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Fiona Shaw and George MacKay complete the casts of Courage Everywhere season at the National Theatre

National Theatre

The NT marks the 100th anniversary of the first women in the UK gaining the right to vote, with a series of rehearsed readings, talks and events, as well as a free exhibition in the Lyttelton Lounge. World-class directors Nadia Fall, Phyllida Lloyd, Jenny Sealey, Lyndsey Turner and Dawn Walton will bring to life five plays on themes of suffrage, courage and the fight for political equality in the UK and around the world.

The rehearsed readings will share the stage with a programme including Scarlett Curtis chairing a discussion on the impact of women’s voices on society, a journey through women’s poetry with Sheila Atim, Joanna Lumley and Indira Varma, and Naomi Paxton revealing the stories she has discovered whilst curating Dramatic Progress.

Rehearsed Readings, Dorfman Theatre

Tickets £10/£15

There will be post show talks held after each of the readings, including contributions from the director and cast members – included in the ticket price.

And Others curated by Susan Croft, Graeae and the NT

Directed by Jenny Sealey

Thursday 15 November, 7.30pm

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 DirectorJenny Sealey draws together the words of forgotten women to mark the achievement of women’s suffrage.

Cast is Jodi-Alissa Bickerton, Babirye Bukilwa, Liz Carr, Philippa Cole, Kellan Frankland, Paddy Glynn, Vilma Jackson, Awa JagneKarina Jonesand Rena Sodhi.

In the Parlour by Judy Tate and Magda, Jo, Isabella by Saviana Stanescu, Aoise Stratford and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Directed by Dawn Walton

Friday 16 November, 7.30pm

In the Parlour – 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 – Three brilliant new monologues from US writers tackling race, class and belonging in the suffrage movement.

Cast is Eliza Butterworth, Martina Laird, Yasmin Mwanza and Amaka Okafor.

 

Her Naked Skin by Rebecca Lenkiewicz

Directed by Nadia Fall

Saturday 17 November, 3pm

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

Cast is Paul Bazely, David Calder, Lois Chimimba, Erin Doherty, Deborah Findlay, Kate Fleetwood, Andrew Havill, Tunji Kasim, Isabella Laughland, Penny Layden, George MacKay, Francesca Mills, Sarah Ridgeway and Michael Shaeffer.

 

Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd

Saturday 17 November, 8.00pm

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.

Cast is Jade Anouka, Clare Dunne, Leah Harvey, Sally Rogers and Fiona Shaw.

 

Votes for Women by Elizabeth Robins

Directed by Lyndsey Turner

Sunday 18 November, 3pm

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.

Cast is Ruby Bentall, Anthony Calf, Jolyon Coy, Daniel Flynn, Philip Goldacre, Stella Gonet, Adelle Leonce, Victoria Moseley, Vinette Robinson, Joshua Silver, Ellora Torchia, Sylvestra le Touzel, Zubin Varla and Dwane Walcott.

 

Dramatic Progress: Votes for Women and the Edwardian Stage

Lyttelton Lounge

A free exhibition in the Lyttelton Lounge curated by Naomi Paxton, opening on 22 October 2018 and running until January 2019.

This exhibition highlights how the campaign for votes for women was championed by women and men from different professions across the UK, not excluding the theatre. In 1908, two groups of theatre professionals formed to support the cause – the Actresses’ Franchise League (AFL) and the Women Writers’ Suffrage League (WWSL). This exhibition celebrates their diverse and exciting work for the Edwardian suffrage campaign, and explores how they helped to share the ideas and language of the movement. Includes filmed extracts of plays from the time, archive materials and images.

 

Talks and Events

 

Activism in the Archives: Finding Stories of Suffrage Theatre

Thursday 15 November, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

Tickets £7 (£5 concessions)

A talk from performer, writer and researcher Naomi Paxton on the stories she has discovered from the history of suffrage theatre and activism.

 

Women Poets Through the Ages with Allie Esiri

Friday 16 November, 6pm, Olivier Theatre

Tickets £7 (£5 concessions)

Allie Esiri and guest actors including Sheila Atim, Joanna Lumley and Indira Varma, go on a highly entertaining and powerful journey through women’s poetry. The evening will include poems that mark this year’s centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which first gave some women the right to vote.

