Greenwich+Docklands International Festival announces 2018 dates and first commissions

Fly By Night Image Courtesy Creative Time
Fly By Night Image Courtesy Creative Time

Fly By Night Image Courtesy Creative Time

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF), London’s leading festival of outdoor theatre and performing arts, today announced its 2018 dates, running from 21 June – 7 July in locations across Royal Greenwich, Docklands and Tower Hamlets.

The first commissions to be announced are Fly By Night by Duke Riley, a co-commission with LIFT, which will open GDIF in Thamesmead from 21-24 June and This Is Not For You by Graeae Theatre Company, which will have its world première in Woolwich as part of GDIF. Both events are part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary. They also announce several commissions by outdoor arts commissioning network Without Walls, including Helen Eastman Production’s Bicycle BoyBelly of the Whale by Ockham’s Razordip by Max Calaf Sevé, Travelling Light Circus’ The Playground of Illusions and Dedicated to… byCandoco Dance Company. The full GDIF 2018 programme will be announced in March.

Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings MBE said today, “Last year GDIF broke new ground for a free outdoor theatre festival with a programme of revivals and new productions, set in evocative landscapes and locations. Taking this further in 2018, GDIF will bring world-class international outdoor theatre and performance to a range of new and resonant locations, from an atmospheric riverside site adjacent to the famous Bazalgette Pumping Station in Thamesmead to the historic military surroundings of the Royal Arsenal Woolwich. We’ll also be marking key anniversaries, including the 50th anniversary of the first families taking up residence in Thamesmead and the 70th anniversary of the arrival at Tilbury of the MV Empire Windrush in 1948.”

GDIF has also recently been awarded Gold, the highest level on Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice, for its commitment to accessibility for D/deaf and disabled people.

Michelle Walker, Executive Director at FESTIVAL.ORG, said, “It’s brilliant to have been recognised by Attitude is Everything for the work we have done to make GDIF accessible for audiences. Access for audiences and artists has been a priority for us since the very beginning and we will continue to ensure that GDIF champions accessibility and inclusion in the outdoor arts sector in the years ahead. Alongside our ongoing support of D/deaf and disabled artists in developing and creating accessible performances, we’re delighted to have created a new role of Access & Community Engagement Manager this spring, placing our commitment to accessibility at the heart of the organisation all year round.”

Suzanne Bull MBE, Chief Executive at Attitude is Everything, said, “We are delighted to award Gold, the highest level of achievement on our Charter of Best Practice, to Greenwich+Docklands International Festival. This is in recognition of a sustained and continuous commitment over the past three years to create an inclusive festival. Their diverse programme of international street arts is accessible to all; we want to particularly highlight the implementation of creative provision, such as audio description and BSL (British Sign Language) and providing resources that enable artists to make their work accessible. It is wonderful to have them on board.”

This year the company behind GDIF has rebranded as FESTIVAL.ORG with a new website going live today (www.festival.org).

 

Duke Riley

Fly By Night

2124 June 2018

Nr. Crossness Pumping Station, Thamesmead, SE2

 Taking place at dusk above the River Thames, Fly By Night pays beautiful homage to some of the First World War’s unsung heroes: the military pigeons that played crucial roles delivering messages between distant personnel. The call of a whistle provides the signal for over 1000 trained pigeons to emerge from their coop and soar, swoop and glide through the skies, with the leg bands that once carried vital messages replaced by tiny LED lights to create a glorious spectacle in the evening sky. This public artwork was originally presented by Riley and Creative Time in New York City’s Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2016.

More than 100,000 pigeons contributed to the British war effort, carrying messages from ship to shore, from battlefield to command post, and from pilots to forces on the ground. Some 95 per cent of messages arrived safely, changing the course of battles and saving dozens of lives. Illuminating the sky in a transcendent union of public art and nature, Fly By Night will commemorate the courageous yet often forgotten role of these urban creatures.

A purpose-built coop in Thamesmead, an area which played an important war-time role as part of the Royal Arsenal, provides the pigeons’ home for 11 weeks before the performances of Fly By Night.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, LIFT, Peabody, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival and London Borough of Bexley. Originally commissioned by Creative Time.

Helen Eastman Production

Bicycle Boy

23-24 June 2018

Part of Greenwich Fair – Greenwich Town Centre, SE10

Composer: Alex Silverman

A bicycle-powered musical for children aged 6 – 10 and their families. Sam and Mike loved their bikes as youngsters and pretended to be superheroes. Now grown-up, they’re clearing out their granddad’s old bike workshop and sharing childhood dreams with laughs, songs, and percussion played on spare bike parts. A celebration of pedal power.

Originally developed at Oxford Playhouse Plays Out.

Co-commissioned by Without Walls, Brighton Festival and Hat Fair.

Ockham’s Razor

Belly of the Whale

23-24 June 2018

Part of Greenwich Fair – Greenwich Town Centre, SE10

Director: Tina Koch; Costume Designer: Tina Bicat

Equipment Designers: Tina Koch and Stefano di Renzo

Devised and performed by Amanda HomaNathan Johnston and Stefano di Renzo

Circus meets sculpture in the first outdoor show created by critically acclaimed company Ockham’s Razor, winners of the Total Theatre Award for Circus at Edinburgh Festival in 2016. The performers ride a giant semi-circular see-saw of wood and steel which creaks and groans as it transforms from a catapult, a rocking cradle, or a tunnel to a slide.

