production of THE SECRET RIVER by Kate Grenville, adapted for the stage by Andrew Bovell previews from 22 August, with an opening night on 27 August, playing until 7 September. A moving and unflinching journey into Australia's dark history. Adapted from Kate Grenville's acclaimed novel, this multi-award-winning production tells the story of two families divided by culture and land. William Thornhill arrives in New South Wales a convict from the slums of London. Upon earning his pardon he discovers that this new world offers something he didn't dare to dream of: a place to call his own. But as he plants a crop and lays claim to the soil on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, he finds that this land is not his to take. Its ancient custodians are the Dharug people. Neil Armfield directs an ensemble cast of 22. Live music composed by Iain Grandage will play a central role in the play, which was conceived in collaboration with indigenous artists and is performed in Dharug language as well as English. Set design is by Stephen Curtis, costume designer is Tess Schofield, lighting designer is Mark Howett and sound designer is Steve Francis. The Secret River 2019 tour is supported by Ian Narev & Frances Allan, Gretel Packer and commissioning patrons Catriona Mordant AM & Simon Mordant AM and David Gonski AC & Orli Wargon OAM. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government's Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., Sydney Festival, Perth International Arts Festival and The Centenary of Canberra.
Following a sold-out run in 2018, Ian Rickson's exquisite production of TRANSLATIONS by Brian Friel returns. Ciarán Hinds reprises his critically acclaimed role of patriarch and school master, Hugh, whose livelihood and culture are at risk. Cast also includes Dermot Crowley, Fra Fee, Seamus O'Hara, Judith Roddy and Rufus Wright with further cast to be announced. Brian Friel's modern classic sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in one quiet community. Set and costume designer is Rae Smith, lighting designer is Neil Austin, music by Stephen Warbeck, sound designer is Ian Dickinson and movement is by Anna Morrissey. Previews from 15 October, with a press night 21 October, playing in repertoire until Wednesday 18 December.
TOP GIRLS by Caryl Churchill is in repertoire until 20 July. Marlene is the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency. But she has no plans to stop there. With Maggie in at Number 10 and a spirit of optimism consuming the country, Marlene knows that the future belongs to women like her. For the first time, the National Theatre stages Caryl Churchill's (Far Away, A Number and Escaped Alone) wildly innovative play about a country divided by its own ambitions. Lyndsey Turner (Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Chimerica) directs.
Githa Sowerby's astonishing play RUTHERFORD AND SON, inspired by her own experience of growing up in a family-run factory in Gateshead, is now playing in the Lyttelton until 3 August. In a Northern industrial town, John Rutherford rules both factory and family with an iron will. But even as the furnaces burn relentlessly at the Glassworks, at home his children begin to turn against him. Writing in 1912, when female voices were seldom heard on British stages, Githa Sowerby now claims her place alongside Ibsen and Bernard Shaw with this searing depiction of class, gender and generational warfare. Roger Allam returns to the National for the first time in a decade to play Rutherford in this new production directed by Polly Findlay. Justine Mitchell joins Roger Allam in the role of Janet Rutherford in a cast that also includes Chris Anderson, Sue Appleby, Joe Armstrong, Joe Evans, Nick Harris, Harry Hepple, Barbara Marten, Nicola May-Taylor, Jules Melvin, Sally Rogers, Sam Troughton and Anjana Vasan. Singers include Sarah Dacey, Roshi Nasehi, Osnat Schmool, Sue Appleby, Nicola May-Taylor and Jules Melvin. Set and costume design by Lizzie Clachan, lighting design by Charles Balfour, movement direction by Polly Bennett, sound design by Paul Arditti and music and music direction by Kerry Andrew and Sarah Dacey.
In HANSARD, a new play by Simon Woods, 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. With Alex Jennings as Robin and Lindsay Duncan as his wife, Diana. Simon Godwin directs Simon Woods' witty and devastating portrait of the governing class. Set and costume design by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Jackie Shemesh, music by Michael Bruce, sound design by Christopher Shutt and movement direction by Shelley Maxwell. Previews from 22 August, press night on 3 September, in repertoire until Monday 25 November with a National Theatre Live broadcast on Thursday 7 November. 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.
Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) directs Lucian Msamati (Amadeus) and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) and Anson Boon as Sam and Willie and Hally in 'MASTER HAROLD'...AND THE BOYS by Athol Fugard, which previews from 21 September, press night on 1 October, in repertoire 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. Set and costume designer is Rajha Shakiry, lighting designer is Paule Constable, movement director is Shelley Maxwell and sound designer is Giles Thomas.
In a series of unique events across August and September, the Lyttelton stage hosts a diverse range of contemporary voices in conversation. AUTHORS ON STAGE, a co-production with Fane Productions, will run from 12 August - 10 September. In dialogue with our world today and highlighting a number of major new publications, these talks include authors Adam Kay and Rob Delaney, Mae Martin, Nigella Lawson and Yotam Ottolenghi, Edna O'Brien, Elif Shafak, Matt Haig, Stacey Dooley, Candice Carty-Williams and Fatima Bhutto, culminating in the already announced evening with Margaret Atwood on the launch of The Testaments, sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. More guests to be announced.