 

Exhibition Insight with Curator Naomi Paxton

Saturday 17 November, 11.30am, Lyttelton Lounge

Tickets £3

An exhibition tour with curator Naomi Paxton exploring her research for and curation of the exhibition Dramatic Progress: Votes for Women and the Edwardian Stage.

 

Courage Everywhere Pop-up

Sunday 18 November, 12noon-7pm, Clore Learning Centre

Tickets £10

Including workshops on writing your own scenes for Suffrage Puppetry and creating Suffrage Zines, Equaliteas, suffragette top trumps, screenings of ‘March’ directed by Anna Birch, panel talks on women as statues and playing suffrage characters and demos of Jujitsuffrage!

 

Hear Her Roar: Where are Women’s Voices?

Friday 23 November, 5.45pm, Dorfman Theatre

Tickets £7 (concessions £5)

A panel discussion unpacking how women’s contributions and voices impact society in the UK and globally and how they might be perceived in the future. Chaired by Scarlett Curtis, editor, journalist and author with contributions from Momtaza Merhi, Young People’s Laureate for London, Nimco Ali, co-founder of Daughters of Eve and Bridget Minamore, poet, author and journalist.

National Theatre’s Courage Everywhere: featuring Sheila Atim, Liz Carr, Scarlett Curtis, Kate Fleetwood, Joanna Lumley, Indira Varma

Courage Everywhere
Courage Everywhere

Courage Everywhere

The NT marks the 100th anniversary of the first women in the UK gaining the right to vote, with a series of rehearsed readings, talks and events, as well as a free exhibition in the Lyttelton Lounge. World-class directors Nadia Fall, Phyllida Lloyd, Jenny Sealey, Lyndsey Turner and Dawn Walton will bring to life five plays on themes of suffrage, courage and the fight for political equality in the UK and around the world.

The rehearsed readings will share the stage with a programme including Scarlett Curtis chairing a discussion on the impact of women’s voices on society, a journey through women’s poetry with Sheila Atim, Joanna Lumley and Indira Varma, and Naomi Paxton revealing the stories she has discovered whilst curating Dramatic Progress.

Producer Faye Merralls said: “This year has seen a wealth of work, art and conversation reflecting this centenary milestone and the NT is proud to be joining the celebration with Courage Everywhere. The season features a brilliantly eclectic mix of readings: from plays contemporary to the Suffragette movement; to thoroughly modern reflections, and a brand new piece that gives voice to the previously marginalised areas of the movement. The weekend is a celebration of how far we have come and what has been achieved as a result of the courage of many. It is also a moment to look to what progress is required in the years ahead. This season aims to provoke those questions about the future. 

Rehearsed Readings, Dorfman Theatre

Tickets £10/£15

There will be post show talks held after each of the readings, including contributions from the director and cast members – included in the ticket price.

And Others curated by Susan Croft, Graeae and the NT

Directed by Jenny Sealey

Thursday 15 November, 7.30pm

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 DirectorJenny Sealey draws together the words of forgotten women to mark the achievement of women’s suffrage.

Cast is Jodi-Alissa Bickerton, Babirye Bukilwa, Liz Carr, Philippa Cole, Kellan Frankland, Paddy Glynn, Vilma Jackson, Awa JagneKarina Jonesand Rena Sodhi.

In the Parlour by Judy Tate and Magda, Jo, Isabella by Saviana Stanescu, Aoise Stratford and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Directed by Dawn Walton

Friday 16 November, 7.30pm

In the Parlour – 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 – Three brilliant new monologues from US writers tackling race, class and belonging in the suffrage movement.

Cast includes Eliza Butterworth, Martina Laird, Yasmin Mwanza and Amaka Okafor, with further names to be confirmed.

Her Naked Skin by Rebecca Lenkiewicz

Directed by Nadia Fall

Saturday 17 November, 3pm

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

Cast includes David Calder, Lois Chimimba, Jonathan Coote, Erin Doherty, Deborah Findlay, Kate Fleetwood, Tunji Kasim, Isabella Laughland, Penny Layden, Francesca Mills and Michael Shaeffer with further names to be confirmed.

Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd

Saturday 17 November, 8.00pm

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.

Cast includes Jade Anouka and Leah Harvey, with further names to be confirmed.

Votes for Women by Elizabeth Robins

Directed by Lyndsey Turner

Sunday 18 November, 3pm

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.

Cast includes Ruby Bentall, Anthony Calf, Jolyon Coy, Daniel Flynn, Philip Goldacre, Stella Gonet, Adelle Leonce, Victoria Moseley, Vinette Robinson, Ellora Torchia, Sylvestra le Touzel, Zubin Varla and Dwane Walcott, with further names to be confirmed.

Dramatic Progress: Votes for Women and the Edwardian Stage

Lyttelton Lounge

A free exhibition in the Lyttelton Lounge curated by Naomi Paxton, opening on 22 October 2018 and running until January 2019.

This exhibition highlights how the campaign for votes for women was championed by women and men from different professions across the UK, not excluding the theatre. In 1908, two groups of theatre professionals formed to support the cause – the Actresses’ Franchise League (AFL) and the Women Writers’ Suffrage League (WWSL). This exhibition celebrates their diverse and exciting work for the Edwardian suffrage campaign, and explores how they helped to share the ideas and language of the movement. Includes filmed extracts of plays from the time, archive materials and images.

Talks and Events

Activism in the Archives: Finding Stories of Suffrage Theatre

Thursday 15 November, 6pm, Cottesloe Room

Tickets £7 (£5 concessions)

A talk from performer, writer and researcher Naomi Paxton on the stories she has discovered from the history of suffrage theatre and activism.

Women Poets Through the Ages with Allie Esiri

Friday 16 November, 6pm, Olivier Theatre

Tickets £7 (£5 concessions)

Allie Esiri and guest actors including Sheila Atim, Joanna Lumley and Indira Varma, go on a highly entertaining and powerful journey through women’s poetry. The evening will include poems that mark this year’s centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which first gave some women the right to vote.

Exhibition Insight with Curator Naomi Paxton

Saturday 17 November, 11.30am, Lyttelton Lounge

Tickets £3

An exhibition tour with curator Naomi Paxton exploring her research for and curation of the exhibition Dramatic Progress: Votes for Women and the Edwardian Stage.

Courage Everywhere Pop-up

Sunday 18 November, 12noon-7pm, Clore Learning Centre

Tickets £10

Including workshops on writing your own scenes for Suffrage Puppetry and creating Suffrage Zines, Equaliteas, suffragette top trumps, screenings of ‘March’ directed by Anna Birch, panel talks on women as statues and playing suffrage characters and demos of Jujitsuffrage!

 

Hear Her Roar: Where are Women’s Voices?

Friday 23 November, 5.45pm, Dorfman Theatre

Tickets £7 (concessions £5)

A panel discussion unpacking how women’s contributions and voices impact society in the UK and globally and how they might be perceived in the future. Chaired by Scarlett Curtis, editor, journalist and author with contributions from Momtaza Merhi, Young People’s Laureate for London, Nimco Ali, co-founder of Daughters of Eve and Bridget Minamore, poet, author and journalist.

 

 

Rehearsals begin for THE TELL-TALE HEART at the National Theatre

THE TELL-TALE HEART

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 Carlyle,Imogen Doel and Tamara Lawrance.

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

A new play by Anthony Neilson

Based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe

Previews in the Dorfman Theatre from 5 December, press night 12 December, playing until 9 January

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Initial casting announced for TOP GIRLS at the National Theatre

Top Girls
Top Girls

Top Girls

For the first time the National Theatre will stage Top GirlsCaryl Churchill’s wildly innovative play about a country divided by its own ambitions.

Marlene is the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency. But she has no plans to stop there. With Maggie in at Number 10 and a spirit of optimism consuming the country, Marlene knows that the future belongs to women like her.

The cast includes Liv Hill (Angie), Katherine Kingsley (Marlene), Wendy Kweh (Lady Nijo), Amanda Lawrence (Pope Joan),Ashley McGuire (Dull Gret), Ashna Rabbheru (Kit) and Siobhan Redmond (Isabella Bird) with further cast to be announced.

