Latest news  and updates from National Theatre


Jane Eyre returns to the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre this Autumn

JANE EYRE UK Tour 2017

Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre returns to the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre from 26 September – 21 October 2017 following a critically acclaimed season at the National Theatre and a major UK tour.

2017 marks the 170th anniversary of the first publication of Jane Eyre and Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever.

This bold and dynamic production tells the story of one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment.  From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

Nadia Clifford plays Jane Eyre with Tim Delap as Rochester. They are joined by Hannah Bristow (Helen Burns/Adele/Diana/Grace Poole/Abbot), Matthew Churcher (Musician), Alex Heane (Musician), Melanie Marshall (Bertha Mason), Paul Mundell (Mr Brocklehurst/Pilot/Mason), David Ridley (Musician), Evelyn Miller (Bessie/Blanche Ingram/St John) and Lynda Rooke (Mrs Reed/Mrs Fairfax). The cast is completed by Ben CutlerJenny JohnsDami OlukoyaFrancesca Tomlinson and Phoebe Vigor.

The production was devised by the original company, with set design by Michael Vale, costumes by Katie Sykes, lighting by Aideen Malone, music by Benji Bower, sound by Dominic Bilkey, movement by Dan Canham and dramaturgy by Mike Akers.  Jane Eyre is a co-production between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic.

Director Sally Cookson, said about her production: ‘Adapting a novel for the stage is a challenging prospect – especially when that novel is cited as many people’s favourite of all time. It is always daunting when you’re working on a story which everyone knows so well, because you want to surprise and maybe challenge people’s expectations, without losing any of the things which make them like the story in the first place.’

 ‘I chose this particular title because it’s a story that I love and have enjoyed a close relationship with ever since I was intrigued, as a child, by Orson Welles’ black and white melodrama with fabulous music by Bernard Herrmann.’

‘I didn’t actually read the novel until I was in my early twenties and I remember thinking while I read it: ‘this is a clarion cry for equal opportunities for women, not a story about a passive female who will do anything for her hunky boss’. I was struck by how modern Jane seemed – her spirit and strong will, her peculiar and brilliant mind striving for personal freedom to be who she is, lashing out against any constraint that prevents her from being herself. She was exactly the sort of person I wanted to be.’

Sally Cookson is an Associate Artist of Bristol Old Vic, where her productions include Treasure Island andPeter Pan; and elsewhere, Boing! (Sadler’s Wells), Cinderella (St James Theatre), an adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather (West End and UK tour), and Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre, Kingston). Sally’s production of Peter Pan, devised by the original Company, based on the works of JM Barrie, a co-production with the Bristol Old Vic ran in the NT’s Olivier Theatre in 2016. Her production of The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe will be performed at West Yorkshire Playhouse this autumn.

Nadia Clifford previously appeared at the National Theatre in Alistair McDowell’s sell-out production ofPomona.

This new stage version of Jane Eyre was originally presented in two parts at Bristol Old Vic, and then transferred to the National Theatre, re-imagined as a single performance, playing to sold out houses at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre in 2015.

Listings information

Jane Eyre
National Theatre, Lyttelton Theatre
Tuesday 26 September – Saturday 21 October 2017
Press night: Wednesday 27 September at 7pm

Access performances:
Captioned Performance
Saturday 14 October at 1.30pm
Audio Described Performance
Saturday 21 October at 1.30pm
Touch Tour at 12pm


WOMAD takes to the National Theatre’s River Stage this weekend



On Friday 11 August WOMAD, the world’s festival, will take to the stage at the National Theatre for the first time. Join WOMAD as they a host a range of acclaimed international acts and artists and take over the NT’s River Stage festival for a weekend of beats, harmonies and the very best in world music.

The National Theatre’s River Stage Festival is in its second year and offers audiences five free weekends of the best and brightest entertainment from some of the UK’s leading arts and culture organisations. The 2017 River Stage Festival sees The Glory, HOME, Manchester, WOMAD, Rambert and the National Theatre each ‘take over’ the River Stage for a weekend throughout July and August.

Chris Smith, Global Festival Director of WOMAD, said “WOMAD celebrates diversity, togetherness and sharing cultures across borders so it is perfect for us to collaborate with the NT’s River Stage, showcasing some of the best global acts in the most varied, buzzing and colourful city on the planet. We are delighted to be bringing a splash of colour and the funky festival vibes from WOMAD to central London and to work with such a prestigious institution as the NT”.

Msafiri Zawose, Tanzania’s charismatic Gogo innovator said: “When I’m at WOMAD I feel like I’m on a global journey amongst friends and family. I’m happy to be in a place sharing art with the world and I’m sure this weekend at NT River Stage will be exactly the same.”

Grace Savage,  Female Beatbox Champion, said “Really looking forward to performing on the NT River Stage this weekend. It’s gonna be a banger!”

