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National Theatre launches NATIONAL THEATRE AT HOME,  a new streaming service

The National Theatre, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, has launched National Theatre at Home, a brand-new streaming platform making their much-loved productions available online to watch anytime, anywhere worldwide.

Launching today with productions including the first ever National Theatre Live, Phèdre with Helen Mirren, Othello with Adrian Lester and the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper, new titles from the NT’s unrivalled catalogue of filmed theatre will be added to the platform every month. In addition to productions previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live, a selection of plays filmed for the NT’s Archive will be released online for the first time through National Theatre at Home, including Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (a co-production with Fuel).

Viewers can choose a monthly or annual subscription to access the full catalogue and exclusive backstage content, or can opt to rent single plays for a 72-hour window. National Theatre at Home is available for streaming online through any web browser and in Apple (iOS / tvOS), Google (Android / Android TV), Roku TV and Amazon Fire TV.  

Roku digital streaming offer was first made available during the UK’s.

For 16 weeks from the beginning of April until the end of July, productions were made available for free on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel every Thursday at 7pm UK time, which were then available on demand for the following seven days. This resulted in over 15 million views for 16 productions over four months and reached 173 countries around the world.

Following this overwhelming response, the NT today launches a new, lasting and extensive iteration of National Theatre at Home, with the ambition of bringing world-class performances to a global audience. The platform will also provide welcome support for artists and theatres during this unpredictable time.   

The National Theatre

 

Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, said: “From homemade tickets to interval drinks, NT at Home was a way of making people feel more connected. And so, since the last stream finished in July, we have been determined to find a way to give our audiences access to these stunning filmed productions online once again. With the agreement from artists, we are now able to showcase an extraordinary range of fantastic NT Live productions and, for the first time, some treasured plays from our NT Archive.”

For unlimited access to the catalogue on National Theatre at Home, a subscription will be £9.98 per month or £99.98 per year. For access to a single play in a 72 hour window, it will be £5.99 for an NT Archive title and National Theatre Live titles are available from £7.99. 

 The National Theatre will collaborate with Bloomberg Philanthropies to deliver a programme of free subscriptions and discounts to viewers in the UK and globally, reflecting our shared commitment of ensuring National Theatre at Home is available to all.  

 National Theatre at Home is available now at ntathome.com.

Well done everyone.

 

DEATH OF ENGLAND: DELROY to be streamed for free and return to the Olivier stage

National Theatre

Death of England: Delroy, which was mid-way through its run at the National Theatre before it was forced to close, will be streamed for free on YouTube on 27 November at 7pm GMT and return to the Olivier Theatre in Spring 2021.  

 This comes as the new national Coronavirus measures regrettably resulted in the cancellation of the original scheduled run of the production, which was due to end on 28 November. All ticket holders booked in for cancelled performances have been contacted to offer a refund or credit note. 

 The production was captured at the final performance on Wednesday 4 November and will be streamed on 27 November for 24 hours on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel. The broadcast will be available for free with viewers invited to make a donation via YouTube or the National Theatre website. The National Theatre is making an up-front payment to the artists to enable the limited-window stream during lockdown.  

 Death of England: Delroy by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams and directed by Dyer, explores what it is like to be a Black working-class man searching for truth and confronting his relationship with Great Britain. The role of Delroy is performed by Michael Balogun.  

 To accompany the broadcast, NT Associate Ola Animashawun will host a pre-recorded discussion with Dyer, Williams and Balogun that explores their experience of creating the show under Coronavirus restrictions, and how the piece reflects on the Black Lives Matter movement.  The talk will be available for free on YouTube from 8.30pm GMT 27 November. 

 Clint Dyer and Roy Williams said: “We were hugely disappointed that Death of England: Delroy was unable to complete its full run in the Olivier theatre. The production team worked tirelessly, alongside the staff at the NT, throughout the rehearsal period and for the two weeks we were able to perform to the public and we want to thank them for their efforts. We are thrilled that Michael Balogun’s remarkable performance will be streamed to audiences for a limited time period of the 27 November and that we will be able to perform to live audiences once again in the Spring.”  

