Posts

,

Bill Deamer: ‘We are not doing a carbon copy; that was that production of Follies and this is a new production of Follies.’

Follies

Choreographer Bill Deamer enters the room. ‘Hello!’ he says cheerily.

Bill Deamer is one of Britain’s leading song and dance men for theatre, film and TV. Last year he bagged himself an Olivier nomination for Best Theatre Choreographer for Follies

Now Dominic Cooke’s production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s masterpiece, is back at the National Theatre. We are talking in the interview room backstage at the National Theatre and Deamer has just been giving notes to the cast of Follies. ‘We now have to let them take the show and run with it,’ he says.

The 2019 Follies Company with Bill Deamer

The 2019 Follies Company with Bill Deamer

It’s tricky, Deamer explains, to reimagine a critically acclaimed musical for the Olivier stage with new cast members in just over a month, yet they have cleared that obstacle with breath-taking ease. ‘We’ve only had four weeks rehearsal whereas we had 9 originally. What you can’t do when you recast is assume the energy is going to be the same.’

It’s not only the cast that has changed since the 2017 production, however. The ensemble brings glorious new touches to the big number choreography; particularly the Mirror Mirror number, in which Dawn Hope leads the cast through a show-stopping musical theatre extravaganza.

FOLLIES 2.0

FOLLIES 2.0

Rehearsals must have been full-on? ‘To learn and create and become the Follies company in four weeks was a tall order, Deamer says. ‘The actors are different, we are not doing a carbon copy; that was that production of Follies and this is a new production of Follies. We’ve looked at certain concepts and developed them even more. The ghosts and how they are in contact with and interact with their older selves have all been developed.’

‘There’s a moment at the beginning of the show, during the Overture and all of a sudden the ghosts realise that they are back and they all gesture to the front,’ he continues. ‘There’s so much power in it, it gives me Gooseflesh talking about it.’

During a recent preview an audience member took a photograph of Joanna Riding performing as her voice cracked during the last lines of Losing My Mind. Follies’ Associate Director, Josh Seymour tweeted his dismay.

He winces when I mention it. ‘Good job Imelda wasn’t there!’ he says. ‘I can’t believe that during one of the most sensitive parts of the show somebody actually pulls a camera out to take a photograph – with a flash on. It’s absurd. Why do people do it? It’s so rude – it is disrespectful to the actors and it disrespectful to the audience.’

Should they have been ejected? ‘Yes.’ Deamer says bemused.

Were they? ‘No. It was such a subtle part of the show it would have disturbed things more to chuck them out,’ he says.

‘I think we all talk about audience etiquette and audience behaviour but it is not made clear enough – when you are recording for TV you hand your phones in. Maybe that is the way to go? I just don’t know.’

We discuss the mythical Follies 2018 Cast Recording that has just finally been released. ‘I’ve heard all of the various productions of Follies that have been recorded and they all have their merits. I think the quality of all of the vocals are quite extraordinary – Stephen Sondheim’s music and Jonathan Tunick’s arrangement just come to life.’

Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding credit: Johan-Persson

Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding credit: Johan-Persson

Does he have a favourite? ‘I have to say that Too Many Mornings breaks my heart; the woodwind, the obo – that wonderful sound. There is something in it that just moves me completely. Hearing Phillip (Quast) and Imelda (Staunton) sing it together is quite extraordinary,’ Deamer says.

The ghosts of those former cast certainly loom over the return of Follies; there are some big tap-shoes to fill. Now though, replacing Staunton as Sally is Joanna Riding and Alexander Hanson takes on the role of Ben. ‘Joanna and Alex are so completely different from their predecessors,’ Deamer says.

‘Jo is so different from Imelda – you couldn’t say that one is better than another; they are completely different. Alex brings such pathos to Ben. I have my amazing memories of working with Imelda and Phillip and now I have my memories of working with Jo and Alex.’

Dawn Hope Stella and the company National Theatre credit: Johan Persson

Dawn Hope Stella and the company National Theatre credit: Johan Persson

‘They are quite wonderful because Dominic and I have worked hard with them and it is all based as it was originally: the director, the designer, the choreographer and the music, we all work as one. So, we had that strength in the rehearsal room.’

Deamer has been a consistently working choreographer for over twenty-five years. His first Olivier nomination was for the critically acclaimed production of The Boy Friend that opened at Regents Park Open Air Theatre in 2006. He has beavered away across theatre, film and television winning an Olivier Award as Best Choreographer in 2013 for Top Hat, as a musical theatre and Charleston specialist for Strictly Come Dancing.

Bill Deamer and Carl Woodward

Bill Deamer and Carl Woodward

He never stops.

