NEWS: NT announces Queer Theatre, more Follies casting, further season details

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The National Theatre has announced programme details for its new season running from April to November 2017. In addition to the two inbound political plays heading for the West End – the European premiere of Broadway hit Oslo and the staged reading All the President’s Men? – Scenes from the U.S. Senate’s Confirmation Hearings, reported here – highlights include:

  • Jane Eyre returns, following an acclaimed season and UK tour 
  • Queer Theatre: A series of LGBT+ events including readings directed by Stephen Daldry, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Polly Stenham 
  • Further casting announced for Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes 
  • The NT tours to a record 49 venues in 37 towns and cities across the UK in 2017-18 

LYTTELTON THEATRE

OSLO

a new play by J.T. Rogers
Opens 5 September (press night 12 September) until 23 September, then continues at the Harold Pinter Theatre 

JANE EYRE

based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë
in co-production with Bristol Old Vic
devised by the original company

Opens 26 September until 21 October
Also on tour throughout the UK from 8 April

Following a critically acclaimed season at the NT and a UK tour, Jane Eyre returns to the National Theatre this September. This innovative reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece is a collaboration between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic and is directed by Sally Cookson.

The classic story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfillment on her own terms. Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

Directed by Sally Cookson, dramaturgy by Mike Akers, set design by Michael Vale, costume design by Katie Sykes, lighting design by Aideen Malone, movement by Dan Canham, music by Benji Bower and sound design by Dominic Bilkey. Cast includes Hannah Bristow, Matthew Churcher, Nadia Clifford, Ben Cutler, Tim Delap, Alex Heane, Jenny Johns, Melanie Marshall, Evelyn Miller, Paul Mundell, Dami Olukoya, David Ridley, Lynda Rooke, Francesca Tomlinson and Phoebe Vigor.

QUEER THEATRE

LGBT+ Stories & Social Change
In partnership with Pride in London
May – July

To mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, the NT looks at how theatre has charted the LGBT+ experience through a series of rehearsed readings, exhibitions, talks and screenings.

Rehearsed Readings
6 – 10 July

To celebrate Pride weekend a world-class group of directors and actors bring seminal queer plays back to the stage in an act of celebration and remembrance. Directors include Tarell Alvin McCraney Stephen Daldry and Polly Stenham.

Free Exhibition – In Visible Ink
Tracing LGBT+ stories at the NT.

UPDATES ON PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED PRODUCTIONS

OLIVIER THEATRE

SALOMÉ

a new play by Yaël Farber
Previews from 2 May, press night 9 May, continuing in the repertoire until 15 July

The story has been told before, but never like this. An occupied desert nation. A radical from the wilderness on hunger strike. A girl whose mysterious dance will change the course of the world. This charged retelling turns the infamous biblical tale on its head, placing the girl we call Salomé at the centre of a revolution.

Internationally acclaimed director Yaël Farber (Les Blancs) draws on multiple accounts to create her urgent, hypnotic production on the Olivier stage.

Salomé is designed by Susan Hilferty with lighting design by Tim Lutkin, music and sound by Adam Cork, movement direction by Ami Shulman, fight direction by Kate Waters and dramaturgy by Drew Lichtenberg. Cast includes Philip Arditti, Paul Chahidi, Ramzi Choukair, Uriel Emil, Olwen Fouéré, Roseanna Frascona, Lloyd Hutchinson, Shahar Isaac, Aidan Kelly, Yasmin Levy, Andrew Lewis, Anna Lindup, Theo T J Lowe, Isabella Niloufar, Lubana al Quntar and Raad Rawi.

Broadcast to cinemas by NT Live on 22 June.

TWELFTH NIGHT

by William Shakespeare
Last chance to see – ends 13 May

COMMON

a new play by DC Moore.  A co-production with Headlong.
Previews from 30 May, press night 6 June, continuing in repertoire until 5 August

Mary’s the best liar, rogue, thief and faker in this whole septic isle. And now she’s back. As the factory smoke of the industrial revolution belches out from the cities, Mary is swept up in the battle of her former home. The common land, belonging to all, is disappearing. DC Moore’s dark and funny new play is an epic tale of unsavoury action and England’s lost land.

Headlong’s Artistic Director, Jeremy Herrin, (People, Places and Things,This House) directs Anne-Marie Duff as Mary. Cast includes Lois Chimimba, John Dagleish, Brian Doherty, Anne-Marie Duff, Trevor Fox, Hannah Hutch, Cush Jumbo, Ian Lloyd Anderson, Tim McMullan and John O’Dowd. Design is by Richard Hudson, lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Stephen Warbeck, movement direction by Joseph Alford, sound design by Ian Dickinson, fight direction by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of RC-ANNIE Ltd, dance by Siân Williams.

