National Theatre announces upcoming programming including programming including three new productions, Shakespeare in schools and a US Tour
Simon Stone (Yerma, Young Vic) makes his National Theatre debut in the Lyttelton theatre in February, directing his striking new play Phaedra after Euripides, Seneca and Racine. After years of fierce focus on her political career, Phaedra turns her attention to her personal life. The reappearance of her stepson shakes the foundations of her house and the beliefs that have underpinned her power. As buried lust and loneliness surge to the surface, Phaedra’s actions threaten to destroy everything she has built. Janet McTeer (Ozark) takes the title role alongside Assaad Bouab (Call My Agent) and Mackenzie Davis (Station Eleven) who both make their UK stage debuts.
Set design is by Chloe Lamford, costume designer and associate set designer is Mel Page, lighting designer is James Farncombe, composer and sound designer is Stefan Gregory and associate director is Nimmo Ismail.
Standing at the Sky’s Edge, a co-production with Sheffield Theatres in association with Various Productions, will transfer to the Olivier theatre in February 2023 as it makes its London premiere following a return to the Crucible Theatre this winter. A love letter to Sheffield and ode to the iconic Park Hill Estate, Standing at the Sky’s Edge charts the hopes and dreams of three generations over the course of six tumultuous decades. Directed by Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director, Robert Hastie, featuring songs by Richard Hawley and with book by Chris Bush, it is a heartfelt exploration of the power of community and what it is we call home.
The cast includes Darragh Cowley, Ahmed Hamad, Samuel Jordan, Bobbie Little, Robert Lonsdale, David McKechnie, Maimuna Memon, Baker Mukasa, Alastair Natkiel, Faith Omole, Adam Price, Nicola Sloane, Jake Small, Deborah Tracey, Rachael Wooding and Alex Young.
Set and costume designer is Ben Stones, with choreography by Lynne Page, music supervisor, arranger and orchestrator is Tom Deering, lighting design by Mark Henderson, sound design by Bobby Aitken, wigs, hair & make-up design by Cynthia De La Rosa, music director is John Rutledge, the associate choreographer is Thomas Herron, assistant music director is Ehsaan Shivarani, staff directors are Thomas Herron and Elin Schofield and casting by Stuart Burt CDG.
Romeo and Julie, a new play by Gary Owen and a co-production with Sherman Theatre, opens in the Dorfman theatre in February. Two Welsh teens raised a few streets apart – but from entirely different worlds – crash into first love and are knocked off their feet. But at the crossroads to the rest of their lives, Julie’s family fears the worst in a world of unequal opportunity. Following their critically acclaimed productions Iphigenia in Splott and Killology, director Rachel O’Riordan reunites with Gary Owen to deliver his new play inspired by Romeo and Juliet. The cast includes Catrin Aaron, Paul Brennen, Anita Reynolds, Callum Scott Howells and Rosie Sheehy.
Set and costume designer is Hayley Grindle, with lighting design by Jack Knowles, sound design by Gregory Clarke and staff director is Kwame Owusu.
Tickets for Phaedra, Standing at the Sky’s Edge and Romeo and Julie go on sale to the public on Thursday 20 October.
In the Dorfman theatre from November, Indhu Rubasingham will direct the previously announced world premiere of April De Angelis‘ biting new comedy, Kerry Jackson. Fay Ripley plays Kerry, owner of a new restaurant in fashionable Walthamstow. Wearing her working-class roots as a badge of honour, Kerry navigates the local characters in a bid to make the tapas restaurant a success – without losing herself in the process. Madeline Appiah, Michael Fox, Michael Gould, Kitty Hawthorne and Gavin Spokes complete the company.
Set and costume design is by Richard Kent, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, composer and sound design by Nicola T Chang, movement director is Lucy Hind and casting director is Juliet Horsley CDG.
An energetic retelling of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedy, Hamlet will return to the Dorfman theatre in March and as part of a tour to 5,000 pupils in state schools in six areas including Knowsley, Lincolnshire and Essex. Introducing young audiences to the world of Shakespeare, this version is adapted for audiences aged 8–12 years old by Jude Christian (Dick Whittington, National Theatre) and originally directed by Tinuke Craig (The Colour Purple, Vassa). The revival will be directed by Ellie Hurt. Last year Hamlet was watched by over 5,600 pupils from 50 schools across England. Education packages to support teaching of the production are available for primary schools and include workshops, training and teacher resources.
Set and costumes designs by Frankie Bradshaw with lighting designed by Paul Knott. Sound is designed by Clark Henry-Brown and Dom Coyote. Music is composed and directed by Dom Coyote and the fight director is Jeremy Barlow.
National Theatre nationwide
Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane is touring the UK and Ireland from December, direct from the West End, visiting 29 towns and cities for a total of 40 weeks. Directed by Katy Rudd (Camp Siegfried, Eureka Day) and adapted by Joel Horwood (Skins, I Want My Hat Back), the first major stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s work is a thrilling adventure of fantasy, myth and friendship, which blends magic with memory in a tour-de-force of storytelling that takes audiences on an epic journey to a childhood once forgotten and the darkness that lurks at the very edge of it.
Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He’s transported to his 12th birthday when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible…
Plunged into a magical world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.