The last thing Deamer wants is to be thought of as, he stresses, a one-style  choreographer. ‘People assume I just do the old-fashioned stuff- which drives me insane. Actually, it is not old fashioned, it is classic. I’ve got Saturday Night Fever out on tour at the moment. I have a production of Evita that’s toured for 11 years around Europe out on the road.’

‘I’m a fully trained dancer and a musical theatre choreographer,’ he shrugs. ‘I trained in classical dance and ballet and jazz and indeed if anyone knows my work on TV with Strictly. For me, pigeonholing any artist is just nonsense.’

Dominic Cooke (Director) and Bill Deamer (Choreographer) in rehearsal for Follies at

Dominic Cooke (Director) and Bill Deamer (Choreographer) in rehearsal for Follies 

What advice does he have for aspiring choreographers? ‘The first thing that I say to any performer is: learn your craft. Get your technique – without that you will not survive. Too many dancers are jack of all trades and master of none and quite simply, it isn’t going to work.’

Our time has come to an end and it’s time for Bill to go.

‘I’m very luck to do what I do – I have worked for it and I’ve learnt my trade. It is wonderful to work with such brilliantly diverse people and create theatre – it feels like such a privilege to be able to work on the various projects that I do; when it doesn’t, I won’t do it,’ he concludes. The words are spoken without a hint of mawkishness, only sincerity. It is all he knows.

Follies is at the Oliver, London until 11 May.

,

First Look: Rehearsal images released for Follies

,

FOLLIES IS ON FU*KING ITUNES

Follies

As you well know, the National Theatre executed a surprise, everyone-get-out-of-bed-right-now, fucking-hell-what’s-happening-are-we-all-dead-and-is-this-what-the-afterlife-feels-like album release.

Stephen Sondheim’s FOLLIES – 2018 National Theatre Cast Recording is here.

It’s all very exciting.

My thanks for your thoughts at this time and for those who contributed to the trolling of our Royal National Theatre.

But how did I feel at the end of this emotional 12 month dual carriageway?

One word: Overjoyed.

  1. Prologue – 10/10
  2. Beautiful Girls 10/10
  3. Don’t Look At Me 10/10
  4. Waiting For The Girls Upstairs 10/10
  5. Rain On The Roof / Ah, Paris! / Broadway Baby (Medley) 10/10
  6. The Road You Didn’t Take 10/10
  7. In Buddy’s Eyes 10/10
  8. Who’s That Woman? 10/10
  9. I’m Still Here 10/10
  10. Too Many Mornings 10/10
  11. The Right Girl 8/10 (a bit of a racket)
  12. One More Kiss 10/10
  13. Could I Leave You? 10/10
  14. Loveland 8/10 (semi-annoying)
  15. You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow / Love Will See Us Through (Medley) 10/10
  16. Buddy’s Blues 10/10
  17. Losing My Mind 9/10 (Imelda lite)
  18. The Story Of Lucy and Jessie 10/10
  19. Live, Laugh, Love 10/10
  20. End of Show 10/10

Anyway, FOLLIES returns to the National Theatre with previews from 12 February 2019, with many of the original cast including Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Peter Forbes returning to their roles. Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding will join the cast in the roles of Ben and Sally. More information and tickets can be found here: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/follies

CD pre-orders will be available ‘soon’ let’s hope it isn’t another year.

Any questions? No? Good. You can buy FOLLIES on Itunes  or stream it right now

Warner Classics and National Theatre Present Follies 2018 National Theatre cast recording

Follies Cast Recording

WARNER CLASSICS and the NATIONAL THEATRE announced the digital download and streaming release of Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical FOLLIES – 2018 National Theatre Cast Recording this Friday, January 18th.

The critically-acclaimed musical tells the story of the former performers of Weismann’s Follies, reunited for the first time in their theatre which is to be demolished the next day. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. The show includes musical hits such as I’m Still HereBroadway Baby and Losing My Mind.

Following its 2018 Olivier Award wins for Best Musical Revival and Best Costume Design and a sold out run at the National Theatre, the original cast and orchestra behind FOLLIES release its much-anticipated London Cast Recording. FOLLIES returns to the National Theatre’s Olivier Theatre on February 12th 2019.

Director of FOLLIES and Associate of the National Theatre Dominic Cooke said: “Directing FOLLIES has been a privilege. It is a heart-breaking, universal piece and the National Theatre committed epic resources to realise it. The original company gave detailed, powerful performances and I’m delighted that we managed to record them for listeners to appreciate Stephen Sondheim’s peerless score, just as I’m working with an equally brilliant cast on the Olivier revival opening next month.”