Join WOMAD in London for free this weekend 11- 13 August 2017:

Friday 11 August

Afro Cluster

7.00pm – 8.00pm

Afro Cluster, a Cardiff based band that meld authentic sounds and rhythms of afro-funk and hip-hop with impassioned, politically conscious lyrics atop bold melodies, afro-beat aural acrobatics, rich harmonies and complex rhythms.

Mr Benn ft. Souls Liberation and Bongosan

8.30pm – 10.30pm

Reared on a tasty diet of Aswad, The Specials and King Tubby, 90s hip hop, plenty of jungle and hi-life rhythms, the musical influences behind DJ / producer Mr Benn’s sound are always rooted in a passion for the heavy bass that his home town of Bristol is renowned for.

Saturday 12 August

Jus Dance Workshop

1.00pm – 1.45pm

Facilitated by Jamaican dancer and choreographer, Ripton Lindsay, these family workshops combine a mix of his traditional Jamaican dance moves as well as reggae, calypso and creative movements. The workshops are based around fun and energetic steps leading into a routine at the end of the session.

Beatboxing vocal workshop

2pm – 2.45pm

UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage invites you to join an immersive beatboxing experience where you can learn the basic skills, jam with Grace and even have a go at beatboxing into a microphone and hearing your beats blasting out of an amplifier!

Msafiri Zawose

3pm – 3.45pm

Tanzania’s charismatic Gogo innovator Msafiri Zawose and his five-member group draw on dozens of hand-wrought instruments to unfold complex compositions. They turn cyclical pieces into choruses, bridges, and intriguing moments of arresting, tight harmonies. Layers build, repeating elements overlap and turn to grooves.

NIMBA workshop & performance

4 – 5pm

This is an energetic, at times highly acrobatic display of West African dance. The accompanying musicians don’t disappoint either, whether delivering furious percussive work-outs or undulating melodies of the balafon and Fulani flute. Nimba’s focus is on recounting the mythologies and history of Guinea through choreography. It’ll be the most frenetic and physical history lesson you’ve ever sat in on.

AKA George

5.30pm – 6.30pm

AKA GEORGE is a young, British multi-instrumentalist who writes, sings, produces and above all, performs. From headlining the Silver Hayes stage at Glastonbury to his own packed-out secret gigs around London, this August he brings his reckless, passionate and inspiring stage presence to the River Stage.

Bollywood Brass Band feat. Jyotsna Srikanth: Carnatic Connection

7 – 8pm

The Bollywood Brass Band is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style brass band. The band tours UK, Europe and beyond. Their previous CD (Chaiyya Chaiyya) was nominated for a Songlines Award, and was a SundayTimes top 10 world music album. ‘Joyous…. Electrifying horn riffs and percussion… irresistible’ SundayTimes, ‘Improbably funky’ Songlines.

Gypsy Hill

8.30pm – 9.30pm

Gypsy Hill play an intoxicating mix of Balkan brass, Mediterranean surf rock, ska and swing. Featuring guitars, horns, tuba, a scratch DJ and a mix of live and electronic beats, Gypsy Hill effortlessly mix the traditional with a uniquely modern sound.


9.45pm – 10.45pm

Cal Jader is one of the musical activists, founders and original ‘dancehall caballeros’ behind Movimientos and Love Carnival. With his trademark blend of red hot ‘classico’ Latin beats, uptempo carnival rhythms, tropical bass and fresh global sounds, he is helping to soundtrack London’s alternative club scene in the UK and Europe.

Sunday 13 August

Jus Dance Workshop

12pm – 12.45pm

Facilitated by Jamaican dancer and choreographer, Ripton Lindsay, these family workshops combine a mix of his traditional Jamaican dance moves as well as reggae, calypso and creative movements.

Beatboxing vocal workshop

1pm – 1.45pm

Join an immersive beatboxing experience with UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage. Learn the basic skills, jam with Grace and even have a go at beatboxing into a microphone and hearing your beats blasting out of an amplifier!

Amira Kheir

2.15pm – 3.15pm

Hailed as the ‘Diva of the Sudanese desert’ (BBC World News) Sudanese-Italian singer Amira Kheir has been enchanting audiences around the world with an experimental sound inspired by traditional music from her homeland Sudan and anchored in experimental jazz and soul. The result is a unique style of Sudani-Jazz.


3.45pm – 4.45pm

A proven and unstoppable force on the UK music scene for over a decade, Soothsayers have added their mouth-watering afrobeat and dubalicious flavours to an impressive list of festivals, venues and theatres around the world.


, ,

First Look: Rehearsal Images: Sondheim’s FOLLIES at the National Theatre


Countdown to National Theatre’s River Stage begins

River Stage

River Stage

River Stage

Five free weekends of the best and brightest entertainment from the UK’s leading arts and culture organisations once again arrives on London’s South Bank this summer; The Glory, HOME, Manchester, WOMAD, Rambert and the National Theatre each ‘take over’ the River Stage for a weekend throughout July and August.