 Set and costume designers are by Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and ULTZ, with lighting design by Jackie Shemesh, sound design by Pete Malkin and Benjamin Grant

 Tickets for Olivier theatre performances will go on sale in the new year. 

National Theatre leading free virtual courses for young people nationwide to learn theatre-making skills

National Theatre

As the theatre industry continues to face huge challenges and the National Theatre closes again under new coronavirus restrictions, the NT is prioritising its work with young people across the UK to provide opportunities for them to take part in creative activities and find new ways to explore theatre-making.

The NT is collaborating with freelance artists, producers and technicians across the theatre industry to lead digital introductory courses for young people to learn about theatre-making and develop skills from experts in the field.

Applications are now open for young people across the UK to apply to take part in the How to be a Producer and Young Technicians’ programmes, running in early 2021. These online courses provide an opportunity for young people who may not otherwise have access to the industry to explore roles in the theatre alongside mentoring from industry professionals.

How to be a Producer for 16-21-year-olds is led by Tobi Kyeremateng, producer and founder of the Black Ticket Project alongside producers from the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Young Vic and many more. The online course will explore the role of producer and what it takes to produce cultural events, including in digital form, through interactive tutorials and problem-solving activities including budgeting and project management. The course will take place across evenings in February 2021 and 50% of places will be available for young Black people in partnership with the Black Ticket Project.

The Young Technicians’ programme will be led by the NT’s expert technical teams to introduce the basics of lighting, sound and video through digitally delivered practical workshops, demonstrations and expert Q&As all delivered online. All participants will receive mini equipment kits to take part in hands-on challenges and learn practical skills. This course is open to 14-18-year olds and will run from January to March 2021.

These programmes are free to take part in and furthering the NT’s commitment to access, places will be prioritised for young people from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds, from working class backgrounds and/or with disabilities. Added support will be provided for young people at risk of digital exclusion.

Ali Taie, 19, took part in the Young Technician’s Programme in 2018/2019 and said, “Young Technicians’ came up at the perfect time for me. Back then, I was still in college and the idea of doing theatre was very distant, but doing it helped me understand all of the various roles in theatre that would suit me, along with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of each backstage role in technical theatre and just how critical all members are. It is the direct reason behind the founding of my current theatre company (Opsis Theatre Co), as well as my choice to go to the university which I’m currently attending”.

Ameena Hamid, 20, took part in How to be a Producer in 2019 and said, “The course provided an invaluable window into life as a producer through the lived experience of those in the industry as well as useful tools and theory. It gave me the confidence in my skills that I needed to start producing professionally and I’ve been doing so since. Another brilliant bonus was building up a network of course mates and industry professionals that I’m still in contact with today and who all help and support each other.”

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the NT said, “The National Theatre remains determined to open up pathways into the industry for young people from backgrounds under-represented in our sector. Despite the huge challenges facing the theatre industry, and as the theatre closes again under the new lockdown, we can use digital platforms to connect young people across the country with experts in our industry, who can share their experiences and knowledge and support the development and exchange of skills – for theatre and for the creative industries more widely. We hope these programmes will open up the creative industries to talented individuals who might not have considered a career in the sector, and provide transferable skills for their futures in any career.”

For more information, key dates and how to apply, visit https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/young-people

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

The National Theatre’s Youth Programme for 16-21 year olds is supported by Richard Radcliffe Charitable Trust.

