National Theatre Season: July 2018 – January 2019

National Theatre
  • Nine Night, Natasha Gordon’s critically acclaimed debut play transfers to the West End following a sold-out run at the NT
  • Further cast announced for Antony and Cleopatra alongside Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, playing from September
  • Cast confirmed for world premiere of David Hare’s new play I’m Not Running, including Siân Brooke, Alex Hassell and Joshua McGuire
  • Peter Brook returns to direct at the National Theatre for the first time in 50 years with The Prisoner, co-directed with Marie-Hélène Estienne
  • Following the acclaimed Consent, Nina Raine returns to the NT with her new play Stories starring Claudie Blakley
  • Anthony Neilson makes his NT debut with new play The Tell-Tale Heart, based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding to join the cast of Follies alongside Janie Dee and Peter Forbes, returning to the Olivier Theatre in February 2019
  • War Horse returns to the NT marking the centenary of Armistice Day
  • Antony and Cleopatra and I’m Not Running to  broadcast to 65 countries worldwide as part of NT Live

To mark the 100th anniversary of the first women in the UK gaining the right to vote, the NT stages Courage Everywhere; a series of rehearsed readings, talks and screenings

Olivier Theatre


by William Shakespeare

Previews from 18 September, press night 26 September in repertoire until 19 January

Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love.

In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war. Politics and passion are violently intertwined in Shakespeare’s gripping tale of power.

Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play the famous fated couple. Simon Godwin (Twelfth Night) directs.

Cast also includes Fisayo AkinadeAlexander CobbTunji KasimGeorgia LandersNicholas Le PrevostTim McMullanHannah MorrishShazia NichollsGloria ObianyoNick SampsonKaty Stephens and Sargon Yelda with further cast to be announced.

Directed by Simon Godwin, set designs by Hildegard Bechtler, costume designs by Wojciech Dziedzic, lighting designs by Tim Lutkin, music by Michael Bruce, movement direction by Jonathan Goddard and Shelley Maxwell, sound design by Christopher Shutt, video design by Luke Halls and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.

Production supported by Areté Foundation / Betsy & Ed Cohen, Mary M. Miner, Leila Maw Straus, Shawn M. Donnelley and Christopher M. Kelly, Monica Gerard-Sharp, and the Antony & Cleopatra production appeal.

Official Hotel Partner Edwardian Hotels.

Broadcast live as part of NT Live to cinemas worldwide on 6 December

Lyttelton Theatre


a new play by David Hare

Previews from 2 October, press 9 October in repertoire until 31 January

Do I run? This is the question which is facing Pauline Gibson. She has spent her life as a doctor, the inspiring leader of a local health campaign. When she crosses paths with her old boyfriend, Jack Gould, a stalwart loyalist in Labour Party politics, she’s faced with an agonising decision.

What’s involved in sacrificing your private life and your peace of mind for something more than a single issue? Does she dare?

David Hare’s explosive new play portrays the history of a twenty year intimate friendship and its public repercussions.

Cast includes Siân BrookeAlex HassellJoshua McGuireAmaka OkaforLiza Sadovy and Brigid Zengeni.

Directed by Neil Armfield, set design by Ralph Myers, costume design by Sussie Juhlin-Wallén, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Paul Arditti and music by Alan John.

Production supported by Marcia Grand in loving memory of Richard Grand

Broadcast live as part of NT Live to cinemas worldwide on 31 January


based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo

adapted by Nick Stafford,

presented in association with the award-winning Handspring Puppet Company

Performances begin 8 November, playing in repertoire until  5 January 2019

Eleven years after its NT debut, and having played in eleven countries to over seven million people, War Horse returns to the National Theatre to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

At the outbreak of World War One, Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Though not yet old enough to enlist, Albert joins the army, and embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-sized horses, created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company.

The cast is Marcus AdolphyAdam BarlowPeter BeckerJoëlle BrabbanLucas ButtonJasper William CartwrightJo Castleton,Chris CharlesJonathan CharlesSebastian CharlesAnna ChessherNicky CrossThomas DennisBob FoxMax GallagherChris GarnerAndrew HodgesLewis HowardWilliam IlkleyBen InglesBilly IrvingElan JamesKiran LandaGwilym LloydJack Lord,Stephen LoveToyin Omari-KinchSamuel ParkerTom QuinnDomonic RamsdenArinder SadhraTom StacyElizabeth Stretton, and Simon Victor.

War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designs and drawings by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, director of movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, puppetry direction by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, animation and projection design by Leo Warner andMark Grimmer for 59 Productions, music by Adrian Sutton, songmaker John Tams, 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.

Half price tickets for under-18s.

Dorfman Theatre


text by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne

Previews from 12 September, press night 17 September, playing until 4 October

Somewhere in the world, a man sits alone outside a prison. Who is he, and why is he there? Is it a choice, or a punishment?

Asking profound questions about justice, guilt and redemption, The Prisoner brings together a cast of acclaimed actors from around the world to explore some of the most compelling issues of our time.

Peter Brook and his long-time collaborator Marie-Hélène Estienne return to London with a provocative study of what it means to be free.

Cast includes Hiran AbeysekeraHervé GoffingsOmar SilvaKalieaswari Srinivasan and Donald Sumpter.

Directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, lighting design by Philippe Vialatte and stage elements by David Violi.

A co-production with C.I.C.T. / Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord; The Grotowski Institute; Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen; Yale Repertory Theatre; Theatre For A New Audience – New York.

Sponsored by Delta Air Lines.


a new play by Nina Raine

Previews from 10 October, press night 17 October, playing until 28 November

How do you have a baby when you’re 39 and single?

This is the story of Anna. A story filled with many chapters, unexpected characters and curious plot twists.

Following the critically acclaimed ConsentNina Raine returns to the NT with this funny and touching new play about the fertilisation of an idea. Claudie Blakley plays Anna with further cast to be announced.

Directed by Nina Raine, design by Jeremy Herbert, lighting design by Bruno Poet, music and sound by Alex Baranowski.

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


a new play by Anthony Neilson

based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe

Previews from 5 December, press night 12 December, playing until 9 January

A young playwright rents an attic flat in Brighton, hoping it will break the writer’s block that’s preventing her from following up on her wildly successful debut. Whilst there, she forms a relationship with her landlady, a lonely young woman with a life-altering condition.

But pressure mounts on the writer, and her relationship with the landlady becomes ever-more suffocating. The Tell-Tale Heart is a twisted, graphic and darkly-comic treat.

Renowned for his ground-breaking work, Anthony Neilson (The PrudesUnreachableThe Wonderful World of Dissocia) makes his NT debut with this contemporary reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale of a haunted conscience.

Cast includes David CarlyleImogen Doel and Tamara Lawrance.

Directed by Anthony Neilson, design by Francis O’Connor, lighting design by Chahine Yavrayan and music and sound Nick Powell.

Productions currently on sale

Olivier Theatre


by Brian Friel

In repertoire until 11 August

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 Kinlan,Colin 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, sound design by Ian Dickinson and movement Anna Morrissey.

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


by Eugène Ionesco

in a new version by Patrick Marber

Previews from 17 July, Press night 25 July, in repertoire until 6 October

Somewhere in Europe the kingdom is disintegrating. It’s the last day of King Bérenger’s life. Queen Marguerite is preparing for the end and Queen Marie is in denial. The King is 400 years old and dying, but he’s clinging on for dear life…

This great tragi-comedy is brought to life on the Olivier stage this summer, the first time Eugène Ionesco’s work has been performed at the National Theatre. Patrick Marber (Three Days in the CountryHedda Gabler) directs his new version of Exit the King with Rhys Ifans (A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic) in the title role and Indira Varma (Man and Superman) as his first Queen.