Commissioned by Without Walls, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Greenwich+Docklands

International Festival, Out There International Festival of Circus & Street Arts, Norfolk & Norwich

Festival, Salisbury International Arts Festival, Circulate and Stratford Circus Arts Centre.

Max Calaf Sevé

dip

23-24 June 2018

Part of Greenwich Fair – Greenwich Town Centre, SE10

Set and Costume Designer: John Van Beek, Movement Director: Tim Casson

Performed by Max CalafJonah Russell and Oliver Presman

Combining highly skilled trampoline acrobatics and live brass, electronic and percussion music; a creation for all ages. Expect light-hearted, breath-taking, air-twists and funky tunes with a good dose of humour.

Co-commissioned by Without Walls, Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Hat Fair.

Travelling Light Circus

The Playground of Illusions

23-24 June 2018

Part of Greenwich Fair – Greenwich Town Centre, SE10

Inspired by steampunk and using vintage industrial machines to make quirky gadgets with levers to pull, buttons to push and pedals to press. These giant games each contain a visual or sound illusion – an unforgettable and fascinating experience for all ages which will ignite your imagination.

Co-commissioned by Without Walls, Just So Festival and Brighton Festival.

Candoco Dance Company

Dedicated to… 
Saturday 30 June 2018

Dancing City, Canary Wharf

Choreographer: Caroline Bowditch; Designer: Laura Hook; Composer: Zac Scott

Dancers: Welly O’Brien and Victoria Fox

This new duet choreographed by Caroline Bowditch, reveals the extraordinary bonds we make throughout our lives.  A touching portrayal of female strength, support and friendship and how people come in and out of our lives and evolve and can shape us.

Candoco Dance Company is a critically acclaimed company of disabled and non-disabled dancers, supported by Arts Council England, Aspire, British Council, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and David and Claudia Harding Foundation.

Co-commissioned by Birmingham International Dance Festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival and Without Walls.

Graeae Theatre Company

This Is Not For You
30 June – 1 July

Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich, SE18

This Is Not For You is an epic outdoor performance paying moving tribute to Britain’s wounded war veterans, men and women whose contributions to history often go unnoticed. The piece is directed by Jenny Sealey, written by Mike Kenny and performed by Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, professional performers and a choir of local people.

This Is Not For You is a story of veterans’ fight for respect and remembrance, told with heft and beauty, both on the ground and off it, with audio description and sign language as integral parts of the production. Graeae Theatre Company, with the National Centre for Circus Arts, has trained 25 disabled veterans in performance skills especially for the piece.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch).

Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice

GDIF has been awarded Gold, the highest level on Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice, for its commitment to making the festival accessible for D/deaf and disabled people.

To step-up from their Silver level, awarded following the 2016 festival, GDIF made significant changes to the planning and delivery of the 2017 festival, including:

  • Making easy read material about the festival available online as a download from the access page.
  • Making processional performances accessible using visible signage and stewarding, and rehearsing processional events to ensure stewards and volunteers understood the most accessible route.
  • Providing BSL interpretation, captioning and audio description of performances.
  • Encouraging all artists and performers to look at the accessibility of their performances, and providing guidance and support to help them make adaptations.
  • The organisation has recently recruited for the newly created role of Access & Community Engagement Manager to ensure access is at the forefront of the festival going forward.

Young Playwriting Scheme ‘Pitch Your Play’ Returns for 2018

Pitch Your Play
Pitch Your Play

Pitch Your Play

Over the last twenty years, the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust (Masterclass) has worked hard to curate unique theatre opportunities for young creatives at the start of their career by opening up the Theatre Royal Haymarket during the day, when most other theatres lie dormant.

The future of theatre relies on today’s generation having the opportunities and support to go forward and create. As such, Masterclass has announced the return of their successful Pitch Your Play scheme which invites people aged 17-30 to pitch for the opportunity to stage a reading of a new play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Generously supported by the Noel Coward Foundation, Masterclass’ Pitch Your Play scheme offers three successful pitches access to admin support, marketing provision, rehearsal space, office space and creative guidance to hone their ideas at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Working closely with Masterclass, this is an exclusive opportunity to showcase new work in front of an invited audience of peers and industry professionals. It is a chance to invite potential funders, financial producers and potential theatres to see the play or to simply test a new piece of writing on stage in the heart of London’s West End.

Masterclass are asking for all applications to include: a short synopsis of the play, a hard copy of the first 30 pages and covering letter, but the script must be a new, unpublished piece of writing. Applications are now open and the deadline to submit the first 30 pages of the script is 10am, Tuesday 13th March! For more information and how to apply, visit the Masterclass website here.