The Glory (28 – 30 July)

On Friday night, Jonny Woo kicks off the weekend with East London super group Luxury Hell, a blazing fusion of contemporary scene legends who will rock out the riverside stage with funked-up alternative anthems. The party continues all evening, culminating in APOCALYPSTICK Party!, when a glamorous tribe of radical fairies, super queers, fashion freaks and punk queens will gather outside the National Theatre for a hell-raising riverside rave!

Saturday is a choc-full day, with highlights including Homo Histories or ‘a mince through time’ and Grizzle Go ABBA, where comedic duo John Sizzle and A Man To Pet will talk ABBA, sing ABBA… they are ABBA. TheSaturday night draws to a fabulous conclusion with the glorious 80’s pop party meltdown that is 80’s ARMAGEDDON PARTY.

Sunday starts with a Drag Life Drawing masterclass – a live art class for all the family, with music, materials and special guests- and culminates in the fantastic Big Gay Songbook for the grand finale.

For the full weekend line-up, please click here.

HOME, Manchester (4 – 6 August)

Sequin-clad satirical weirdos Bourgeois & Maurice launch HOME’s takeover weekend, with Dave Haslam, who DJ-ed over 450 times at the Hacienda in Manchester through the late 1980s, taking the party on through the Friday evening.

On SaturdayBootworks Theatre bring two beautiful 1950s Jukeboxes to life as two performers re-create classic pop music videos using props, puppets and a terrible selection of wigs in The JukeboxesThe Beat Chics will be spinning a collection of classic and rare records perfect for an afternoon on the South Bank, including tracks from The Shangri-Las, The Supremes, The Zombies, Lulu and more. In Bed With My Brotherbrings their show We Are Ian to River Stage: its 1989, Manchester and the year it all changed from black and white into crazy technicolour. Peppered by recordings of conversations with Ian, and scored by buzzing 80s and 90s tracks.

On Sunday, join a Vogue Workshop by House of Ghetto or sit back and enjoy Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, where New Orleans meets 90s club classics. The HOME weekend concludes with Boy Blue Entertainment, an energetic, inspiring and participatory hip hop summer party.

For the full weekend line-up, please click here.

WOMAD (11 – 13 August)

WOMAD’s Friday night begins with a set from Cardiff-based band Afro Cluster, before Mr Benn ft. Souls Liberation and Bongosan take over the decks until late.

Get involved on Saturday with a variety of workshops: Jus Dance Workshop, facilitated by Jamaican dancer and choreographer Ripton Lindsay combines a mix of his traditional Jamaican dance moves as well as reggae, calypso and creative movements; Beatboxing vocal workshop with UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage; and NIMBA workshop & performance with a focus on recounting the mythologies and history of Guinea through choreography. Gypsy Hill then takes over the stage, to effortlessly mix the traditional with a uniquely modern sound.

Amira Kheir the ‘Diva of the Sudanese desert’ (BBC World News) enchants with an experimental sound inspired by traditional music from her homeland Sudan, anchored in experimental jazz and soul on Sunday, andSoothsayers finish the weekend with their mouth-watering afrobeat and dubalicious flavours.

For the full weekend line-up, please click here.

Rambert (18 – 20 August)

A packed Friday evening sees a variety of artists taking over the River Stage, from Quicksilver, Rambert’s company for dancers aged 15 – 19 to New Creation by Patricia Okenwa, an extract of a work-in-progress from the up-and-coming choreographer and former Rambert dancer. The evening culminates in Tempus by Simone Damberg Wurtz a duet for male dancers to the accompaniment of Game On, a score by former Rambert music fellow Cheryl Frances-Hoad for live piano and a Commodore 64 computer from the 1980s.

Saturday allows audiences to get involved – a Yoga Class, Contemporary, Family and Children’s Workshops. The evening finishes with Music from Nia Lynn, a work by Ben Duke, inspired by the music and spirit of Nina Simone.

Sunday sees an Over 60s Workshop with a chance to learn moves from Rambert’s repertoire and a performance from R Quintessence and Mercury Movers, a dance groups for older adults in London.

For full line-up, please click here.

National Theatre (25 – 28 August)

Concrete Disco and then Hackney Colliery Band take to the River Stage for Friday evening, before London’s first Night Czar Amy Lamé takes to the decks.

On Saturday, highlights include a reading by M.G. LeonardGoblin’s Peter and the Wolf – a brand new show with music lovingly inspired by Prokofiev’s classic- followed by Goblin’s River Stage workshop, a drama and music workshop we will be looking at how different animals are represented by different sounds, movement and music. The evening finishes with Dom Search (The Next Men) a nutriblend of musical abandon – dancehall, drum’n’bass, reggae, roots, instrumental and actual hip hop, soul and soulful low-end boomp, ambient…the perfect party mix!