Cast also includes Debra GillettDerek GriffithsAmy Morgan and Adrian Scarborough with musician Sarah Campbell.

Directed by Patrick Marber, with design by Anthony Ward, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, music and sound by Adam Cork and movement by Emily-Jane Boyle.

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


by William Shakespeare

in a new version by Chris Bush

with music by James Fortune

Performances on 26, 27, 28 August

Prince Pericles has everything but understands little. When a reckless act threatens his safety, he must flee his home and take to sea. Reliant on the whims of the fates and the kindness of strangers, Pericles is driven from shore to shore. Only by reaching the ends of the earth may he finally understand what it means to come home.

A huge company of all ages from across London join together with professional artists to breathe new life into this classic tale in a musical version on the Olivier stage.

Pericles launches Public Acts, our new initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The production marks the centre point of a two-year partnership, building in-depth relationships with eight organisations who deliver visionary work in their communities, together with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

The cast includes Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Audrey BrissonAyesha DharkerKevin Harvey, Garry RobsonAshley Zhangazha,performers recruited through our community partners and seven cameo performance groups who represent the cultural diversity of London:Ascension EaglesFaithworks Gospel ChoirLondon Bulgarian ChoirManifest NationThe Archetype Dance TeamThe Bhavan andThe Youthsayers.

Directed by Emily Lim, designed by Fly Davis, choreographed by Robby Graham, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design byPaul Arditti, music director Tarek Merchant.

Partners: Body & SoulThe Bromley by Bow CentreCoramDABDHavering Asian Social Welfare Association (HASWA)Open Age,Thames Reach3FF and Theatre Partner Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

Public Acts is inspired by Public Works, the Public Theater’s ground-breaking programme in New York. Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Hertz, The Sackler Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation.

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


music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell

developed with Rachel Chavkin

Previews from 2 November, press night 13 November, in repertoire until 26 January

Following record-breaking runs at New York Theatre Workshop and Canada’s Citadel Theatre, Hadestown comes to the National Theatre prior to a Broadway run in 2019.

In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers can’t survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust is put to a final test.

Celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin have transformed Mitchell’s acclaimed concept album into a genre-defying new musical that mixes modern American folk music with vintage New Orleans jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale. Cast to be announced.

Directed by Rachel Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction by Liam Robinson, arrangements and orchestrations byMichael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose.

Produced in association with Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy Co-conceived by Ben t Matchstick.


book by James Goldman

music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Previews and press night in February 2019, on sale until 26 March with further performances to be announced

After a sold-out run, Follies, winner of the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, returns in 2019.

New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.

Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical includes such classic songs as ‘Broadway Baby’, ‘I’m Still Here’ and ‘Losing My Mind’. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, Follies is directed by Dominic Cooke (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). Janie Dee and Peter Forbes return to reprise their roles, Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding join the cast as Ben and Sally with further casting to be announced.

With designs by Vicki Mortimer, winner of the 2018 Olivier Award for best costume design, choreography by Bill Deamer, music supervisorNicholas Skilbeck, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick with Josh Clayton, music director Nigel Lilley, lighting design by Paule Constableand sound design by Paul Groothuis.

Exclusive Crystal Provider: Swarovski. Supported by the Follies production syndicate.

Lyttelton Theatre


by Polly Stenham

after Strindberg

In repertoire until 8 September

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 Temitope Ajose-Cutting, El AnthonyThomasin GülgecFrancesca KnightDak MashavaMichela Meazza, AnaBeatriz MeirelesAshley Morgan-DaviesRebecca OmogbehinYuyu Rau and Petra Söör.

Design by Tom Scutt, with lighting design by Guy Hoare, movement direction by Ann Yee, music by Stuart Earl, sound design byChristopher Shutt, fight direction by Owain Gwynn, illusions by Chris Fisher and video design by Mogzi Bromley-Morgans.

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

Broadcast live as part of NT Live to cinemas worldwide on 6 September.


by Stefano Massini

adapted by Ben Power

a co-production with Neal Street Productions

Previews from 4 July, press night 12 July, in repertoire until 20 October

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, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, with video design by Luke Halls, lighting design by Jon Clark, music and sound design by Nick Powell, music director Candida Caldicot and movement by Polly Bennett.

Media Partners: Wall Street Journal and Financial News.

Dorfman Theatre


by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

a co-production with the Orange Tree Theatre

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, Vivian Oparah, Alistair Toovey and Kevin Trainor, and with cellist, Kwêsi Edman.

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

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.

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.

Sponsored by Delta Air Lines.


a new play by Laura Wade

a co-production with Theatr Clwyd

Previews from 24 July, press night 31 July in repertoire until 5 September

Every couple needs a little fantasy to keep their marriage sparkling. But behind the gingham curtains, things start to unravel, and being a domestic goddess is not as easy as it seems.

Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Humans) plays Judy in this unsettling new comedy about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife, written by Laura Wade (Posh).

Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd Tamara Harvey, will direct this co-production which opens in the Emlyn Williams Theatre on the 3 July ahead of transferring to the Dorfman Theatre.

Cast also includes Kathryn DrysdaleSara GregoryRichard HarringtonBarnaby Kay and Sian Thomas.

Design by Anna Fleischle, lighting design by Lucy Carter, choreography by Charlotte Broom and sound design by Tom Gibbons.

Sponsored by Delta Air Lines.


by the Wardrobe Ensemble

A Wardrobe Ensemble and Wardrobe Theatre Production

Performances from 8 August until 1 September

Do you want to fly to the moon? Visit a space station? Become an astronaut? Star Seekers Alph, Betty and Gammo need your help to save their space station, collect all the orbs and delve into the great unanswered question of the universe: what do astronauts really have for tea?

In this interactive family show you take the steering wheel to shape the story and the actors improvise the rest. Discover strange worlds, create solar system soundscapes, decide the noises of the aliens and even fire asteroids through space!

Visit the NT space station one hour before every performance to take part in free family activities, or book for a family workshop to take your space adventure out of this world.

Suitable for 3-8 years

Sponsored by Delta Air Lines.


Rehearsed readings celebrating the fight for political equality

15 – 18 November

To mark the 100th anniversary of the first women in the UK gaining the right to vote, the NT marks this historic moment through a series of rehearsed readings, talks and screenings.

World-class directors will bring these seminal plays to life on themes of suffrage and courage in order to recognise the fight for political equality in the UK and around the world.

Thursday 15th November 7.30pm

AND OTHERS written and directed by Jenny Sealey

A testimony to the women who have been lost to history, who fought for suffrage but whose stories have been left untold. Graeae Theatre’s Artistic Director draws together the words of forgotten women to mark the reach of Suffrage.

Friday 16th November 7.30pm

IN THE PARLOUR by Judy Tate, directed by Dawn Walton

March 1913: On the eve of the most historic Women’s Suffrage Marches two women, divided by race, battle for their right to be united and to fight in this movement.

MAGDA, JO, ISABELLA by Saviana StanescuAoise StratfordLyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, directed by Dawn Walton

Three brilliant new monologues from US writers tackling race, class and belonging in the Suffrage movement.