Following a sold-out run at the Bush Theatre last year, Sarah Gordy returns to play Kelly in JELLYFISH by Ben Weatherill, for a limited run of this funny and tender new play. She performs alongside Penny Layden and Nicky Priest who also reprise their roles. Jellyfish is the story of a first kiss, chips by the beach and coming of age with Down's Syndrome in a seaside town. It's a unique romance across uncharted waters which asks: does everyone really have the right to love as they choose? Directed by Tim Hoare with design by Amy Jane Cook, lighting design by Jamie Platt and sound design by Ella Wahlström. All performances will play in a more relaxed performance environment. A Cartwright Productions Ltd. production in association with the Bush Theatre, playing from 5 - 16 July.
CONNECTIONS, which takes place from 25 - 29 June, is the National Theatre's annual, nationwide youth theatre festival. Each year the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people across the UK to perform. Bringing together the work of leading playwrights, as well as exciting collaborations with top choreographers and composers, National Theatre Connections 2019 features work by brilliant artists. 10 young companies will come to perform productions of plays in the Dorfman by Ben Bailey Smith and Lajaune Lincoln, Luke Barnes, Rob Drummond, Katie Hims, Dawn King, Benjamin Kuffuor, Nell Leyshon, Laura Lomas, Katherine Soper and Tom Wells. Connections is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Buffini Chao Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Delta Air Lines, The Peter Cundill Foundation, Mactaggart Third Fund, EBM Charitable Trust, Samantha and Richard Campbell-Breeden, Susan Miller and Byron Grote, The Broughton Family Charitable Trust and The Derrill Allatt Foundation.
Be the first to see work by the next generation of playwrights in NEW VIEWS, which takes place from 1 - 2 July in the Dorfman. Hundreds of students from across the UK have followed an in-depth, online course while being mentored by professional playwrights as part of our nationwide playwright programme. Eight shortlisted plays will be shared as rehearsed readings and the winning play, If Not Now, When? by Isabel Hague, will be performed in the Dorfman Theatre. New Views is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation and Old Possum's Practical Trust.
Based on the hilariously anarchic, award-winning children's book MR GUM AND THE DANCING BEAR - THE MUSICAL! with book and lyrics by Andy Stanton and music by Jim Fortune, previews from 25 July, press night 31 July, playing until 31 August. Who likes bears? Everyone likes bears! Well, not quite everyone...Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals and fun of any kind - so when a big bear called Padlock strolls into town, trouble can't be far off. Can nine-year-old Polly and her band of misfit friends help Padlock escape the villain's evil clutches, or will Mr Gum and his gruesome butcher sidekick prevail? Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear - the Musical! promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing, occasionally-burping extravaganza for children and adults alike. Author Andy Stanton creates the book and lyrics, with music by Jim Fortune. Cast is Richard Cant, Steve Furst, Keziah Joseph, Helena Lymbery, Kate Malyon and Gary Wilmot. Directed by Amy Hodge with set and costume designs by Georgia Lowe, music director is Tarek Merchant, lighting design is by Lee Curran, choreography by Fleur Darkin, sound design by Carolyn Downing and puppetry by Jimmy Grimes. Suitable for 7+ years.
In the West End
Following sold-out runs at the National Theatre and in New York at the Park Avenue Armory, the NT and Neal Street Productions' critically acclaimed production of THE LEHMAN TRILOGY is now playing in the West End at the Piccadilly Theatre. The Lehman Trilogy, by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power and directed by Sam Mendes,plays at the Piccadilly Theatre until Saturday 31 August. Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles play the Lehman brothers and a cast of characters, including their sons and grandsons, in an extraordinary feat of storytelling. From 5 August, Dominik Tiefenthaler will play the role of Emanuel Lehman alongside Simon Russell Beale and Adam Godley. The Lehman Trilogy features Olivier Award-nominated set designs by Es Devlin, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, video design by Luke Halls, and lighting design by Jon Clark. The Composer & Sound Designer is Nick Powell, the Co-Sound Designer is Dominic Bilkey, with music direction by Candida Caldicot, movement by Polly Bennett and voice by Charmian Hoare. The Associate Director is Zoé Ford Burnett. Broadcast as part of the NT Live Season on 25 July. Media Sponsors: Wall Street Journal and Financial News.
White City, London
The NT and Bristol Old Vic's production of J M Barrie's PETER PAN, a thrilling story for audiences of all ages devised by the companies and directed by Olivier Award-winner Sally Cookson (Jane Eyre, A Monster Calls), returns to London this summer for a limited run at Troubadour White City Theatre, a new venue in West London. Peter Pan, first seen at Bristol Old Vic and reconceived at the National Theatre in 2016, features innovative aerial acrobatics and live music from an on stage band. Performances begin 20 July and run through to 27 October, with a press performance on Saturday 27 July at 2pm. Peter Pan is designed by Michael Vale with costume design by Katie Sykes, dramaturgy by Mike Akers, lighting design by Aideen Malone, and sound design by Dominic Bilkey. Peter Pan features original music by Benji Bower, with movement direction by Dan Canham, puppetry direction and design by Toby Olié, aerial direction by Gwen Hales and fight direction by Rachel Brown-Williams and Ruth Copper-Brown of RC-ANNIE Ltd. Casting is by Sam Stevenson. Casting to be announced. Peter Pan is presented by special arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and Samuel French Ltd. Peter Pan at Troubadour Theatre White City is supported by American Express, the National Theatre's preferred Card Partner.