FOLLIES – 2018 National Theatre Cast Recording was recorded at RAK Studios in London with world-renowned producer Nigel Wright, conducted by Olivier NomineeNigel Lilley and mixed by SMP Studios, Buckinghamshire. The soundtrack cast includes Julie Armstrong, Norma Attallah, Josephine Barstow, Jeremy Batt, Tracie Bennett, Di Botcher, Billy Boyle, Janie Dee, Anouska Eaton, Liz Ewing, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Forbes, Emily Goodenough, Bruce Graham, Adrian Grove, Fred Haig, Aimee Hodnett, Dawn Hope, Liz Izen, Alison Langer, Emily Langham, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, Ian McLarnon, Leisha Mollyneux, Gemma Page, Kate Parr, Philip Quast, Edwin Ray, Gary Raymond, Adam Rhys-Charles, Jordan Shaw, Imelda Staunton, Zizi Strallen, Barnaby Thompson, Christine Tucker, Michael Vinsen and Alex Young.

FOLLIES Track Listing

  1. Prologue
  2. Beautiful Girls
  3. Don’t Look At Me
  4. Waiting For The Girls Upstairs
  5. Rain On The Roof / Ah, Paris! / Broadway Baby (Medley)
  6. The Road You Didn’t Take
  7. In Buddy’s Eyes
  8. Who’s That Woman?
  9. I’m Still Here
  10. Too Many Mornings
  11. The Right Girl
  12. One More Kiss
  13. Could I Leave You?
  14. Loveland
  15. You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow / Love Will See Us Through (Medley)
  16. Buddy’s Blues
  17. Losing My Mind
  18. The Story Of Lucy and Jessie
  19. Live, Laugh, Love
  20. End of Show

FOLLIES – 2018 National Theatre Cast Recording is available across digital download and streaming accounts now. Download and streaming link can be found HERE. CD pre-orders will be available soon.

“I love this show’s beautiful reflection on the lives of these characters and the choices they made.  I’m thrilled we were able to capture this original National Theatre cast last year, and I look forward to fans of Stephen Sondheim, the show and the cast enjoying this recording for many years to come.” stated Kevin Gore, President of Arts Music for Warner Music Group.

FOLLIES returns to the National Theatre with previews from 12 February 2019, with many of the original cast including Tracie BennettJanie Dee and Peter Forbesreturning to their roles. Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding will join the cast in the roles of Ben and Sally. More information and tickets can be found here: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/follies

,

Full cast announced for FOLLIES at National Theatre

After a sold-out run, Follies returns to the NT in 2019. Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical includes such classic songs as ‘Broadway Baby’, ‘I’m Still Here’ and ‘Losing My Mind’. Featuring a cast of 40 and an orchestra of 21, Follies is directed by Dominic CookeTracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Peter Forbes return to reprise their roles, with Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding joining the cast as Ben and Sally.

The Follies 2019 cast includes Julie Armstrong (Christine Donovan), Lindsay Atherton (Young Carlotta), Josephine Barstow (Heidi Schiller from mid-April until the end of the run), Rosanna Bates (Young Emily), Jeremy Batt (Young Theodore), Tracie Bennett (Carlotta Campion), Billy Boyle (Theodore Whitman), Kaye Brown (Ensemble), Janie Dee (Phyllis Rogers Stone), Anouska Eaton (Young Deedee), Liz Ewing (Ensemble), Vanessa Fisher (Young Stella), Caroline Fitzgerald (Sandra Crane), Geraldine Fitzgerald (Solange LaFitte), Peter Forbes (Buddy Plummer), Bruce Graham (Roscoe), Adrian Grove (Sam Deems), Alexander Hanson (Ben Stone), Alyn Hawke (Ensemble), Harry Hepple (Young Buddy), Aimee Hodnett (Young Sandra), Dawn Hope (Stella Deems), Liz Izen (Deedee West), Jasmine Kerr (Ensemble), Alison Langer (Young Heidi), Felicity Lott (Heidi Schiller from 22 February until mid-April), Sarah-Marie Maxwell (Young Solange), Ian McIntosh (Young Ben), Ian McLarnon (Ensemble), Claire Moore (Hattie Walker), Tom Partridge(Ensemble), Gary Raymond (Dimitri Weismann), Michael Remick (Ensemble), Rohan Richards (Kevin), Joanna Riding (Sally Durant Plummer), Lisa Ritchie (Young Hattie), Myra Sands (Emily Whitman), Gemma Sutton (Young Sally), Monica Swayne (Young Christine), Christine Tucker (Young Phyllis) and Liam Wrate (Chorus/Swing).

Follies is designed by Vicki Mortimer, with choreography by Bill Deamer, musical supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, additional orchestrations by Josh Clayton, musical director Nigel Lilley, lighting design by Paule Constable and sound designer by Paul Groothuis.