Speaking about the return of the Pitch Your Play scheme, Jez Butterworth commented:

“Twenty five years ago when I gave up my first and last paying job to try to write for a living, I swiftly felt alone. A scheme such as Pitch Your Play would have felt like a lifeline. Witnessing work rehearsed and hearing it read aloud is oxygen for fledgling playwrights. I’m a bit jealous of those taking part, who will hear something for the first time; the strange and familiar voice, which startles, haunts, galvanises and nourishes them enough to try again.”

One of the initiative’s previous playwrights, Emma Whipday, explains how the process has helped to further her career:

“Having Shakespeare’s Sister staged at the Theatre Royal Haymarket has transformed my career. The staged reading resulted in an offer to licence and publish the play and its first professional production took place at the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia, February 2017. These are career-changing moments I simply couldn’t have imagined before Pitch Your Play. The opportunity to have my work seen by industry professionals has opened so many doors and I’m hugely grateful.”

The Masterclass Pitch Your Play initiative is generously supported by the Noel Coward Foundation.

Hampstead Theatre season announcement

Edward Hall
Edward Hall

Edward Hall

Artistic Director Edward Hall announced Hampstead Theatre’s spring/summer season

    • The UK premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s darkly comic post-truth play Describe the Night will be directed by Lisa Spirlin
    • The world premiere of Jemma Kennedy’s blisteringly entertaining Genesis Inc. will be directed by Laurie Sansom.
    • The world premiere of Fiona Doyle’s haunting and provocative new drama The Strange Death of John Doe will be directed by Artistic Director Edward Hall for Hampstead Downstairs.
    • The production is a Hampstead Theatre commission and a finalist for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
    • Under 30s can access Priority Booking for all shows via The Downstairs Club – Hampstead’s free membership scheme to allow better access to the cheaper seats

 Edward Hall comments,

‘Next year will mark Hampstead Theatre’s 60th birthday. Since 1959, Hampstead has always committed itself to discovering and presenting a variety of top quality new plays by established, emerging or debut writers. I’m proud to report that right now, both of our plays – the UK premiere of Sarah Burgess’ Dry Powder on the Main Stage and Georgia Christou’s debut play Yous Two Downstairs – are playing to full houses. Rehearsals are also underway for Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s breathtaking musical Caroline, or Change, which makes a highly anticipated transfer from Chichester to Hampstead next month. Furthermore, I’m delighted to announce three new plays: the UK premiere of multi award-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night, Jemma Kennedy’s breakthrough new play Genesis Inc. and Fiona Doyle’s haunting story of The Strange Death of John Doe, commissioned and developed by Hampsteadwhich is a finalist this year for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. So, as we approach a major milestone next year, I’m pleased to say that Hampstead’s in a very exciting place, filled with talented, bold and ambitious creatives delivering world class entertainment to a vibrant and captivated audience. Long may it continue.’

DESCRIBE THE NIGHT Written by Rajiv Joseph Directed by Lisa Spirling

30 April – 9 June

Press Night Wednesday 9 May 7pm Jo Allan PR 2

 ‘When we say that something is true, it becomes true. When we say that something is false, it becomes false… There is nothing that cannot eventually be crossed out and changed’

In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel reports on a Red Cavalry campaign in Poland. In 1936, Stalin’s NKVD chief Nicolai Yezhov unleashes the Great Purge. In 1989, a mysterious KGB agent spying on a woman in Dresden falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes near the Russian city of Smolensk…

Hampstead Theatre presents the UK premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night. Directed by Lisa Spirling, this darkly comic fantasia on Russian themes explores the blurred lines between lies, fiction and conspiracy theories, as it tracks back and forth across 90 years of Soviet and post-Soviet history in search of the genesis of the post-truth world.

Rajiv Joseph’s play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. His play Guards at the Taj was a 2016 Obie Winner for Best New American Play and 2016 Lucille Lortel Winner for Best Play. His play Archduke, received its World Premiere this spring at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Other plays include Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Monster at the Door, Animals Out of Paper, The Lake Effect, The North Pool, Guards at The Taj, Mr. Wolf, and Describe the Night. Rajiv has been awarded artistic grants from the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. He is a board member of the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, where he develops all his plays. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lisa Spirling is the Artistic Director of Theatre503. She returns to Hampstead Theatre to direct following Deposit, Ken, PineFault Lines, I Know How I Feel About Eve (Hampstead Theatre Downstairs). Other credits include:- In Event of Moone Disaster, Cotton Wool (Theatre503); Jumpy (Theatr Clwyd); Hello / Goodbye (Singapore Rep Theatre); The Nine O’Clock Slot (Ice & Fire Theatre Company / Red Gallery); Donkeys’ Years, Here (Rose Theatre); Enron (West End Recast & UK Tour), Idiots of Ants (Pleasance, Edinburgh / Arts Theatre); Hundreds & Thousands (Buckle For Dust / English Touring Theatre / Soho Theatre); Boeing Boeing (Alley Theatre, Texas) and Gas and Air (Pleasance, London).