NT announces original film of Romeo & Juliet with Josh O’Connor & Jessie Buckley

National Theatre
  • The NT’s Lyttelton theatre temporarily transformed into a studio to film this special made-for-screen production
  • Directed by NT Associate Simon Godwin (Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night)
  • Cast includes Fisayo Akinade, Deborah Findlay, Tamsin Greig, Lucian Msamati and Shubham Saraf
  • Presented by Sky Arts, PBS and No Guarantees, produced by the National Theatre in association with Sabel Productions and Cuba Pictures
  • The original film will premiere on Sky Arts and PBS in 2021

The National Theatre has today announced it is creating a new filmed version of Romeo & Juliet for television, temporarily transforming the vast stage spaces of its Lyttelton theatre into a film studio to capture Shakespeare’s timeless play for a new generation of audiences.

 The National Theatre has broadcast stage productions to cinemas for over a decade through its National Theatre Live programme, but this will be the first time an original production for screen has been created in its South Bank home.

 Romeo & Juliet will be directed by NT Associate Simon Godwin (Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night), adapted for screen by Emily Burns and with Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Judy) and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country, The Crown) as the star-crossed lovers.

 Romeo & Juliet was originally to have played to theatre audiences in the NT’s Olivier auditorium from Summer 2020. Reconceived for the screen, this new 90-minute version will be shot over three weeks with a collaborative team of theatre and film experts, embracing the architecture of the theatre space in telling the story.  

 It will premiere in 2021 on Sky Arts and PBS, in the UK and US respectively. Sky Arts went free-to-air this September and is now available for everyone on Freeview channel 11 in the UK. Sky Arts is the headline sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK and has just renewed its partnership for a further three years. In the US, the Emmy Award-winning performing arts series Great Performances will present Romeo & Juliet on PBS.

Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, said: “Realising the Lyttelton theatre would need to remain shut to audiences during this time has been really difficult and meant we found ourselves in a unique set of circumstances. I wanted to find a way to use that space to create something exciting and special for audiences, that utilised the exceptional skill and craft of the National Theatre’s teams, freelancers and creative associates, and that could reach as many people as we can. That’s all going to be possible with this brilliant film of Romeo & Juliet and, in collaboration with Sky Arts, PBS and No Guarantees, it will be seen across the UK and US. I’m delighted that Simon, Jessie, Josh and the team have joined us for a National Theatre first and are going to create a truly fresh film of Shakespeare’s enduring love story.” 

 Simon Godwin, director of Romeo & Juliet, NT Associate and Artistic Director at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, said: “This has been a uniquely challenging time for the industry and so I have huge respect for Rufus and the team for meeting this challenge with creativity and deciding to use the Lyttelton theatre in this way for filmed work; I think it’s a genius idea and I’m honoured to be able to create the first film. I think I speak for myself, the creative team and the cast when I say how delighted we are to be focusing all our creativity into this version of Romeo & Juliet once more. Some ideas are staying, lots of new ones are coming in – I’m very excited about this new genre, combining film and theatre, and bringing together the remarkable talents of those industries. And the world will get to see Josh as Romeo and Jessie as Juliet, it had to happen!” 

 As previously announced for the Olivier production, Fisayo Akinade (The Antipodes, Barber Shop Chronicles) will play Mercutio. Also announced today as joining the cast of Romeo & Juliet is Deborah Findlay (Coriolanus, The Split) in the role of the Nurse, Tamsin Greig (Twelfth Night, Talking Heads) as Lady Capulet, Lucian Msamati (Master Harold…and the boys, His Dark Materials) as the Friar, Shubham Saraf (A Suitable Boy) as Benvolio, David Judge (My Brilliant Friend) as Tybalt, Alex Mugnaioni (The Visit) as Paris and Ellis Howard (Catherine the Great) as Sampson.

 Set in modern Italy in a world where Catholic and secular values clash, two young lovers strive to transcend a world of violence and corruption. Uniting key talent from both theatre and film, the Director of Photography is Tim Sidell (I Hate Suzie), with production design by Soutra Gilmour, movement direction by Jonathan Goddard and Shelley Maxwell, fight direction by Kate Waters and composition by Michael Bruce.

