Rufus Norris announces new work for the National Theatre in 2017 

Rufus Norris

Rufus Norris

New work by Inua Ellams, Yaёl Farber, DC Moore, Lindsey Ferrentino and Nina Raine is announced today by Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre. Four world premieres and two European premieres are further announced as forthcoming productions for the National Theatre in 2017.

Acclaimed writer and director Yaёl Farber returns to the National with the European premiere of Salomé and co-productions with Headlong, Fuel, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Out of Joint and Improbable are among the collaborations with theatre companies from across the UK.

Leading actors will include Imelda Staunton, Olivia Colman, Philip Quast, Nathan Lane, Andrew Garfield, Denise Gough, Russell Tovey, James McArdle, Susan Brown, Janie Dee, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Daniel Rigby, Tamara Lawrence, Doon Mackichan, Daniel Ezra and Olwen Fouere.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time continues its West End run at the Gielgud Theatre and begins a second major tour of the UK and Ireland from January 2017. Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre, a co-production between the NT and Bristol Old Vic, begins a tour of the UK in April 2017 and War Horse begins its second major tour of the UK on 15 September 2017.

NT Live announcements include Amadeus, with Lucian Msamati, broadcast live from the NT on 2 February 2017Saint Joan, with Gemma Arterton, broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse on 16 February 2017 and Hedda Gabler, with Ruth Wilson, broadcast live from the NT on 9 March 2017.

Olivier Theatre 

Follies, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Goldman, comes to the NT for the first time in 2017. NT Associate Director Dominic Cooke directs a cast including Imelda Staunton as Sally Durant Plummer, Janie Dee as Phyllis Rogers Stone and Philip Quast as Benjamin Stone. Director Dominic Cooke; Choreographer  Bill Deamer; Music Supervisor  Nicholas Skilbeck; Music Director Nigel Lilley; Lighting Designer Paule Constable; Sound Designer Paul Groothuis and Associate Choreographer Kylie Cruikshanks.

There are few stories that have more of a vexed relationship to the western canon than that of Salomé. This radical revision of the biblical tale, in which a figure buried by history gains her voice, marks Yaёl Farber’s return to the Olivier following her acclaimed production of Les Blancs in 2016. The world premiere of Salomé was produced by Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC, the NT production marks its European premiere and will be on stage in May 2017. This new production is part of the 2017 Travelex £15 ticket season. Cast includes Olwen Fouere. Director Yaёl Farber; Designer Susan Hilferty; Lighting Designer Tim Lutkin; Music and Sound Adam Cork; Movement Director Ami Shulman and Dramaturg Drew Lichtenberg.

Common, a world premiere by DC Moore, will be directed by Jeremy Herrin in the Olivier Theatre. Set in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, the common land of England is under threat. An epic new history play co-produced with Headlong, this new production is part of the 2017 Travelex £15 ticket season.

As previously announced, Tamsin Greig will return to the National to play ‘Malvolia’ in Twelfth Night, opening in the Olivier in February 2017: the first of two Shakespearean productions being directed by Simon Godwin, who will later direct Ralph Fiennes in Antony and Cleopatra in 2018. Further casting for Twelfth Night includes Daniel Rigby as Aguecheek, Tamara Lawrence as Viola, Doon Mackichan as Feste and Daniel Ezra as Sebastian. Director Simon Godwin; Designer Soutra Gilmour; Lighting Designer James Farncombe; Movement Director Shelley Maxwell; Music Michael Bruce; Sound Designer Christopher Shutt and Fight Director Kev McCurdy.

Lyttelton Theatre

Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino makes its European premiere at the NT in March 2017.  An American soldier is injured on tour in Afghanistan and returns to her family home. Through the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she builds a new world to escape her pain. Lindsey Ferrentino won the National Arts Club’s 2016 Kesselring Prize for Ugly Lies the Bone. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, Set Designer  Es Devlin; Video Designer Luke Halls; Costume Designer Johanna Coe; Lighting Designer Oliver Fenwick; Music and Sound Ben & Max Ringham; Fight Directors, Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of RC-Annie Ltd.

In May 2017, Marianne Elliott will direct Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, with Andrew Garfield returning to the National as Prior Walter. The company also includes Susan Brown, Nathan Lane, James McArdle, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Denise Gough and Russell Tovey. Millennium Approaches, the first of the two plays which form Angels in America, received its British premiere at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre in 1992, and was joined by Perestroika in a double-bill the following year. Director Marianne Elliott; Set  Designer Ian MacNeil; Costume Designer Nicky Gillibrand; Lighting Designer Paule Constable; Movement Director Robby GrahamPuppets and movement Finn Caldwell; Music Adrian Sutton; Sound Designer Ian Dickinson and Illusions Chris Fisher.