National Theatre on tour
Following two sell-out runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, Inua Ellams' acclaimed BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES returns to London this summer for strictly-limited season at the Roundhouse, London's most iconic in-the-round performance space from 18 July - 24 August, with an opening night on 24 July at 8pm. Directed by Bijan Sheibani, designed by Rae Smith, lighting designer Jack Knowles, movement director Aline David, sound designer Gareth Fry, fight director Kev McCurdy, music director Michael Henry. The cast for both the Roundhouse and autumn tour is: existing cast members Maynard Eziashi, Adé Dee Haastrup, Emmanuel Ighodaro,Demmy Ladipo, Mohammed Mansaray, Anthony Ofoegbu, David Webber, and incoming cast members Micah Balfour, Okorie Chukwu, Tom Moutchi, Elmi Rashid Elmi, and Eric Shango. Both Maynard and David have been with the show since the world premiere at the NT in 2017. A special programme of work, Fades, Braids & Identity, will run alongside the season at the Roundhouse. For more information, visit roundhouse.org.uk.
Following its London run, 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 in association with the Roundhouse. 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. Barber Shop Chronicles at the Roundhouse is supported by American Express, the National Theatre's preferred Card Partner.
Having visited 11 countries around the world and playing to nearly 8 million people over the past 11 years, including a recent sold-out return to the National Theatre, the NT's acclaimed production WAR HORSE, based on the novel byMichael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford, and presented in association with the award-winning Handspring Puppet Company is now on a UK and international tour throughout 2019. 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 - 23 November. War Horse will also tour Civic Theatre, Auckland (from 21 June), Liverpool Empire Theatre (31 July - 17 August), New Theatre, Oxford (22 August - 7 September), Curve, Leicester (18 September - 12 October), La Seine Musical, Paris (29 November - 29 December), 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.
The NT will tour 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, from September. Designed by Hildegard Bechtler, A Taste of Honey will be reconceived 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, Durone Stokes, Stuart Thompson and Tom Varey. Written by Shelagh Delaney when she was nineteen, 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 will open there at The Lowry from 13 - 21 September, with a press night on Friday 20 September. The tour will also visit the Kings 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 sound designer will be Ian Dickinson for Autograph, the movement director will be Aline David and the Lighting Designer will be Paul Anderson. 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 opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, and was recently awarded 8 Tony Awards, including Best New Musical. For more information, visit hadestown.com
National Theatre Live
Over ten 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 cross 65 countries.
The Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power - the story of the rise and fall of the Lehman Brothers will be live in cinemas on 25 July from the Piccadilly Theatre in London's West End. Directed by Sam Mendes with Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles playing the brothers
War Horse will screen at Latitude Festival on 18 July. This adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship about a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey set against the backdrop of the First World War, features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to live on stage. This puppetry can be seen in the flesh as well as on the screen asJoey himself will make a special appearance at the festival on the day of the screening.
One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean with James Corden will screen on Brighton Beach with the Luna Cinema on 16 August and return to UK and international venues on 27 September for a special 10th birthday screening.
The debut play from actor Simon Woods, Hansard, will be broadcast live from the Lyttelton Theatre at the National on 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 Noel Coward will be in cinemas 28 November. Matthew Warchusdirects Andrew Scott in this giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, narcissism and loneliness.
Sky Arts is the sponsor of NT Live in the UK.
River Stage is the National Theatre's annual free outdoor festival of arts and entertainment. Each weekend, River Stage partners' take-over the stage and offer a full line-up of events for all ages, from family workshops and theatre, to club nights and DJs. The line-up is as follows:
The Glory (5-7 July)
East London's cabaret mecca and drag pub The Glory celebrate Pride at the NT with a tour-de-force weekend of back-to-back shows and parties, including the best of their sensational drag queen contest LIPSYNC1000, plus their drag king battle Man Up.
Shubbak Festival (12-14 July)
Mixing family activities with bands, spoken word and DJ sets, Shubbak brings the best of the Arab cultural scene to the River Stage.
National Park City Festival (19-21 July)
A line-up dedicated to all things green and wild in celebration of London becoming the world's first National Park City.
Frantic Assembly (26-28 July)
Celebrating their 25th Birthday Frantic Assembly kick off celebrations at the River Stage with DJ's, live music, movement workshops, performances and much more.
National Theatre takeover (2-4 August).
A joyful party weekend to close the River Stage festival 2019. The National Theatre will throw open its doors and let the creativity spill out bringing you the very best in family theatre, dance, music and more.