GENESIS INC. Written by Jemma Kennedy Directed by Laurie Sansom

22 June – 28 July

Press Night Thursday 28 June 7pm

‘Cyclist are you? Good for the lungs, less so for the sperm. Try fast walking instead’

Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Jemma Kennedy’s breakthrough play, the blisteringly entertaining Genesis Inc. Directed byLaurie Sansom, this is a multifaceted tale of the final frontier of 21st century capitalism: the privatisation of human reproduction. This richly imaginative, topical, and explosively funny new comedy takes a closer look at the lengths to which people will go to defy biology – and at the moral compass of an industry that trades on fear and hope.

Serena and Jeff have one last chance: Genesis Incorporated, whose glowing testimonials and bespoke treatments surely justify a final roll of the dice. Meanwhile, Bridget has put her future literally on ice while she focuses on her high-flying career and on finding Mr Right. And all Miles wants is a steady salary so he can buy a property in Zone 4 – oblivious to the fact that, in a different kind of currency, he’s actually the richest of them all…

Jemma Kennedy’s previous playwriting credits include Second Person Narrative (Tonic Theatre commission as part of the Play for Platform Series);The Gift (New Vic Theatre) and The Summer Book, The Prince and the Pauper (Unicorn Theatre); Don’t Feed the Animals (National Theatre Connections) and The Grand Irrationality (Lost Theatre, Los Angeles). She is currently writing her first stage musical, Electric Ladies, for Universal Music. Other writing credits include her novel Skywalking (Penguin) and Captain Webb, Jemma’s first feature film, which was released in 2015. Film adaptation work includes Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women and Lissa Evans’ Crooked Heart (both for BBC Films). Jemma will also adapt Iris Murdoch’sThe Sea, The Sea for BBC Television.

Laurie Sansom was the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland until 2016 for whom he directed The James Playstrilogy by Rona Munro, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014 before they transferred to the National Theatre in London, where they won the Evening Standard and Writers’ Guild Awards for Best Play. In 2015 he directed his own adaptation of The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, and The 306:Dawn, a new site-specific piece of music theatre telling the stories of the 306 British soldier executed for cowardice in the First World War. Previously he was Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, Northampton where he directed then European premier of Tennessee Williams’Spring Storm and Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon, both transferring to the National Theatre. He also directed new versions of The Bacchae,Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Frankenstein (with Frantic Assembly), The Duchess of MalfiFolliesand The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. He has directed for theatres around the UK including the Traverse, Birmingham Rep, Salisbury Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, New Vic, Stoke, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the National Theatre, London, where he directed the world premiere of The Holy Rosenbergs. At the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, where he was the Associate Director to Alan Ayckbourn, he directed over twenty new plays including Villette (with Frantic Assembly) and a micro-musical season comprising three new musicals. His Watford Palace production of Dangerous Corner was re-staged at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and transferred to the Garrick theatre, West End in 2002. In April 2018 Laurie will direct the world premiere of Barney Norris’ play Nightfall for The Bridge Theatre.

HAMPSTEAD DOWNSTAIRS / CELIA ATKIN PRESENT

THE STRANGE DEATH OF JOHN DOE

Written by Fiona Doyle

Directed by Edward Hall

25 May – 30 June 2018

Press Night Tuesday 5 June 7.45pm

‘I mean, where does a person begin and end, and when did they stop being a person?’ 

Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Fiona Doyle’s The Strange Death of John Doe, inspired by real events. This powerful and poignant new play is a Hampstead Theatre commission and a finalist for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It will be directed by Artistic Director Edward Hall.

London – the present day. The unidentified body of a young man with fatal head injuries is found face down in a suburban street. Who is he and where did he come from? He has no ID and nobody witnessed anything. It’s as if he has just fallen from the sky…

Clinically named as ‘John Doe’, the pathologists must uncover the truth and piece his story – and body – back together. A breakthrough sends DC John Kavura into overdrive for answers and as his investigation unravels, he discovers a haunting story of our time.

Fiona Doyle returns to Hampstead Downstairs following Deluge in 2015, which won the 2014 Eamon Keane Full-Length Play Award. Fiona’s other plays include Coolatully (winner of the 2014 Papatango New Writing Prize) at the Finborough Theatre in London and for Mead Theatre Lab in Washington DC; The Annihilation of Jessie Leadbeater (ALRA); The Ceasefire Babies (NT Connections); and Ms Y (short) as part of the Young Vic’s Five Plays. Fiona has been the recipient of the Irish Theatre Institute’s Phelim Donlon Playwright’s Bursary and Residency Award in association with the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a Cill Rialaig Artist residency, a Peggy Ramsay Foundation grant, and has recently been awarded a Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony for their 2018 Winter/Spring season. Her work is published by Nick Hern Books and Methuen Drama.

Hampstead Theatre’s Artistic Director Edward Hall’s productions include Cell Mates, Filthy BusinessRabbit Hole, FirebirdWonderlandSunny AfternoonRavingChariots of FireNo Naughty BitsLoyalty, and Enlightenment. As Artistic Director of Propeller, his Shakespeare productions have toured worldwide, played both in the West End and on Broadway, and have won numerous awards both in the UK and overseas. Other theatre work includes A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (National Theatre); Edmond with Kenneth Branagh (National Theatre); Macbeth with Sean Bean (Albery); The Constant Wife (Apollo); Julius Caesar (RSC); Henry V (RSC); and The Deep Blue Sea (Vaudeville). Television work includes The Durrells, Partners in CrimeRestlessDownton AbbeyStrike BackSpooks and Kingdom.

