Latest news  and updates from National Theatre

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Why you should visit the National Theatre this winter?

Pinocchio

Pinocchio

For the first time on stage, featuring unforgettable music and songs from the Walt Disney film, Pinocchio comes to life as never before. This spectacular new production brings together John Tiffany, the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Dennis Kelly, the writer of Matilda the Musical. Previews from1 December, press night 13 December, on sale until 7 April. Half-price tickets for under-18s are available for all performances (excluding £15 tickets).

Talk: Bob Crowley and Toby Olié on Pinocchio14 December, 5.30pm

Follies

Tracie BennettJanie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, the production is directed by Dominic Cooke for the first time at the NT.

Talk: Peter Forbes and Imelda Staunton on Follies11 December 3pm

Talk: Josephine Barstow and Tracie Bennett on Follies18 December, 3pm

Barber Shop Chronicles

Following critically acclaimed seasons at the National Theatre and West Yorkshire PlayhouseInua Ellams’ dynamic new play Barber Shop Chroniclesreturns to the National Theatre this November. Previews from 20 November, playing until 9 January

Talk: Inua Ellams on Barber Shop Chronicles, 7 December, 6.15pm

FRIDAY RUSH

Every Friday at 1pm an allocation of £20 tickets is released to buy online for the following week’s performances at all three theatres at the NT, even for sold out shows.

The Jungle – Young Vic Theatre

Join refugees and volunteers from around the world over fresh-baked naan and milky chai at the Afghan Café. From Good Chance Theatre, a new play where worlds collide. In the worst places, you meet the best people. A Young Vic and National Theatre co-production. Previews from 7 Dec, until 6 January.

Enhance Your Visit

National Theatre Posters Exhibition

Curated by Rick Poynor, Professor of Design and Visual Culture at the University of Reading, this exhibition explores the evolution of poster design at the National Theatre from 1963 to the present day. Free entry. Wolfson Gallery, until 31 March 2018.

Gift-buying is made easy this Christmas thanks to the NT Bookshop. The NT’s Pinocchio-inspired range has arrived in-store alongside the landmark new production. Sunday 17 December is a special Christmas shopping day, with discounts in the NT Bookshop and festive treats in Kitchen cafe.

The NT’s unique afternoon tea experience inspired by Pinocchio includes a limited edition Hi-Diddle-Dee-Tea – specially created treats from Stromboli calzones to blue fairy cakes, as well as a welcome glass of fizz for grown-ups.

For the festive season, the Green Room has put a modern spin on holiday classics for their three-course Christmas menu with tasty items including buttermilk fried turkey burger and gingerbread French toast. Visit the Sipsmith Frost Fair to enjoy a specially curated menu of delicious hot gins, including Mulled Sloe Gin and Gin Hot Toddy.

The National Theatre on tour around the UK

The National Theatre’s acclaimed productions of War Horse and Hedda Gabler continue to tour the UK and Ireland. Visit warhorseonstage andheddagablerontour for more information.

At a cinema near you this winter

Young Marx NT Live

Rory Kinnear plays Marx and Oliver Chris plays Engels in Young Marx directed by Nicholas Hytner and broadcast live from the Bridge Theatre in London on 7 December.

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PINOCCHIO makes its world premiere at the National Theatre

Pinocchio
Pinocchio

Pinocchio

Visit the alpine forest this winter as Pinocchio makes its world premiere at the National Theatre

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 is brought to the stage by an extraordinary team including John Tiffany, the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Dennis Kelly, the writer of Matilda the Musical.

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.

Director John Tiffany said: “The story of Pinocchio sits in the European tradition of the Grimm Tales and Aesop’s fables. It is about a character who is on the cusp of something, a character who is frozen. It explores what it means to be real, to be a human being. It’s wonderful to be able to bring this story to life at the National Theatre and to bring Pinocchio to new audiences as a world-first in theatrical terms. ”

Joe Idris-Roberts will play the title role, with Aubrey Brisson as Jiminy Cricket and David Langham as the Fox.

Pinocchio is for brave 8-year-olds and above as certain themes, characters and events in the story may be a bit scary for children of eight and under. Tickets for families – Half-price tickets for under – 18s for all performances (excludes £15 tickets).

Previews start in the Lyttelton Theatre from 1 December with Press Night on 13 December, running until 10 April 2018.

Pinocchio is presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

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The National Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Beginning will transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End for a limited 10-week season from 15 January 2018

BEGINNING by Eldridge, , Writer – David Eldridge, Director – Poly Findley, Designer – Fly Davis, The National Theatre, 2017, credit: Johan Persson/

The National Theatre’s critically acclaimed, sold-out production of BEGINNING‘the (anti) romance for 21st-century London life’ (Evening Standard), will transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre for a strictly limited 10-week run from 15 January 2018, with a press night on Tuesday 23 January.

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 (Bodies, Royal Court; Mr Burns, Almeida Theatre) and Sam Troughton (King Lear, National Theatre; The Hollow Crown, BBC; and The Ritual), are directed by Polly Findlay (Limehouse, Donmar Warehouse; As You Like ItProtest Song and Antigone, National Theatre) in this season’s must-see hit by David Eldridge (Festen, Market BoyUnder the Blue SkyIn Basildon).

Every story starts somewhere. It’s the early hours of the morning and Danny’s the last straggler at Laura’s party. The flat’s in a mess. And so are they. One more drink? 

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.

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

Tickets will go on sale to the public on Monday 20 November at 10am, with a priority booking period for NT members from Friday 10 November.

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

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LINBURY PRIZE 2017 Winners Announced and Exhibition Opens at the National Theatre

National Theatre

The winners of the prestigious Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2017 were announced at a ceremony at the National Theatre on 1 November. The winners include Khadija Raza designing Dido, a co-production between the Unicorn Theatre and ENO, Eleanor Bull designing Windrush: Movement of the People for Phoenix Dance Theatre and Fin Redshaw designing Pieces of String for Mercury Theatre, Colchester.