 It will be produced by David Sabel, who created the National Theatre Live programme at the NT, at Sabel Productions. Executive Producers are Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre; Dixie Linder, Cuba Pictures (London Road, McMafia); David Horn, Great Performances; Christine Schwarzman & Darren Johnston, No Guarantees; and Philip Edgar Jones, Sky Arts.

 Rehearsals for Romeo & Juliet start in November at the National Theatre, with filming from December and the premiere expected to air in spring 2021. 

 Presented by Sky Arts, PBS and No Guarantees, Romeo & Juliet will be produced by the National Theatre, in association with Sabel Productions and Cuba Pictures.  

Romeo & Juliet is supported by Leila Maw Straus.

National Theatre announces The Normal Heart and Dick Whittington On-Sale for Olivier in-the-round Season

National Theatre

For one year only, pantomime comes to the National Theatre. Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd’s hilarious and heartfelt version of Dick Whittington, first staged at Lyric Hammersmith in 2018 and freshly updated for 2020, will open in the socially distanced Olivier theatre on the 11 December.  

 Directed by Ned Bennett, this wild and inventive production explores what it is like to come from a small town and arrive in a big city today, exploring the ideas of community and togetherness. Initial casting includes Dickie Beau, Amy Booth-Steel, Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings​, Georgina Onuorah, and Cleve September. 

 Set and costume designs by Georgia Lowe, choreography by Dannielle Rhimes Lecointe, compositions, arrangements and music production by DJ Walde, music supervision by Marc Tritschler and music direction and additional composition and arrangements by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell. Lighting designed by Jessica Hung Han Yun and Sound Design by Paul Arditti. Denzel Westley-Sanderson is Associate Director, Debbie Duru is Associate Set Designer and Fiona Parker is Associate Costume Designer. 

 Tickets go on sale to members from Monday, with public booking on 4 November. Over 200 seats will be available for each performance at £20, with half price tickets for under 18s on all tickets over £20. Tickets will be available to purchase as single tickets, as pairs or in threes and fours for audience to attend with their household or support bubble. There will also be a number of Access performances including an Audio-Described performance, a BSL performance and a Relaxed performance. Dates and information on how to book can be found here. 

 The next show to open as part of the Olivier in-the-round season in February 2021 is Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, in a co-production with Fictionhouse. Directed by Dominic Cooke, Kramer’s largely autobiographical play about the AIDS crisis in 1980 New York has not been performed professionally in London since its European premiere in 1986. Ben Daniels will perform the role of Ned Weeks, the co-founder of an AIDS advocacy group fighting to change the world around him, with Danny Lee Wynter as Tommy Boatwright, Daniel Monks as Mickey Marcus and Stanley Townsend as Ben Weeks. Vicki Mortimer is Set Designer and Paule Constable is Lighting Designer.  

 Tickets for The Normal Heart will go on sale from the end of November. 

 Director Dominic Cooke says: “As a student I was lucky enough to see the landmark Royal Court production of The Normal Heart starring Martin Sheen. It had a profound effect on me at the time and I’ve wanted to direct the play ever since. It is the rarest of things; a history play written by one of its key participants. It deals with the nature of political activism, the internal battle many LGBT people fight to feel worthy of love and, topically, the refusal of those in power to face the reality of an unfolding health crisis. Larry Kramer was a firebrand and The Normal Heart is written with all of his characteristic ferocity, political insight and wit. I’ve been talking with Ben Daniels for over five years about playing Ned Weeks. He is one of our greatest actors and I cannot wait to begin working with him, alongside the rest of the company and the brilliant team at the NT who Kate Horton and I, as Fictionhouse, will be co-producing with.” 

  National Theatre announces new associates and Peter Hall Bursary Recipients 

National Theatre

The National Theatre announced today that Rufus Norris, NT Director and Joint Chief Executive, has invited Ola Animashawun and Clint Dyer to join as Associates of the National Theatre.  