Featuring an ensemble cast of 17, the tour will open at The Lowry in Salford where it will play over Christmas (12 December 2022–7 January 2023), before visiting a further 28 venues up to September 2023. Casting is to be announced. Check oceanonstage.com for full touring schedule and to book tickets.
Bill Kenwright presents a Theatr Clwyd and National Theatre production of Home, I’m Darling. This new production begins an extensive national tour opening at Theatre Royal Windsor on 25 January 2023, with further venues to be announced.
Starring BAFTA award winner Jessica Ransom (Doc Martin, Armstrong and Miller, Horrible Histories) as Judy, this sparkling, thought-provoking comedy by Laura Wade (Posh, The Riot Club) is about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife. Further casting to be announced.
Home, I’m Darling received its world premiere at Theatr Clwyd in 2018, before playing at the National Theatre and then transferring to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End, winning the 2019 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. This production reunites the entire original creative team, led by Theatr Clwyd Artistic Director and Co-Director Designate of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tamara Harvey. It is co-directed by Hannah Noone, with design by Olivier Award winner Anna Fleischle, lighting by Lucy Carter, sound design by Tom Gibbons and choreography by Charlotte Broom.
National Theatre in the West End
A co-production with Neal Street Productions, The Lehman Trilogy is returning to London’s West End, playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre from 24 January to 20 May 2023 for a strictly limited season. The Lehman Trilogy won a total of five 2022 Tony Awards – including Best Play and Best Director – making it the most awarded play on Broadway this season.
Written by Stefano Massini and adapted by Ben Power, the story of a family and a company that changed the world is directed by Sam Mendes. The Lehman Trilogy features a cast of three playing the Lehman brothers, their sons, and grandsons, in an extraordinary feat of storytelling told in three parts on a single evening.
The Tony Award-winning set design is by Es Devlin, with costume design by Katrina Lindsay, video design by Luke Halls, and Tony Award-winning lighting design by Jon Clark. Composition and sound design are by Nick Powell, the co-sound designer is Dominic Bilkey, with music direction by Candida Caldicot and movement by Polly Bennett. The West End director is Zoé Ford Burnett. Casting is by Jessica Ronane CDG CSA. Casting is to be announced. Tickets, including information about assisted performances, can be booked via thelehmantrilogy.com
Emma Rice returns with Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights, adapted from Emily Brontë’s legendary novel. Interspersed with music, dance, passion and hope, Emma Rice catapults Brontë’s brooding love story into an intoxicating revenge tragedy for our time. A co-production with Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal, in association with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
This production will run at St Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, New York from 14 October to 6 November 2022, before continuing to tour the US; playing at Berkeley Rep, California 18 November–2 January 2023, Wallis Annenberg, California 11–22 January 2023 and Chicago Shakespeare Theater 25 January–28 February 2023, with further dates and venues soon to be announced.
National Theatre Digital
Coming next on National Theatre Live is riotous summer comedy, Jack Absolute Flies Again, co-written by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Oliver Chris (Orsino in the National Theatre production of Twelfth Night), based on Sheridan’s The Rivals. Emily Burns (The Comeback) directs this spectacularly entertaining new version of the play, with the cast including Caroline Quentin (Jonathan Creek), Laurie Davidson (Guilty Party), Natalie Simpson (Three Sisters) and Kelvin Fletcher (Emmerdale), available in cinemas worldwide from 6 October.
Anton Chekhov’s classic tale of love and loneliness, The Seagull, is broadcast to cinemas in this uniquely modernised new adaptation by Anya Reiss for The Jamie Lloyd Company. Featuring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) in her West End debut, the full company includes Jason Barnett, Robert Glenister, Tom Rhys Harries, Mika Onyx Johnson, Gerald Kyd, Daniel Monks, Sara Powell, Indira Varma and Sophie Wu. Jamie Lloyd directs following his Olivier Award-winning production of Cyrano de Bergerac. Captured live on stage in London’s West End, The Seagull is set for release in cinemas around the globe from 3 November.
In the new year, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by Lyndsey Turner (Hamlet) with set design by Tony Award-winner Es Devlin (The Lehman Trilogy), is broadcast to cinemas. This captivating parable of power includes Erin Doherty (The Crown) as Abigail Williams and Brendan Cowell (Yerma) as John Proctor and will be released in the UK and Ireland from 26 January and internationally from 2 March.
Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedy, Othello, comes to cinema screens in an extraordinary new production directed by Clint Dyer (Death of England: Parts 1, 2 and 3). Giles Terera (Hamilton) is Othello, Rosy McEwen (The Alienist) is Desdemona and Paul Hilton (The Inheritance) plays Iago. Broadcast to cinemas in the UK and Ireland from 23 February and internationally from 27 April.
On our streaming platform, National Theatre at Home, new productions available from 11 October include recent National Theatre Live broadcasts, The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage, a gripping adaptation of Philip Pullman’s prequel to His Dark Materials trilogy, adapted by Bryony Lavery for the Bridge Theatre. Audiences in the UK can also watch the National Theatre’s 2011 production of Frankenstein adapted by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, and directed by Danny Boyle. There are two versions of this production available, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller sharing the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature.