Latest news  and updates from National Theatre

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New casting announced for new National Theatre season

National Theatre
  • Full cast announced for Brian Friel’s Translations including Colin Morgan and Ciarán Hinds, part of the Travelex season with thousands of tickets available at £15
  • Eric Kofi Abrefa and Thalissa Teixeira join Vanessa Kirby in the cast of Julie, part of the Travelex season with thousands of tickets available at £15
  • Sam Mendes directs The Lehman Trilogy, a co-production with Neal Street Productions, cast includes Adam Godley, Ben Miles and Simon Russell Beale
  • Full cast announced for the award winning An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, transferring to the National Theatre in a co-production with the Orange Tree Theatre
  • The NT will tour to 30 venues in 27 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland, for a total of 83 playing weeks over the next year
  • Rufus Norris’ Macbeth to tour to 18 venues across the UK and Ireland from autumn 2018
  • War Horse returns to the National Theatre marking the centenary of Armistice Day

Olivier Theatre

TRANSLATIONS

by Brian Friel

Previews from 22 May, Press night 30 May, on sale until 7 July with further performances to be announced

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. Cast includes Dermot Crowley, Aoife DuffinAdetomiwa EdunMichelle FoxCiarán Hinds, Laurence KinlanColin MorganSeamus O’HaraJudith Roddy and Rufus Wright.

Directed by Ian Rickson, with design by Rae Smith, lighting design by Neil Austin and music by Stephen Warbeck and sound design by Ian Dickinson.

Part of the Travelex Season with hundreds of tickets for every performance available at £15.

Lyttelton Theatre

JULIE

by Polly Stenham

after Strindberg

Previews from 31 May, Press night 7 June, on sale until 4 August with further performances to be announced

Miss Julie finds a new home in contemporary London.

Wild and newly single, Julie throws a late night party. In the kitchen, Jean and Kristen clean up as the celebration heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean. It descends into a savage fight for survival.

Fuelled by social division, Strindberg’s masterpiece remains shocking and fiercely relevant in this new adaptation by Polly Stenham (That FaceNeon Demon). Carrie Cracknell (The Deep Blue Sea) directs a cast including Vanessa Kirby (The Crown), Eric Kofi Abrefa (The Amen Corner) and Thalissa Teixeira (Yerma, Young Vic). Cast also includes Thomasin GulgecDak MashavaBeatriz MeirelesMichela Meazza, Ashley Morgan-DaviesYuyu Rau and Petra Söör.

Design by Tom Scutt, with lighting design by Guy Hoare, movement direction by Ann Yee, music by Stuart Earl and sound design by Christopher Shutt.

Part of the Travelex Season with hundreds of tickets for every performance available at £15

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY

by Stefano Massini

adapted by Ben Power

a co-production with Neal Street Productions

Previews from 4 July, Press night 12 July, on sale until 8 August with further performances to be announced

The story of a family and a company that changed the world, told in three parts on a single evening.

On a cold September morning in 1844 a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside. Dreaming of a new life in the new world, he is joined by his two brothers and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish – Lehman Brothers – spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy, and triggers the largest financial crisis in history.

Sam Mendes returns to the National to direct Ben Power‘s English version of Stefano Massini’s vast and poetic play, a hit across Europe.

Adam GodleyBen Miles and Simon Russell Beale play the Lehman brothers, their sons and grandsons.

Set design by Es Devlin, with video design by Luke Halls, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Jon Clark and music and sound design by Nick Powell.

WAR HORSE returns to the National Theatre marking the centenary of Armistice Day

War Horse, based on Michael Morpurgo’s beloved novel, a remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship, will return to the National Theatre 11 years after its NT debut for a limited run in November 2018. War Horse at the NT marks the centenary of the Armistice which brought World War I to an end.

War Horse is adapted by Nick Stafford, directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and features ground-breaking puppetry by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company which brings living, breathing horses to life on stage.

War Horse returns to the National Theatre with the current UK touring production, in repertoire from 8 November – 5 January 2019.

War Horse received its world premiere on 9 October 2007 at the National Theatre, where it played for two seasons before opening at the New London Theatre in March 2009, running for seven years.  War Horse has been seen in 97 cities in 10 countries, including productions on Broadway, in Toronto and Berlin, with touring productions in the UK and Ireland, North America, the Netherlands, Belgium and China.