Collaborating for the first time since Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, NT Associate Lyndsey Turner directs. With set design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Merle Hensel, lighting design by Jack Knowles and sound design by Christopher Shutt.

Top Girls previews from 26 March, with a press night on 3 April, on sale until 22 April with further performances to be announced.

 

Fuel Announces Inua Ellam’s Barber Shop Chronicles Will Embark On An Extensive UK Tour In Spring 2019

Barber Shop Chronicles Photo credit Marc Brenner
Barber Shop Chronicles Photo credit Marc Brenner

Barber Shop Chronicles Photo credit Marc Brenner

  • Following two sold out runs at the National Theatre, acclaimed performances at West Yorkshire Playhouse (now Leeds Playhouse), a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand and the forthcoming tour of America and Canada, Inua Ellams’ play Barber Shop Chronicles will embark on an extensive tour of the UK in Spring 2019
  • The tour will visit Manchester, Leicester, Scarborough, Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds, Oxford and Southampton with further venues to be announced soon
  • Barber Shop Chronicles  is a co-production between Fuel, the National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse
  • Fuel has formed a national partnership to support the tour with Leeds Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Exchange Theatre and Contact in Manchester
  • The UK tour of Barber Shop Chronicles is supported by a major grant from Arts Council England
  • Fuel also announces that a minimum of 10% of all available tickets across the entire tour will be made available for free via local engagement initiatives aimed at young people who traditionally wouldn’t attend theatre performances

The runaway success of Inua Ellams’ highly acclaimed play Barber Shop Chronicles continues as today Kate McGrath, Director of Fuel, is delighted to confirm that Barber Shop Chronicles will tour the UK from March 2019. Working closely with a national partnership of venues (including Leeds Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Bristol Old Vic and Royal Exchange Manchester with Contact) Fuel is thrilled that the UK tour of Barber Shop Chronicles will be supported by a grant from Arts Council England. This support will help the production to attract new, young and diverse audiences with a minimum of 10% of all available tickets across the entire tour will be made available for free via local engagement initiatives aimed at young people who traditionally wouldn’t attend theatre performances.

Newsroom, political platform, local hot-spot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium – for generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world.

This dynamic play journeys from a barber shop in London, to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.

Kate McGrath, Director of Fuel, and Inua Ellams met in 2008, after Kate saw what became Inua’s first theatre show, The 14th Tale, at Battersea Arts Centre. Fuel helped Inua develop his debut play and produced it, premiering it at the Edinburgh Festival, winning a Fringe First, touring it in the UK and internationally and presenting it at the National Theatre. Since that first meeting, Fuel has worked closely with Inua, producing Untitled, Knight Watch, Long Song Goodbye, Black T-shirt Collection, The Spalding Suite, An Evening with an Immigrant, and now Barber Shop Chronicles. Fuel is also currently co-producing Inua’s Half-God of Rainfall with Kiln Theatre in association with Birmingham Rep, which will open in April 2019, and Inua’s Three Sisters with The National Theatre, which will open in autumn 2019.

Kate McGrath said: “Everyone at Fuel is thrilled about this tour. We are hugely proud of this joyous and soulful production of Inua’s important and life-affirming play. We are particularly excited, given Fuel’s deep and longstanding dedication to national touring, to be working in partnership with a really strong range of venues and partners across the UK to bring this show to the widest possible audience around the country. It’s a brilliant opportunity, in particular, to develop Fuel’s commitment to growing young and diverse audiences for contemporary theatre nation-wide.”

Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said: “We are delighted to further develop our partnership with Fuel through the tour of this brilliant production which made such a huge impact on its first outing in Leeds. It’s terrific that more audiences will have the chance to experience the show throughout the UK and more so that Leeds Playhouse audiences another chance to experience it after a hugely successful response internationally. The story has roots in Leeds and the Playhouse is in the unique position on the journey of the show of being both an originating co-producer and a venue for the upcoming tour.  We can’t wait to share a production which continues to be admired and loved by warm and generous audiences around the world, especially as part of our “Welcome Back” Season following our redevelopment project.”

Further details, including casting information about the spring 2018 tour of Barber Shop Chronicles will be announced in due course.