FOLLIES

book by James Goldman.  Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Previews from 22 August, press night 6 September, booking until 4 November with additional performances to be announced

1971, New York. 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.

Including such classic songs as Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind. Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the NT.

Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).

Winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, Sondheim’s previous work at the NT includes A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.

Design by Vicki Mortimer, choreography by Bill Deamer, musical supervisor Nicholas Skilbeck, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical director Nigel Lilley, lighting design by Paule Constable and sound designer by Paul Groothuis. Cast includes Josephine Barstow, Tracie Bennett, Di Botcher, Billy Boyle, Janie Dee, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Forbes, Emily Goodenough, Bruce Graham, Fred Haig, Aimee Hodnett, Dawn Hope, Liz Izen, Alison Langer, Emily Langham, Sarah Marie Maxwell, Kate Parr, Philip Quast, Edwin Ray, Gary Raymond, Adam Rhys-Charles, Jordan Shaw, Imelda Staunton, Barnaby Thompson, Christine Tucker and Alex Young.

AMADEUS

by Peter Shaffer
in association with Southbank Sinfonia.
Returns 22 January, booking until 17 February 2018 with additional performances to be announced

Music. Power. Jealousy. Peter Schaffer’s iconic play had its premiere at the NT in 1979, before being adapted into an Academy Award-winning film. With live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.

Director Michael Longhurst, designer Chloe Lamford, music director and additional music Simon Slater, choreographer Imogen Knight, lighting design Jon Clark and sound design Paul Arditti.

Cast includes Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati.

LYTTELTON THEATRE

UGLY LIES THE BONE

by Lindsey Ferrentino
Last chance to see – ends 6 June

ANGELS IN AMERICA: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

by Tony Kushner
Previews from 11 April, press day 4 May, continuing in repertoire until 19 August

The Angels in America ballot presented by Delta – thousands of £20 tickets for otherwise sold out performances will be released during the run through this special online ballot.

Broadcast to cinemas by NT Live – Part One on 20 July, Part Two on 27 July

DORFMAN THEATRE

CONSENT                                                                                        

a new play by Nina Raine
a co-production with Out of Joint.
Last chance to see – ends 17 May

BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES                                                                                     

a new play by Inua Ellams, directed by Bijan Sheibani.
a co-production with Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Previews from 30 May, press night 7 June, in repertoire until 8 July. Transfers to West Yorkshire Playhouse 12 – 29 July

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 new 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.

Barber Shop Chronicles is Inua Ellams’ third play at the NT, following the exhilarating The 14th Tale and Black T-shirt Collection.

The production is designed by Rae Smith with lighting design by Jack Knowles, movement direction by Aline David, sound design by Gareth Fry and musical direction by Michael Henry. The cast is Fisayo Akinade, Hammed Animashaun, Peter Bankolé, Maynard Eziashi, Simon Manyonda, Patrice Naiambana, Cyril Nri, Kwami Odoom, Sule Rimi, Abdul Salis, David Webber, and Anthony Welsh.

MOSQUITOES                                                                                     

a new play by Lucy Kirkwood
Previews from 18 July, press night 25 July, in repertoire until 28 September 

Alice is a scientist. She lives in Geneva.  As the Large Hadron particle collider starts up in 2008, she is on the brink of the most exciting work of her life, searching for the Higgs Boson.

Jenny is her sister. She lives in Luton. She spends a lot of time Googling. When tragedy throws them together, their family is soon headed for a collision that threatens them all with chaos.

Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams play the sisters and Amanda Boxer their mother in this new drama from Chimerica writer Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Rufus Norris. Design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Adam Cork, sound design by Paul Arditti, video design by Finn Ross and Ian William Galloway.

Mosquitoes is supported by the Winton Charitable Foundation and Rosetrees Trust and is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award.

THE MAJORITY

a new play by Rob Drummond
Previews from 11 August, press night 14 August, runs until 28 August 

Following the acclaimed Bullet Catch in The Shed, Rob Drummond returns to the NT with a new show about democracy. The Majority charts Rob’s journey as he navigates the Scottish Independence Referendum, Brexit, Trump… and whatever today brings.

So take your seat and push the button.  Yes or No. Can you change the show with your votes? Every night will be different, depending on the majority.

Directed by David Overend, designed by Jemima Robinson, lighting design by Michael Harpur, music and sound by Scott Twynholm and video associate Mogzi Bromley-Morgans. Originally co-commissioned with The Arches, Glasgow.

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Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.