Casting for Describe The Night, Genesis Inc. and The Strange Death of John Doe and will be announced in due course.

 

 

 

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New casting announced for new National Theatre season

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

Olivier Theatre

TRANSLATIONS

by Brian Friel

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

Owen, the prodigal son, returns to rural Donegal from Dublin. With him are two British army officers. Their ambition is to create a map of the area, replacing the Gaelic names with English. It is an administrative act with radical consequences.

Brian Friel’s modern classic is a powerful account of nationhood, which sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in one quiet community. Cast includes Dermot Crowley, Aoife DuffinAdetomiwa EdunMichelle FoxCiarán Hinds, Laurence KinlanColin MorganSeamus O’HaraJudith Roddy and Rufus Wright.

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

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

Lyttelton Theatre

JULIE

by Polly Stenham

after Strindberg

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

Miss Julie finds a new home in contemporary London.

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

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

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

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

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY

by Stefano Massini

adapted by Ben Power

a co-production with Neal Street Productions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

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

Tickets will go on sale later in the year.

Dorfman Theatre

AN OCTOROON

by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

a co-production with the Orange Tree Theatre

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

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

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

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

Productions currently on sale

Olivier Theatre

AMADEUS

by Peter Shaffer

In repertoire until 24 April

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

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

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

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

MACBETH

by William Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lyttelton Theatre

NETWORK

adapted by Lee Hall

based on the Paddy Chayefsky film

In repertoire until 24 March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PINOCCHIO

by Dennis Kelly

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

adapted by Martin Lowe

In repertoire until 10 April

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

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

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

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

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

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

Presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions.

Sponsored by American Express.

ABSOLUTE HELL

by Rodney Ackland

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

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

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

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

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

Dorfman Theatre

JOHN

by Annie Baker

In repertoire until 3 March

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

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

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

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

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

THE GREAT WAVE

a new play by Francis Turnly

a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre

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

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

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

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

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

NINE NIGHT

a new play by Natasha Gordon

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

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

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

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

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

Shakespeare for Young Audiences

THE WINTER’S TALE

by William Shakespeare

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

Playing until 28 February

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

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

NEW VIEWS

Dorfman Theatre

11 – 13 July

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

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

For more information visit www.new-views.tv

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

CONNECTIONS

Dorfman Theatre

26 – 30 June

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

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

Tickets on sale 25 May.

All performances will be captioned.

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

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

The National Theatre on tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

On sale from 6 March.

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

HEDDA GABLER

by Henrik Ibsen

in a new version by Patrick Marber

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

THIS HOUSE

by James Graham

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

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

based on the novel by Mark Haddon

adapted by Simon Stephens

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

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

WAR HORSE

based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo

adapted by Nick Stafford

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

War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

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

In the West End

BEGINNING

a new play by David Eldridge

Ambassadors Theatre, West End
until 24 March

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

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

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

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

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

On Broadway

ANGELS IN AMERICA
A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

by Tony Kushner

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

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

National Theatre Live

NT Live currently screens to 60 countries across the globe.

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

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

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

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

Sky Arts is the sponsor of NT Live in the UK

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National Theatre to tour Macbeth

Macbeth

Macbeth

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

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

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

Rufus Norris in rehearsal

Rufus Norris in rehearsal credit Richard Hubert Smith

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

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

Casting to be announced.

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

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

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

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The Dancing Club, Caroline Jester: ‘Work that inspires me is a diversity of work.’

The Dancing Club is a new play for community owned spaces, school and village halls, libraries, arts centres and theatres. Produced by Pippa Frith and written and directed by Caroline Jester, The Dancing Club is based around the remarkable and inspirational true story of Kidderminster legends Frank and Wynn Freeman and their selfless drive to get a town dancing.

I caught up with writer and director Caroline Jester recently. Here is what we discussed.

Hi Caroline! Can you tell me a bit about The Dancing Club and what led you to this project?

Most of my career to date has been developing work in cities but coming from a town where there is little provision for the arts I have always had a fascination with how to explore these towns in connection with the arts. Towns that have an industrial heritage, so distinct from villages and cities, where the main industry has died out and they are often forgotten in terms of arts provisions. I use playwriting as a tool in many ways in my practice as well as to develop plays for the stage and I wanted to see if a verbatim approach could facilitate audience development in these towns. Verbatim is often used as a response to an event so this was an experiment as I wasn’t reacting against an event but trying to create the event. I thought back to my childhood and remembered the dancing school I went to for six years and started from there. I discovered this had run for over fifty years and started as a ballroom dancing school but became a space where youth culture exploded across the generations, including being a place where the likes of Marc Bolan and Fleetwood Mac played gigs in the room above a butcher’s shop.

the_dancing_club.jpg

Sounds interesting. How did you go about collecting the testimony and information?

I interviewed over 100 residents of the town aged 25 – 90 and over 150 people came to readings of early drafts, so an audience was developing. Steve Elias had his BBC series ‘Our Dancing Town’ on at the same time where he was connecting generations through dance in Yorkshire towns so we connected and he is now the choreographer on the show that is about to tour.