The production is directed by Bijan Sheibani, designed by Rae Smith, with lighting design by Jack Knowles, movement direction by Aline David and sound design by Gareth Fry.

Co-commissioned by Fuel and the National Theatre. Development funded by Arts Council England with the support of Fuel, National Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, The Binks Trust, British Council ZA, Òran Mór and A Play, a Pie and a Pint.

The tour has received National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Project Grants programme.

 

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Interview with COMPANY Musical Supervisor Joel Fram

Joel Fram Photo by Helen Maybanks
Joel Fram Photo by Helen Maybanks

Joel Fram Photo by Helen Maybanks

Joel Fram is an international music arranger and conductor. He has worked extensively in the West End and on Broadway. He also happens to oversee the Musical Theatre Writing Workshop at the National Theatre.

I thought it would be a good idea to have a chat with Joel during tech week as he has literally the most important job. He’s making COMPANY happen. “I am one of many people making COMPANY happen,” he says with a laugh. “My job is to look after the music department and make sure we are taking good care of Mr. Sondheim’s score.”

Fram knows what he is talking about. He conducted WickedScandalousSweet Smell of SuccessThe Music Man,and Cats on Broadway and his West End productions include the London premiere of Wicked (starring Idina Menzel).

Company

Company

In many ways, Fram is the ideal ambassador for the new West End production of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’smusical Company. Exuberant, concise and full of life. “To be in the room with this amazing cast and our fantastic orchestra, singing through this iconic score – what a thrill,” he says.

Joel is working alongside Marianne Elliot on the upcoming gender-swap production of COMPANY. Elliott changed the character – originally a mid-thirties singleton Bobby – from male to female, Bobbi. Sondheim gave his blessing to proceedings, as well as sanctioning minor revisions to the script.

Being Musical Supervisor on COMPANY must be a career high right? “It has been a career highlight to work with Marianne, the great Stephen SondheimDavid Cullen – all people I’ve admired for many years,” he says. “Steve is courteous and supportive. When Marianne and I were in his living room, pitching this idea for the show, we were making a big ask – switching the gender of a leading character in a very famous, ground-breaking musical.”

Where does he go from here? “I’m not sure what’s next – but for now, I just want to live in this very special moment”, Fram reasons.

Today, though, COMPANY is where his heart is. “COMPANY is the product of great minds, and it seems that this piece was and is very personal to all of its original creators. But as we worked through our concept, it became clear that Steve has a real affection and respect for Marianne and her work. He was willing to take a gamble – and he’s been incredibly generous and supportive every step of the way.”

As for there being three productions by Elliott running in London simultaneously from November with Curious Incidentplaying a limited run at the Picaddilly Theatre, Company at the Gielgud, and her production of War Horse returning to the National Theatre; Fram is thrilled. “I just became aware of that yesterday,” he says. “It’s a notable feat in itself, but it also has a lot to say about a long-overdue re-balancing of women’s roles in the theatre.”

“Marianne is such a thoughtful and inspiring director,” he beams.

 “We are in the hands of a wildly inventive thinker, someone who investigates every single word of text. She won’t settle for anything less than the truth, and I think that is what makes her work so successful, moving and enduring. Marianne works so carefully on the scenes – but she also puts her eye on the songs in the same way, investigating both music and lyrics in terms of dramatic structure,” says Fram.

COMPANY boasts a top-notch cast and creative team. What can we expect from them? “Rosalie Craig brings such warmth and humanity to the role, and Patti LuPone is a remarkable Joanne – to name just two.”

“Conducting actors of this calibre is an honour. Songs are dramatic journeys, little one-act plays; there are some actors you help lead through that journey and some who show you the way – Marianne has made sure we are all telling the same story together,” he says. “Also, I have the most amazing orchestra in the West End.”

What does he enjoy doing that has nothing to do with his career? He laughs. “I am an avid baker – you could say obsessed – so imagine having Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc in the cast! I mean, I can barely breathe when she walks in the room,” says Fram.

“Anyway, throughout rehearsals, however late or tired I was when I got home, I made sure I baked – every single day. Let’s just say I’ve heard that I have some big fans in the company – well, ­fans of my biscuits, at any rate. And I take requests.”

I ask him to choose between musicals Gypsy or Follies. “Oh God. That is a very tough question.” Pause.