Watch Tracie Bennett’s performance of ‘I’m Still Here’ from Follies at the 2018 Olivier Awards ceremony, captured live at the Royal Albert Hall in the video below:

Supported by the Follies production syndicate.

Exclusive crystal provider for Follies

Talks and Events

A Short History of Stephen Sondheim’s work – 26 February, 6pm

Developing Musical Theatre (in partnership with the Genesis Foundation) – 7 March, 6pm

Making Follies: Wigs, Hair and Makeup – 14 March, 6pm

Follies actors in conversation – 15 March, 3pm

The Making of Follies – 19 March, 10am

Making Follies – costumes and headdresses – 25 March, 6pm

Designing Follies with Vicki Mortimer – 29 March, 5pm

,

National Theatre Season: May – Sept 2018

National Theatre
National Theatre

National Theatre

  • 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 201
  • After a sold-out run, Follies, winner of the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, returns to the Olivier Theatre in 2019
  • Adrian Scarborough, Debra Gillett, Derek Griffiths and Amy Morgan join Rhys Ifans and Indira Varma in a new version of Exit the King by Patrick Marber
  • Casting announced for the world premiere of Home, I’m Darling, a co-production with Theatr Clwyd
  • Shakespeare’s Pericles will have three performances in the Olivier Theatre this August marking the first Public Acts production. Featuring a huge company of all ages from across London together with professional artists in a new version by Chris Bush with music by James Fortune
  • Three new NT Live screenings announced,  including Chichester Festival Theatre’s King Lear starring Ian McKellen and Nottingham Playhouse’s The Madness of George III with Mark Gatiss
  • River Stage returns to the National Theatre this summer featuring two new takeover partners; Sadler’s Wells and Nonclassical

Olivier Theatre

EXIT THE KING

by Eugène Ionesco

in a new version by Patrick Marber

Previews from 17 July, Press night 25 July, on sale until 8 September with further performances to be announced

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 Naomi Said.

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

 

PERICLES

by William Shakespeare

in a 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. Cast to be announced.

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 AgeThames 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.

 

HADESTOWN

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.

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 by Michael Chorney, additional & co-arrangements & orchestrations by Todd Sickafoose.

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

 

FOLLIES

book by James Goldman

music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Previews from 14 February, Press night 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 Forbesreturn to reprise their roles, 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 supervisor Nicholas Skilbeck, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick with Josh Clayton, music director Nigel Lilley, lighting design byPaule Constable and sound designer Paul Groothuis.

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

 

Dorfman Theatre

HOME, I’M DARLING

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 Julyahead of transferring to the Dorfman Theatre.

Cast includes Kathryn DrysdaleSara GregoryRichard HarringtonBarnaby Kay and Sian Thomas.

Design by Anna Fleischle, lighting design by Lucy Carter, choreography by Jack Murphy and sound design by Tom Gibbons.

Sponsored by Delta Airlines.

 

THE STAR SEEKERS

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.

Sponsored by Delta Airlines.

 

Productions currently on sale

 

Olivier Theatre

MACBETH

by William Shakespeare

In repertoire until 23 June

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

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

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

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

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

 

TRANSLATIONS

by Brian Friel

Previews from 22 May, Press night 30 May, now on sale 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 KinlanColin MorganSeamus O’HaraJudith Roddy and Rufus Wright.

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

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

 

Lyttelton Theatre

ABSOLUTE HELL

by Rodney Ackland

Previews from 18 April, Press night 25 April, in repertoire until 16 June

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

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

Cast includes Esh AlladiElizabeth AndrewarthaAshley ByamJonathan CooteRachel Dale, Carole DanceJoanna David,Charles EdwardsPatricia EnglandKate FleetwoodFrazer HadfieldSimon HepworthLloyd HutchinsonJenny GallowayAaron HeffernanMartins ImhangbeStephanie JacobFiz MarcusSinéad MatthewsConnor MillsPrasanna PuwanarajahAnita ReynoldsJohn SackvilleLiza SadovyJonathan SlingerEileen WalshDanny Webb and Jade Yourell.

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

 

JULIE

by Polly Stenham

after Strindberg

Previews from 31 May, Press night 7 June, now on sale 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 Gulgec,Francesca KnightDak MashavaBeatriz MeirelesMichela Meazza, Ashley Morgan-DaviesRebecca OmogbehinYuyu Rau andPetra Söör.

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

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.

 

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY

by Stefano Massini

adapted by Ben Power

a co-production with Neal Street Productions

Previews from 4 July, Press night 12 July, now on sale until 22 September with further performances to be announced

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Media Partners: The Wall Street Journal and Financial News.