At the same ceremony the judges also announced this year’s overall winner of the Linbury Prize 2017, Basia Binkowska who will be designingOthello / Macbeth for the Lyric Hammersmith.

The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with leading directors and gain a professional commission with four major companies. The winners for the Linbury Prize 2017 were decided by the judging panel which this year was made up of renowned designers Tom Piper, Nicky Shaw and Rae Smith.

Speaking about this year’s competition, judge Tom Piper said:

“The Linbury Prize remains the most important theatre prize open to recent graduates of UK Design schools. We get over 90 applicants and it is a testament to the depth of talent in the students and the extraordinarily dedicated teaching abilities of colleges that the judges have such a tough time selecting the final 12.

We are really excited this year to have a range of different performance forms in the commissioning companies, which we hope will demonstrate the deep range of skills and ground breaking ideas which the young designers bring to bear on their projects.”

All 12 finalists work can now be seen in a new exhibition, including their final models, held in the Lyttelton Lounge at the National Theatre until 2 January, giving visitors a unique glimpse of the behind-the-scenes process of set designers.

Previous winners of the Linbury Prize include some of the most important stage designers working today, including Tim Hatley, whose work includes Timon of Athens at the NT, and Spamalot and Shrek the Musical in the West End and on Broadway; Anthony Ward, whose credits include Sweeney Todd at Chichester and in the West End and Headlong’s Enron; and Vicki Mortimer, whose extensive work for the NT includes Othello and The Last of the Haussmans.

The Linbury Prize for Stage Design was founded by Anya Sainsbury in 1987. The award is sponsored by the Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

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Talks and events for FOLLIES at the National Theatre

FOLLIES © Johan Persson

Join the cast of Follies as they discuss appearing in the sold-out National Theatre production, directed by Dominic CookePeter Forbes and Imelda Staunton will be in conversation with director Paulette Randall, and Josephine Barstow and Tracie Bennett with singer-songwriter and actor Will Young.

There is now limited ticket availability for Follies with tickets available to buy through Friday Rush purchasable online every Friday from 1pm for the following week’s performances. Day tickets are also available in person from the NT box office. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide as part of NT Live on Thursday 16 NovemberFind your nearest venue here.

Peter Forbes and Imelda StauntonMon 11 Dec, 3pm

The actors reflect on the challenges and rewards of playing Buddy and Sally in Follies, chaired by Paulette Randall.

Peter Forbes’ theatre credits include Mamma Mia! (West End), Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland), and for NT, Never So GoodThe James PlaysOur Country’s GoodAfterlife and The Observer. Multi award-winning actor Imelda Staunton was seen on screen as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films, and has a long performance history at the National Theatre including The Beggar’s OperaGuys and Dolls, and A Chorus of Disapproval.

Josephine Barstow and Tracie BennettMon 18 Dec, 3pm

Will Young chairs a discussion with Tracie Bennett and Josephine Barstow about appearing in Follies.

Josephine Barstow has performed in opera houses across the world alongside artists such as Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, and under the baton of Georg Solti and Herbert von Karajan. Tracie Bennett originated the roles of Laura Henderson in Mrs Henderson Presents, Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow and has won Olivier awards for her performances in She Loves Me and Hairspray.

Tickets to both events are £7 (£5 concessions) and can be booked here.

Other upcoming talks and events relating to Follies include:

In Depth: The Works of Stephen Sondheim        Fri 3 and 24 November10.30am – 4.30pm

Staging Sondheim’s Follies                                   Tues 28 Nov, 10.30am – 3.30pm

History of the Ziegfeld Follies                                Fri 24 Nov, 6pm

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Dates and casting announced for new National Theatre season

National Theatre

Tickets go on sale for Rufus Norris’ Macbeth, with Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff, part of the Travelex Season with thousands of tickets available at £15

Cast announced for world premiere of The Great Wave, a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre, directed by Indhu Rubasingham

Full cast announced for UK premiere of Annie Baker’s John, directed by James Macdonald

30 years after the play’s rediscovery, Absolute Hell returns to the National in a new production directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins

Further cast announced for the revival of Amadeus

Tickets on sale for Justin Audibert’s new production of The Winter’s Tale for primary schools

Olivier theatre

MACBETH by William Shakespeare

Previews from 26 February, press night 6 March, on sale until 12 May with further performances to be announced

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. Set design by Rae Smith, costume design by Moritz Junge, lighting design byJames Farncombe and sound design by Paul Arditti.

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

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

Lyttelton theatre

ABSOLUTE HELL by Rodney Ackland

Previews from 18 April, press night 25 April, on sale until 23 May with further performances to be announced

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.

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

Dorfman theatre

JOHN by Annie Baker

Previews from 17 January, press night 24 January in repertoire until 3 March

The week after Thanksgiving. A bed and breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A cheerful host welcomes a young couple struggling to salvage their relationship, while thousands of inanimate objects look on.

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

Design by Chloe Lamford, lighting design by Peter Mumford and sound design by 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.

New American Work programme supported by The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Lawton W Fitt & James I McLaren Foundation, Kathleen J Yoh and Time Warner Foundation, Inc.

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 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 andDavid Yip. Design by Tom Piper, video design by Luke Halls, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, music by David Shrubsole, sound design byAlex 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 25 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.

Natasha Gordon’s debut play Nine Night is a touching and very funny exploration of the rituals of family. Roy Alexander Weise directs a cast including Franc AshmanOliver Alvin-Wilson, Rebekah Murrell and Cecilia Noble, with further casting to be announced. Design by Rajha Shakiry. Unallocated seating now available, more tickets released in January.

New productions on sale to public from 21 November

Updates on productions currently on sale

Olivier theatre

FOLLIES, book by James Goldman, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

In the repertoire until 3 January 2018

New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Including such classic songs as ‘Broadway Baby’, ‘I’m Still Here’ and ‘Losing My Mind’, Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the NT. Tracie BennettJanie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, the production is directed by Dominic Cooke (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).