Cast includes Marcus AdolphyAdam BarlowPeter BeckerJoëlle BrabbanLucas ButtonJasper William CartwrightJo CastletonChris CharlesJonathan CharlesSebastian CharlesAnna ChessherNicky Cross,Thomas DennisBob FoxMax GallagherChris GarnerAndrew HodgesLewis HowardWilliam IlkleyBen Ingles,Billy IrvingElan JamesKiran LandaGwilym LloydJack LordStephen LoveToyin Omari-KinchSamuel Parker,Tom QuinnDomonic RamsdenArinder SadhraTom StacyElizabeth Stretton, and Simon Victor.

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 revival director and Craig Leo is the associate puppetry director.  They are joined by resident puppetry director, Matthew Forbes and resident director, Charlotte Peters.

Tickets will go on sale later in the year.

Dorfman Theatre

AN OCTOROON

by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

a co-production with the Orange Tree Theatre

Previews from 7 June, Press night 14 June playing until 18 July

Described by the New York Times as ‘this decade’s most eloquent statement on race in America today’, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ extraordinary and provocative play comes to the National Theatre after a sold out run at the Orange Tree Theatre. In 1859, white Irish playwright Dion Boucicault writes a hit play about America. Today, a black American playwright attempts to do the same.

Cast includes Cassie ClareEmmanuella ColeCeleste Dodwell, Iola Evans, Ken Nwosu, Vivan Oparah, Alistair Toovey and Kevin Trainor, and with cellist, James Douglas.

Directed by Ned Bennett, with design by Georgia Lowe, lighting design by Elliot Griggs, movement director Ivan Blackstock, music by Theo Vidgen, sound design by George Dennis, puppetry Jimmy Grimes, music director Michael Henry and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.

Productions currently on sale

Olivier Theatre

AMADEUS

by Peter Shaffer

In repertoire until 24 April

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God.

Michael Longhurst‘s acclaimed production of Peter Shaffer‘s iconic play features live orchestral accompaniment bySouthbank SinfoniaAdam Gillen and Lucian Msamati reprise the roles of Mozart and Salieri. Cast also includes Sarah AmankwahFleur de BrayWendy Dawn ThompsonCarleen EbbsNicholas Gerard-MartinChristopher Godwin,Matthew HargreavesCarla Harrison-HodgeAdelle LeonceMichael LyleAndrew MacbeanAlexandra Mathie,Eamonn MulhallEkow QuarteyHugh SachsMatthew SpencerEveral A Walsh and Peter Willcock.

Amadeus is directed by Michael Longhurst with design by Chloe Lamford, music direction and additional music by Simon Slater, choreography by Imogen Knight, lighting design by Jon Clark and sound design by Paul Arditti.

Amadeus is produced in association with Southbank Sinfonia, and supported by the Amadeus production syndicate.

MACBETH

by William Shakespeare

Previews from 26 February, Press night 6 March, on sale until 23 June

The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy is directed by Rufus Norris 25 years after his last Shakespeare production.

Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, The cast also includes Nadia AlbinaMichael BalogunStephen BoxerTrevor FoxAndrew FrameKevin HarveyHannah HutchNicholas KarimiJoshua Lacey,Penny Layden, Anna-Maria NabiryeAmaka Okafor, Patrick O’KaneHauk PattisonAlana RamseyBeatrice ScirocchiRakhee Sharma and Parth Thakerar.

Set design by Rae Smith, costume design by Moritz Junge, lighting design by James Farncombe, movement direction byImogen Knight, music by Orlando Gough, sound design by Paul Arditti and fight direction by Kev McCurdy and Jeremy Barlow.

Hundreds of Travelex tickets available for every performance at £15.

Broadcast live as part of NT Live to cinemas worldwide on 10 May.

For sold out performances Day Tickets are available to purchase in person at the ground floor box office from 9.30am on the day of performance. Tickets are £15/£18 and are limited to two per customer.

Tickets are also available through Friday Rush, where every Friday at 1pm an allocation of £20 tickets for shows are released to buy online, for the following week’s performances. Friday Rush tickets are only available to book online and limited to 2 per customer for each show.

Lyttelton Theatre

NETWORK

adapted by Lee Hall

based on the Paddy Chayefsky film

In repertoire until 24 March

Howard Beale, news anchor-man, isn’t pulling in the viewers. In his final broadcast he unravels live on screen. But when the ratings soar, the network seizes on their new found populist prophet, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on TV.