Sunday begins with Mrs H and the Singalong Band and their unique music for children and adults before singer songwriter Phil King entrances River Stage with his beautiful, soulful voice; deft skills at playing the guitar and the capacity to write elegantly worded and powerful songs. The day finishes with a free outdoor screening of the National Theatre’s Twelfth Night. Tamsin Greig is Malvolia in a twist on Shakespeare’s classic whirlwind comedy of mistaken identity and unrequited love.

Bank Holiday Monday’s Tea Dance calls for an afternoon spent dancing to the joyous live Ballroom Dance Band, with lessons from a professional dance instructor in various styles. Then River Stage 2017 comes to a glorious conclusion with Nerija, a collective of up and coming musicians playing exciting music inspired by Jazz, Hip Hop, Afrobeat and South African Township, nominated for Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year 2016.

For full line-up, please click here.

WhatsOnStage is NT River Stage Media Partner for 2017

Philips Lighting is partner of the NT’s River Stage Festival 2017


Tarell Alvin McCraney discusses masculinity, race and sexuality on the National Theatre’s latest podcast

National Theatre Podcast

Oscar-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney features exclusively on the latest National Theatre podcast. McCraney, who recently came to London to direct a staged reading of his seminal play Wig Out!, gives an extended interview in which he talks frankly about masculinity, race and sexuality.

Appearing in Wig Out!, the second play in the NT’s Queer Theatre series, McCraney joined a cast of twelve to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

In the fifth in the series of National Theatre podcasts, McCraney discusses the issues affecting men today alongside poet and playwright Inua Ellams, whose play Barber Shop Chronicles recently transferred to West Yorkshire Playhouse, following a sell-out run in the NT’s Dorfman Theatre.

The National Theatre’s recently launched podcast series seeks to use theatre as a mechanism to explore the complex social, economic and cultural issues of our time. Previous episodes have featured interviews with MP Ed Miliband, Dame Harriet Walter and Simon Russell Beale. Each episode tackles topical theatrical issues exploring a diverse range of subjects, including: theatre in prisons, gender, ageing and the purpose of producing political theatre based on current events such as Brexit.

The National’s Queer Theatre season was programmed to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, and featured five rehearsed plays, exhibitions, talks and screenings which chart the LGBTQ+ experience.

Launching the Queer Theatre initiative, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney said: “I feel grateful to be returning to the UK and reading this piece. As we continue better to understand ourselves and how we perform in the world I hope this investigation back into the ‘ball scene’ will be as exciting as it is important. #Alllove&Allpride.”

To access the podcast, click here.



Glory days return to kick-start National Theatre River Stage 2017, 28 – 30 July




Back to wow the crowds and get everyone dancing, The Glory, Europe’s leading queer performance venue, return to the National Theatre on 28 July to kick start the 2017 River Stage festival.

Join Jonny Woo and John Sizzle as they present a glitter-filled three-day extravaganza bringing joy to London’s South Bank with a carousel of shows and jaunts. This year The Glory is upping its own game and creating a fabulous weekend whirlwind of musical comedy and drag magic, with each day topped off with an extravagant Glory-style party.

River Stage is the National Theatre’s annual summer arts festival, bringing five free weekends of the best and brightest entertainment from some of the UK’s leading arts and culture organisations. This summer sees The Glory, HOME, Manchester, WOMAD, Rambert and the National Theatre each ‘take over’ the River Stage for a weekend throughout July and August with a wonderfully eclectic mix of acts and artists.

The Glory’s John Sizzle said: “The Glory can’t wait to storm the River Stage again with drag-fuelled back-to-back shows, including previews of our latest work. In giving us this platform the NT gives a nod to London’s alternative scene which is almost a theatre genre of its own and among the best in the world. We’re keeping it all family-friendly while showing off the capital’s best contemporary talent. Bringing the underground overground… the results will be rare, spectacular and so much fun in the sun! We’ll see you there- dress-up encouraged but optional”

London’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé said: “In the summer months the South Bank really comes alive with Londoners and visitors enjoying fantastic restaurants, market stalls and street theatre. The return of the River Stage adds to the buzz with an incredible season of free outdoor entertainment. From world class dance and circus acts, to workshops and DJs, there’s something for everyone – so make the most of the summer nights and soak up some exciting new culture on the Thames as the sun goes down.”

Join The Glory at the National Theatre from 28 – 30 July:

Friday 28 July

Luxury Hell
6.30pm – 7.30pm

Jonny Woo kicks off the weekend with East London super group Luxury Hell, a blazing fusion of contemporary scene legends who will rock out the River Stage with funked-up alternative anthems.