Saturday 17th November 3pm

HER NAKED SKIN by Rebecca Lenckiewicz, directed by Nadia Fall

Depicting a love-affair which crosses fraught class lines against the backdrop of the violent struggle for Suffrage, Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s historic play premiered in the Olivier Theatre in 2008

Saturday 17th November 7.30pm

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP by Bryna Turner, directed by Phyllida Lloyd

Two lovers in a Massachusetts seminary find their lives upturned by revolution, fan-adoration and the price of joining the establishment. A fierce new comedy by US writer Bryna Turner, this is a dynamic queering of history, that traverses the generations

Sunday 18th November, 3pm

VOTES FOR WOMEN by Elizabeth Robins, directed Lyndsey Turner

Elizabeth Robins’ genre-defining 1907 play dramatises the moment in which the Suffragette movement was born; as polite political discourse reached breaking point and women across the UK stood up to be counted.


Festival weekends: 13 July – 12 Aug

London’s largest outdoor arts festival returns this summer with an exciting and eclectic mix of weekend takeovers. There’s something for everyone including live music, dance, DJs, family workshops, club nights and theatre – and it’s all free!

Join the party atmosphere and get your hands on tasty street food including cheese toasties, wood-fired pizza and gelato ice cream or try our local craft beers and summer cocktails.

13 – 15 July: The Glory

East London’s alternative cabaret mecca brings a drag-packed tour-de-force of shows, DJs and outrageous fun.

20 – 22 July: HOME Manchester

An eclectic line-up of the best in contemporary international performance – with dance, theatre and DJs.

27 – 29 July: Sadler’s Wells

Dedicated to dance in all its forms, Sadler’s Wells present a weekend of choreography, live music and dance workshops.

3 – 5 August: Nonclassical

Turning classical music on its head and redefining the rules, Nonclassical bring their vibrant club nights to the river front.

10 – 12 August: National Theatre

The closing party weekend of family theatre, contemporary circus, music and dance and a screening of the NT’s award winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical Follies, originally broadcast to cinemas with National Theatre Live last November.

River Stage is supported by Delta Air Lines (Official Airline Partner), Hertz (Official Transport Provider) and Lighting is sponsored by Vari-lite and Showline. Sound is sponsored by SSS (Stage Sound Services Ltd).


In the West End


by Natasha Gordon

Trafalgar Studios

1 December 2018 – 9 February 2019, Press night 6 December

Following a sold out run at the National Theatre, Natasha Gordon’s critically acclaimed debut play, Nine Night, will transfer to Trafalgar Studios in a co-production with Trafalgar Theatre Productions.

Directed by Roy Alexander Weise (The Mountaintop), Nine Night is a touching and exuberantly funny exploration of the rituals of family. 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 rum-fuelled nights of music, food, storytelling and laughter – and an endless parade of mourners.

Original NT production design by Rajha Shakiry, with lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by George Dennis, movement direction by Shelley Maxwell, fight direction by Bret Yount, company voice work by Rebecca Cuthbertson, dialect coaching by Hazel Holder, and staff direction by Jade Lewis. Casting for the West End transfer to be announced.



by Nina Raine

Following the 2017 critically acclaimed sell-out run in the Dorfman Theatre, Consent, Nina Raine’s ‘blistering new play’ (New York Times), directed by Roger Michell is now playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre for a strictly limited run until 11 August.

Why is Justice blind? Is she impartial? Or is she blinkered?  Friends take opposing briefs in a contentious legal case. The key witness is a woman whose life seems a world away from theirs. At home, their own lives begin to unravel as every version of the truth is challenged.

This ‘tense, entertaining modern-day tragi-comedy’ (Daily Telegraph) takes a searing look at the law whilst putting modern relationships into the dock.

The cast is Claudie Blakley, Stephen Campbell Moore, Sian Clifford, Heather CraneyClare FosterLee Ingleby and Adam James. Set design is by Hildegard Bechtler, with costumes by Dinah Collin, lighting by Rick Fisher, music by Kate Whitley, and sound by John Leonard. Consent was originally co-produced and commissioned by Out of Joint and is produced in the West End by the National Theatre and Sonia Friedman Productions.

For more information visit consentwestend.com

Consent is supported by American Express, the National Theatre preferred card partner.


by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson

A National Theatre and Young Vic co-production with Good Chance Theatre

Following critical acclaim, and a sold-out run at the Young Vic, The Jungle, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin is now in previews at the Playhouse Theatre until 3 November, with an opening night on 5 July.

The production is set in Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais Jungle, which in 2015, became a temporary home for more than 10,000 people. The Jungle tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope, of the Calais camp’s creation – and of its eventual destruction. Join the residents over freshly baked naan and sweet milky chai at the Afghan Café, and experience the intense, moving and uplifting encounters between refugees from many different countries and the volunteers who arrived from the UK.

The auditorium stalls will be completely reconfigured to house Miriam Buether’s critically-acclaimed set design as seen at the Young Vic, where audiences were invited to sit at the benches and tables of the Afghan café in the Calais camp40% of the house to be priced at £25 and under, and a proportion of tickets will be held off sale to be offered to refugees and targeted groups in order to maximise diversity and accessibility.

Cast transferring from the Young Vic include Mohammad Amiri, Elham Ehsas, Trevor Fox, Moein Ghobsheh, Ammar Haj Ahmad, Alex Lawther, Jo McInnes, John Pfumojena, Rachel Redford, Rachid Sabitri, Mohamed SarrarBen Turner and Nahel Tzegai. New cast members include Tiran Aakel, Gerard Carey, Alexander Devrient, Cherno Jagne, Kiki Kendrick, Freddie Meredith, Sara Mokonen, Yasin Moradi, Jonathan Nyati, Dominic Rowan and Eric Sirakian.

Costumes by Catherine Kodicek, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti, musical direction / composition by John PfumojenaThe Jungle is produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Tom Kirdahy and Hunter Arnold.

Official charity partner, Help Refugees, will be supported by the production, with fundraising efforts taking place at the venue throughout the entire run.

Original production supported by Glenn and Phyllida Earle and Clive and Sally Sherling.

For more information visit TheJunglePlay.co.uk 

The National Theatre on tour


by Alexander Zeldin 
The National Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre production

LOVE, a play about the housing crisis written and directed by Alexander Zeldin, which premiered at the National Theatre to critical acclaim in late 2016, will transfer to the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 25 – 27 October 2018, followed by L’Odéon – Théâtre de l’Europe as part of the Festival d’Automne à Paris from 5 – 10 November 2018. Further tour dates to be announced.

It’s the run up to Christmas. In a city where over 50,000 households are living in temporary accommodation, three families find themselves without a home. A middle-aged man and his elderly mum, a young family with a baby on the way, a woman newly arrived from Sudan. Strangers. Forced together. No space is personal. This piercing play is a timely reflection on an often overlooked crisis and an intimate story of family love for our times.

LOVE will continue the NT’s partnership with the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch established with Public Acts: a nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The NT is currently working with the Queen’s Theatre and a number of community organisations across Greater London that share the NT’s vision for theatre as a force for change.

LOVE is designed by Natasha Jenkins, lighting by Marc Williams, sound design by Josh Anio Grigg and movement by Marcin Rudy. Casting to be announced.

For further information visit the NT website.

by William Shakespeare

Macbeth will embark on an 18-venue tour of the UK and Ireland from September 2018 – 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 epic new production propels Shakespeare’s classic title into a post-apocalyptic world of anarchy and uncertainty. Tour 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 (21 – 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, tour lighting design by Paul Pyant, tour movement direction by Cydney Uffindell-Phillips, music by Orlando Gough and Marc Tritschler, sound design by Paul Arditti, associate sound design by Mike Winship, and fight direction by Kev McCurdy. The associate director is Liz Stevenson.

For more information visit the NT website.

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


based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo

adapted by Nick Stafford

War Horse continues its UK tour, currently playing at The Lowry, Salford until 30 June. A Relaxed Performance will take place on Thursday 28 June at 2pm.