The cast includes Julie ArmstrongNorma Atallah, Josephine Barstow, Jeremy Batt, Tracie Bennett, Di BotcherBilly Boyle, Janie Dee,Anouska Eaton, Liz EwingGeraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Forbes, Emily Goodenough, Bruce Graham, Adrian GroveFred HaigAimee Hodnett, Dawn HopeLiz Izen, Alison LangerEmily Langham, Sarah-Marie MaxwellIan McLarnonLeisha Mollyneaux, Gemma PageKate Parr, Philip Quast, Edwin Ray, Gary RaymondAdam Rhys-Charles, Jordan ShawImelda StauntonZizi Strallen, Barnaby Thompson, Christine TuckerMichael Vinsen and Alex Young.

Design by Vicki Mortimer, choreography by Bill Deamer, music supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, additional orchestrations by Josh Clayton, music director Nigel Lilley, lighting design by Paule Constable and sound design by Paul Groothuis.

Follies is sold out but tickets are available via Friday RushDay Tickets and possible returns.

Follies is supported by Swarovski and by the Follies production syndicate.

Broadcast Live to cinemas worldwide on 16 November.

SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON a new play by Rory Mullarkey

In the repertoire until 2 December

A village. A dragon. A damsel in distress. Into the story walks George: wandering knight, freedom fighter, enemy of tyrants the world over. One epic battle later and a nation is born. As the village grows into a town, and the town into a city, the myth of Saint George, which once brought a people together, threatens to divide them.

John Heffernan plays Saint George with Julian Bleach as the Dragon. The cast also includes Suzanne Ahmet, Jason Barnett, Luke Brady,Paul Brennen, Joe Caffrey, Paul Cawley, Richard Goulding, Gawn Grainger, Tamzin Griffin, Ravel Guzman, Stephanie Jacob, Lewin Lloyd, Olwen May, Victoria Moseley, Conor Neaves, Amaka Okafor, Sharita Oomeer, Jeff Rawle, Kirsty Rider and Grace Saif.

Rory Mullarkey creates a new folk tale for an uneasy nation. Directed by Lyndsey Turner (ChimericaLight Shining in Buckinghamshire), with design by Rae Smith, choreography by Lynne Page, lighting design by Bruno Poet, music by Grant Olding, sound design by Christopher Shutt, projection design by Betsy Dadd and fight direction by Bret Yount.

Hundreds of Travelex tickets at £15 available per performance.

This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award.

AMADEUS by Peter Shaffer

Previews from 11 January, press night 18 January, playing until 24 April

Following a sell-out run last year, Amadeus returns to the Olivier in 2018.

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 by Southbank SinfoniaAdam Gillen and Lucian Msamati reprise the roles of Mozart and Salieri. Cast also includes Sarah AmankwahFleur de BrayWendy Dawn ThompsonNicholas Gerard-MartinChristopher GodwinMatthew HargreavesAdelle LeonceMichael LyleAndrew Macbean,Alexandra MathieEamonn 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.

Lyttelton

NETWORK, adapted by Lee Hall, based on the Paddy Chayefsky film

Previews from 4 November, press night 13 November, continuing in the 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 by Paddy Chayefskywon four Academy Awards in 1976. Now, Lee Hall (Billy ElliotOur Ladies of Perpetual Succour) and director Ivo van Hove (Hedda Gabler) bring Chayefsky’s 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 CorderyIsabel Della-Porta,Michelle DockeryKit Downes, Ian DrysdaleMichael ElwynCaroline FaberRobert GilbertPete Harden, Douglas HenshallTom HodgkinsTunji KasimAndrew LewisBeverley LonghurstEvan MiltonStuart NunnRebecca OmogbehinPatrick PolettiDanny Szam,Paksie 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.

A very limited number of additional on-stage seats are now available for Foodwork – an immersive on-stage dining experience.

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

PINOCCHIO by Dennis Kelly, adapted by Martin Lowe

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

Previews from 1 December, press night 13 December, on sale until 7 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-Roberts (Pinocchio), Audrey Brisson (Jiminy Cricket), Annette McLaughlin (Blue Lady), Mark Hadfield (Gepetto),David Langham (The Fox), David Kirkbride (Coachman), Dawn Sievewright (Lampy), Gershwyn Eustache Jnr (Stromboli), together withStuart Angell, Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge, Stephanie BronJames CharltonRebecca Jayne-DaviesSarah Kameela ImpeyAnabel Kutay, Michael LinJack NorthClemmie 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. 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 TobyOlié, 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.

Dorfman theatre

BEGINNING a new play by David Eldridge

Playing until 14 November

It’s the early hours of the morning and Danny’s the last straggler at Laura’s party. The flat’s in a mess. And so are they. One more drink? Polly Findlay directs this new play by David Eldridge (Market BoyUnder the Blue SkyIn Basildon). Tender and funny, it’s an intimate look at the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance. Justine Mitchell plays Laura, Sam Troughton plays Danny.

Design by Fly Davis, lighting design by Jack Knowles, sound design by Paul Arditti and movement direction by Naomi Said.

BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES by Inua Ellams

a co-production with Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse

Previews from 20 November, playing until the 9 January

Following critically acclaimed seasons at the National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse, Barber Shop Chronicles returns to the National Theatre this November.

Inua Ellams’ dynamic new play leaps from a barber shop in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra. Newsroom, political platform, local hot spot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium.

For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.

The cast includes Fisayo AkinadeHammed AnimashaunPeter BankoléMaynard EziashiSimon ManyondaPatrice NaiambanaCyril NriKwami OdoomSule RimiAbdul SalisDavid Webber, and Anthony Welsh all returning to reprise their roles.

Directed by Bijan Sheibani, with design by Rae Smith, lighting design by Jack Knowles, movement direction by Aline David sound design byGareth Fry, music direction by Michael Henry and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.

Barber Shop Chronicles is a co-production with Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Barber Shop Chronicles is co-commissioned by Fuel and the National Theatre.  Development funded by Arts Council England with the support of Fuel, National Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Binks Trust, British Council ZA, Òran Mór and A Play, a Pie and a Pint.