The Unholy Hour (John Sizzle & Shesus & the Sistas)
7.30pm – 8.30pm

Welcome to the musical church of John Sizzle and the Miss-iah herself, Shesus, and the sexy habit-clad Sistas! Divine interventions, saintly sing-a-longs and musical miracles abound from these festival favourites.

LIPSYNC1000 Allstars
8.30pm – 9.30pm

Enjoy a dazzling selection of star turns from The Glory’s biggest and most prestigious drag queen competition LIPSYNC1000 beefed up with added butch allure from some Drag King sensations! Jutting their jaws, jiggling their bits and moving their lips to your favourite hits!

Apocalypstick Party

9.30pm – 10.45pm

It’s a new world order! London is burning tonight as a glamorous tribe of radical fairies, super queers, fashion freaks and punk queens gather outside the National Theatre for this hell-raising riverside rave! The world is ending, so put some lipstick on, and dance into the fire.

Saturday 29 July

LOVE INN with Auntie Maureen & Timberlina

1pm – 2.30pm

Join lovely, beardy drag legend Timberlina and his side-puss Auntie Maureen for this old-school “Love Inn”, a cheeky brunch-time boogie and request-filled family-friendly music sesh.

Homo Histories

2.30pm – 3.15pm

Take a mince through time as The Glory exhumes queer legends from the past, present and near future. Meet loitering literary Oscar Wilde, juggle some balls with tennis champ Martina Navratilova. Maybe Tom Daley will make a splash? And if there’s one thing history ever taught us – it’s that Madonna will almost definitely steal the limelight.

Figs In Wigs

3.15pm – 4.15pm

Figs in Wigs, the UK’s most ignored performance troupe and the world’s first ever all female, non-singing, all dancing Backstreet Boys tribute act. They do other stuff too but no one cares cos it’s all about the boys!

Night Of A 1000 Jay Astons

4.30pm – 5.30pm

Don’t miss this revival of Jonny Woo’s cult Edinburgh Fringe show! A lip-synced musical “all about the slutty one from Bucks Fizz”. Follow the skirt-flinging story of the unstoppable Eurovision winner Jay Aston.

GLORY LATES presents

5.45pm – 7pm

Come and see a host of the greatest live performers from The Glory’s much-celebrated cabaret roster, starring RICHARD THOMAS, SEX SHELLS, JAIME NANCI, Le Gateaux Chocolat, Jonny Woo, John Sizzle and more guests to be announced.

Grizzle Go ABBA

7pm – 8.45pm

Comedic duo John Sizzle and A Man To Pet bring ABBA to the stage. Mamma Mia – here we go again! They’ll talk ABBA, they sing ABBA, they are ABBA. Aren’t they? Did we mention ABBA?


8.45pm – 10.45pm

A glorious 80’s pop party meltdown. Duran, Spandau, Whitney, Madge & Michael! Let the Glory take you back to when shoulders were big and pop was BAD! Now That’s What I Call Music!

Sunday 30 July

Drag Life Drawing

1pm – 2.30pm

Join The Glory’s own life-drawing coaches James Davison, Simon Gray and host Jonny Woo for this special “drag life drawing” session. A live art class for all the family, with music, materials and special guests. Come along and draw a queen!

Sizzle’s Sunday Service

2.30pm – 3.30pm

Laidback grooves, horoscopes and Prosecco possession. Kick back and enjoy the views at this chilled out Sunday sesh with DJ John Sizzle and friends.

Big Gay Songbook

3.30pm – 5pm

The Glory’s campyloo piano bar returns for the grand finale of the weekends festivities. Join Jonny Woo, Rudi Douglas, Farrah and guests for The Big Gay Songbook. We’ll all sing the songs that make us gay in an old-school London boozer sing-a-long style with a glam twist.


Full casting announced for ‘Hedda Gabler’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The National Theatre today announced full casting for the UK tour of Ibsen’s masterpiece HEDDA GABLER.  Lizzy Watts plays the title role and will be joined by Madlena Nedeva (Berte), Christine Kavanagh (Juliana), Abhin Galeya (Tesman), Annabel Bates (Thea), Adam Best (Brack) and Richard Pyros (Lovborg).  A new trailer has just been released featuring Lizzy Watts and can be seen here.

Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre earlier this year, HEDDA GABLER begins a UK tour on 2 October 2017 at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, continuing its journey across the UK to Edinburgh, Leicester, Salford, Norwich, Hull, Aberdeen, Northampton, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Woking, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York and Milton Keynes, where the tour finishes on 3 March 2018.