War Horse will tour to Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (4 – 28 July 2018), New Victoria Theatre, Woking (1 – 18 August 2018), PlymouthTheatre Royal (29 August – 15 September 2018), Milton Keynes Theatre (19 September – 6 October 2018), Birmingham Hippodrome (10 October – 3 November 2018), Glasgow SEC (15 January – 2 February 2019), Sunderland Empire (6 February – 23 February 2019), the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (27 February – 16 March 2019) and the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent (27 March – 6 April 2019).

War Horse will return to the National Theatre, playing in the Lyttelton Theatre from 8 November 2018 – 5 January 2019 to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

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. For the full cast, see the Lyttelton Theatre listing above.

For more information visit warhorseonstage.com

On Broadway

A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

by Tony Kushner
Until 15 July  2018

The NT production of Tony Kushner’s epic masterwork, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes was awarded three 2018 Tony Awards® including Best Revival of a Play on B

The Almeida Theatre announces two new Almeida Young Company shows

Cacophony © Helen Murray
Cacophony © Helen Murray

Cacophony © Helen Murray

Following the success in 2017 of the acclaimed From The Ground Up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Shoreditch Town Hall, the Almeida Young Company returns to present two new plays, Cacophony by Molly Taylor and the 18-25 year old company, inspired by ideas in Jon Ronson’s book, So You Think You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, and Loki and Cassie: A Love Story by Luke Barnes, featuring the 14-18 year old company.

The two productions run from Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 July in the Almeida Theatre and tickets are now on sale.


By Molly Taylor and the Almeida Young Company (18-25)

Direction: Michael Bryher; Design: Khadija Raza

Sound Design: George Lumkin; Lighting Design: Katie Nicoll

Video Design: Robin Fisher; Assistant Director: Germma Orleans-Thompson

Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 July

When public shamings are delivered like remotely administered drone strikes nobody need think about how ferocious our collective power might be. The snowflake never needs to feel responsible for the avalanche.” Jon Ronson

Created by the Almeida Young Company and written by Molly Taylor, Cacophony tells the story of a young woman’s rise to fame after speaking up at a protest outside a controversial rape trial.

Weaving a complex web of fame and shame, Cacophony explores the power social media has to liberate brave new voices and, just as quickly, bring them crashing to earth. Inspired by the ideas in Jon Ronson’s book, So You Think You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.

 Molly Taylor is a playwright and theatre-maker. Recent projects include Shell and Davey at the Start and the End (VAULT Festival), See Me Now (Young Vic), And Yet It Moves (Young Vic Taking Part), The Neighbourhood Project (Bush Theatre). Her one-woman show Love Letters to the Public Transport System was produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and won the Adelaide Critics Circle Award 2018. In August she will be presenting a new piece, Extinguished Things,at Summerhall for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018.

 Performed by members of the Almeida Young Company (18-25): David Bankole, Simeon Blake-Hall, Eddie Boyce-Rogers, Samson Cox-Vinnell, Timothy Dennett, Hannah Donelon, Charlotte Dylan, Annie Hawkins, Tiwalade Ibirogba Olulode, Lao Lee, Lauren McGarvey, Khanyiso Mtwana, Helena Morais, Corey Peterson, Ben Quashie, Ashley Rose and Lucy Shafi.

Loki and Cassie  © Helen Murray

Loki and Cassie © Helen Murray


By Luke Barnes

Direction: Michael Bryher; Design: Khadija Raza; Music: Grace Savage

Sound Design: George Lumkin; Lighting Design: Katie Nicoll

Video Design: Robin Fisher; Assistant Director: Germma Orleans-Thompson

Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 July

 “This is a story about a boy and a girl…or a girl and a boy, depending on how you look at it.”

Loki and Cassie live in an ordinary town. Populated by average people. But they are anything but normal.

When they first meet across the dining-hall sparks begin to fly, starting a fire which threatens to engulf the whole school.

An explosive new play written by Luke Barnes for the Almeida Young Company, with music by Grace Savage, Loki and Cassie: A Love Story, takes an unflinching look at masculinity, teenage relationships and the darkest corners of modern society.

Luke Barnes’s stage credits include All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Paines Plough Roundabout with Middle Child), No One Will Tell Me How To Start A Revolution (Hampstead Theatre), Bottleneck (Soho Theatre with HighTide), Chapel Street (Bush Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Weekend Rockstars (Battersea Arts Centre and Hull Truck with Middle Child), Ten Storey Love Song (Hull Truck with Middle Child), The Saints (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), The Class (The Unicorn with National Youth Theatre), Eistedfodd (HighTide), A Wondrous Place (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Jumper Factory, Fable and Men In Blue (Young Vic,Taking Part), Lost Boys New Town (National Youth Theatre) and Katie Johnstone (Orange Tree Theatre). For television his work includes Minted in Manchester.

Michael Bryher is a theatre maker, director and facilitator. He trained at LAMDA and has worked as an actor for companies including Kneehigh, The RSC, and dreamthinkspeak. In 2013 he was a finalist for the JMK award. He also runs Dumbshow, and over the last seven years has toured his work nationally and internationally. He has recently edited a volume of auditions monologues for young people for Nick Hern Books, and will be making a Christmas show for the Nuffield Theatre Southampton in 2018.

Performed by members of the Almeida Young Company (14-18): Louis Barras-Hargan, Molly Branston, Kate ButlerArtemas Cowley, Ruth Gracia Balosa, Arianna Granata, Louis Irvine, Jakaya Jenkins, Chelsea Hines Rivera, Darmonelle Johnson, Jake Turner-Chan and Max Wilson.


Anna Jordan’s new play The Unreturning will have its world premiere at Theatre Royal Plymouth and tour the UK until March 2019

The Unreturning
The Unreturning

The Unreturning

Today Frantic Assembly announced its tour dates of The Unreturning, a brand new co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth.Telling the interwoven stories of three men coming home from war, this new work by Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting winner Anna Jordanwill be directed by Frantic Assembly associate director Neil Bettles and marks the 10th anniversary of Frantic Assembly’s award-winning Ignition training programme. The Unreturning will have its world premiere at Theatre Royal Plymouth on 20 September 2018 before playing at various venues across the UK until 16 March 2019. Additional tour dates will be announced soon.

A British northern coastal town. Three young men are coming home from war. Their stories, set at different times over the last 100 years, are beautifully interwoven in this compelling new play featuring Frantic’s celebrated physicality. The cast will include Jared Garfield, Joe Layton, Jonnie Riordan and Kieton Saunders-Browne.

The Unreturning explores the profound effect that war has on young lives, and asks – what does coming home really mean? What is home? And when experience has shattered you into a million pieces, will home help to put you together again, or treat you as an ugly truth it does not want to confront?

Ignition, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, is Frantic Assembly’s free, national training programme for young men aged 16-20. The programme seeks out talent in unexpected places, from sports groups to youth centres, and is committed to helping young men find their individual and collective strength. No experience of the arts is necessary to participate. Frantic collaborates with regional arts partners across the UK through its Taster and Trial workshops, from which 12 of the brightest and bravest young men are selected to form the Ignition Company. They then spend five days living and working together in London where they will create an original performance with Frantic Assembly.

All four members of the cast for The Unreturning were part of the Ignition programme before they went on to train professionally and pursue acting careers.

The Unreturning will play at Theatre Royal Plymouth (20 September – 6 October), Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus (9 – 13 October 2018), Liverpool Everyman (16 – 20 October 2018), Traverse Theatre Edinburgh (22 – 27 October 2018), The Old Rep, Birmingham (30 October –2  November 2018), Theatre Royal Stratford East (16 January – 2 February 2019), Chichester Festival Theatre, Minerva (5 – 9 February 2019), Curve, Leicester (11 – 16 February 2019) and Taliesin Arts Centre (18 – 23 February 2019).

Joe Layton will play Frankie. Joe’s television work includes roles in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Tatau (BBC Three), Casualty (BBC),Thirteen (BBC3), Father Brown (BBC) and New Worlds (C4). Joe trained at Drama Centre and made his stage debut in A Level Playing Field(Jermyn Street Theatre).

Jared Garfield will play George. Jared is best known to television audiences for his recurring role as Nathan Nightingale in Hollyoaks (C4) from 2015 to 2017. He has also appeared on television in Dr Who’s 2017 Christmas Special (BBC) and Midsomer Murders (ITV)Recent theatre roles include Mr Deville in A Harlem Dream (Young Vic), Lysander in Watch Your Head’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Windsor Castle) and The Dishwashers (Birmingham Rep/UK Tour). On film he has appeared in Boy A (Cuba Pictures) opposite Andrew Garfield.

Jonnie Riordon will play Nat. Jonnie is an actor, director and movement director. As an actor, he has appeared in This Will All Be Gone(Frantic Assembly, Asian tour), No Way Back (Frantic Assembly/Made in Corby), Full Stop (Light The Fuse/Lyric Hammersmith/Greenwich and Docklands International Festival), Canticles (Brighton Festival/Aldeburgh Music/Frantic Assembly), The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Holland Park), Night Film (Stand + Stare), Mortal: A Drama (Wellcome Collection), The Fear (Frantic Assembly’s Ignition) and In His Image(Hampstead Theatre).

Jonnie is also associate director of ThickSkin, appearing as an actor in their productions Boy Magnet and These Imagined Stories and directing Boy Magnet and White Noise. Other directing credits include the first stage adaptation of Nigel Slater’s Toast (The Lowry) andFound (The Albany). ​As movement director his credits include Great Apes (Arcola Theatre), Connections Festival 16/17 (National Theatre),Maggie & Pierre (Finborough Theatre), The Paper Birds’ Mobile (UK tour), Frozen Light’s Home (UK tour), CAUGHT (Pleasance Theatre) andCracking, Hooked and Bat Boy (New Wimbledon Studio).

Kieton Saunders-Browne will play Finn. Keiton trained at the Young Actors Theatre and will be making his professional stage debut in The Unreturning. Keiton’s film credits include Pulling (Kaiser Siren Films) and The Backseat (Hidden Art Films).

Anna Jordan won the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for her play Yen after having been twice longlisted for her plays Marianne and Chicken Shop.Yen has had productions at Manchester Royal Exchange, the Royal Court and MCC New York as well as several international productions. It was also shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2015-2016.  Other theatre writing includes We Anchor In Hope (Royal Court Theatre – Beyond the Court), A Serious Case of the Fuckits (CSSD), Chicken Shop (Park Theatre), Freak (Theatre503/Assembly Studios) and Offliners(LAMDA).

Anna’s writing for TV includes staff writer for Succession (HBO) and a pilot of her own drama series on addiction Cluck (Little Brother Productions). Film includes The Ivory Year (LAMDA). Anna also directs and teaches acting. She directed Jonathan Harvey’s play TomorrowI’ll Be Happy (National Theatre Shed as part of National Theatre Connections). Other directing experience includes Freak(Theatre503/Assembly Studios), 3 Winters, Touched and The Crucible (Italia Conti BA Hons), Earthquakes in London (Arts Educational BA Hons), Crystal Springs (Eureka Theatre, San Francisco), Only Human (Theatre503), Vote of No Confidence (Theatre503). She has worked at many London drama schools teaching both acting and playwriting, including RADA, LAMDA, Central, Arts Ed and Italia Conti. She also runs her own company – Without a Paddle Theatre, as well as a support network for recent drama school graduates called The Long Game. She co-founded Hackney Showroom Young Actors – a free weekly acting training for young people based in Hackney. Anna is currently working with Frantic Assembly, Headlong, The Royal Exchange, Paines Plough and The Royal Court.

Neil Bettles is Associate Director for Frantic Assembly, most recently co-directing No Way Back for the company. His credits as movement director include The James Plays (Edinburgh International Festival & National Theatre), Blood WeddingThe Bacchae (Royal & Derngate), Much Ado About Wenlock (Vamos), Platform (Old Vic Tunnels), Henry IV: Part One (Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Secret Cinema) and Stanley Pickle – an animated short film for the NFTS. Neil has also acted as associate director on The Light Princess (NT), The Full Monty (Sheffield Theatres/Coward). As director: Chalk Farm, The Static, Blackout, Boy Magnet and White Noise (ThickSkin), Playlist (Belgrade, Coventry), Brave (Battersea Arts Centre). As associate director: tours of Beautiful Burnout and Lovesong for Frantic Assembly and as assistant director for Dirty Wonderland (Frantic Assembly).

The Unreturning is written by Anna Jordan, directed by Neil Bettles and has video and set design by Andrzej Goudling. Sound design is by Pete Malkin with lighting design by Zoe Spurr and costumes by Lily ArnoldJessica Williams is associate director.

Frantic Assembly’s Fatherland, which has been created by Frantic Assembly’s Scott Graham, Karl Hyde from Underworld and playwright Simon Stephens, is currently playing at Lyric Hammersmith until 23 June.


A Frantic Assembly & Theatre Royal Plymouth production
by Anna Jordan


20 September – 6 October 2018
Theatre Royal Plymouth
On sale now
Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 2TR
01752 267222

9 – 13 October 2018
Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus
On sale from 21 June 
University Rd, Southampton SO17 1TR
023 8067 1771

16 – 20 October 2018
Liverpool Everyman 

On sale now
5-11 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9BH
0151 709 4776

22 – 27 October 2018
Traverse Theatre Edinburgh

On sale in July
10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
0131 228 1404

30 October –2 November 2018
The Old Rep, Birmingham
On sale now

Station St, Birmingham B5 4DY
0121 359 9444

16 January – 2 February 2019
Theatre Royal Stratford East
On sale now
Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
020 8534 0310

5 – 9 February 2019
Chichester Festival Theatre (Minerva Theatre)

On sale in September
Oaklands Park, Chichester PO19 6AP
01243 781312

11 – 16 February 2019
Curve, Leicester 

On sale soon
60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB
0116 242 3595

18 – 23 February 2019
Taliesin Arts Centre
On sale now

Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PZ
01792 602060

Shakespeare’s Globe announces Winter Season for 2018/19 in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Shakespeare's Globe Winter Season for 2018/19
Shakespeare's Globe Winter Season for 2018/19

Shakespeare’s Globe Winter Season for 2018/19

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced  its Winter Season for 2018/19 in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Featuring two pairings of plays by William Shakespeare and his celebrated counterpart, Christopher Marlowe, this call and response season opens on 7 November 2018. Throughout the season we are also inviting today’s artists to examine, rework and elaborate on these 400-year-old provocations with new work written in response to Shakespeare and Marlowe.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth will be directed by Robert Hastie, opening the season as a timely reminder of the destruction that can result from the quest for power, and an examination of the evil forces that can take root in the imagination of a tyrant. Robert is the Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, where he has directed their critically acclaimed productions Julius CaesarOf Kith and Kinand The Wizard of Oz. Robert directed Michelle Terry in the titular role of Henry V at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (2016). He also directed Breaking the Code at Manchester’s Royal Exchange in the play’s first major revival for 30 years.