The Dancing Club - credit Colin Hill.jpg

As well as The Dancing Club being out on tour you have a new book out: ‘Fifty Playwrights on Their Craft. Tell me more about that, it sounds like a huge project.

I interviewed 25 – my US collaborator, Caridad Svich interviewed the other 25 – very much a UK US collaboration – the premise of it was to think about an intergenerational conversation. So, it is a book of interviews with writers of different generations but writers from different perspectives on their craft and what that means to them as playwrights. A key aim was to ensure 50/50 male-female –Artists in the US seem to have a much greater appreciation or knowledge of predecessors and practitioners.

What did you think about the recent Rita, Sue and Bob Too debacle around ‘working class voices’ being censored at the Royal Court

I didn’t seen this production but I did hear that one of the arguments to reinstate the production was because if it wasn’t shown then it would be one less ‘working class’ voice on our stages. I think we have to be careful when we use the term ‘working class voices’ because to be working class does not mean you are part of a homogeneous group of people. No one ‘working class’ voice will be the same and I feel we should steer clear of the use of the word ‘authentic’ in these discussions as well. From what I know about Andrea Dunbar then she could be categorised as being working class based on economic status and having lived on a council estate but there have been others, there are others and there will be others who also have a similar biography so can’t we look beyond this and have a conversation solely about the work instead? A bigger question is whether there will be any social housing rather than any ‘working class voices’.

What inspires you as a theatre-maker?

Work that inspires me is a diversity of work and I hope I am inspired and open enough to contradict my own beliefs in what is good and challenging work, and this is something that constantly changes.

The Dancing Club opens at Kidderminster College and then tours to Shropshire, Bewdley, Malvern, Bromsgrove, Smethwick, Wolverhampton, Worester & Cumbria.

For more information: https://www.thedancingclub.co.uk/

Following two acclaimed West End seasons, the unforgettable theatrical tour-de-force, The Kite Runner, returns to The REP from 13 – 24 March.

The Kite Runner 2018 - 1 RAJ GHATAK (Amir) and JO BEN AYED (Hassan) Photo Betty Zapata
The Kite Runner 2018 - 1 RAJ GHATAK (Amir) and JO BEN AYED (Hassan) Photo Betty Zapata

The Kite Runner 2018 – 1 RAJ GHATAK (Amir) and JO BEN AYED (Hassan) Photo Betty Zapata

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel, this haunting and powerful story has been adapted into a stunning stage production by Matthew Spangler. This tale of friendship spans cultures and continents, following one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

Afghanistan is a divided country on the verge of war and two childhood friends are about to be torn apart. It’s a beautiful afternoon in Kabul and the skies are full of the excitement and joy of a kite flying tournament. But neither Hassan nor Amir can foresee the terrible incident which will shatter their lives forever.

The Kite Runner, published in 2003, was Khaled Hosseini’s first novel. It became an instant bestseller across the globe and has since been published in 70 countries, selling 31.5 million copies in 60 languages. Hosseini was working as a doctor in California when he wrote The Kite Runner, never imaging that after its publication in 2003 it would sell more than 20 million copies – helped, of course, by no greater a champion than Oprah Winfrey as well as the success of the 2007 film adaptation. Coming out after the 9/11 attacks, the story resonated with readers who weren’t necessarily familiar with Afghanistan and the Taliban before the Twin Towers fell.

Playwright Matthew Spangler says of the stage adaptation:
“The play covers many universal themes: A father and son relationship, friendship, love, global politics, refugees, forgiveness and redemption. A more conventional play might just choose one of those themes, but in The Kite Runner all the themes kind of swim around each other. There’s always something new happening on stage and something new to think about.”

The playwright hopes audiences will be moved by it. “It’s a very sad but hopeful and moving story,” he says. “Maybe people will leave with a greater understanding of the themes and it’s great if they do, but at the very basic level it’s a piece of storytelling and emotion.”

 The cast features Raj Ghatak in the central role as the show’s narrator, Amir. Raj, whose previous credits include Bombay Dreams in the West End and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Sheffield Crucible, admits that being on stage for more than two hours is a challenge:

 “I narrate the show then go into the scenes as I remember and recount the story so there are points where I speak in an American accent, then I become a ten-year-old boy speaking Dari, then I’m American again. At various points I range between age ten up to late-30s so I have to negotiate that along with Amir’s emotional journey.”

 Raj will be joined by Jo Ben Ayed as Hassan and Hanif Khan, who will be playing live music onstage throughout the production. The cast also includes Gary Pillai, Sorosh Lavasin, Ravi Aujla, Amiera Darwish, Oliver Gyani, Rez Kabir, Umar Pasha, Jay Sajji, Karl Seth and Danielle Woodnutt.

 The Kite Runner is directed by Giles Croft. It was originally produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.