 

Dorfman Theatre

NINE NIGHT

a new play by Natasha Gordon

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

AN OCTOROON

by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

a co-production with the Orange Tree Theatre

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

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

Cast includes Cassie ClareEmmanuella ColeCeleste Dodwell, Iola Evans, Ken Nwosu, Vivian Oparah, Alistair Toovey and Kevin Trainor, and with cellist, Kwesi 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 Airlines.

 

RIVER STAGE

Festival weekends: 13 July – 12 Aug

The big red River Stage 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.

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

visit: nationaltheatre.org.uk/riverstage

 

At the Young Vic

DRAW ME CLOSE

by Jordan Tannahill

A preview of the National Theatre and National Film Board of Canada production, presented by Young Vic in January 2019

Draw Me Close blurs the worlds of live performance, virtual reality and animation to create a vivid memoir about the relationship between a mother and her son in the wake of her terminal-cancer diagnosis. Weaving theatrical storytelling with cutting-edge technology, the project takes a deceptively simple and humanistic approach to the immersive medium: it allows the audience member to experience life as Jordan inside a live, animated world.

Draw Me Close was created by award-winning playwright and filmmaker Jordan Tannahill, in a co-production between the NFB and the NT’s Immersive Storytelling Studio, in collaboration with All Seeing Eye, with illustrations by Teva Harrison.

An early iteration of Draw Me Close was staged at Tribeca Film Festival 2017, whilst a later iteration entitled Draw Me Close: A Memoirwas selected to compete at Venice International Film Festival 2017, as part of the first ever competition for films made in virtual reality at a major film festival.

The NT’s Immersive Storytelling Studio is supported by Accenture, the NT’s Partner for Innovation.

 

LEARNING

CONNECTIONS

Dorfman Theatre

26 – 30 June

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

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

Tickets on sale 25 May.

All performances will be captioned.

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

 

NEW VIEWS

Dorfman Theatre

11 – 13 July

Be the first to see work by the next generation of playwrights. Hundreds of students in schools across the UK have followed an in-depth, online course and have been mentored by a team of professional writers as part of our nationwide playwriting programme. In April, they will submit their short plays to the New Views competition. Eight shortlisted plays will be given rehearsed readings and the winning play will be performed in the Dorfman Theatre.

Winning play announced 4 June with tickets for performances of the winning play on sale from 11 June.

For more information visit www.new-views.tv

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

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

 

The National Theatre on tour

The NT will tour to 27 venues in 25 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland, for more than 57 playing weeks over the next year.

LOVE

by Alexander Zeldin 
The National Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre production

LOVE, a new 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.

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 new 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.

 

MACBETH
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 (20 – 24 November 2018), Theatre Royal, Bath (27 November – 8 December 2018), New Theatre, Oxford (8 – 12 January 2019), Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin(15 – 19 January 2019), Theatre Royal, Nottingham (22 – 26 January 2019), New Theatre, Hull (5 – 9 February 2019), Marlowe Theatre,Canterbury (12 – 16 February 2019), Theatre Royal, Glasgow (19 – 23 February 2019), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (26 February – 2 March 2019), Grand Opera House, Belfast (5 – 9 March 2019), Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton (12 – 16 March 2019) and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (19 – 23 March 2019).

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

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.

 

THIS HOUSE
by James Graham

Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong present the National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre production of This House, produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Neal Street Productions and Headlong. James Graham’s smash-hit political drama examining the 1974 hung parliament is now touring the UK for the first time, visiting BirminghamSalfordPlymouthNorwichMalvernGuildfordand Sheffield. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, the production is designed by Rae Smith, with lighting design by Paule Constable, music byStephen Warbeck, choreography by Scott Ambler and sound by Ian Dickinson.

For dates and information visit the website.

 

WAR HORSE

based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo

adapted by Nick Stafford

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

War Horse 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. Tickets will go on sale later in the year.

War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication byBasil 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 more information visit warhorseonstage.com

 

In the West End

CONSENT

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 will transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre for a strictly limited 12-week run from 29 May – 11 August, with an opening night taking place on 29 May.

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 includes Claudie Blakley, Stephen Campbell Moore, Heather CraneyClare FosterLee Ingleby, Adam James and Thusitha Jayasundera. 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.

Tickets are now on sale with over 14,000 priced at £25 or under. For more information visit consentwestend.com

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

 

THE JUNGLE

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 transfers to the Playhouse Theatre from 16 June – 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.

The majority of the original cast will transfer with the production, including actors from refugee backgrounds, some of whom came through the Jungle.  The full cast includes: Ammar Haj Ahmad, Mohammad Amiri, Girum Bekele, Elham Ehsas, Trevor Fox, Moein Ghobsheh, Ansu Kabia, Alex Lawther, John Pfumojena, Rachel Redford, Rachid Sabitri, Mohamed Sarrar, Ben Turner and Nahel Tzegai. 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 

 

On Broadway

ANGELS IN AMERICA
A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

by Tony Kushner
Until June 2018

The NT production of Tony Kushner’s epic masterwork, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is now playing at the Neil Simon Theatre, returning to Broadway for the first time since its now-legendary original production opened in 1993.