At the Young Vic

THE JUNGLE by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson

a Young Vic and National Theatre co-production with Good Chance Theatre, commissioned by the National Theatre

Previews from 7 December, press night 15 December playing until 6 January 2018

This is the place people suffered and dreamed. Okot wants nothing more than to get to the UK. Beth, wants nothing more than to help him. Meet the hopeful, resilient residents of ‘The Jungle’ – just across the Channel, right on our doorstep. Join refugees and volunteers from around the world over fresh-baked naan and sweet milky chai at the Afghan Café.

From Good Chance Theatre, a new play where worlds collide. In the worst places, you meet the best people.

The Jungle by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson of Good Chance Theatre tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope. Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais ‘Jungle’ became a temporary home for more than 10,000 people at its peak – many desperate to find a way to enter the UK.

Commissioned by the NT in a co-production with the Young Vic The Jungle is directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, set design byMiriam Buether, costume design by Catherine Kodicek, sound design by Paul Arditti and lighting by Jon Clark. Opening at the Young Vic in December, cast to be announced.

Generously supported by Glenn and Phyllida Earle, Clive and Sally Sherling, and The Aziz Foundation

Shakespeare for younger audiences

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

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

Opening 14 February 2018

Justin Audibert directs a new production of The Winter’s Tale for primary schools and families, opening in the Dorfman theatre in February 2018 and touring 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 younger audiences, designed by Lucy Sierra with music by Jonathan Girling. Family workshops are available in February half-term.

Supported by The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Jill and David Leuw, St Olave’s Foundation Fund

The National Theatre’s Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

In the West End

OSLO a new play by J. T. Rogers

The Lincoln Center Theatre Production at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Direct from a multi-award-winning season on Broadway and a critically acclaimed, sold-out run at the National Theatre, Bartlett Sher’s production of J.T. Rogers’ gripping political thriller Oslo in now playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre until 30 December 2017.

Oslo tells the true story of how two maverick Norwegian diplomats Terje Rød-Larsen, (Toby Stephens – Black SailsPrivate Lives) and Mona Juul, (Lydia Leonard – Wolf HallLife in Squares) planned and orchestrated top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. OsloThePlay.com 

In association with Ambassador Theatre Group / Gavin Kalin Productions / Glass Half Full Productions.

The National Theatre on tour

The NT will tour to 40 venues in 36 towns and cities across the UK, for a total of 115 playing weeks, until March 2019

WAR HORSE based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford, in association with the award-winning Handspring Puppet Company

The unforgettable theatrical event based on Michael Morpurgo’s beloved novel is now on a 10th anniversary UK tour. Nick Stafford’s adaptation of this remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship features ground-breaking puppetry by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to life on stage. 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, movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher ShuttKatie Henry is the revival director and Craig Leo is the associate puppetry director.  The resident puppetry director is Matthew Forbes and resident director, Charlotte Peters.

For tour venues and dates, visit warhorseonstage.co.uk.

War Horse in Salford and Sunderland is supported by The Garfield Weston 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 visiting Leicester, Salford, Norwich, Hull, Aberdeen, Northampton, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Woking, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, 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 tour venues and dates, visit heddagableronstage.com

Hedda Gabler in Salford and Wolverhampton is supported by The Garfield Weston Foundation.

PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS by Duncan Macmillan

a co-production with Headlong

Following a critically-acclaimed, sold-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End, People, Places & Things is now on a major UK tour for Headlong in a co-production with the National Theatre, HOME and Exeter Northcott TheatrePeople, Places & Things is written byDuncan Macmillan, and directed by Jeremy Herrin with Holly Race Roughan. The play features set designs by Bunny Christie, costumes byChristina Cunningham, lighting by James Farncombe, music by Matthew Herbert, sound by Tom Gibbons and video design by Andrzej Goulding. Touring to Bristol, ExeterSouthamptonLiverpool and Cambridge for dates, visit the website.

THIS HOUSE by James Graham

Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong present the National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre production of This 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. UK tour begins in February 2018 and tours to LeedsCambridgeBathEdinburghNottinghamBirminghamSalfordPlymouthNorwichMalvernGuildford and Sheffield for dates, visit the website.

International

PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS by Duncan Macmillan

produced in New York by the National Theatre, St Ann’s Warehouse, Bryan Singer Productions and Headlong

People, Places & Things is currently playing at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn until 3 December following a sold-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End. Denise Gough reprises her Olivier award-winning role in the American premiere of People, Places & Things at St. Ann’s Warehouse – a raw, heartbreaking and truthful performance about life spinning recklessly out of control. This American premiere marks the first collaboration between St. Ann’s Warehouse and the National Theatre.

For more information visit the website.

ANGELS IN AMERICA: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner

The great work returns to Broadway from February 2018. Angels in America will open at the Neil Simon Theater 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 McArdle,Lee 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 andFinn Caldwell (also Puppetry Director and Movement), movement direction by Robby Graham, and illusions by Chris FisherAngels in Americais produced by NT America, Jujamcyn Theaters and Elliott & Harper Productions. For more information visit angelsbroadway.com

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, visiting the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, with further international dates to be announced.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time recently completed a North American tour which took in 30 cities across the USA at a 25-date UK and Ireland tour.

The play is adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book, and directed by Marianne Elliott. The production is designed byBunny 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/

National Theatre Live

NT Live currently screens to 60 countries across the globe.

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies directed by Dominic Cooke features a cast of 37 including, Tracie BennettJanie Dee and Imelda Staunton. Broadcast live on 16 November.

Rory Kinnear plays Marx and Oliver Chris plays Engels in Young Marx directed by Nicholas Hytner and broadcast live from the Bridge Theatre on 7 December.

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 2018.

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 from the National Theatre on10 May.

Simon Godwin’s production of Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo will be broadcast live from the National Theatre. Date tbc.