The Lyric Hammersmith and Filter announce casting for the UK Tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Lyric Hammersmith and Filter’s critically acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream today announced the casting for the UK tour, which opens at the Lyric Hammersmith on Friday 13 April 2018. The cast and band includes Allyson Ava-BrownGeorge FouracresDaniel FraserDavid GanlyHarry JardineMatt King SmithAmy MarchantKayla MeikleAlan PaganMichael Palmer and Dharmesh Patel.

Following the production’s hugely successful run at both the Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Exchange Manchester in 2012, the production was revived in 2016 at the Lyric and then toured to Brisbane Festival and Dublin Theatre Festival. This riotous reinterpretation of one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays now returns for a seven-week UK tour. Featuring original live music, this classic tale of young lovers and warring fairies is given a unique and irreverent twist.

Sean Holmes, Director and Artistic Director at the Lyric Hammersmith, said “I’m delighted that the Lyric is back touring the country and especially thrilled that Filter’s Lyric Dreamis the focus of this major national tour. We hope new audiences everywhere will delight in its anarchy, its irreverence and its fun.”

Allyson Ava-Brown

For the Lyric: Aladdin

Theatre credits include: The Quiet House (Birmingham Rep/Park Theatre); Etienne Sisters, Beauty and the Beast, Crowning Glory, Jack and the Beanstalk, Martina Cole’s Dangerous Lady (Theatre Royal Stratford East); In Bed (Theatre Centre Works); Snakes and Ladders (UK Tour); Puss In Boots (Hackney Empire); Carnival of the Animals(Riverside Studios); The Swallowing Dark (Liverpool Playhouse/Theatre503); The Wiz (Birmingham Rep/West Yorkshire Playhouse); Moonshadow/Yusuf Islam In Concert(Tour); The Villains Opera, Honk! The Ugly Duckling (National Theatre); Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre); Julius Caesar, The TempestAnthony and Cleopatra(RSC/Stratford/Tour/West End); Hairyfairies (Fick Productions); Simplyheavenly (Trafalgar Studios); Passports to the Promised Land (Nitro); Cinderella (Watford Palace Theatre).

Film and TV credits include: Casualty, Doctors, Bear Behaving Badl, The Wrong Door, Basil Brush Show, EastEnders, Sea Of Souls, Kerching!, Holby City, Secret Diary of A Call Girl, VeraSherlock Holmes And The Living Dead, Witness and Ambition to Live.

George Fouracres

Theatre credits include: Antigone, Romeo and Juliet, The Cure, The Seventh Seal and Black Comedy (ADC); Babushka, The Red Shoes (Troupe); Diary of a Nobody (Kings Head Theatre); Ecclesiastical Perks (The New Arcadians); Life x 3 (HATS); Pick Me Up (Edinburgh Fringe).

Television credits include: Drunk HistoryRaised By Wolves and The Woman In Red.

Radio credits include: Daphne Sounds Expensive and Newsjack.

Daniel Fraser

For the Lyric: Jack and the Beanstalk

Theatre & Opera credits include: Deny, Deny, Deny (Park Theatre); Flare Path (UK Tour); Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies (RSC Swan/Aldwych/Winter Garden Theatre, Broadway); Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre/Gielgud); Oh, To Be in England (Finborough Theatre); After Lydia (Watermill); Orpheus: The Mythical (Royal Opera House).

Film and TV credits include: Doctors, Holby CityThe Patrol, Frequencies, Scar Tissue, Happiness and Lab Rats.

David Ganly

For the Lyric: Cinderella

Theatre credits include: Girl From The North Country (Noël Coward); On Blueberry Hill (Dublin Theatre Festival); Once (Olympia Theatre Dublin); Lonesome West (Tron Theatre); The Plough & the Stars (Abbey Theatre, Dublin/Irish & US Tour); Shakespeare in Love (Noël Coward); Threepenny Opera (Gate Theatre); King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath);  Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible); The Lonesome West (Druid Theatre, The Royal Court/Sydney Festival/Lyceum, Broadway); Of Mice and Men (Watermill); The Wizard of Oz (London Palladium); The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Young Vic), Chicago (Cambridge); The Weir (Gate Theatre); Translations (National Theatre); The Full Monty (Prince of Wales).

Film and TV credits include: Citizen Charlie, Sunset Song, Body of Lies, Hippie Hippie Shake, Dorothy Mills, Widow’s Peak and Space Truckers. 

Harry Jardine

For the Lyric: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Brisbane Festival/Dublin Festival).

For Filter: Twelfth Night (India, US and UK Tour)

Theatre credits include: The Secret Seven (Storyhouse, Chester); Octagon (Arcola); Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward); Faster Higher Stronger Straighter (Scealta Mora); People of the Town (London Collective).

Film and TV credits include: DoctorsWhat is Wrong with these People? Journey’s EndMaster of CeremoniesThe Thief and In the Heart of the Sea.

Radio credits include: Borgen, What Does The K Stand For?, Woman in Mind, The Oresteia and Home Front.

He is the Artistic Director of Vamp Theatre Company

Amy Marchant

For Filter: Twelfth Night (India/USA/UK tour)

Theatre credits include: Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward); To Sir, With Love (UK Tour); Love’s Labour’s Lost, Taming of the ShrewThe Tempest (The Willow Globe Theatre).