Starring two-time Tony Award® winner Nathan Lane and Academy Award® and Tony Award nominee Andrew Garfield, the cast ofAngels in America features Susan BrownDenise GoughAmanda LawrenceJames McArdleLee PaceNathan Stewart-Jarrett,Beth MalonePatrick AndrewsGlynis BellAmy BlackmanCurt JamesRowan Ian Seamus MageeMark NelsonMatty Oaks,Genesis OliverJane PfitschLee Aaron RosenRon TodorowskiSilvia Vrskova, and Lucy YorkAngels in America is directed byMarianne Elliott. Set design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Adrian Sutton, sound design by Ian Dickinson, puppetry design is by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell (also Puppetry Director and Movement), movement direction by Robby Graham, and illusions by Chris FisherAngels in America is produced by NT America, Jujamcyn Theaters and Elliott & Harper Productions. For more information visit angelsbroadway.com

M∙A∙C Cosmetics is the official makeup partner of Angels in America on Broadway.

American Express is the official card partner of Angels in America on Broadway.

 

International

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

based on the novel by Mark Haddon

adapted by Simon Stephens

The NT’s Olivier and Tony Award®-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is now on an international tour, visiting Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou before embarking on a nationwide Australian tour to Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time recently completed a North American tour which took in 30 cities across the USA and a 25-date UK and Ireland tour as well as touring to Amsterdam, Toronto, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore following five years in the West End.

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

 

National Theatre Live

Three new screenings announced as part of the NT Live Season. NT Live currently screens to 65 countries across the globe.

BAFTA nominee Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, Streetcar Named Desire) stars in an updated version of Strindberg’s classic play Miss Julie. Now set in modern London, Julie will be in cinemas on Thursday 6 September. Adapted by Polly Stenham (That Face) and directed byCarrie Cracknell (The Deep Blue SeaA Doll’s House), the newly single Julie becomes involved in a power struggle after a late night party

Jonathan Munby directs King Lear – with Academy Award nominee and Tony® and Olivier Award winner Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, X-Men) in the title role – will be broadcast live to cinemas on Thursday 27 September from the Duke of York’s Theatre. Considered one of the greatest tragedies ever written, King Lear attempts to divide his kingdom between his three daughters with disastrous consequences. The production transfers to London’s West End after a sold out season at Chichester Festival Theatre last year. Cast also includes Sinéad Cusack (Marcella, V for VendettaKirsty Bushell (Motherland, Silk) and Danny Webb (Liar, Humans).

NT Live travels to Nottingham Playhouse for the first time to broadcast their new production of Alan Bennett‘s The Madness of George III. Directed by Adam Penford, it will be live in cinemas on Tuesday 20th November, with Olivier award winner Mark Gatiss (Sherlock,Game of Thrones) as King George III and Adrian Scarborough as Dr Willis (The King’s Speech and Gavin and Stacey).

Two of National Theatre Live’s most successful broadcasts will be returning to selected international venues later this year. Olivier andTony award winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, directed by Olivier and Tony award winning director Marianne Elliott (Angels in AmericaWar Horse) will be screened from June. Captured live in 2012, Olivier award-winner Luke Treadaway (Ordeal by InnocenceA Street Cat Named Bob) stars as Christopher – the fifteen year old teenager who discovers his neighbour’s dead dog and decides to find the culprit.

Frankenstein returns to international cinemas to mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s most famous novel. Captured live at the National Theatre in 2011, Academy award winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog MillionaireTrainspotting) directs Olivier award winning actorsBenedict Cumberbatch (SherlockHamlet) and Jonny Lee Miller (ElementaryDexter), alternating as the creature and Frankenstein. Both parts will be in cinemas on 22nd October and 29th October.

Shakespeare’s Macbeth starring double Olivier award winning actor Rory Kinnear (OthelloSkyfall) and Olivier and BAFTA nomineeAnne-Marie Duff (SufragetteShameless) as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is the next live broadcast on 10th May from the Olivier theatre at the National Theatre.

Sky Arts is the sponsor of NT Live in the UK.