Dorfman Theatre

My Country; A Work in Progress – In the days after the European Referendum in June 2016, the National Theatre began a national listening project. From Londonderry to Leicester and Merthyr Tydfil to Glasgow, the National Theatre has created a verbatim archive of conversations from across the UK. Rufus Norris will collaborate with Carol Ann Duffy as he directs a performance based on the first round of material.

Consent by Nina Raine will receive its world premiere in a co-production with Out of Joint in the Dorfman Theatre in April 2017. The play explores questions of law, justice and forgiveness. Directed by Roger Michell.

Mosquitoes by Lucy Kirkwood will have its world premiere in the Dorfman Theatre in July 2017. Rufus Norris will direct this new play about families and particle physics, with a cast that includes Olivia Colman. Mosquitoes is presented by special arrangement with Manhattan Theatre Club, which commissioned the play with funds provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Designer Katrina Lindsay; Lighting Designer Paule Constable; Music Adam Cork and Sound Designer Paul Arditti. A recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award.

Improbable and the National Theatre present: Lost Without Words, a theatrical experiment in the Dorfman Theatre in March 2017. Improbable have been improvising on stage all their lives then one day they had a mischievous fantasy: What would happen if they took older actors in their seventies and eighties, actors who had spent their lives on stage bringing life to a writer’s words, actors who now they are old appear in our theatres less and less – what would happen if we put those actors on stage without a script? What scenes would they create? What stories would unfold? What might they tell us about what awaits us all at the other end of life? Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson will direct with Colin Grenfell as Lighting Designer and music by Steve Edis. Lost Without Words is a co-production with Improbable.

Inua Ellams’ Barber Shop Chronicles will have its world premiere at the National Theatre in June 2017, before moving to West Yorkshire Playhouse in July. This new play unfolds in a succession of barber shops across Africa and the UK. The play is directed by Bijan Sheibani and is a co-production with Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Director Bijan Sheibani; Designer Rae Smith.

On stage in the Dorfman Theatre in January 2017, Project Arts Centre presents Dublin Oldschool, a new play by Emmet Kirwan. A play about brothers, Dublin and dance music, Dublin Oldschool snaps, crackles, raps and rhymes, with high octane performances by Emmet Kirwan and Ian Lloyd Anderson, directed by Phillip McMahon. Project Arts Centre in association with Soho Theatre, supported by Culture Ireland.

Brussels-based BRONKS is one of Belgium’s leading theatres for young audiences and in January 2017, following its acclaimed and sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, BRONKS brings Us/Them to the NT. During a hostage drama at a school in Beslan terrorists chose a group of children as their victims. Us/Them is not a straightforward account, it is about the individual way that children cope with extreme situations. With humour and a matter-of-fact approach, it contrasts the views of children with those of adults. On stage in the Dorfman from 16 January – 18 February 2017. BRONKS and Richard Jordan Productions in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth, Big in Belgium and Summerhall.

The Dorfman Partner is Neptune Investment Management.

National Theatre throughout the UK, in the West End and internationally 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book and directed by Marianne Elliott enters its fifth year in London, continuing its run at the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.  Joseph Ayre leads the West End cast as Christopher Boone, with tickets currently on sale until 22 April 2017.  Its official card partner is American Express.

A North American tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time began at Rochester’s Auditorium Theater in September 2016, and will go on to play more than 30 cities, including Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time begins a second major tour of the UK and Ireland at The Lowry in Salford in January 2017 (with its national press night at the Lowry on Wednesday 25 January at 7.30pm), continuing its journey to Aylesbury, Edinburgh, Leeds, Canterbury, Bath, Southampton, Nottingham, Belfast, Dublin, Cardiff, Sheffield, Oxford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bristol, Plymouth, Birmingham, Southend, Llandudno, Liverpool, Bradford, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Norwich and finishing in Milton Keynes on 16 September 2017.

Sally Cookson’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre,  a co-production between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic,  begins a tour of the UK at the Lowry in Salford on 8 April (with its press night on 12 April at 7.30pm), continuing to Sheffield, Aylesbury, Plymouth, Southampton, Edinburgh, York, Woking, Glasgow, Canterbury, Cardiff, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Brighton, Leeds, Aberdeen, Birmingham  and finishing at the Theatre Royal in  Bath on 30 September 2017.

The National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel, and directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris begins its second major tour of the UK on 15 September 2017 at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, where it will run until 14 October 2017.   It continues to the Bristol Hippodrome (18 October – 11 November 2017), the Empire Theatre, Liverpool (15 November – 2 December 2017), New Theatre, Oxford (13 December 2017 – 6 January 2018), Brighton Centre (25 January – 10 February 2018), Bradford Alhambra Theatre  (14 February – 10 March 2018), the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (14 March – 7 April 2018) and the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (18 April – 12 May 2018), The Lowry, Salford (11-30 June 2018), the Milton Keynes Theatre (17 September-6 October 2018) and Plymouth Theatre Royal (29 August to 15 September 2018).   Further dates and venues will be announced.