Sky Arts is the sponsor of NT Live in the UK

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National Theatre Annual Review 2016–17

National Theatre

National Theatre Annual Review 2016–17: In summary

  • On the Southbank the NT played to 93% capacity – the best-attended programme in 12 years

In the six months since April 2017 they have played to 89% capacity

  • There was a broad programme of new and classic work speaking to the present moment

New work included The Flick, The Suicide, LOVE, Another World and My Country

Classic work with contemporary resonance included The Threepenny Opera, Amadeus, Hedda Gabler and Twelfth Night

  • In less than two years, 50% of all state secondary schools have signed up to the NT’s free service, On Demand In Schools

Two-thirds of subscribed schools are outside London and the South East

  • Thanks to plans put in place last year, by the end of 2017-18 the NT will have toured six productions to 36 towns and cities across the UK for a total of 115 touring weeks
  • we’re here because we’re here touched millions of people across the UK, and demonstrated theatre’s power and potential to engage a diverse, nationwide audience – winning 15 awards
  • we’re here because we’re here inspired us to create a bold touring and participation programme to reach new audiences and support theatre-making around the country

 Lisa Burger, Executive Director of the National Theatre said:

“2016-17 was a vintage year for the National Theatre. It was wonderful to see large and enthusiastic audiences come to see shows that ranged from Mike Longhurst’s magnificent Amadeus, to Alexander Zeldin’s powerful and moving LOVE. We embarked on a period of intense touring of live theatre – by the end of this year six productions will have visited 36 cities for a total of 115 weeks. On top of that we expanded our nationwide Learning programme and developed a bold new touring and participation project. It’s been quite a year, with more yet to come.”

Click here to access the National Theatre’s 2016-17 annual report in full.

 

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Playwright, David Eldridge interview: “There’s less procrastination when you’re a dad.”

As David Eldridge’s new play Beginning opens at the National Theatre’s Dorfman, he talks about his son, ticket prices, inspirations and success.

We meet in his office at Birkbeck University, London, where he lectures in Creative Writing. Chatting with Eldridge about his career opens up other windows on his experience. For instance: he’s a dad (“I always think about my son Bertie when I write, and he spurs me on”) For instance: despite having written landmark plays like Under The Blue Sky, Market Boy and In Basildon, he remains very grounded. (His best mate is a fireman in Essex, where he grew up). For instance: his new play Beginning was written unsolicited, but with the National Theatre in mind (“I wrote the play and then decided the NT would be a good home for it and sent it to Rufus Norris. Luckily for me he agreed”.)

His new play explores what it means to be lonely in a big city, features two actors and has no interval. “Beginning is a real actors’ piece,” says Eldridge emphatically. “The two characters in the play are on stage for the whole evening without a break. We were looking for people who didn’t just feel absolutely right in terms of the casting but who had the technical ability, personality and guts to do it. On-and-off that casting process took seven months, much of that due to director Polly Findlay’s availability, but we wanted to be absolutely sure.”

What are the particular pressures of writing for the National Theatre? “I’m not sure that applies to Beginning because it’s the first play I’ve written in ages that wasn’t a commission for a particular management,” he says. “I think opening a play in any of the major playhouses is incredibly stressful. On the Olivier stage at the National (where Market Boy was produced in 2006) just selling the 1,150 seats for every show used to give me nightmares. I think animating the larger stages at the NT is a craft in itself and both the Olivier and the Lyttleton eat story, so you need lots of narrative red meat and actors who are on the front foot.”

I wonder how he will measure success with Beginning. “I just want to feel happy that the play has gone as well as it possibly can and that audiences have got something out of it,” he states.

“It’s nice when you can see an audience laughing and crying and reflecting upon the action of a play. But it’s also very rewarding when audiences get in touch.” He references his play The Knot of the Heart, which premiered at the Almeida in 2011. “I kid you not, every day an audience member communicated with me in person, by letter, card, email or via social media to tell me how in some way their life had been touched by addiction. It was exhausting. But beautiful and humbling,” he recalls. “Everyone wants to have nice reviews for posterity and to help encourage audiences to see the show. But I’m much less neurotic about them than I was in my twenties.”

Which fellow writers inspire him, I ask? “Robert Holman has been one of the most inspiring playwrights in my writing life,” he replies, “Robert taught me how to be a playwright in many ways; but his own work, his sense of place, theatricality and commitment to the truth of his characters is always inspiring. Caryl Churchill, as Sarah Daniels says, is “our Picasso” and she seems to reinvent the wheel with every play. Her work always pushes me to try new things and to be bold. Edward Albee inspires me to fulfil John Osborne’s aspiration to give audiences “lessons in feeling”. And I learned a lot from adapting Ibsen. I think the work I did on three of his plays helped strengthen the storytelling in my own plays.”

He reckons that the economics of theatre tickets are out of line. “Theatre going has become too expensive. There’s also a part of me that’s still the slightly chip-on-shoulder, scholarship-and-assisted-place Romford kid at the posh school; who resents how much of British theatre is still occupied by privileged white middle-class men. I think the theatre has got a bit better on that score over my writing life, but it’s still a world that can be too dominated by clever posh white people and far too preoccupied with who’s in and who’s out,” he says bluntly. “It’s why I’ve always preferred to make most of my friends outside the theatre.”

We talk about the differences in writing for television. “On screen you’re cutting away to the next scene all the time and often the cut tells the story”, he explains. “On stage you’re trying to sustain the action. Too many scene changes, inelegantly done, make for a tiresome evening in the theatre. I think TV writing, like writing for a large theatre space, eats story and you really have to pique an audience’s interest the whole time. Otherwise people just switch off and look at their smartphone or change channel.”

On the bookshelf there are various framed photographs of his little boy. How has being a dad changed his writing? “You know,” he smiles. “It’s made me more uncompromising.”

But Eldridge is acutely aware of the legacy of putting pen to paper. “I always have this gut feeling that I never want him to read or see my work when he’s older and feel his dad could have done better. I push myself. Although he doesn’t live with me, we spend a lot of time together, and that means like most writers who are parents, I organise when I write accordingly and use the time much more efficiently. There’s less procrastination when you’re a dad.”

Beginning is at the National Theatre’s Dorfman stage, London, until 14 November. Box office: 020-7452 3000.

Polly Findlay and David Eldridge will take part in NT Platform on Thursday 19 Oct, 6pm.