Film and TV credits include: DoctorsConfection and Big Day.

She is an Associate Artist of The Willow Globe Theatre.

Kayla Meikle

For the Lyric: Jack and the Beanstalk.

Theatre credits include: Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet (National Theatre); PRIMETIME (Royal Court); Merlin (Nuffield); The Taming of the Shrew (Arts Theatre); All That Lives(Ovalhouse); Streets (Interval Productions)

Film and TV credits include: Will.

Dharmesh Patel

For the Lyric: Beauty and The Beast and Too Close To Home.

Theatre & Opera credits include: The Captive Queen, The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, Cymbeline, The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe); Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicus, King Lear, Hamlet, The Comedy OF Errors, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, American Trade, The Grain Store, Morte d’Arthur (RSC); East is East, England Away (UK Tour); Fever Dream Southside (Citizens Theatre); Albion (Bush Theatre); Too Clever By Half (Royal Exchange Manchester); The Snow Queen (Trestle Theatre); Happy and Married (Freedom Studios); Satyagraha (Improbable/ENO/New York); Accidental Death Of An Anarchist (Octagon Theatre, Bolton); Slow Time (National Theatre); Silent Cry (Red Ladder Theatre Co.); The Happy Prince (Leicester Haymarket Theatre).

Television includes: Casualty, Doctors and Ray’s Daze.

Radio includes: Cooking By Heart, Love Boat, Silver Street and Wimmy Road

Created by                                                                          Filter

Directed by                                                                         Sean Holmes

Design by                                                                             Hyemi Shin

Lighting Design by                                                            Oliver Fenwick

Sound Design & Original Music by                             Chris Branch & Tom Haines

,

First look: Production images for Brighton Rock

MURDER, SHE DIDN’T WRITE: THE IMPROVISED MURDER MYSTERY West End Debut Leicester Square Theatre

MURDER, SHE DIDN’T WRITE: THE IMPROVISED MURDER MYSTERY
MURDER, SHE DIDN’T WRITE: THE IMPROVISED MURDER MYSTERY

MURDER, SHE DIDN’T WRITE: THE IMPROVISED MURDER MYSTERY Photo Credit: Jamie Corbin

“These are exciting times for the noble art of making it up as you go along.”

The FT on Bristol Improv Theatre – Home to Degrees of Error

“This is a fascinating take on the classic murder mystery genre that keeps all of the intrigue while adding humour and farce” ««««« The Student Newspaper

 “Outstanding performances delivered by a seriously talented cast” ««««« ThreeWeeks

“Sleuth! – an improvisation style mystery play that totally hits the spot!” «««««Theatre Bubble

“A hilarious and incredibly take on the classic murder mystery”««««« Voice Magazine

“An incredibly impressive feat. A funny and outrageous show”««««« Fringe Explosion

Fresh from a sell out season at the Edinburgh Fringe, Degrees of Error bring their hilarious and innovative Murder, She Didn’t Write to the Leicester Square Theatre on the last Sunday of every month during February, March and April. In this riotous show, the audience becomes both author and sleuth as they are invited to help to create their very own Agatha Christie-inspired masterpiece – and to watch it unfold on stage.

 Every night, the extraordinarily talented company create a unique space where audiences can unleash their literary prowess and create an original and extremely comical improvised murder-mystery. Miss Crimson poisoned in the parlour? Mr Gold exploded by cannon in Sainsbury’s? You decide! But will you guess whodunit?

Using audience suggestions, evidence and ideas, the team create a bespoke world – and one lucky audience member gets to play god, choosing both the murderer and victim.

Founded in 2010, Degrees of Error have recently been appointed as the first resident theatre company at the brand new Bristol Improv Theatre – the first theatre in Britain dedicated to the art of improv – where they rehearse and perform regularly. Their improvised murder mystery play Murder, She Didn’t Write has toured the UK and enjoyed sell-out runs at the Fringe since 2013.

 Degrees of Error invite audiences to take up their magnifying glasses, and don their deerstalkers for a never-before-seen (and never-to-be-seen-again), unscripted murder-mystery, which promises to dazzle, enthral and delight.

A unique format and an even more unique experience that will thrill all lovers of both classic crime fiction and top level on-the-hoof comedy.

“The combination of clever comedy and suspense keeps the audience excited, satisfied and

guessing until the end.” «««« The Skinny

 “Everything a fringe comedy should be: original, professional, and very, very funny”
«««« Ed Fringe Review

“Unrestrained bursts of joy.” ««««« Bristol Theatre Review

Remarkably intricate and engaging… the incredibly sharp company spin out the intrigue

over an hour with wit and skill.” «««« Broadway Baby

“Full of surprises for both audience and cast members…most definitely worth seeing more than once.”

«««« Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

“A live action game of Cluedo, but with far more laughs…” «««« Fringe Guru

Show: Murder She Didn’t Write

Venue: Leicester Square Theatre

Address: 6 Leicester Place, London. WC2H 7BX
Dates: Sun 25 Feb // Sun 25 Mar // Sun 29 Apr

Time: 4pm

Book online: https://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873583281

Booking Line: 020 7734 2222