The National Theatre’s Learning Programme goes from strength to strength in 2017, and one year on from the launch of On Demand in Schools, 2,200 schools are now signed up to the free service, with two-thirds of schools located outside of London and the South East. This includes schools in Derby, Dumfries, Derry, Morecambe, Machynlleth, Truro, Antrim, Ullswater, Poole, Cirencester and Northampton, alongside many more, representing a third of all state secondary schools in the UK.  The plays are supported by curriculum-linked learning resources to help teachers incorporate the productions into their teaching practice.

Schools can now watch recordings of six National Theatre productions in their classroom: Frankenstein, Hamlet, Othello, She Stoops to Conquer, The Comedy of Errors and the NT’s first title aimed at primary schools, Treasure Island. National Theatre On Demand In Schools is supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Sidney E. Frank Foundation. Productions for primary schools are supported by Goldsmiths’ Company Charity.

From February 2017, the NT will stage two contemporary re-tellings of Shakespeare for younger audiences. Romeo and Juliet, in a version by Ben Power for primary school audiences aged 8 – 11 years, is a remount of the successful 2013 production, directed by Bijan Sheibani, and accompanied by a creative learning programme.  Macbeth will be adapted and directed by Justin Audibert for secondary school audiences aged 13 – 16 years. Both productions will tour to state schools across London and play in the Dorfman. Cast includes Tripti Tripuraneni, Nana Amoo-Gottfried, Jay Saighal, Madeleine Appiah, Ronak Pattani, Kayla Meikle and Ashley Gurlach.

Romeo and Juliet will also play at Stratford Circus as part of the London Borough of Newham’s Every Child a Theatregoer programme. Macbeth will tour to schools in Thurrock as part of the Royal Opera House’s Thurrock Trailblazers scheme. The productions are expected to be seen by over 12,000 young people across the tour. Booking for schools is now open via the website. Schools touring is supported by The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, The Ernest Cook Trust, Jill and David Leuw.

270 schools and youth theatre companies across the country have signed up in 2017 for Connections, the NT’s long standing youth theatre initiative. Each company will produce one of 10 newly commissioned plays and take their production to one of 28 major producing theatres partnering with the NT.

The plays are FOMO by Suhayla El-Bushra, Extremism by Anders Lustgarten, Musical Differences by Robin French, Status Update by Tim Etchells, The School Film by Patrick Marber, The Monstrum by Kellie Smith, The Snow Dragons by Lizzie Nunnery, Three by Harriet Braun, #YOLO by Matthew Bulgo, Zero For The Young Dudes! by Alistair McDowall. NT Connections is supported by Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Jacqueline and Richard Worswick, Susan Miller and Byron Grote, Hays Travel Foundation, Faithorn Farrell Timms, and supporters of the Connections Appeal.

The National Theatre’s New Work Department has announced Anupama Chandrasekar as Writer in Residence, succeeding Suhayla El-Bushra. Anupama took up the position in September 2016 and is the NT’s first international writer in residence, she joins the organisation from Chennai, India. The Writer in Residence programme is supported by Lookout Point.

National Theatre Live is the National Theatre’s ground-breaking initiative to bring theatre to cinemas. Recently celebrating our 50th broadcast, National Theatre Live has given 6 million people worldwide the chance to see quality theatre. The current season features productions from partner theatres and the National Theatre itself:

  • 15 December sees NT Live broadcast the acclaimed No Man’s Land live from the stage of the Wyndham’s Theatre, with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Harold Pinter’s classic play, produced by Playful Productions.
  • On 2 February 2017 Lucian Msamati takes on the role of Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, featuring live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia, broadcast direct from the NT.
  • Josie Rourke directs Gemma Arterton as Joan of Arc in Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse on 16 February 2017.
  • Ruth Wilson plays the titular role in a new version of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, directed by Ivo van Hove, broadcast live from the NT on 9 March 2017.

NT Live broadcasts in 2017 will also include Twelfth Night, Salomé and Angels in America with dates to be announced soon.

Find your nearest venue at  


Travelex £15 Tickets sponsored by 

Amadeus is generously supported by the Amadeus Production Syndicate

Hedda Gabler is generously supported by the Williams Charitable Trust

The National Theatre is working in partnership with American Express 

NT Future is supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch 

The National Theatre’s Partner for Connectivity is Cisco 

The National Theatre’s Outdoor Media Partner is Clear Channel 

The National Theatre’s Workshops Partner is Flints Theatrical Chandlers 

The National Theatre’s International Hotel Partner is Intercontinental Hotels Group

New writing at the National Theatre is supported by ITV plc

The Dorfman Partner is Neptune Investment Management 

The National Theatre’s Pouring Partner is Nyetimber 

The National Theatre’s partner for Lighting and Energy is Philips 

The official hotel partner of the National Theatre is Edwardian Hotels London

The National Theatre wishes to acknowledge its partner National Angels Limited 

The National Theatre is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.