 In addition, The Peter Hall Bursary has been expanded to support three new artists. The directors who have been invited to receive this fund are Ned Bennett, Ola Ince and Nancy Medina and they will be supported by the NT for the next two years.   

 Ola Animashawun, was previously the founder and Head of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme, where he was also an Associate. Ola will work at Associate level in both Learning and the New Work Department at the NT, as well as continuing in his role as Connections Dramaturg which he has held since 2018.  In this new position he will work cross organisationally towards racial equity and increased representation both in the work presented on stage and at all levels in the NT’s workforce.   

 Ola is joined by Clint Dyer who becomes an NT Associate following playing ‘Cutler’ in the NTs Olivier winning production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the success of Death of England and the programming of Death of England: Delroy, which will open in the Olivier theatre later this monthIn this role Clint will work closely with Rufus Norris and the Senior Artistic team and together with the Associates will advise on programming decisions. He will also continue to act and write and direct his own work. Clint Dyer’s Associate role is supported by the NT Foundation as a Peter Hall Bursary.    

 The NT Associates are a group of leading artists, creatives and theatre makers who provide thought leadership and advisory input across all areas of the National Theatre’s artistic mission, galvanising change and providing fresh incisive perspectives on the decisions of the Director and Senior Managers. They take on special projects that they both initiate and at the request of the Director, as well as make their own work. 

 The National Theatre is committed to supporting freelance artists and continuing to expand the pool of directors making work at the NT. Every two years The Peter Hall Bursary is awarded to an exceptionally talented director, providing them with the opportunity to develop their experience through an attachment at the NT. Previous recipients of this bursary include Emily Lim and Alexander Zeldin.  

 This year the bursary has been expanded to support three directors, Ned Bennett, Ola Ince and Nancy Medina. These three new Bursaries are in recognition of these directors’ artistic merit and outstanding achievement in their body of work over the last five years, with the long-term aim of bringing their great talent onto the National Theatre’s stages for the benefit of our audiences.    

 Each director will use the financial and artistic support to gain a greater understanding of the workings of the NT and be empowered and supported to develop work to direct at scale for the National Theatre’s stages.  NT Associate Lyndsey Turner will be working closely with all three directors in a mentor capacity and the two-year Bursary will support a period of artistic development and research, create a space for enquiry and the development of their own creative practice. 

 Speaking about the bursaries Rufus Norris said, “At a pivotal moment in my career I was hugely fortunate in being awarded an Arts Foundation fellowship which gave me some crucial breathing space within a period where my artistic development was being hampered by an inability to simply pay my rent, a situation most freelancers will be very familiar with. That breathing space allowed me, for a year, to focus solely on my artistic work, and I am incredibly grateful to the National Theatre Foundation for their support in delivering something similar to these three exceptional directors. We will be making demands of them but with the sole aim to keep them growing creatively through this most challenging of times.” 

National Theatre partners with Audible to support next generation of young playwrights across UK

National Theatre

The National Theatre is partnering with Audible as the Official Audio Partner for its New Views playwriting competition to support the next generation of writing talent across the UK.

Through this partnership the National Theatre and Audible plan to work with a young writer to adapt their script and publish it in audio. The participant will be supported throughout the process, gaining invaluable experience in audio development.

New Views is the National Theatre’s annual playwriting programme and competition for 14 – 19-year olds which supports students to write their own play with mentoring from professional playwrights, online workshops and masterclasses alongside bespoke training for teachers. Each year one play is selected from hundreds of entries to be produced at the NT with a professional cast and crew, alongside rehearsed readings of eight shortlisted plays. Previous winning and shortlisted scripts will act as a catalogue of plays that may be adapted by the playwright for Audible.

Audible, the leading provider of audio storytelling, is also supporting the National Theatre with the digital delivery of the adapted programme in response to Coronavirus. Participants will be able to access playwriting masterclasses and Audible’s expansive back-catalogue of audio content, in addition to online recordings of NT productions and digital workshops from the NT.