Network depicts a dystopian media landscape where opinion trumps fact. Hilarious and horrifying by turns, the iconic film byPaddy Chayefsky won four Academy Awards in 1976. Now, Lee Hall (Billy ElliotOur Ladies of Perpetual Succour) and director Ivo van Hove (Hedda Gabler) bring his masterwork to the stage for the first time, with Bryan Cranston (All the Way, for which he won the Tony for Best Actor, Breaking Bad and Trumbo for which he was nominated for an Oscar) in the role of Howard Beale.

The cast also includes Charles BabalolaTobi BamtefaEd BegleyAlex BonneyTom Challenger, Richard Cordery,Isabel Della-PortaMichelle DockeryKit Downes, Ian DrysdaleMichael ElwynCaroline FaberRobert GilbertPete Harden, Douglas HenshallTom HodgkinsTunji KasimAndrew LewisBeverley LonghurstEvan MiltonStuart NunnRebecca OmogbehinPatrick PolettiDanny SzamPaksie Vernon and Matthew Wright.

Set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, video design by Tal Yarden, costume design by An D’Huys, music and sound by Eric Sleichim and creative associate Krystian Lada.

Network is produced in association with Patrick Myles, David Luff, Ros Povey and Lee Menzies.

Production supported by Marcia Grand in memory of Richard Grand and by Kors Le Pere Theatricals LLC

For sold out performances Day Tickets are available to purchase in person at the ground floor box office from 9.30am on the day of performance. Tickets are £15/£18 and are limited to two per customer.

Tickets are also available through Friday Rush, where every Friday at 1pm an allocation of £20 tickets for shows are released to buy online, for the following week’s performances. Friday Rush tickets are only available to book online and limited to 2 per customer for each show.

PINOCCHIO

by Dennis Kelly

With songs and score from the Walt Disney film by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J Smith

adapted by Martin Lowe

In repertoire until 10 April

On a quest to be truly alive, Pinocchio leaves Geppetto’s workshop with Jiminy Cricket in tow. Their electrifying adventure takes them from alpine forests to Pleasure Island to the bottom of the ocean. This spectacular new production brings together the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the writer of Matilda the Musical.

For the first time on stage, featuring unforgettable music and songs from the Walt Disney film including I’ve Got No Strings,Give a Little Whistle and When You Wish upon a Star in dazzling new arrangements, Pinocchio comes to life as never before.

Cast includes Joe Idris-RobertsAudrey BrissonAnnette McLaughlinMark HadfieldDavid LanghamDavid KirkbrideDawn SievewrightGershwyn Eustache JnrStuart Angell, Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge, Stephanie BronJames CharltonRebecca Jayne-DaviesSarah Kameela ImpeyAnabel Kutay, Michael LinJack North,Clemmie Sveaas, Michael Taibi, Scarlet Wilderink and Jack Wolfe.

John Tiffany directs Pinocchio by Dennis Kelly, with songs and score from the Walt Disney film by Leigh HarlineNed Washington and Paul J Smith newly adapted by Martin Lowe. With design and puppet co-design by Bob Crowley, lighting design by Paule Constable, music supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe, music direction by Tom Brady, movement direction by Steven Hoggett, puppetry and puppet co-design by Toby Olié, sound design by Simon Baker, and illusions by Jamie Harrison.

Half-price tickets for under-18s are available for all performances (excluding £15 tickets).

There will be a relaxed performance of Pinocchio on 17 March at 1.30pm.

Presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions.

Sponsored by American Express.

ABSOLUTE HELL

by Rodney Ackland

Previews from 18 April, Press night 25 April, on sale until 16 June

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.

Cast includes Esh AlladiElizabeth AndrewarthaAshley ByamJonathan CooteRachel Dale, Carole DanceJoanna DavidCharles EdwardsPatricia EnglandKate FleetwoodFrazer HadfieldSimon HepworthLloyd Hutchinson,Jenny GallowayAaron HeffernanMartins ImhangbeStephanie JacobFiz MarcusSinéad MatthewsConnor Mills,Prasanna PuwanarajahAnita ReynoldsJohn SackvilleLiza SadovyJonathan SlingerEileen WalshDanny Webband Jade Yourell.

Set design is by Lizzie Clachan, with costumes designed by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Jon Clark, associate director and movement Jenny Ogilvie, sound Paul Arditti, and music director Harvey Brough,

Dorfman Theatre

JOHN

by Annie Baker

In repertoire until 3 March

The week after Thanksgiving. A bed & breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A cheerful innkeeper. A young couple struggling to stay together. Thousands of inanimate objects, watching.

An uncanny new play by Annie Baker, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flick had a sold-out run at the National in 2016.James Macdonald directs the European premiere. Full cast includes Marylouise Burke, Tom MothersdaleAnneika Rose and June Watson.