Just married. Bored already. Hedda longs to be free…

This vital new version of Ibsen’s masterpiece by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning playwright Patrick Marber (Closer, Three Days in the Country) is directed by Ivo van Hove, one of the world’s most exciting directors.  Olivier and Tony Award®-winning van Hove made his National Theatre debut with Hedda Gabler, which opened in December 2016.  His acclaimed production of A View from the Bridge recently played to sold out houses in London on Broadway and Obsession starring Jude Law played at The Barbican, London earlier this year.  Van Hove’s next production for the NT will be the world premiere of Network based on the Oscar-winning film and featuring the UK stage debut of Bryan Cranston.

Lizzy Watts’ theatre credits include Strife at Chichester Festival Theatre, The Angry Brigade and Artefacts at The Bush, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe, Blink for Nabokov and Wasted for Paines Plough.  TV includes The Durrells and Midsommer Murders and plays Ivy Layton in BBC Radio 4’s Home Front.

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.

Patrick Marber said:  ‘It has been a huge honour to work with the great Ivo van Hove on this version of Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre. I am thrilled that this tour will enable more people to see his incredible production.’


IN TOUCH – UK premiere at National Theatre

In Touch

In Touch

In Touch

In Touch captures the real stories of people who are deafblind, blind, visually impaired, D/deaf, hard-of-hearing, sighted and hearing, told through an eclectic style of spoken, signed and physical theatre. The show explores the emotional rollercoaster of being human, how we each navigate our lives and what happens when different worlds collide and unite.

In Touch is part of a long-term project between Inclusion Theatre Company and the Theatre of Nations, using the arts to connect people who are deafblind, sighted and hearing in different spaces. The original production, Touch-Ables, based on the real stories of the actors and their interactions with the world and the diaries of two women that are deafblind from 20th Century Russia, had its premiere in 2015 in Russia. The show was shown on leading stages in Moscow and St Petersburg, and was nominated for the prestigious Russian ‘Golden Mask’ Theatre Award.

Viktoria Avdeeva, Producer of Touch-Ables, said: “The original play Touch-ables was created to raise awareness in Russia about people who are deafblind. Deafblind people are some of the least visible and least involved in professional and cultural activity, not just in Russia but everywhere. The production not only was an opportunity for actors that are deafblind to tell their story, it influenced the development of inclusive theatre in Russia for the better. I am excited to bring this production to the UK, further exploring the very nature of communication, through and beyond different cultures and languages.”

For this staging at the NT, Jenny Sealey will work with the company to develop the original production with actors who have sensory impairments from the original Russian show, plus British and French performers who are deafblind, sighted and hearing.

Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director Graeaesaid: “I feel very privileged to be able to work with this extraordinary ensemble of actors, developing their show, embracing new stories, not least those from UK deafblind actors. I’m really excited to be part of this collaboration where diverse communication is the foundation of everything. It’s also a wonderful new challenge for Graeae, to further understand the complexity of deafblind sign language in particular, and how this can be embedded within a theatrical narrative. It’s always wonderful to be back at the National.”

Inclusion Theatre Company is a part of Deafblind Support Fund Connection.

In Touch is designed by Ekaterina Dzhadarova, with choreography by Evgeny Kulagin and Alexandra Rudik, produced byViktoria Avdeeva.

The cast includes Rustam Ahmadeev, Zara-Jayne Arnold, Arnaud BalardKirill Byrkin, Raji Gopalakrishnan, Alexey Gorelov, Roman Evdokimov, Alyona Kapustyan, Yuliya Khamitova, Olga Lapshina, Sophie LebedevaVera Lyzhenkova, Irina Povolotskaya, Alexandra Rudik, Ekaterina Sakhno, Alexandr Silyanov, with reading by Evgeny Mironov.

Further cast to be announced.

Please note: The production will be captioned and will include surtitles as it is performed in Russian, French and English. The show will be audio described and British Sign Language interpreted.

TICKETS: For anyone with access requirements, please subscribe to the NT’s Access List, which will allow you to select your own seats when booking online, or call Box Office on 020 7452 3000 or email [email protected]


Toby Stephens returns to the stage in the acclaimed production of ‘Oslo’


The National Theatre today announced Toby Stephens in the role of social-scientist Terje Rød-Larsen, with Lydia Leonard as his wife, diplomat Mona Juul and Peter Polycarpou plays Ahmed Qurie, the former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority.  The Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production ofOSLO, begins performancees at the National Theatre on 5 September (press nights 15, 16, 18 September) and later transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre (2 October – 30 December 2017).

This gripping new play by J T Rogers, directed by Bartlett Sher, was awarded ‘Best Play’ at the 2017 Tony Awards ® and was winner of every ‘Best Play’ award on Broadway this season including those given by New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle , Drama League, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.
In 1993, in front of the world’s press, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands on the lawn of the White House.  Few watching would have guessed that the negotiations leading up to this iconic moment started secretly in a castle in the middle of a forest outside Oslo.