Now you know. 

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First footage of the National Theatre’s Follies released ahead of Live November Cinema Broadcast

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National Theatre 2018: Female directors take centre stage, Shakespeare in vogue, classics revived, diverse & inclusive. Basically, leading the pack, as you’d expect.

The National Theatre has announced details of several productions in 2018.

Sam Mendes directs the UK premiere of Stefano Massini’s The Lehman Trilogy adapted by Ben Power.

There’s no dereliction of duty here, folks. 

A broad programme including three world premieres, and classics reimagined by Polly Stenham and Patrick Marber

Indhu Rubasingham directs the world premiere of Francis Turnly’s play The Great Wave, a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre

World premiere of David Hare’s new play I’m not Running, directed by Neil Armfield

Natasha Gordon’s debut play Nine Night premieres at the National Theatre, directed by Roy Alexander Weise

Laura Wade makes her National Theatre debut with Home, I’m Darling, a co-production with Theatr Clwyd

Sophie Okonedo joins Ralph Fiennes in Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Simon Godwin

Leading actors returning to the NT include Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Kirby, Cecilia Noble, Katherine Parkinson and Indira Varma, with Colin Morgan making his NT debut

NT will be on tour for 115 weeks and will visit 40 venues and 36 towns and cities by March 2019

A new schools tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will begin in autumn 2018and be performed in schools across the UK

Public Acts – a new programme to create participatory theatre with local communities launches with a new production of Pericles in the Olivier theatre

The pilot of Open Access Smart Capture, new technology enabling access service users the ability to attend any National Theatre performance via always-on closed-captioning service

National Theatre and Spotlight launch ProFile – a resource for TV, film and theatre casting directors to address the underrepresentation of D/deaf and disabled actors

Olivier Theatre

Ian Rickson directs Brian Friel‘s Translations, a powerful account of language and nationhood. Set in rural Donegal, the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland plays out in one quiet community. Cast includes Colin Morgan with designs by Rae Smith, lighting by Neil Austin and music by Stephen WarbeckTranslations is a Travelex show with hundreds of tickets available at £15 for every performance, opening in May 2018.

Patrick Marber adapts and directs Ionesco‘s glorious dark comedy Exit the King. Surrounded by his court, an unpredictable, belligerent and magnetic king – once all powerful – rages against the inevitability of his own decline. Designed by Anthony Ward, lighting Hugh Vanstone and music and sound Adam Cork. Cast includes Rhys Ifans as the King and Indira Varma as his Queen. Exit the King is a Travelex show with hundreds of tickets available at £15 for every performance, opening in July 2018.

Simon Godwin directs Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as the iconic lovers in a new production ofAntony and Cleopatra opening in September 2018. Set design by Hildegard Bechtler, costume design byWojciech Dziedzic, lighting by Tim Lutkin, music by Michael Bruce and sound by Christopher Shutt. The production will be broadcast worldwide as part of the NT Live season. Production supported by Mary M. Miner, Shawn M. Donnelley & Christopher M. Kelly and Monica G-S & Ali E Wambold.

Shakespeare’s late romance Pericles is remixed in Chris Bush‘s vivid new adaptation. Directed by Emily Lim, choreographed by Imogen Knight with music composed by James FortunePericles marks the firstPublic Acts production featuring a large community ensemble and small cast of professional actors who will bring this epic story of love, loss, family and community to the Olivier theatre in August 2018.

Lyttelton Theatre

30 years after the rediscovery of Absolute Hell Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the NT to direct Rodney Ackland‘s plunge into post-war Soho, full of despair, longing and a need to escape. Set design is by Lizzie Clachan with costumes designed by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Jon Clark and sound by Paul Arditti. Opening in April 2018, cast to be announced.

In Julie Polly Stenham updates Strindberg’s tragedy Miss Julie to contemporary London. Upstairs, the party is dying but still Julie dances. Downstairs, Jean and Kristin listen and wait. Carrie Cracknell directsVanessa Kirby in this new version designed by Tom Scutt, opening in June 2018. Julie is a Travelex show with hundreds of tickets available for every performance at £15.

The Lehman Trilogy, by Stefano Massini a hit across Europe, is staged at the NT in a new English adaptation by Ben Power, directed by Sam Mendes, a co-production with Neal Street Productions. 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 soon 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. This is the story of a family and a company that changed the world. Stefano Massini’s vast and poetic play unfolds over three parts in a single evening, opening in July 2018, cast to be announced.

David Hare’s new play I’m not Running, directed by Neil Armfield opening in autumn 2018. Pauline Gibson has unintentionally become a national treasure by staying out of party politics, while one of her close friends from university, Jack Gould, is making his way to the top of the Labour Party. The 20 year span of their adult lives and their contrasting fortunes raise sharp questions about how to do good in the new century. After the world wide success of his production of Cloudstreet which visited the National in 1999 and 2001, Neil Armfield directs his first NT production, cast to be announced.

Dorfman Theatre

Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre Indhu Rubasingham returns to the National Theatre to direct The Great Wave – in a co-production with the Tricycle, an epic play by Francis Turnly. Developed, while on a Channel 4 playwriting bursary at the Tricycle, the play is set in Japan and North Korea and tells the story of two sisters, Hanako and Reiko, who are struck by a gigantic wave. Reiko survives while Hanako is, seemingly, lost to the sea. Their mother, however, can’t shake the feeling her daughter is still alive. Designed by Tom Piper, video projection by Luke Halls, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, movement direction by Polly Bennett, music by David Shrubsole, and sound design by Alex Caplen. Opening at the NT in March 2018, cast to be announced.

Natasha Gordon’s debut play Nine Night is a funny and touching exploration of the rituals of family. The nine nights extended wake is an important custom in West Indian families. But for Gloria’s children and grandchildren, marking her death with a party that lasts a week and a half is a test that forces them to confront themselves and each other. Roy Alexander Weise directs, designed by Rajha Shakiry. Castincludes Cecilia Noble, opening in April 2018.