Opening on 1 DecemberChristopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus will be directed by Paulette Randall, and plays alongside Macbeth. The cautionary tale examines the very nature of human curiosity and our unparalleled thirst for knowledge. Paulette’s theatre credits include Fences starring Lenny Henry (Theatre Royal Bath, West End), Gem of the OceanBlues for Mr Charlie (Tricycle) and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (Chichester Festival Theatre). Her screen credits include CasualtyThe Crouches and Holby City (BBC One). Paulette was associate director of the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and was awarded an MBE for services to drama in 2015.

Dark Night of the Soul: a feminine response to the Faustian bargain opens on 29 December. The Faustian myth continues to fascinate and intrigue, but has been appropriated by the man, the male, the masculine, with little exploration or discovery of what it means for the woman, the female, the feminine, to stop at a crossroads and ‘sell her soul’. Jude Christian will direct an ensemble of female writers including Lily Bevan, Athena Stevens, Katie Hims, Amanda Wilkin, Lisa Hammond andRachael Spence. They will respond to the provocation, with the ultimate aim of creating a chorus of female voices asking: What would you sell your soul for? Jude Christian will be performing Nanjing, a piece about identity, dispossession, and the consequences of war, in the Playhouse this week as part of Refugee Week 2018.

Ralegh: The Treason Trial, edited and dramatised by Oliver Chris, will premiere in Winchester Great Hall, the location of the original trial 415 years ago, before playing in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. The production is a  verbatim account of what played out on that extraordinary November morning, compiled and edited from sources present at the trial itself. Oliver is an actor, writer and director best-known in the theatre for his roles in One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre, West End, Broadway), King Charles III (Almeida, West End, Broadway), and Twelfth Night (National Theatre).

The season continues with Marlowe’s Edward II and Shakespeare’s Richard II, examining ancestral relationships and notions of identity, sexuality, desire and power. Edward II plays from 7 February 2019. King Edward recalls his lover from banishment and sets in motion a chain of events that culminate in some of the most shocking scenes in early modern theatre. Marlowe’s portrayal of Edward and Gaveston is a rare depiction of a gay relationship on the early modern stage, and a frank exploration of the tension between private pleasures and public duty.

Richard II was hugely controversial when it was first written and performed, and it strikes us today with remarkable immediacy as Shakespeare asks us to consider the destiny that we might be shaping for our ‘scepter’d isle’. The production will open on 22 February and play during a period in which we will play our own part in defining history and becoming the shoulders on which future generations will stand, as the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU is due to take place on 29 March 2019.

The Read Not Dead series continues to shed new light on Shakespeare’s contemporaries, and this year includes Edward I (first printed 1593) by George Peele. The series will also bring to life The Little French Lawyer (first performed 1619 – 1623, first published 1647) by John Fletcher and Philip Massinger, and The Tragedy of Sir John van Olden Barnavelt (first performed 1619, first published 1883) by John Fletcher and Philip Massinger. Events will be taking place over the half term period, including storytelling and workshops of Macbeth and Henry V for families.

Opening 21 MarchAfter Edward is written by Tom Stuart. Edward II wanders on to the empty stage, bloodied and confused. He has no idea where he is, or how he got here, but he does have an ominous feeling that something is wrong. A daring new play written specifically for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in response to Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, After Edward welcomes us into a chaotic world of pride and shame. Tom has appeared as an actor at Shakespeare’s Globe in many productions including The Broken Heart, The Changeling (2015), Romeo & Juliet (2009) and Much Ado About Nothing (2007). He performed in the Battersea Arts Centre’s production of Edward IIin 2008. His screen credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Psychobitches (Sky Arts), and A Good Year. Tom has been working in film, television and theatre as an actor for 14 years. His first play I Am Not Myself These Days, an adaptation of Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s New York Times bestselling autobiography, was performed by Tom at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2015) and toured the UK in 2016.

Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank celebrates its 14th year at the Globe Theatre. Throughout March 2019, Romeo & Juliet will be opening the doors to the next generation of audiences.

Advance Priority Booking: Wednesday 20 June

Friends Priority Booking: Monday 25 June

Public Booking: Monday 16 July

Download the brochure for the Winter Season 2018/19 here.

2018 Sam Wanamaker Award presented at Shakespeare’s Globe on 16th June

Thelma Holt
Thelma Holt

Thelma Holt

The 2018 Sam Wanamaker Award will be presented to British theatre producer Thelma Holt CBE by Shakespeare’s Globe Chief Executive, Neil Constable, and Director, Globe Education, Patrick Spottiswoode, in the Globe Theatre on Saturday 16 June. The award ceremony will follow the relaxed matinee performance of The Two Noble Kinsmen and will be coupled with ‘The Globe Remembers’: a roll call of those who have made a significant contribution to the work of Shakespeare’s Globe and who have sadly died in the last 12 months. This year’s commemorations include Sir Peter Hall CBE, with whom Thelma worked at the National Theatre.

Actor and Director, Sam Wanamaker, spent the final 23 years of his life tirelessly campaigning, advancing research into the original Globe and planning its reconstruction. The Sam Wanamaker Award was instituted by Shakespeare’s Globe in 1994 to celebrate work which has increased the understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare and which has a similar quality to Sam’s own pioneering mission.

Neil Constable, Chief Executive, Shakespeare’s Globe explained, ‘This year’s award is given in recognition of Thelma Holt’s long-standing career in support of international cultural exchange, especially in producing and touring many award-winning Shakespeare productions both in English and in translation. She has also been a true friend to the Globe since the days when Sam Wanamaker first had a gleam in his eye to build a reconstructed Globe Theatre.’

Thelma Holt’s name is synonymous with theatre. Once an actress, now a producer, she belongs in that small group of legendary women – Lilian Baylis, Joan Littlewood and the agent Peggy Ramsay are others – who have transformed British theatre. Her energies are deployed in many directions, but Shakespeare’s Globe has held an important place in her affections from the earliest days of the project – ever since, as she has put it, ‘Sam got me like everyone else. He had the vision and that carried you along.’

On hearing that she would be the 2018 recipient, Thelma Holt CBE said, ‘The news that I was to receive the Sam Wanamaker Award made the sun come out in my world, even though it appeared to be raining heavily elsewhere. I and anyone else who was involved so many years ago remain proud of the work we did when a madman called Sam Wanamaker had a brilliant idea. 

‘Every obstacle that was put in his way was shot down in flames. However hard we may have worked on his behalf was nothing compared to what we received in return. Everything I learned with Sam I have continued to use in my own career and indeed now share with young people coming into the profession. 

‘On the road to achieving this magnificent venue (Shakespeare’s Globe), there were many near-disasters. All they ever meant for Sam was a huge rush of adrenalin as he went into battle. I and so many friends were proud indeed to be his foot-soldiers, and it is thrilling today to come to the Globe and see the great work that continues to be done to the lasting credit of the country that gave birth to William Shakespeare.’

Thelma Holt follows former illustrious recipients of the Award, the first of whom was Dr Rex Gibson, creator and editor of the Cambridge School Shakespeare; and include Janet Arnold for her pioneering research into Elizabethan clothing; Professor Stanley Wells, Shakespeare scholar and former Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; John Barton, founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company; actor and director, Mark Rylance; and last year, to mark the Globe’s 20th anniversary, 25 volunteers who have each given over 20 years of service as Stewards at  Shakespeare’s Globe.

Thelma is a graduate of the RADA and co-founder of the Open Space Theatre. She became director of the Roundhouse in 1976 before joining Peter Hall at the National Theatre, where in 1987 she received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement for her international work. Her many theatrical successes as a producer after leaving the National Theatre include some outstanding Shakespeare productions: The Merchant of Venice with Dustin Hoffman in London and New York (for Peter Hall); Hamlet, with Alan Rickman in the leading role and Much Ado About Nothing, with Janet McTeer and Mark Rylance (a production which marked the return of Shakespeare to Shaftesbury Avenue after a gap of 50 years).

As Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford, Thelma became responsible for the university’s annual Shakespeare tour to Japan, which this year is Twelfth Night. She is an Emeritus Fellow of St Catherine’s College and became a Distinguished Friend of Oxford in 2006. As Associate Producer for the RSC she has, with HoriPro Inc, toured to Japan the RSC’s productions of Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her RSC co-productions in the West End include the five Jacobean plays, The Taming of the Shrew and The Tamer Tamed and All’s Well That Ends Well. She is currently Associate Producer on Imperium. In Japan she co-produced with HoriPro Inc. The Merchant of Venice and Anjin – The English Samurai, both directed by Gregory Doran.

Thelma was producer for all of Yukio Ninagawa’s productions that were performed in the UK for a period of 30 years, including his final memorial production of Macbeth at the Barbican and Theatre Royal Plymouth in 2017. In recognition of her promotion of Japanese theatre, she was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan.

Shakespeare has featured heavily in Thelma’s career, and she has been a Shakespeare enthusiast since childhood. As she has said in an interview given to the Globe’s membership magazine, ‘It was Shakespeare who made me want to act and Shakespeare who made me want to produce.’

The Rise of the Understudy – Steph Parry to take over the role of Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street

Steph Parry as Dorothy Brock and 42nd Street Ensemble
Steph Parry as Dorothy Brock and 42nd Street Ensemble

Steph Parry as Dorothy Brock and 42nd Street Ensemble © Matt Crockett

In the week that 42nd Street celebrates the 500th performance of its run, the producers have announced that Steph Parry is to now take the iconic role of Dorothy Brock in the show at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The actress shot to fame last week when she stepped up from understudy in one show to suddenly play the starring role in another musical playing down the road.

Steph’s casting in the star role is a rare case of life imitating art – 42nd Street tells the story of a young actress being given her shot at stardom after the leading lady is injured, and charts the understudy’s rise from showgirl to star.

Last week Steph was preparing for her understudy role in 42nd Street when she was called by the company manager of Mamma Mia, after the leading lady was forced off stage with an injury. Rather than see the audience sent home, Steph stepped into the shoes of the injured actress to ensure that the show did indeed go on.

Following this, Steph has now been awarded the starring role of Dorothy Brock, following in the footsteps of Lulu who has been playing the legendary diva in the five-star production. The role has also previously been taken by Sheena Easton. Steph’s first performance will be Monday 9th July.

42nd Street is playing at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The production is directed by the show’s co-author Mark Bramble (whose other hit shows include BarnumTreasure IslandThe Three Musketeers The Grand Tour) and director of many award-winning previous productions of 42nd Street on Broadway and around the world.

42nd STREET is the song and dance, American dream fable of Broadway and includes some of the greatest songs ever written, such as ‘We’re In The Money’, ‘Lullaby of Broadway’, ‘Shuffle Off To Buffalo’, ‘Dames’, ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, and ‘42nd Street’.

With an all-singing, high-kicking cast of over 50 on the West End’s largest stage, 42nd Street is the biggest show in town.

42nd Street is presented in London by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade together with The Global Group of Companies for Gate Ventures with Executive Producer Johnny Hon.

Nottingham Playhouse announces autumn season

Sweet Charity
Sweet Charity

Sweet Charity

  • Cast for Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood pantomime announced
  • Neville Studio Christmas show confirmed as The Elves and the Shoemaker

NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE has unveiled its autumn and winter season for 2018, following rave reviews for its spring and summer line-up.

The latest announcement includes confirmed casting for the much-loved Nottingham Playhouse pantomime Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, directed and written by Kenneth Alan Taylor.

Considered a ‘Midlands institution’ Nottingham Playhouse’s annual pantomime has confirmed the welcome return of actors Tim Frater and Kelly Agredo as Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Playhouse favourite John Elkington will be taking to the stage asNurse Nellie Noggins, alongside Rebecca Little as Tilly Tuck the Tomboy. Joining them will be Robin Kingsland as the evilSheriff of Nottingham.

Following a successful pilot in 2017’s pantomime, Cinderella, Nottingham Playhouse has also confirmed that it will feature two adult chorus members in Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, providing an opportunity for recently graduated performers to gain their first professional credit.

As a seasonal treat for smaller children, Nottingham Playhouse will create a magical and festive retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale The Elves and the Shoemaker. The show promises to be a perfect introduction to theatre for little ones, following in the tradition of family favourites, Town Mouse and Country Mouse and The Princess and the Frog.

The exciting programme kicks off with Nottingham Playhouse’s first musical for more than a decade: Sweet Charity. This uplifting Broadway musical is followed by poignant play Kindertransport and the highly anticipated production of The Madness of George III, which is set to take Nottingham Playhouse to a global scale when it is broadcast live in partnership with National Theatre Live.

Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse Adam Penford said: “2018 is proving to be a really exciting time for Nottingham Playhouse. The response from audience and critics alike to the productions has been fantastic and we have exceeded our ticket sales targets.

“The autumn is set to be even bigger and better, with ever more ambitious productions and top-notch talent creating work for our stages.”

Professional artists development programme Amplify opens its ideas submission window this September. It encourages local artists to submit their creative performance projects and ideas. Meanwhile, the first Amplify Festival will run from 8 to 13 October, with applications opening soon.

Adam continued: “Supporting local artists is a fundamental part of Nottingham Playhouse’s ethos and we are dedicated to providing opportunities for homegrown talent in all areas of our artistic development work.”

For a copy of the new season programme and to book tickets visit, www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk

Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood full cast biographies:

Tim Frater – Theatre credits include: Cinderella; Robin Hood and the Babes in the WoodJack and the BeanstalkSleeping BeautyDick Whittington (Nottingham Playhouse); Dance Captain for Five Guys Named Moe (Festival Square, Edinburgh); A Christmas Carol (Royal Theatre, Northampton); Jolson (Birmingham Hippodrome/Victoria Palace Theatre); Forever Young (Nottingham Playhouse and UK Tour).

Kelly Agredo – Theatre credits include: Cinderella (Nottingham Playhouse); Dick Whittington (Belgrade Theatre); The Trojan Women (Streatham Hill Theatre); Sleeping Beauty (Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park Arts Centre); Musical Mayhem (Lost Theatre, London). Film credits include: Tindersticks Music Video (Cambridge Corn Exhange); Privato (Sobeit); The Exchange (Floodwater Films).

John Elkington –  Theatre credits include: Holes; The Cherry OrchardThe Importance of Being EarnestLady Bracknell’s ConfinementOf Mice and MenGarage BandForever Young and lots of pantos (Nottingham Playhouse); Queens of the Coal Age (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny (York Theatre Royal); Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse/Nuffield Southampton Theatres/Northern Stage.

Rebecca Little – Theatre credits at Nottingham Playhouse pantomimes include: CinderellaAladdinSleeping BeautyJack and the BeanstalkRobin Hood and the Babes in the WoodMother GooseBeauty and the BeastDick Whittington. Other theatre credits include: A World Away (OTW); Romeo and JulietMacbethMuch Ado About NothingTwelfth NightA Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oddsocks); Coronation CapersGranny’s Big Top TaleTurned Out Nice Again!What Became of the Red Shoes? (Little Pixie Productions); Forever YoungTracy Beaker Gets Real! (Nottingham Playhouse)

Adam Pettigrew – Theatre credits include: Cinderella (Nottingham Playhouse); The White Feather (Union Theatre); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Ye Olde Rose and Crown); Sleeping Arrangements (Landor Theatre); Peter Pan (Aylesbury Waterside Theatre/Princes Hall, Aldershot).