Oslo tells the true story of how one young Norwegian couple Mona Juul (Lydia Leonard) and her husband,Terje Rød-Larsen (Toby Stephens) 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.  Featuring dozens of characters and set in locations across the globe, Oslo is both a political thriller and the personal story of a small band of women and men struggling together – and fighting each other – as they seek to change the world.  (Mona Juul is currently the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK – the first woman to occupy the role).

Toby Stephens has recently completed filming Lost in Space for Netflix – playing the leading role of John Robinson. The series is due for launch in 2018.  Previous stage work includes Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre and Gielgud Theatre), Danton’s Death (NT), The Real Thing (Old Vic), A Doll’s House (Donmar Warehouse), Betrayal (Donmar Warehouse), Japes(Theatre Royal, Haymarket), A Streetcar Named Desire (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), The Country Wife (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Wallenstein (RSC), Unfinished Business (RSC), Tamburlaine (RSC), The Pilate Workshop (RSC), Hamlet – title role (RSC), Measure for Measure (RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Coriolanus – title role (RSC), All’s Well That Ends Well(RSC), Antony and Cleopatra (RSC), Britannicus (Almeida), Phèdre (Almeida and Brooklyn Academy Of Music)), Tartuffe (Playhouse), and Ring Round the Moon (Lincoln Center). Recent film work includes 13 HoursThe Secret Soldiers of BenghaziThe Journey  and Hunter Killer (due for release.)  Other film work includes: The MachineBelieveAll Things To All MenSeveranceThe RisingBallad of Mangal PandeyDie Another DayPossession,  The AnnouncementOneginPhotographing FairiesSunset HeightsCousin BetteThe Great GatsbyTwelfth Night and Orlando. TV work includes: Black SailsAnd Then There Were NoneVexedRobin Hood , WiredThe Wild WestJane EyreThe Best ManThe Queen’s Sister, Cambridge SpiesPerfect StrangersThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Lydia Leonard appeared in Time and the Conways at the National.  Her previous stage work includes Wolf Hall / Bring Up the Bodies for which she was nominated for a TONY award and Hecuba (RSC), Let There Be Love (Tricycle); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic), Love’s Labour’s Lost on national tour and Onassis and Frost/Nixon in the West End. Her television appearances include Life in SquaresRiverLucanAmbassadorsDa Vinci’s DemonsWhitechapelLaw & OrderSpooksCasualty 1909The 39 Steps, Ashes to AshesMargaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to FinchleyCasualty 1907, The Line of BeautyJerichoRomeFoyle’s War and Midsomer Murders. On film she has appeared in The Fifth EstateThe Big PictureThe ShocateBorn of WarArchipelago and True True Lie.

Peter Polycarpou takes the role Ahmed Qurie, the former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority.  Peter’s previous work at the NT includes The MagistrateOklahoma! (also West End) and Metropolis Kabarett, He was in the original company of Les Misérables (RSC) and Miss Saigon (West End) he most recently appeared in Working at Southwark Playhouse.

The cast also includes Geraldine AlexanderPhilip ArdittiThomas ArnoldNabil Elouahabi , Paul HerzbergKaroline GableAnthony ShusterDaniel Stewart and Howard Ward.  Further casting will be announced.

Oslo is written by J T Rogers and directed by Bartlett Sher, with sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Peter John Still and projections by 59 Productions.

JT Rogers’ previous plays for the National Theatre are: Blood and Gifts, which premiered at the Lyttelton Theatre in 2010 and The Overwhelming, a co-production between the National Theatre and Out of Joint.  His other plays include Madagascar (Theatre503 in London and Melbourne Theatre Company) and White People (Off-Broadway; Starry Night Productions). He was one of the authors of the Olivier nominated The Great Game: Afghanistan at the Tricycle Theatre. His plays have been seen across the U.S., and in Canada, Germany and Israel.

Bartlett Sher’s makes his directorial debut for the National Theatre with Oslo.  His previous work in the UK includes Women on the verge of a Breakdown at the Playhouse in 2015, Two Boys for the ENO and South Pacific for the Barbican in 2011 and TFANA’s Cymbeline, at the RSC’s The Other Place in 2001.  His previous work for Lincoln Center Theater includes:  The King and I, Golden Boy, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing!, The Light in the Piazza (Tony nominations); South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle awards; also London, Australia); Blood and Gifts; Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (London). Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway Theatre), The Bridges of Madison County (Schoenfeld). Off-Broadway: Prayer for My Enemy (Playwrights Horizons), Waste (Best Play Obie Award), Don Juan, Pericles (TFANA, BAM). Upcoming productions include Adam Guettel’s new musical Millions and My Fair Lady for LCT.

The New York press on Oslo at the Lincoln Center Theater:

Crackling theater.  A vivid, thoughtful and astonishingly lucid account of a byzantine chapter in international poltics.’  – Ben Brantley, New York Times

‘A fascinating true story.  This riveting production is alive with intrigue, humor, and bristling intelligence.’  – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Oslo is produced in association with Ambassador Theatre Group  / Scott Delman.