Designer Chloe Lamford, with lighting by Peter Mumford and soundby Christopher Shutt.

Marylouise Burke is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

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.

THE GREAT WAVE

a new play by Francis Turnly

a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre

Previews from 10 March, Press night 19 March playing until 14 April

On a Japanese beach, teenage sisters Hanako and Reiko are caught up in a storm. Reiko survives while Hanako is lost to the sea. Their mother, however, can’t shake the feeling her missing daughter is still alive, and soon family tragedy takes on a global political dimension. Set in Japan and North Korea, Francis Turnly’s epic new thriller is directed by Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre Indhu Rubasingham in a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre.

Cast includes Kae AlexanderChike ChanRosalind ChaoTuyen DoVincent LaiKwong LokeFrances Mayli McCannKirsty RiderLeo Wan and David Yip.

Designed by Tom Piper, with video design by Luke Halls, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, music by David Shrubsole, sound design by Alex Caplen, movement direction by Polly Bennett and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.

Rosalind Chao is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

NINE NIGHT

a new play by Natasha Gordon

Previews from 21 April, Press night 30 April playing until 26 May

Gloria is gravely sick. When her time comes, the celebration begins; the traditional Jamaican Nine Night Wake. But for Gloria’s children and grandchildren, marking her death with a party that lasts over a week is a test. Nine nights of music, food, sharing stories – and an endless parade of mourners.

Roy Alexander Weise directs Natasha Gordon’s debut play Nine Night is a touching and very funny exploration of the rituals of family.

The cast includes Oliver Alvin-WilsonFranc AshmanRicky FearonMichelle GreenidgeHattie LadburyRebekah Murrell and Cecilia Noble.

Design by Rajha Shakiry, with lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by George Dennis and movement direction by Shelley Maxwell.

Shakespeare for Young Audiences

THE WINTER’S TALE

by William Shakespeare

a new version for young audiences by Justin Audibert and the company

Playing until 28 February

Justin Audibert directs a new production of The Winter’s Tale for primary schools and families, opening in the Dorfman theatre in February 2018 having toured to primary schools across London accompanied by a creative learning programme. This exciting new version of the play, adapted by Justin and the company, is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for young audiences, designed by Lucy Sierra with music by Jonathan Girling, sound by Mike Winship, puppets by Sam Wyer and lighting by Paul Knott. The cast includes: Nana Amoo-GottfriedTamara CamachoStephanie Levi-John,Johndeep MoreShazia NichollsAdrian RichardsKenton Thomas and Gabby Wong.

Shakespeare for young audiences is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, The Ernest Cook Trust, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust, Newcomen Collett Foundation, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, St Olave’s Foundation Fund, and The Topinambour Trust.

NEW VIEWS

Dorfman Theatre

11 – 13 July

The NT’s playwriting programme and competition for 14 – 19 year-olds.  Over 650 students from 74 schools and colleges all over the country are currently writing one act plays with support from professional playwrights. The 2018 winning play will be announced on 4 June and performed by a professional cast in the Dorfman Theatre on 11, 12 and 13 July. Rehearsed readings of shortlisted plays will take place during the week commencing 9 July.

Tickets for performances of the winning play will go on sale on 11 June.

For more information visit www.new-views.tv

New Views is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, Old Possum’s Practical Trust, Chapman Charitable Trust, Golsoncott Foundation and The Steel Charitable Trust.

CONNECTIONS

Dorfman Theatre

26 – 30 June

Each year the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.

260 youth theatre companies and over 5,000 young people from every corner of the UK are producing a Connections play this year.10 companies will come to the National Theatre with their productions of plays by Alice Birch, Brad Birch, Chris Bush, In-Sook Chappell, Fiona Doyle, Phoebe Éclair Powell, Natalie Mitchell, Barney Norris, Chino Odimba and Chris Thompson.

Tickets on sale 25 May.

All performances will be captioned.

Connections is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Buffini Chao Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Jacqueline and Richard Worswick, Mactaggart Third Fund, The EBM Charitable Trust, Samantha and Richard Campbell-Breeden, The Garvey Family Trust, Susan Miller and Byron Grote, Anthony P. Skyrme, The Derrill Allatt Foundation, Hays Travel Foundation, Faithorn Farrell Timms and supporters of the Connections Appeal.