 Olivier Awards 2018 Winners Announced

Olivier-Awards
Olivier Awards

Olivier Awards

  • Hamilton Wins 7 awards including Best New Musical with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Orchestrator Alex Lacamoire winning Outstanding Achievement In Music and Giles Terera and Michael Jibson winning Best Actor and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical respectively
  • The Ferryman wins 3 awards including Best New Play with Sam Mendes winning Best Director and Laura Donnelly winning Best Actress
  • The National Theatre celebrates 5 Awards including Best Revival for Angels In America and Best Musical Revival for Follies with Bryan Cranston winning Best Actor for his role in Network and Denise Gough winning Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Angels In America
  • Shirley Henderson and Sheila Atim win Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical respectively for Girl From The North Country
  • Bertie Carvel wins Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Ink written by James Graham, who wins best Best New Comedy For Labour Of Love

The winners of the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard, the UK’s most prestigious stage honours, were announced tonight (Sunday 8 April 2018) at London’s Royal Albert Hall hosted by Catherine Tate.  The full list of winners is available below and online at OlivierAwards.com.

This year’s ceremony will be broadcast on ITV tonight at 22:20. It will also broadcast worldwide at the same time, outside the UK, on the Olivier Awards Facebook page.  The Oliviers will broadcast in China via iQiyi on Tuesday 10 April.

New American musical Hamilton collected seven Olivier Awards including Best New Musical with composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire winning Outstanding Achievement in Music.  Giles Terera, who plays the part of Aaron Burr, was named Best Actor in a Musical, with Michael Jibson winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his portrayal of King George III.  The musical, about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, also went on to win Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, and Best Theatre Choreographer.

The Ferryman collected three Olivier Awards including Best New Play.  Stage and film director, Sam Mendes, won Best Director with Laura Donnelly winning Best Actress for her role in the Northern Irish drama set during The Troubles.

The National Theatre celebrate five Awards including Best Revival for Angels In America and Best Musical Revival for Follies.  Bryan Cranston won Best Actor for his role in Network and Denise Gough won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Angels In America.  The production is currently playing in New York to great acclaim.

Shirley Henderson and Sheila Atim won Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical respectively for Girl From The North Country, Conor McPherson’s musical based on the work of Bob Dylan.

Bertie Carvel was named Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Ink, written by James Graham who won Best New Comedy for Labour Of Love.

The Royal Court’s production of Killology won Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre and Dick Whittington won Best Entertainment and Family.

In the dance categories, Best New Dance Production went to Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite for The Royal Ballet at Royal Opera House.  Francesca Velicu won Outstanding Achievement in Dance for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps at Sadler’s Wells.

The Royal Opera House won Best New Opera for Semiramide and Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona won Outstanding Achievement in Opera for their performances in Semiramide.

David Lan was this year’s recipient of the Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution in leading the Young Vic since 2000, his work within the local community around the theatre, and his commitment to internationalism and diversity.

Performances on the night included American musical theatre legend Chita Rivera performing the iconic West Side Story track Somewhere with Andy Karl (Olivier Award 2017 winner for his performance in Groundhog Day), Adam J. Bernard (Olivier Award 2017 winner for his performance in Dreamgirls), and the Arts Educational Schools London Choir, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the production debuting in London.  There was also a unique moment to honour the 50th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic musical Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with past stars including Jason Donovan and Linzi Hateley, Lee Mead and Preeya Kalidas, and Joe McElderry and Danielle Hope. There were also performances from nominated musicals including: HamiltonEverybody’s Talking About Jamie; Girl From The North Country, Young Frankenstein, Follies and 42nd Street.

Presenters this year included Alexandra Burke, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Anne-Marie Duff,  Beverley Knight, Chita Rivera, Cuba Gooding Jnr, Frank DiLella, Juliet Stevenson, Meera Syal, Mel Giedroyc, Michael Sheen, Ophelia Lovibond, Patti LuPone, Pearl Mackie and Sergei Polunin.

FULL LIST FOR THE OLIVIER AWARDS 2018 WITH MASTERCARD

AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY

The Ferryman at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST NEW COMEDY

Labour Of Love at Noël Coward Theatre

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite for The Royal Ballet at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

Francesca Velicu for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps at Sadler’s Wells

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY

Dick Whittington at London Palladium

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Vicki Mortimer for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

DELTA LIVE AWARD FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN

Nevin Steinberg for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Bertie Carvel for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Denise Gough for Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE

Killology at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, a co-production with Sherman Theatre Cardiff

BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Howell Binkley for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTOR

Bryan Cranston for Network at National Theatre – Lyttelton

BEST ACTRESS

Laura Donnelly for The Ferryman at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST DIRECTOR

Sam Mendes for The Ferryman at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

Semiramide at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona for their performances in Semiramide at Royal Opera House

BEST REVIVAL

Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC

Hamilton – Composer-Lyricist: Lin-Manuel Miranda; Orchestrator: Alex Lacamoire at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Michael Jibson for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Sheila Atim for Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic and the Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Shirley Henderson for Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic and the Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Giles Terera for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL

Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

SPECIAL AWARD

David Lan

,

The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards

THE CRITICS' CIRCLE THEATRE AWARDS
,

Top Shows of 2017 (According to me)

Theatre’s great isn’t it? Well not all of it – some of it is shit. 