National Theatre announces ACE grant to deliver three-year partnership project

National Theatre greenlights three-year partnership project following confirmation of a grant from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund

As part of our continuing ambition to support theatre and reach new audiences across the country, we are delighted to announce that the National Theatre has been awarded a grant of £1,166,408 from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund.

This grant will help fund a three-year programme to broaden and increase theatre audiences and productions, working with local partners in six areas of low arts engagement. Activity includes four main strands – large and mid-scale touring, sustained community projects and an extensive education programme including touring into schools, alongside an audience development research project.

The programme will take place with local partners in six key areas:

  • Doncaster, in partnership with Cast
  • The Greater Manchester metropolitan area in partnership with The Lowry, Salford
  • Outer East London with the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.
  • Sunderland, in partnership with the Empire Theatre and Fire Station
  • Wakefield, in partnership with the Theatre Royal
  • Wolverhampton with the Grand Theatre

As well as these venue partners, we will work closely with a wide range of partners including Bridge organisations and Cultural Education Partnerships.

This grant represents 40% of the projected cost of this three-year programme. We are enormously grateful for the generous support we have also received from The Sackler Trust and Bloomberg Philanthropies. We continue to fundraise to complete funding for this project.

Lisa Burger, Executive Director of the National Theatre, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to greenlight this ambitious new project, thanks to a grant from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund.

Reaching new audiences and supporting theatre making across the country is one of the most important things we do. This three-year project will allow us to work with a range of partners for a sustained period, including smaller or new venues. We hope to build a lasting local audience in partnership with these venues and organisations, through our combined expertise and resources, and their deep community links.

We are so excited to be working with our partners, and look forward to developing our plans together in the coming months.”

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England said:
“This significant touring programme will have real impact on the cultural landscape of our country. The different strands of work will not only inspire communities, but leave behind infrastructure upon which a local culture for both making and enjoying theatre can grow. In that way, the whole country benefits.”

Deborah Rees, Director, CAST, said:
“Cast is very excited about the opportunity of partnering the National Theatre, developing and building the relationship through a number of approaches and strands of work. A flagship partnership with an organisation of national significance such as the NT will contribute to our aims in a number of ways through providing high quality work and engagement programmes and contributing to improvements in how the town perceives itself and its level of aspiration.”

Julia Fawcett OBE, Chief Executive Officer, THE LOWRY, said:

“The Lowry is delighted to be working in partnership with the National Theatre to develop a sustained three-year collaboration across productions, work with schools and young people and audience development, including working in partnership to engage audiences in key areas of Greater Manchester.”

Douglas Rintoul, Artistic Director, QUEEN’S THEATRE HORNCHURCH, said:

“We’re delighted to see the Arts Council fund a programme that supports touring to Outer East London, where there is a palpable sense not being connected to the inner London institutions. Through this partnership our community will be afforded access to a major arts organisation that they may currently feel isn’t for or doesn’t reflect them. It supports our ambitions for excellence and it will be a game changer for all involved.”

Helen Green, Director, THE FIRE STATIONsaid:
“I am absolutely thrilled that the National Theatre will be coming to work with Sunderland Culture. It is outside the means of a large percentage of our residents to travel to London, so to have the National come to us to work in our schools and our communities is very exciting. Our new, mid-scale theatre, The Fire Station, will open during the period of this partnership and we are excited to explore the many ways we can work together to enthuse and inspire audiences and emerging artists.”

Katie Town, Executive Director, THEATRE ROYAL WAKEFIELD, said:
“Theatre Royal Wakefield is delighted to be working with the National Theatre as a partner for their three year strategic touring programme. Together we will increase access to theatre and offer unique opportunities for those least engaged with the arts. Wakefield has a significant number of excellent cultural organisations working hard to increase accessibility for everyone in the district and this programme will enable local young people to have a spectacular first experience of theatre.”

Tim Colegate, Producer & Programme Manager, WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE, said:
“The opportunity for Wolverhampton Grand Theatre to form an affiliation with the National Theatre will enable us to make a further commitment to our audiences and strongly reinforce our continued efforts to offer consistent high-quality drama over the duration of the scheme. This in turn will grant us the ability to consider the future in terms of audience growth and sustainability in a way which we are usually unable to with the conventional ‘show-by-show’ method of programming.”

In 2017-18, the NT will tour to 49 venues in 37 towns and cities across the UK:

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time from January 2017
  • My Country; a work in progress from March 2017
  • Jane Eyre from June 2017
  • War Horse from September 2017
  • Hedda Gabler from October 2017
  • Over 3,000 schools have signed up to the free streaming service, On Demand In Schools, since its launch in September 2015.