Darren Southworth – Theatre credits include: Cinderella; Jack and the BeanstalkAladdin (Nottingham Playhouse); #ChipShoptheMusical (Freedom Studios/Octagon Theatre Bolton); Cinderella (Qdos Productions); Cox and BoxMrs Bouncer’s Legacy (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); No Sleep For The Haunted (Perfect Pitch Musicals, The Lowry); Desperate to Be DorisThe Importance of Being Earnest (LipService Theatre).

Kelly Edwards – Sleeping Beauty; Jack and the Beanstalk (Nottingham Playhouse); Dick Whittington (Hackney Empire); Disco Inferno (UK Tour); Mamma Mia! (International Tour); Dirty Dancing; Tanz Der Vampire (Stage Entertainment);Legoland (Legoland); Gaiety Whirl (Gaiety Theatre); Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Derngate Theatre, Northampton); Carousel Cruise Ship lead vocalist (Cruise).

Robin Kingsland – Theatre credits include: The Cherry Orchard; ArcadiaOf Mice and MenThe League of YouthThe Resistible Rise of Arturo UiGarage BandThe PriceI Have Been Here BeforeRat Pack ConfidentialThe Secret Garden (Nottingham Playhouse); Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf(Rapture Theatre Company); Strindbergs Women: Storm (Elysium Theatre Company); Private LivesRookery NookShe Stoops to ConquerThe Return of the NativeI Have Been Here BeforeLoot (Mercury Theatre, Colchester).

Interview – The Rise of Little Voice, at Barn Theatre: Sarah Louise Hughes

Sarah Louise Hughes

First off, the 200-seat Barn Theatre in Cirencester has had had a terrific first season.
Next up is The Rise of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright.
I had a quick chat with Sarah Louise Hughes who is taking on the title role and making her professional debut in Michael Strassen’s production.
Here is what we discussed.

Sarah Louise Hughes

Sarah Louise Hughes

Are you ready for your life to be turned upside down by the sudden rise to fame and success that starring in ‘The Rise of Little Voice’ is definitely going to bring?
I am really lucky to be able to get to get to be part of such a fantastic production and play such an iconic role coming straight out of training. So I think this is defiantly a great platform for me to start my career, I’m not expecting fame and success over night but I am extremely excited for the future.

Where do you get your confidence?
Obviously everyone is different, but I’ve always been quite an extrovert person! I have been performing since I was little and have always told myself that life’s too short to get embarrassed and this is something I always remind myself of when I’m making acting choices.

Can you describe your state of mind when you were asked to be the star of ‘The Rise of Little Voice’?
I was at Conti the morning I got the phone call and I really couldn’t believe it. I had tried to not let myself get too excited about the idea of getting the role because I didn’t want to get my hopes up to then be let down. I was obviously very emotional because this was the moment I had spent all the years of training for, to think that this was the start of my professional career was very surreal.

What did you learn most from your time at Italia Conti? 
I have learnt so much in my three years at Conti that I couldn’t even try and fit it all in! But a personal highlight for me was during my third year Shakespeare production of The Tempest, when I played the role of Caliban. I feel like this was the moment that I learnt how to fully develop a character. Not only this, but it also taught me how to sustain such a complexed character for a long performance period, just as you would in a professional production. So I think this was the most valuable thing I can take with me as I go into the industry.

Do you have any theatrical superstitions?
I’m not really a superstitious person! But I always get quite nervous before a performance. I like to stick to my own little routine before each show and keep myself to myself. I feel like this gives me time to relax and get in the right headspace.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

What’s ‘The Rise of Little Voice’ really about? Is it essentially the Tale of the Ugly Duckling in reverse –or is there a deeper meaning?
Although the role of LV blossoms then deteriorates, there are so many other different aspects that makes the show what it is and I think thats what makes it such a fantastic piece of writing. There isn’t just one emotional theme the whole way through, there are bits that will make you laugh and bits that will make you cry and when people come and see the show I think there will always be a different role that somebody relates to personally.

When in recent memory have you been happiest? 
Probably the first day of rehearsals, although I was really nervous I was so excited to get started and have our first read through with the whole cast.

Do you have any tips for recent drama school graduates?
I know lots of my friends who are graduating now are all in different positions and different stages – some are already auditioning and some are still having meetings with agents, I think its really important to remember that it happens for everyone at different times and to keep positive and stay productive.

Is the story still as timely, funny and tragic twenty years on?
Yes. I think its proof in saying that myself as a 21 year old today enjoys the writing and watching the film. The way its written it can still be very current, It has the ability to reach out to people from all ages and different walks of life. Also, at The Barn Theatre, we have a new projector that we will be using in the show – this is something that less than 10 theatres in the UK have! This brand new technology is a great way of keeping the show current.

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is being able to make a living out of what makes me happy!

Is there anything that you’d like to add?
I am very excited to show everyone what we have been working on and couldn’t think of a better place to be doing it than the brand new Barn Theatre in Cirencester.

The Rise of Little Voice runs at Barn Theatre in Cirencester from 7th July to 4th August.



Middle Child head to Fringe with new show, One Life Stand

One Life Stand Credit Jazz Harbord
One Life Stand  Credit Jazz Harbord

One Life Stand Credit Jazz Harbord

Middle Child will return to the Paines Plough Roundabout this August with a new gig theatre production: One Life Stand, written by Eve Nicol with music by James Frewer and Glaswegian band, Honeyblood.

When we can have sex whenever we want, with whomever we want, why settle for a normal relationship? With the promise of fresh excitement just a swipe away, is Kat’s long-term lover really her lifelong dream?

One Life Stand is a late-night search for intimacy across a city obsessed with sex and screens, where the expectations of lust and the limits of love are ever-changing.

It’s writer Eve Nicol’s first professional commission and the latest production from the company behind All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, which sold out the Roundabout at the Fringe in 2017 and picked up three awards, including The Stage Excellence Award for Marc Graham’s lead performance.

One Life Stand will be performed at the Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall (Venue 26) from 1-26 August, except Tuesdays, at 9.45pm.

The production stars Tanya Loretta Dee (Boots, Offside) as Kat, Edward Cole (Ten Storey Love Song) as Kit and Anna Mitchelson (Weekend Rockstars) as Momo, who will all perform original music written by James Frewer and Honeyblood throughout the show.

Eve Nicol is a playwright and director from Glasgow who has worked with the National Theatre of Scotland, Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Tron Theatre, Glasgow. She is the artistic director of Heroes Theatre, with whom she’s created theatre for fields, festivals, pools, pubs and stages across Scotland. One Life Stand is her professional debut as a writer.

James Frewer is a composer and musical director who has worked with Middle Child on seven previous productions, including Weekend Rockstars, I Hate Alone and All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and Mercury Fur.

Honeyblood are Glaswegian duo Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers, whose 2016 album, Babes Never Die, was described by The Skinny magazine as “peppered with catchy choruses and heroic riffs… with sing-along moments galore.”

Tickets are on sale now at tickets.edfringe.com for £14 (£12 concessions).

Cast and Crew

Kat – Tanya Loretta Dee

Kit – Edward Cole

Momo – Anna Mitchelson

Writer – Eve Nicol

Music – James Frewer and Honeyblood

Director – Paul Smith

Designer – Natalie Young

Lighting Design – Jose Tevar

Sound Design – Ed Clarke

Production Manager – Emily Anderton