Ned Bennett’s highly praised production for the Orange Tree Theatre of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ provocative and hilarious satire An Octoroon transfers to the National Theatre in June 2018 in a co-productionCast to be announced.

Laura Wade makes her NT and Theatr Clwyd debuts with Home, I’m Darling, a new comedy about sex, cake and the quest to be a perfect 50s housewife. Cast includes Katherine Parkinson with further cast to be announced. A National Theatre co-production with Theatr Clwyd, directed by Clwyd artistic directorTamara Harvey, also making her NT debut, and designed by Anna Fleischle. The production opens at Theatr Clwyd in June and in the Dorfman theatre the following month.

Justin Audibert directs a new production of The Winter’s Tale for primary schools, opening in the Dorfman theatre in February 2018. This exciting new version of the play, adapted by Justin and the company, is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for younger audiences, designed by Lucy Sierra with music byJonathan Girling. Shakespeare for younger audiences is supported by: The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust. The National Theatre’s Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

At the Young Vic

The Jungle by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson of Good Chance Theatre tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope. Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais ‘Jungle’ became a temporary home for more than 10,000 people at its peak – many desperate to find a way to enter the UK. Commissioned by the NT in a co-production with the Young Vic The Jungle is directed by Stephen Daldryand Justin Martin, set design Miriam Buether, costume design Catherine Kodicek, sound designer Paul Arditti and lighting Jon Clark. Opening at the Young Vic in December, cast to be announced. Generously supported by Glenn and Phyllida Earle and Clive and Sally Sherling.

Public Acts

Public Acts: a nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The programme builds on our experience of creating the award-winning we’re here because we’re here with volunteer performers and theatres across the UK.

Public Acts is inspired by Public Works, The Public Theater’s ground-breaking programme of participatory theatre in New York.

Public Acts will be built on sustained partnerships with organisations that share our vision for theatre as a force for change. Over the next two years we will work with the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch and a number of community organisations across Greater London. Through these partnerships we will invite members of London’s diverse communities to take part in regular creative activity and join us in the creation of theatre productions.

The first of these will be a new production of Pericles on the Olivier stage in August 2018. It will feature a small cast of professional actors together with a large number of non-professional actors who will be cast through their connection with our community partner organisations. The NT has commissioned Chris Bush, a writer with extensive experience working with large community ensembles, to adapt Shakespeare’s Pericles which will be directed by NT resident director Emily Lim. The production will also feature cameo performances from a diverse range of local performance groups.

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch will be the first theatre partner for Public Acts. The Queen’s Theatre is a vibrant regional theatre working in Outer East London, Essex and beyond. Over 200,000 people enjoy the programme each year, including the best in home grown theatre, visiting live entertainment and inspiring Learning and Participation projects including a wide range of life enhancing workshops and classes for people of all ages. Queen’s Theatre staff will work alongside NT staff on Pericles.

Our community partners for Public Acts over the next two years will include: Body & Soul, a charity dedicated to transforming the impact of childhood adversity; Open Age, a charity that works with older Londoners to create opportunities for them to connect, learn new skills and combat isolation; Thames Reach a London-based charity helping homeless and vulnerable people to find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives; The Havering Asian Social Welfare Association(HASWA) works with all sections of the local Havering community, particularly of Asian origin with specific emphasis on isolated and disadvantaged individuals; Bromley by Bow Centre supports vulnerable young people, adults and families to help create a cohesive, healthy, successful and vibrant east London community, Coram, the UK children’s charity that helps children and young people develop their skills and emotional health, finds adoptive parents and upholds children’s rights, creating a change that lasts a lifetime and Three Faiths Forum (3FF) who work to build good relations between people of all different faiths, beliefs and identities.

Future Public Acts productions will be developed in partnership with theatres and community groups outside London.

Generously supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Sackler Trust, founding supporters of Public Acts. The first 3 years of Public Acts is also supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.

ProFile

D/deaf and disabled actors are currently under-represented on stage and screen in the UK. The National Theatre and Spotlight have created a new resource to champion this talent pool by offering industry professionals the opportunity to watch these actors in action on an online video database. It is a free service, both for performers and industry users, and is available for the use of film, theatre and television professionals across the UK. Its aim is to widen the pool from which casting directors and other industry professionals draw their talent, with a view to creating a more inclusive industry in the long term, and one that better represents the diversity of the nation.

ProFile was created as part of the National Theatre’s Creative Diversity Project, a pilot project focusing on diversity and inclusion at the NT, one strand of which aims to address the under-representation of D/deaf and disabled actors on our stages.

The NT is committed to establishing a target to increase the representation of D/deaf and disabled actors on our stages. To do this, we are working with a range of artists from the D/deaf and disabled community, casting directors and some of the UK’s leading drama schools to ensure the target is meaningful and realistic.

Open Access Smart Capture

The National Theatre today announces the pilot launch of a brand new technological innovation, Open Access Smart Capture.

The NT and its partner for innovation, Accenture, have developed new technology, which will mean for the first-time access service users will be able to attend any performance thanks to a transformative, always-on closed captioning and audio-description service.

The smart glasses support the NT’s vision to ensure theatre access for all and have been designed and manufactured by Epson, with ease-of-use, durability and accessibility in mind. The glasses enable the user to discreetly see the captions for theatre performances on a screen directly in front of their eyes from any seat in the auditorium. At the heart of this advanced system is new technology which aims to achieve 97% accuracy of the timing of the captions and descriptions.

Captioned performances are currently restricted to selected performances at the National Theatre with the NT programming up to four captioned performances and up to three audio-described performances per production with captions and audio-description delivered live. Since its inception in 2014, the vision for Open Access Smart Capture has been to have always-on smart captioning systems in all three of the NT’s theatres by October 2018 with always-on audio description by April 2019, ensuring all performances will be fully accessible via this new technology.  Action on Hearing Loss estimated that by 2035, 1 in 5 people will be affected by hearing loss. This equates to 11 million potential customers who could benefit from an always-on service, with the freedom to attend any performance, seated anywhere in the auditorium, and have their access needs met.