“I don’t think there could be a life without either… I would say the best way to answer is: ‘Waiting Around for the Girls Upstairs’ and ‘If Momma Was Married.’ So, both.”

Company runs at the Gielgud Theatre from 26 September to 22 December 2018.

The National Theatre’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will return to the West End

National Theatre

The National Theatre announced today that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted by Simon Stephens from the novel by Mark Haddon, and directed by Marianne Elliott (War HorseAngels in AmericaCompany) will return to the West End in November 2018 for a limited season. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time begins previews at the Piccadilly Theatre on 29 November, with an opening night on 11 December.

Tickets for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Piccadilly Theatre go on sale to the general public on Friday 21 September at 9.30am. Casting to be announced.

Curious Incident, which has now been seen by more than three million people worldwide, transferred to London’s West End following a sold-out run at the National Theatre’s Cottesloe Theatre in September 2012. It is the recipient of seven 2013 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design – more Olivier’s than any other play in the history of London’s West End at that time.

Following its New York premiere in September 2014, Curious Incident became the longest-running play on Broadway in over a decade, winning five Tony Awards® including Best Play, six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off Broadway Play.

The show recently completed a 30 date tour of the USA, and a second 25 city tour of the UK and Ireland ended in September 2017. An international tour visited Amsterdam, Toronto, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Perth from 2017 – 18. A schools tour, taking a specially staged in-the-round 90 minute version of the play into 60 schools around the country runs until December.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Piccadilly Theatre is a co-production with the Ambassador Theatre Group.

Simon Stephens said: “I am stunned and inspired by the return of Curious Incident to the West End. It is a story that means the world to me. Mark Haddon’s exquisite imagination twisted into shape and infused with life by Marianne Elliott and her incredible team. After travelling the country and seeing the world Christopher Boone is coming back home. I’m mainly thrilled because I get to see it again.”

Lisa Burger, National Theatre Executive Director said: “We always felt that there were many more performances of Curious Incident in the West End left to give, and many more audiences who were yet to connect with Christopher Boone and his extraordinary story. We’re absolutely thrilled to be joining with ATG to bring Curious Incident – with its stellar creative team – back to the West End and we can’t wait to share this beautiful and inventive show with a new generation of audiences.”

The show tells the story of Christopher John Francis Boone, who is fifteen years old. He stands besides Mrs Shears’ dead dog, which has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

The production is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting designer Paule Constable, and video design by Finn Ross.  Movement is by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.

Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was published in 2003 and was the winner of more than 17 literary awards, including prizes in the US, Japan, Holland and Italy, as well as the prestigious Whitbread Book of the Year Award in the UK in 2004. The novel has been translated into 44 languages and sold more than 5.5 million copies world-wide.

Marianne Elliott, who was recently awarded an OBE for her services to theatre, is the Artistic Director of Elliott & Harper Productions, a company she recently set up with producer Chris Harper. Their latest production is Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical comedy, Company, which opens at The Gielgud Theatre in London on 26 September 2018.  Directed by Marianne Elliott and designed by Bunny Christie, the cast includes Rosalie Craig as Bobbie, Patti LuPone as Joanne, Mel Giedroyc as Sarah and Jonathan Bailey as Jamie.

Marianne was an Associate Director of the National Theatre for 10 years, where her work includes Tony Kushner’s Angels in America(which transferred to Broadway in February 2018 and won three Tony® Awards including Best Revival of a Play), War Horse  (Tony®  Award for best director, alongside co-director Tom Morris), Rules for LivingThe Light PrincessPort, Season’s Greetings, All’s Well that Ends Well, Harper Regan, Saint Joan (Olivier Award for Best Revival, South Bank Show Award for Theatre), and Pillars of the Community (Evening Standard Award for Best Director).  Marianne was consultant director on The Elephantom for the National Theatre and directed Sweet Bird of Youth for the Old Vic with Kim Cattrall.  Elliott & Harper;s previous productions are: Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, co-producer of Angels in America in New York and The Lion the Witch at the Wardrobe (directed by Sally Cookson) at Leeds Playhouse.