The National Theatre’s partner for learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The National Theatre on tour

The NT will tour to 30 venues in 27 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland, for a total of 83 playing weeks over the next year

Rufus Norris’ production of MACBETH to tour the UK and Ireland from autumn 2018

Following a sold out run in London the National Theatre will tour Macbeth, Shakespeare’s most intense tragedy, from September 2018. This epic and visually daring production will embark on a 18-venue tour of the UK and Ireland until March 2019, opening at The Lowry, Salford with a press night on Thursday 4 October.

Directed by Rufus Norris with set designs by Rae Smith, this new production propels Shakespeare’s classic title into a post-apocalyptic world of anarchy and uncertainty. Casting to be announced.

The tour will open at The Lowry, Salford (29 September – 6 October 2018), and visit the Theatre Royal, Plymouth (16 – 20 October 2018), Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (23 – 27 October 2018), Theatre Royal, Norwich (30 October – 3 November 2018), His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen (7 – 10 November 2018), Theatre Royal, Newcastle (13 – 17 November 2018), Lyceum, Sheffield (20 – 24 November 2018), Theatre Royal, Bath (27 November – 8 December 2018), New Theatre,Oxford (8 – 12 January 2019), Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin (15 – 19 January 2019), Theatre Royal, Nottingham (22 – 26 January 2019), New Theatre, Hull (5 – 9 February 2019), Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (12 – 16 February 2019), Theatre Royal, Glasgow (19 – 23 February 2019), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (26 February – 2 March 2019), Grand Opera House, Belfast (5 – 9 March 2019), Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton (12 – 16 March 2019) and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (19 – 23 March 2019).

Set design by Rae Smith, associate set design by Aaron Marsden, costume design by Moritz Junge, lighting design byJames Farncombe, movement direction by Imogen Knight, music by Orlando Gough, sound design by Paul Arditti and fight direction by Kev McCurdy and Jeremy Barlow. The Associate Director is Liz Stevenson.

On sale from 6 March.

Macbeth on Tour in partnership with Lloyds Bank Private Banking. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s cross-border touring programme and by The Royal National Theatre Foundation.

HEDDA GABLER

by Henrik Ibsen

in a new version by Patrick Marber

Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre earlier this year, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, in a new version by Patrick Marber, directed by Ivo van Hove, is now touring the UK and Ireland, currently playing at the Grand Opera House Yorkbefore visiting Milton Keynes and Dublin. Set and lighting design for Hedda Gabler is by Jan Versweyveld, with costume design by An D’Huys and sound by Tom Gibbons. The associate directors are Jeff James and Rachel Lincoln. For remaining tour venues and dates, visit heddagableronstage.com

THIS HOUSE

by James Graham

Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong present the National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre production ofThis House, produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Neal Street Productions and Headlong. James Graham’s smash-hit political drama examining the 1974 hung parliament tours the UK for the first time. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, the production is designed by Rae Smith, with lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Stephen Warbeck, choreography by Scott Ambler and sound by Ian Dickinson. The tour begins in Leeds at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on 23 February 2018, with a press night on Wednesday 28 February, and then tours to, CambridgeBathEdinburghNottingham,BirminghamSalfordPlymouthNorwichMalvernGuildford and Sheffield for dates, visit the website.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

based on the novel by Mark Haddon

adapted by Simon Stephens

The NT’s Olivier and Tony Award®-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is now on an international tour, currently playing to sold-out houses at the Arts Centre Melbourne until 25 February. It will then visit Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou before embarking on a nationwide Australian tour to Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time recently completed a North American tour which took in 30 cities across the USA and a 25-date UK and Ireland tour following five years in the West End.

The play is adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book, and directed by Marianne Elliott. The production is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting design by Paule Constable, video design by Finn Ross, movement by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. For more information visit http://www.curiousonstage.com/global/

WAR HORSE

based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo

adapted by Nick Stafford

War Horse continues its 19 venue 10th Anniversary UK tour, currently playing at Bradford Alhambra Theatre until 10 March 2018, before visiting Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (14 March – 7 April 2018), Festival Theatre Edinburgh (18 April – 12 May 2018), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (16 May – 9 June 2018), The Lowry, Salford (13 – 30 June 2018), Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (4 – 28 July 2018), New Victoria Theatre, Woking (1 – 18 August 2018), Plymouth Theatre Royal (29 August – 15 September 2018), Milton Keynes Theatre (19 September – 6 October 2018), BirminghamHippodrome (10 October – 3 November 2018), National Theatre, London (8 November 2018 – 5 January 2019), GlasgowSEC (15 January 2019 – 2 February 2019), Sunderland Empire (6 February 2019 – 23 February 2019), and returning to the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (27 February 2019 – 16 March 2019) following a sold-out run in September 2017.