Over the next year the pilot phase will rigorously test this unique access system and during this time the NT will evaluate the Open Access Smart Capture technology, initially in the Dorfman theatre, with the system being further developed on large scale shows in the Lyttelton and Olivier theatres to understand the scale and scope of the technology and ensure the system is adaptable for all service users. The National Theatre has had a close working relationship with StageText and VocalEyes throughout and will continue to work alongside them on this transformative project.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time schools tour

Today the NT announces a schools tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, in a specially staged production which will visit selected secondary schools from autumn 2018 targeting areas of the country with lower engagement with theatre. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time schools tour marks the NT’s desire to take more work into schools over the coming years. The novel is the winner of more than 17 literary awards and features on the national curriculum.

Winner of seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards® including ‘Best Play’, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award®‑winning director Marianne Elliott.

Simon Stephens’ said: ‘It means the world to me that Curious Incident will be touring schools around the country. I worked as a schoolteacher teaching kids in Dagenham in Essex 20 years ago. I loved it. I still think of myself as a teacher. I have seen firsthand how inspiring drama is to young people in schools. I believe the arts to be fundamental to our society. We can’t afford to lose them from our education system. I am delighted that our play will play its part in introducing young people to the theatre. I always hoped thatCurious Incident was a play that could be performed anywhere, by anyone. The play is designed to provoke and inspire imagination and interpretation in its staging and inspiration in its audience. The tour will, I hope, provide the same kind of imagination and inspiration throughout the country.’

Funded by the Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund

Schools touring is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation.

The National Theatre on tour

The NT will tour to 40 venues in 36 towns and cities across the UK, for a total of 115 playing weeks, until March 2019

The UK tour of War Horse and a UK and Ireland tour of Hedda Gabler both open this week. The War Horse 10th Anniversary tour opens tonight (3 October) at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, and Hedda Gabler opens on Friday (6 October) at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Due to demand War Horse will return to the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury from 27 February – 16 March 2019, following its 17 venue UK tour, which coincides with the Centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War. The tour will also visit the Sunderland Empire from 6 – 23 February 2019. Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things (a Headlong Production) and James Graham’s This House (co-produced by Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong), which both originated at the NT, will also visit numerous theatres across the country.

A 10th Anniversary tour of War Horse begins tonight at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to live on stage. 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 ShuttKatie Henry is the revival director andCraig Leo is the associate puppetry director.  The resident puppetry director is Matthew Forbes and resident director, Charlotte Peters. For tour venues and dates, visit warhorseonstage.co.uk.

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, begins a UK and Irelona tour this week at the Theatre RoyalPlymouth, continuing its journey across the UK to Edinburgh, Leicester, Salford, Norwich, Hull, Aberdeen, Northampton, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Woking, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, Milton Keynes and Dublin. Set and lighting design for Hedda Gabler is by Jan Versweyveld, withcostume design by An D’Huys and sound by Tom Gibbons.  The Associate Directors are Jeff James andRachel Lincoln. For tour venues and dates, visit heddagableronstage.com.

Following a critically-acclaimed, sold-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End, People, Places & Things embarks on a major UK tour this autumn for Headlong in a co-production with the National Theatre, HOME and Exeter Northcott Theatre. People, Places & Things is written by Duncan Macmillan, and directed by Jeremy Herrin with Holly Race Roughan. The play features set designs byBunny Christie, costumes by Christina Cunningham, lighting by James Farncombe, music by Matthew Herbert, sound by Tom Gibbons and video design by Andrzej Goulding. For tour venues and dates, visit the website.
Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong present The National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre production of This 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. For tour venues and dates, visit the website.

NT international touring

The NT’s Olivier and Tony Award®-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time tours the world, visiting the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong, with further international dates to be announced.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time recently completed a North American tour which took in 30 cities across the USA.

The play is adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book, and directed byMarianne Elliott. The production is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting design by Paule Constableand video design by Finn Ross.  Movement is by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton (who also composed music for Angels in America and War Horse) and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. For more information visit http://www.curiousonstage.com/global/

NT transfers

Internationally, People, Places & Things will transfer to St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York later this month and Angels in America transfers to the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway in February 2018.

Following a sold-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End, Denise Gough reprises her Olivier award-winning role in the American Premiere of People, Places & Things at St. Ann’s Warehouse — a raw, heartbreaking and truthful performance about life spinning recklessly out of control. This American Premiere marks the first collaboration between St. Ann’s Warehouse and the National Theatre. People, Places & Things is produced in New York by the National Theatre, St Ann’s Warehouse, Bryan Singer Productions and Headlong. For more information visit the website.

The great work returns to Broadway from February 2018. Angels in America will open at the Neil Simon Theater on 21 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 feature fellow original National Theatre cast members Susan BrownDenise GoughAmanda Lawrence, James McArdle, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. Angels in America is directed by Marianne ElliottIan MacNeil is the Scenic Designer, Nicky Gillibrand is the Costume Designer, Paule Constable is the Lighting Designer, Adrian Sutton is the composer , Ian Dickinson is the Sound Designer. The Puppetry design is by Nick Barnesand Finn Caldwell (also Puppetry Director and Movement), Robby Graham is the Movement Director, and Illusions are by Chris Fisher. Angels in America is NT America, Jujamcyn Theaters and Elliott & Harper Productions. For more information visit angelsbroadway.com/

American Express is the preferred card partner for Angels in America Broadway

National Theatre Live

NT Live currently screens to 60 countries across the globe.

Hamlet returns to cinemas on Thursday 5th OctoberLyndsey Turner’s production starring Benedict Cumberbatch was originally staged at the Barbican Theatre in August 2015 and broadcast live to cinemas later the same year.

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies directed by Dominic Cooke features a cast of 37 including Imelda Staunton,Janie Dee and Tracie Bennett. Broadcast live on 16 November.

Rory Kinnear plays Marx and Oliver Chris plays Engels in Young Marx directed by Nicholas Hytner and broadcast live from the Bridge Theatre on 7 December.

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 2018.

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 tbc.

Sky Arts is the sponsor of NT Live in the UK