Lisa Burger, Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre said, “Young writers and theatre-makers are the future of our theatre industry and we are committed to supporting the development of new talent by continuing to provide opportunities and platforms for young people right across the UK in these challenging times. New Views encourages participants to explore their creativity, engage in debate and develop their ideas with the support of fantastic contemporary writers. We are excited to begin our partnership with Audible to develop brilliant new scripts for their platform and ensure the talented voices of the next generation are heard far and wide”.

Kevin Addley, Country Manager at Audible said, “This exciting partnership with the National Theatre’s New Views programme allows us to help support the theatre at a difficult time for the arts. Discovering and supporting young talent has never been more vital, and we look forward to being able to celebrate new young talent in the coming months”.

Applications for schools to take part in New Views 2020-2021 are currently open until Wednesday 7th October. To find out more and to sign up visit: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/learning/schools/secondary-and-fe/new-views

 

National Theatre releases new podcast series: That Black Theatre Podcast

National Theatre

The National Theatre is launching a new Podcast Series: That Black Theatre Podcast. Hosted by Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD Student, Nadine Deller the podcast is a partnership between the National Theatre, The Royal Central School for Speech and Drama, University of London and the AHRC London Arts and Humanities Partnership.

Starting on the 28 September, over the course of 12 weekly episodes, Nadine will delve into the Black Plays Archive, discussing the leaders of Black British theatre and the political and social events of the 20th and 21st Century that influenced their work.

Beginning with the earliest black theatre practitioners Una Marson and Errol John, the podcast will discuss the works of these trailblazers and the writers who followed, Mustapha Matura and Alfred Fagon, who wrote against the backdrop of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements both in Britain and America.  The barriers faced by black women playwrights will be debated with the leading academic, Lynette Goddard. With the plays of Valerie Mason-John and Jackie Kay discussed in relation to the under representation of black queer and lesbian experiences on stage.

Nadine Deller will conclude the series with an episode dedicated to Winsome Pinnock, conversations about debbie tucker green and Roy Williams, as well as discussions with lead theatre makers both looking to the past of Black British theatre and to the future, including Mojisola Adebayo and Ola Ince.

Speaking about the podcast Nadine Deller said, “This podcast started as a way to share what I have learnt about black British theatre with as many people as I could. I never learnt about black theatre in school, so this podcast is a celebration of black British theatre and the stories I have found in the archive. Through a mix of history, interviews, and casual discussion, I hope to show that black theatre is for everyone.”

That Black Theatre Podcast will be available for free via Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, and all major podcasts platforms.

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The Olivier theatre to be transformed for live performances in-the-round for socially distanced audiences from October

National Theatre

The Olivier theatre is to be significantly remodelled in order to stage a season of performances in-the-round, which will achieve an audience capacity of almost 500 while maintaining social distancing for audiences.

The National Theatre will reopen to audiences on the 21 October, for the first time since closing in March, with DEATH OF ENGLAND: DELROY, a new play written by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, directed by Dyer and performed by Giles Terera. The production is the first in a season of productions to be staged in the transformed Olivier theatre. Tickets will go on sale to the public from 2 October with over 200 tickets available at £20 for every performance.

Death of England: Delroy follows on from Death of England that was performed by Rafe Spall and closed just before lockdown. This new work explores a Black working-class man searching for truth and confronting his relationship with Great Britain. Set and costume designers are Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and ULTZ, with lighting design by Jackie Shemesh, sound design by Pete Malkin and Benjamin Grant.

In a season when theatres across the country have been forced to postpone their pantomimes by Coronavirus, for one year only, pantomime is coming to the National Theatre. The second production the NT will stage as part of the Olivier in-the-round season will be DICK WHITTINGTON, originally commissioned by the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, which will celebrate and honour panto’s place at the heart of British theatre.

Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd’s hilarious and heartfelt version of the famous story was first staged at Lyric Hammersmith in 2018. Freshly updated for 2020, Ned Bennett directs this exciting new production which promises fun for everyone and will open on the South Bank in December.

This wild and inventive production explores what it is like to come from a small town and arrive in a big city today, exploring the ideas of community and togetherness which feel even more prescient in 2020. Making the most of the newly transformed Olivier theatre with set and costume designs by Georgia Lowe, and lighting designed by Jessica Hung Han Yun. Denzel Westley-Sanderson is Associate Director.

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said: ‘We’re both delighted and relieved to be reopening the National Theatre with the Olivier in-the-round season, which will allow us to present live work to as many people as possible while social distancing remains in place. It is dynamically appropriate to begin the season with DEATH OF ENGLAND: DELROYan extraordinarily important and timely piece of work by the hugely talented Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, and we are also proud and privileged to be presenting DICK WHITTINGTON this Christmas, helmed by the inspirational Jude Christian, Cariad Lloyd and Ned Bennett. Pantomime is an essential part of the living fabric of our nation, and it is devastating that so many theatres across the country have had no choice but to postpone their pantos this year because of the unprecedented financial impact of Coronavirus. We’ll do all we can to keep the flame alive: brilliant theatre artists will serve up a slice of joy to families on the South Bank, and we’ll be asking everyone to support their local theatres by booking ahead for their 2021 pantomimes. Of course, we hope that it will be possible for theatres to perform safely to fuller audiences long before then.’

Speaking about Dick WhittingtonJude Christian and Cariad Lloyd said: “In 2018 we set out to celebrate the heart of the Dick Whittington story – that London has always been, and will always be, enriched by the brilliant brains and invigorating spirit of those who come from all over the world and call it home. That’s a story we want to tell now more than ever, and in quintessentially British fashion: with irreverent jokes, talking animals, awesome songs, and wholesale destructive silliness.”

Ned Bennett continued: “We are inordinately excited to be talking about a show, never mind having the privilege of being able to stage one right now. We are facing such challenging times, as artists and as an industry, so we feel so lucky to have the NT able to provide this opportunity. We cannot wait to bring audiences (safely) into the Olivier and allow them to remember the joy of theatre for a night.”

Following UK Government guidelines, social distancing measures have been put in place for those attending performances at the NT. These include staggered arrival times, paperless tickets, pre-ordered drinks, enhanced cleaning, and sanitisation stations throughout the theatre. Tickets are available to be purchased as single tickets, as pairs or in threes or fours for audiences to attend with others from their social bubbles. Face coverings will be required at all times, aside from when audience members are eating or drinking. Full information on the safety measures for audiences can be found here.

Further information, including performance dates for DICK WHITTINGTON will be released at a later date. Tickets will go on sale in October.

 New dates announced for the West End transfer of The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

National Theatre

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which was scheduled to begin performances this autumn, has been postponed. The acclaimed production will now open at the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2021, with previews beginning from 23 October 2021, playing for a limited run, with a press night on 4 November 2021.

Whilst government recently made the welcome announcement that performances can resume indoors, they can do so only with social distancing. Performances of The Ocean at the End of the Lane from 31 October 2020 – 6 February 2021 have been cancelled. All existing ticket holders will be contacted by their original point of sale regarding their booking.

Tickets for the newly announced 2021 performance dates will go on sale to the public at 12pm on Friday 2 October 2020.

The National Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, based on the best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman (American GodsCoralineStardust and the Sandman series), adapted by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd, transfers following its sold-out world premiere at the Dorfman Theatre in 2019.

The set designer is Fly Davis, with costume and puppet design by Samuel Wyer, movement direction by Steven Hoggett, composition by Jherek Bischoff, lighting design by Paule Constable (Olivier Award Nominee), sound design by Ian Dickinson, magic and illusions direction and design by Jamie Harrison and puppetry direction by Finn Caldwell.  Casting to be confirmed.

Suitable for ages 12+.