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 revival director and Craig Leo is the associate puppetry director.  They are joined by resident puppetry director, Matthew Forbes and resident director, Charlotte Peters.

In the West End

BEGINNING

a new play by David Eldridge

Ambassadors Theatre, West End
until 24 March

Beginning, ‘the (anti) romance for 21st-century London life’ (Evening Standard), is now playing at the Ambassadors Theatre until Saturday 24 March.

Beginning is a tender and funny look at the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance. Reprising their highly praised roles as Laura and Danny, Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton are directed by Polly Findlay in this season’s must-see hit by David Eldridge.

Acclaimed by critics and audiences during its sold-out run, Beginning received its world premiere on 12 October 2017 in the NT’s Dorfman Theatre and opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End on 23 January 2018.

With design by Fly Davis, lighting design by Jack Knowles, sound design by Paul Arditti and movement by Naomi Said.Beginning is produced in the West End by the National Theatre.

Beginning is supported by the NT’s Official Card Partner, American Express.

On Broadway

ANGELS IN AMERICA
A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

by Tony Kushner

The great work returns to Broadway from 23 February 2018Angels in America will open at the Neil Simon Theatre on 25 March. The NT production of Tony Kushner’s epic masterwork, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, returns to Broadway for the first time since its now-legendary original production opened in 1993.

Starring two-time Tony Award® winner Nathan Lane and Academy Award® and Tony Award nominee Andrew Garfield, the cast of Angels in America will also feature Susan BrownDenise GoughAmanda Lawrence, James McArdleLee Pace and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. Angels in America is directed by Marianne Elliott. Set design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Adrian Sutton, sound design by Ian Dickinson, puppetry design is by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell (also Puppetry Director and Movement), movement direction byRobby Graham, and illusions by Chris FisherAngels in America is produced by NT America, Jujamcyn Theaters andElliott & Harper Productions. For more information visit angelsbroadway.com

National Theatre Live

NT Live currently screens to 60 countries across the globe.

Benedict Andrews directs Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell in The Young Vic production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Captured during its West End run and broadcast on 22 February.

Nicholas Hytner directs Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, David Calder and David Morrissey in Julius Caesar. Broadcast from the Bridge Theatre on 22 March 2018.

Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff appear in a new production of Macbeth, directed by Rufus Norris. Broadcast live on 10 May.

Simon Godwin’s production of Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo will be broadcast live. Date to be announced.

Sky Arts is the sponsor of NT Live in the UK

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National Theatre to tour Macbeth

Macbeth

Macbeth

Following its sold-out London run, the National Theatre will tour Shakespeare’s most intense tragedy, Macbeth. This epic and visually daring production will embark on an 18-venue tour of the UK and Ireland and come to Mayflower Theatre, Southampton from 26 February – 2 March 2019.

Sleep no more…The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are thrust towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness.

Directed by NT Artistic Director Rufus Norris (Cabaret, London Road) and designed by Rae Smith (War Horse, This House) this new production propels Shakespeare’s classic title into a post-apocalyptic world of anarchy and uncertainty.

Rufus Norris in rehearsal

Rufus Norris in rehearsal credit Richard Hubert Smith

Rufus Norris said, “I’m delighted that Macbeth will be touring the UK and Ireland following its run in the Olivier Theatre earlier in the year. We’re really excited by what is coming out of the rehearsal room and it’s particularly rewarding to be able to take this brilliant play to so many towns and cities. We fully intend to give audiences a fresh and dynamic view of this timeless classic.”

Set design by Rae Smith, associate set design by Aaron Marsden, costume design by Moritz Junge, lighting design by James Farncombe, movement direction by Imogen Knight, music by Orlando Gough, sound design by Paul Arditti and fight direction by Kev McCurdy and Jeremy Barlow. The Associate Director is Liz Stevenson.

Casting to be announced.

Macbeth is produced on tour by the NT, creators of War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Macbeth on Tour in partnership with Lloyds Bank Private Banking. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s cross-border touring programme and by The Royal National Theatre Foundation.

Tickets for Macbeth (Tuesday 26 February – Saturday 2 March 2019) are on General Sale Thursday 15 March via Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at mayflower.org.uk. Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833

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First Look: Rehearsal images released for Macbeth at the National Theatre

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Rehearsals begin for The Great Wave

The Great Wave

The Great Wave

On a Japanese beach, teenage sisters Hanako (Kirsty Rider) and Reiko (Kae Alexander) are caught up in a storm. Reiko survives while Hanako is lost to the sea. Their mother (Rosalind Chao), however, can’t shake the feeling that her missing daughter is still alive, and soon family tragedy takes on a global political dimension. Set in Japan and North Korea, Francis Turnly’s epic new thriller is directed by Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre Indhu Rubasingham in a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre.