Anyway, 2017 has been a terrific year for theatre – through which I have tried to do what most of the theatre media forgot to do – salute theatre’s good bits, even if doing so required shining a light on the bad bits… 

As 2018 rolls around, I’ve published my annual list of half-decent stuff from the last twelve months below.

  1. Angels in America – National Theatre, London.

Subtitled “a gay fantasia on national themes”, over two extensive plays – separately titled Millennium Approaches and Perestroika – lasting a combined total of eight hours. The cast was led by the seriously good Andrew Garfield, Russell Tovey, Denise Gough and Nathan Lane. The revelatory performance and superb focal point was Garfield’s Prior Walter. 

2.-Andrew-Garfield-Prior-Walter-in-AngelsInAmerica-Perestroika-photo-by-Helen-Maybanks[1].jpg

Andrew Garfield in Angels in America 

Everything was exquisite, Marianne Elliott’s direction completely breathtaking, the overall vision both flawlessly plotted and magnificently executed. And it’s the only show on this list without a single dud moment. The National’s timely revival of Tony Kushner’s play was 100% superb.

Angels in America heads to Broadway from February 2018, so well done everyone. 

  1. Follies – National Theatre, London. 

James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim’s 1971 musical was close to perfection. It felt like a genuinely special theatre experience, and when was the last time you felt like that about a thing?

Director Dominic Cooke delivered a really incredible, dramatic happy-sad musical of epic proportions. Every performance was sublime – from Tracie Bennet’s scene-stealing Carlotta to Janie Dee’s dynamic Phyillis.

Follies-Olivier-NT-948[1]

Follies

No other musical in 2017 tried quite this hard to be amazing, and no other musical production succeeded in as many ways.

It is fair to say that this is one of the greatest musicals I’ve ever seen. Bill Deamer’s choreography blurred real life and performance to spectacular effect enveloping us in in an emotional no man’s land, unsure where artifice began.

Follies allowed us to see and feel Sondheim’s classic in exhilarating new ways.

Glorious, glorious, glorious.

3. An American In Paris – Dominion Theatre, London. 

Christopher Wheeldon’s stage adaptation of the 1951 film was simply wonderful.

In its best moments, An American in Paris pulled off the trick of homaging multiple sources while looking and sounding like nothing else; a musical at its sophisticated and unhurried best.

George and Ira Gershwin’s irresistible songs coupled with beautiful dance was largely enhanced by Bob Crowley’s stunning design.

The company was fortunate to be led by the insanely talented New York City Ballet dancer Robbie Fairchild and Royal Ballet’s Leanne Cope; both sang, acted and danced sensationally. Remarkable stuff. 

N.B. Ashley Day took over from Fairchild as Jerry Mulligan in July and was quite splendid. So well done to Ashley.

4. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – Harold Pinter Theatre, London

A decadent, pensive and astute production.

It says something about the high standard of theatre in Britain that Imelda Staunton – nominated for 2017’s Evening Standard Awards in the Best Actress category for her portrayal as Martha, didn’t win. Staunton was a razor-sharp maniac in this role and demonstrated yet again to be one of our finest & fiercest Stage performers.

Director James Macdonald matched a breathtaking Staunton with a tremendous Conleth Hill and cut straight to the plays dark, throbbing heart.

Luke Treadaway and Imogen Poots held their own too, in this disturbing portrait of marital relationships gone wrong.

Edward Albee’s savage play remains, of course, a completely chilling, classic masterpiece.

  1. An Octoroon – Orange Tree, Richmond. 

As a theatre fan it’s hard to beat the feeling of finding out about a show early on and seeing something special. It’s hard to beat the feeling of seeing it in tiny, little theatres before they’re at the National Theatre, then championing it to anyone who’ll listen. And it’s hard to beat the sensation of seeing that play take a bold and brilliant step forward and being able to say to yourself: I was there.

octoroon_2[1].jpg

Ken Nwoso in An Octoroon 

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins reworking of a slave drama was both new and old; an adaptation of a 19th-century melodrama and a biting modern critique of it.

Directed with radical aplomb by Ned Bennett, it was Ken Nwoso’s energetic performance, however, that branded itself on the mind. 

A masterclass in smart theatre and a first-rate cast made this unforgettable viewing.

‘FYI’ An Octoroon will transfer to the National Theatre in June 2018. Don’t miss. 

Note:

1. Have I missed anything? Let me know E: [email protected] – I’ll publish some of the best suggestions.

2. I feel a bit bad about ‘The Ferryman’ not being on the list – it probably should have been. OH WELL.)