Mark Haddon is an author, illustrator and screenwriter who has written fifteen books for children and won two BAFTAs. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was published simultaneously by Jonathan Cape and David Fickling in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. His poetry collection, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, was published by Picador in 2005, and his last novel, The Red House, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2012. His latest book is The Pier Falls, a collection of stories. He lives in Oxford.

Simon Stephens’ plays for the National Theatre include  a new translation of The Threepenny OperaPort (originally produced at the Royal Exchange and directed by Marianne Elliott), Harper Regan (which was also produced at Canadian Stage) and On the Shore of the Wide World (co-production with Royal Exchange, Manchester: Olivier Award for Best New Play).  His many other plays include Carmen Disruption, Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle (Broadway and West End), BirdlandBlindsided,

Three Kingdoms, Wastwater, Punk Rock, Seawall, Pornography, Country Music, Christmas,  Herons, and A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with Robert Holman and David Eldridge), an adaptation of Jon Fosse’s I Am the Wind and Motortown.  His version of A Doll’s House for the Young Vic transferred to the West End and then New York in 2014. Simon is an Associate at the Lyric, Hammersmith and the Royal Court Theatre. Simon’s book – Simon Stephens, A working Diary was published in 2016.

 

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Casting announced for STORIES, a new play written and directed by Nina Raine

Stories
Stories

Stories

Rehearsals began today for Nina Raine’s new play, STORIES, which previews in the Dorfman Theatre from 10 October, with a press night on 17 October. Joining the previously announced Claudie Blakeley as Anna will be Stephen Boxer, Beau Gadson, Thusitha Jayasundera, Margot Leicester, Molly Simm, Katie Simons, Sam Troughton and Brian Vernel.

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 Consent, which recently completed a West End run after debuting in the Dorfman Theatre in 2017, Nina Raine returns to the NT with this funny and touching new play about the fertilisation of an idea.

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.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time schools tour to visit 60 secondary schools across the UK

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

A specially staged production of the National Theatre’s award-winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will begin a 12-week tour to 60 schools across the UK in September 2018.

The production will visit five selected secondary schools each week across London and the UK, touring to the National Theatre’s six Theatre Nation partner areas: Outer East London in partnership with the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch; Wakefield, in partnership with the Theatre Royal; Doncaster, in partnership with Cast; Sunderland in partnership with Sunderland Empire and Sunderland Culture; Wolverhampton, in partnership with the Grand Theatre; and the Greater Manchester area in partnership with The Lowry, Salford.

The schools tour is a 90-minute version of the play performed in the round and will be followed by a Q&A session for students with the company. The tour is accompanied by a learning programme which includes professional development for teachers led by the NT and Curious Incident movement directors Frantic Assembly, as well as curriculum-based resources and workshops.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award®‑winning director Marianne Elliott. The novel has won more than 17 literary awards and is widely studied in schools. Simon Stephens’ adaptation is a set text for GCSE English Literature.

The play tells the story of Christopher John Francis Boone, who is fifteen years old.  He stands besides Mrs Shears’ dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington.  He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.  He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

Speaking about the schools tour Simon Stephens said: “It means the world to me that Curious Incident will be touring schools around the country. I worked as a schoolteacher teaching kids in Dagenham in Essex 20 years ago. I loved it. I still think of myself as a teacher. I have seen firsthand how inspiring drama is to young people in schools. I believe the arts to be fundamental to our society. We can’t afford to lose them from our education system. I am delighted that our play will play its part in introducing young people to the theatre. I always hoped that Curious Incident was a play that could be performed anywhere, by anyone. The play is designed to provoke and inspire imagination and interpretation in its staging and inspiration in its audience. The tour will, I hope, provide the same kind of imagination and inspiration throughout the country.”

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “At the National Theatre we believe that all young people should have the opportunity to experience and participate in drama no matter where they are in the UK. We’re delighted to be touring this award-winning play to schools, and via our Theatre Nation Partnerships, we hope that bringing Simon Stephen’s brilliant Curious Incident to young audiences across the country will help to spark imaginations and encourage participation in theatre”.

The production is designed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable. Movement is by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton (who also composed music for War Horse) and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.  The Associate Director is Anna Marsland. Casting to be announced.

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

Schools Touring is supported by: The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust and The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.