Cast includes Kae AlexanderRosalind ChaoTuyen DoVincent LaiKwong LokeFrances Mayli McCannKirsty RiderLeo Wan and David Yip. Design by Tom Piper, video design by Luke Halls, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, music by David Shrubsole, sound design by Alex Caplen, movement direction by Polly Bennett and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.

Developed, while on a Channel 4 playwriting bursary at the Tricycle, The Great Wave won the Catherine Johnson Best Play Award in 2016.

Rosalind Chao is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

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Streams ahead: NT LIVE

National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live is invaluable. You could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at the notion of a “broadcast theatre performance” in a cinema. Since launching, NT Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of over 7 million people. The first season began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren. Recent broadcasts include Follies, Angels in America, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Hedda Gabler.

Upcoming broadcasts include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell and Julius Caesar featuring Ben Whishaw. The National broadcast some of the best of British theatre to 2,500 venues in 60 countries around the world including over 700 hundred in the UK.

nt-live-collections-banner-3ad278472c72858baf1be19b713576f5

Obviously, it’s better to be in the theatre, that goes without saying. Nevertheless, it is true that it is much better to sometimes sit in a cinema in comfort, with a drink in your hand than it is to sit in the worst seat in a theatre. Seats in some theatres are bloody terrible. There are some seats at the top level of The Barbican where you can see more of what is going on in the wings that what is happening on the stage.

It is worth remembering that not everyone has a theatre on their doorstep. In general, NT Live is the most revolutionary thing to happen to the theatre in our lifetime because theatre, which is often condemned as elitist, is now available to anyone who wants it – anywhere: If you can get to a cinema you can see the best of theatre –  at a fraction of the price.

NT Live screenings are a welcome addition to the local Odeon or Picture House for any culture vulture. But they are no alternative. That doesn’t mean it’s not amazing, it just means we need to focus on the future but not lose sight of the value of live performance.

I attended the ‘studio audience’ for the NT Live broadcast of Follies from the theatre. There were rows of seats blocked off in the stalls, with cameras flying overhead and the lighting ever so slightly adjusted for film. It was a wonderful experience and the spectacle of the production carried across to film remarkably well. 

Anyway, I put some questions to the NT Live team and they cleared up some queries that I had, which was ideal.  (You’re welcome)

What is NT Live? 

National Theatre Live started in 2009 as a way to increase access to our work for those audiences who might not have the opportunity to see it. It was initially conceived for UK audiences but the response was so positive, we started screening internationally too. We currently screen to 2500 venues in 60 countries, 700 of which are in the UK which is around 90% and the same as a Hollywood blockbuster.

Our first broadcast was Phedre with Helen Mirren which was seen by over 50,000 people. Our single biggest broadcast is Hamlet with Benendict Cumberbatch which has been seen by more than 800,000 people. Our current worldwide audience is almost 8 million

Who owns it and where are the NT Live offices?

It’s run and managed by the National Theatre and the NT Live team are based at the National Theatre building.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof captured live at the Apollo Theatre during its West End run on February 22

Who are NT Live personnel? 

There are a dedicated number of people who work on NT Live across production, distribution, marketing and press. We work with a freelance team of operators across cameras, sound and lighting for the broadcasts themselves. The Bridge are using NT Live to broadcast Julius Caesar. The team at the Bridge are great friends of ours. Nicholas Hytner is our former director and Nick Starr former executive director here. We hope to broadcast more of their productions in the future. Working with other theatres has been part of the NT Live programme since our second year and supports us in bringing the best of British theatre to cinema audiences.

Is it a stand-alone live broadcast company?

NT Live is run and managed by the National Theatre.

Does it get public funding?

Our pilot season in 2009 was made possible by seed funding from Arts Council England and NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and subsequently through a mix of National Theatre investment and sponsorship. We also have a partnership with Sky Arts which is a year old but has been a great success in its first year and we’re looking forward to see where it will go next.

Can any theatre pay for it and use it? e.g. The Globe.

The Globe and ENO already broadcast their own shows which they organise themselves, this means working with other theatres in London We regularly work with other London theatres including the Young Vic, The Old Vic and the Donmar Warehouse as well as other West End producers. We really enjoy working with other theatres and getting to show their great productions to cinema audiences around the world.

