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


Casting Announced for Absolute Hell, National Theatre

Absolute Hell
Absolute Hell

Absolute Hell

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

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

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

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

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

Talks and Events

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

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

Soho Then and Now – Wednesday 16 May, 5.30pm

Press Night: Wednesday 25 April, 7pm

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

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

Theatre podcast by Mark Shenton & Carl Woodward

Commit No Nuisance

Commit No Nuisance


Further performances and casting announced for Macbeth at the National Theatre


Macbeth © Jack Davison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


First Look: Rehearsal images: Annie Baker’s JOHN

A new season of talks and events at the National Theatre

National Theatre

Talks and events at the National Theatre start this year with The Jungle – exploring the issues on 6 January. The talk will explore the issues raised in the play as well as the refugee situation more widely with panel members from Good Chance Theatre directors Joe Robertson and Joe MurphyNico Stevens (COO, Help Refugees) and Lord Dubs (who sponsored an  amendment to the Immigration Act which allows unaccompanied refugee children to settle in the UK).

Performing Equality will follow on 7 Feb marking the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act which gave all men and some women the vote for the first time. Samira Ahmed will chair this panel discussion.

Talks and events relating to Network will begin with actors Michelle Dockery and Douglas Henshall on 2 February, who will reflect on the challenges and rewards of performing the roles of Diana Christensen and Max Schumacher.

In a new workshop designed to explore investigative and responsive dramatic writing, join us to write your own response toNetwork. Attendees will watch a performance of Network and then take part in a playwriting workshop. After being given five days to write a play extract they will then spend the day hearing them read aloud by NT actors.

Continuing the NT’s National Debate series is a debate on the influence of the media on 22 March. A panel will discuss what can be done to reduce the impact of fake news, and ensure reporting is unbiased; leaving consumers, voters and viewers to form their own opinions.

On 1 February you can join director James Macdonald and designer Chloe Lamford as they reflect on the new production of John.

Amadeus related events include a talk with actors Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati, who will discuss performing the roles of Mozart and Salieri on 15 March. You can also join two NT dressers as they explain their processes and demonstrate some of the costume changes in Amadeus at The Art of the Dresser on 8 February. On 22 January director Michael Longhurstwill be discussing the facts and fiction in Shaffer’s play with writer and broadcaster Gavin Plumley. Salieri Explored withDavid Owen Norris and Southbank Sinfonia on 23 April will see pianist, composer and broadcaster David Owen Norris explore Salieri’s taste in music, with demonstrations from Southbank Sinfonia.

Writer Dennis Kelly (who also wrote Matilda The Musical) will speak about his latest production, Pinocchio on 16 February.

Director Indhu Rubasingham and writer Francis Turnly will reflect on their new production of The Great Wave on 26 March, and designer Tom Piper will explain how the show came together, from the initial design concept through to the set and costumes that can be seen on stage in the production, on 28 March. This includes the opportunity to see the model of the set, and step on to the Dorfman stage to see it up close.

Writer Natasha Gordon and director Roy Alexander Weise discuss their production of Nine Night on 10 May and panel discussion Culture after Windrush will explores issues of race, immigration and culture on 17 May.

Related to Absolute Hell, a half-day session British Theatre after the Blitz will uncover the surprisingly varied theatre that emerged in post-war Britain, exploring theatre censorship, political drama, and playwrights.

An afternoon of talks exploring Macbeth and Shakespeare in performance on 30 April includes a talk with Macbeth actorsAnne-Marie Duff and Rory KinnearPerforming Shakespeare with Abigail Rokison-Woodall and Simon Russell Beale, who will discuss the perks, pitfalls and practicalities of bringing Shakespeare’s plays off the page and finally a talk with Rufus Norris about his new production. There also will be a free archive handling session in the Olivier foyer from 2.30 – 6pm, which can be accessed between talks, with the chance to get hands-on with a range of materials from previous Shakespeare productions at the NT.

To book for any of these events please visit the NT website


The Jungle – exploring the issues Sat 6 January, 11.30am, Cottesloe Room, £7/£5

Performing Equality: Vote 100 and the artsWed 7 February, 5pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5

Michelle Dockery and Douglas Henshall on Network Fri 2 February, 3pm, Lyttelton Theatre, £7/£5

Write your own response to Network Sat 3 March 10.30am – 1pm and Sat 10 March 11am – 5pm Cottesloe Room, £120 (students and concessions £80)

National Debate: The influence of the media, Thurs 22 March, 5.30pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5

Dennis Kelly on PinocchioFri 16 February, 5.30pm, Lyttelton Theatre, £7/£5

Chloe Lamford and James Macdonald on John Thurs 1 February, 5.30pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5

Amadeus – fact or fiction?Mon 22 January, 6pm, Olivier Theatre, £7/£5

Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati on Mozart and Salieri Thurs 15 March, 3pm, Olivier Theatre, £7/£5

The Art of the Dresser, Thurs 8 February, 6pm, Cottesloe Room, £7/£5

Salieri Explored with David Owen Norris and Southbank Sinfonia Mon 23 April, 6pm, Olivier Theatre, £7/£5

Indhu Rubasingham and Francis Turnly Mon 26 March, 6pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5

Designing The Great Wave with Tom Piper Wed 28 March, 5.30pm, Duffield Studio, £7/£5

Natasha Gordon and Roy Alexander Weise on Nine Night Thurs 10 May, 6pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5

Culture after Windrush Thurs 17 May, 5.45pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5

Absolute Hell – British Theatre after the Blitz Tues 15 May, 2pm Cottesloe Room, £30/£20/students £7.50

Macbeth talks Mon 30 April, 3pm, Olivier Theatre, £15 – £5

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


Why you should visit the National Theatre this winter?



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


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


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.


PINOCCHIO makes its world premiere at the National Theatre



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.


First Look: Stunning behind the scenes images released to mark live cinema broadcast of National Theatre production of classic musical Follies this Thursday