How about a regional theatre?

We have worked with Complicite to broadcast A Disappearing Number live from Theatre Royal in Plymouth as well as Manchester International Festival to broadcast their production of Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh. We also broadcast Of Mice and Men on Broadway, broadcasting more regional theatre is something we’re keen to do more of in the future. Some find it confusing that it has the name NT Live. It both gives it prestige and seems to limit it. What particularly excited us about this concept was the fact that it was captured and broadcast live and that’s why the live is there.  

Imelda-Staunton-l-who-plays-Sally-Durrant-and-Janie-Dee-r-who-plays-Phyllis-Rogers-Stone-waiting-to-go-on-stage-c-Ellie-Kurttz

Imelda Staunton who plays Sally Durrant and Janie Dee who plays Phyllis Rogers Stone waiting to go on stage © Ellie Kurttz

 How are cinema prices decided?

Each cinema chain decides on pricing according to their individual pricing plans.

How do Encore Screenings work?

We programme Encore screenings as a way for audiences to access our productions at more convenient times but also so we are able to give more opportunities to see our most popular broadcasts.

How are the age ratings given?

We are subject to BBFC ratings in the UK and provide the broadcasts to them for classification. They also provide guidance for our live broadcasts based on information we provide to them ahead of the broadcast taking place.

So there we have it. 

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof captured live at the Apollo Theatre during its West End run on February 22, Julius Caesar live from the Bridge Theatre on March 22 and Macbeth live from the National Theatre on May 10

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Casting Announced for Absolute Hell, National Theatre

Absolute Hell
Absolute Hell

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, Joanna David, Charles Edwards, Patricia England, Kate Fleetwood, Jenny Galloway, Aaron Heffernan, Lloyd Hutchinson, Martins Imhangbe, Stephanie Jacob, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Anita Reynolds, John Sackville, Liza Sadovy, Jonathan Slinger, Eileen Walsh and Danny Webb. Further casting to be announced.

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.

Talks and Events

Censorship in Post-War Theatre – Friday 27 April, 5.30pm

Absolute Hell – British Theatre after the Blitz – Tuesday 15 May, 2pm

Soho Then and Now – Wednesday 16 May, 5.30pm

Press Night: Wednesday 25 April, 7pm

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO EPISODE 1 OF COMMIT NO NUISANCE a new theatre podcast by Mark Shenton and Carl Woodward

Shows discussed in Episode 1: The Band, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Girl From the North Country, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (at Brentwood Leisure Centre) Witness For The Prosecution & Pal Joey.

Theatre podcast by Mark Shenton & Carl Woodward

Commit No Nuisance

Commit No Nuisance

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Further performances and casting announced for Macbeth at the National Theatre

Macbeth
Macbeth

Macbeth © Jack Davison

Additional performances for Rufus Norris’ production of Macbeth will go on sale on to the public on 26 January. The production will now play until 23 June, with all performances currently on sale sold out.

The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy is directed by Rufus Norris 25 years after his last Shakespeare production.

The cast includes Rory Kinnear (Macbeth), Anne-Marie Duff (Lady Macbeth), Stephen Boxer (Duncan), Kevin Harvey(Banquo), Rakhee Sharma (Fleance), Patrick O’Kane (Macduff), Amaka Okafor (Lady Macduff), Penny Layden (Ross),Trevor Fox (Porter), Parth Thakerar (Malcolm), Beatrice Scirocchi (Witch), Anna-Maria Nabirye (Witch), Hannah Hutch(Witch), Nadia Albina (Gentlewoman), Joshua Lacey (Murderer), Andrew Frame (Siward), Nicholas Karimi (Lennox),Alana Ramsey (Murderer) and Michael Balogun (Doctor).

Set design by Rae Smith, costume design by Moritz Junge, lighting design by James Farncombe and sound design byPaul Arditti.

Hundreds of Travelex tickets available for every performance at £15.

Broadcast live as part of NT Live to cinemas worldwide on 10 May.

For sold out performances Day Tickets are available to purchase in person at the ground floor box office from 9.30am on the day of performance. Tickets are £15/£18 and are limited to two per customer.

Every Friday at 1pm an allocation of £20 tickets are released to buy online, for the following week’s performances. Friday Rush tickets are only available to book online and limited to 2 per customer for each show.

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First Look: Rehearsal images: Annie Baker’s JOHN

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First Look: Rehearsal images: Revival of Amadeus at the National Theatre