The National Theatre held its annual press conference today, announcing myriad new productions, casting and other initiatives. Here’s the official press release.
World premieres, new writers and ground-breaking adaptations announced for 2017 at the National Theatre
- Ivo van Hove follows his acclaimed Hedda Gabler with the world premiere of Network, with Bryan Cranston making his UK stage debut
- Anne-Marie Duff returns to the National Theatre in Common, and will appear alongside Rory Kinnear in Macbeth in 2018, directed by Rufus Norris
- Award-winning playwright Annie Baker (The Flick) returns with the European premiere of her new play John in the Dorfman
- John Tiffany directs the world premiere of Pinocchio
- Saint George and the Dragon, Beginning and The Majority continue the NT’s commitment to new work and contemporary stories on our stages
- 12 new plays, 50% of which are written by women, will open in the next 12 months
- People, Places & Things transfers to St Ann’s Warehouse, New York
- The NT will tour to 47 venues in 35 towns and cities across the UK in 2017-18
- Co-productions with Fuel, Headlong, Out of Joint, Improbable, and West Yorkshire Playhouse
- Double the number of Entry Pass tickets for young people under 26
NEW PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCED
SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON Rory Mullarkey’s epic new folk play tells of a knight who became a myth, and a country in need of a story. The world premiere is directed by National Theatre Associate Lyndsey Turner with design by Rae Smith, lighting design by Bruno Poet, music by Grant Olding, choreography by Lynne Page and sound design by Christopher Shutt. Opening in October 2017. Hundreds of Travelex tickets at £15 available per performance.
MACBETH Rufus Norris directs Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff in Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy 25 years after his last Shakespeare production. Opening in spring 2018. Broadcast to cinemas by NT Live in 2018.
AMADEUS Michael Longhurst’s sell-out production of Peter Shaffer’s masterpiece returns to the Olivier. Lucian Msamati and Adam Gillen once again lead the company of actors, singers and musicians. Amadeus is directed by Michael Longhurst with design by Chloe Lamford, music direction and additional music by Simon Slater, choreography by Imogen Knight, lighting design by Jon Clark and sound design by Paul Arditti. Amadeus is produced in association with Southbank Sinfonia, supported by the Amadeus production syndicate. Opening in January 2018.
NETWORK Lee Hall’s new adaptation of the Oscar-winning film by Paddy Chayefsky is directed by Ivo van Hove. Cast includes Tony award winner Bryan Cranston (All the Way, Breaking Bad and Trumbo for which he was nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA) in the role of Howard Beale. Set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, video design by Tal Yarden, costume design by An D’Huys, music by Eric Sleichim and sound design by Tom Gibbons. Network is produced in association with Patrick Myles, David Luff, Ros Povey and Lee Menzies. Production supported by Marcia Grand for the memory of Richard Grand. Opening in November 2017.
THE MAJORITY Following the acclaimed run of Bullet Catch in The Shed, Rob Drummond returns to the National with a new one-man show about democracy. Directed by David Overend and opening in August 2017. Originally co-commissioned with The Arches, Glasgow.
BEGINNING In the early hours of the morning, in the aftermath of a party in north London, two people meet. And nothing will ever be the same for them again. The world premiere of David Eldridge’s new play is directed by Polly Findlay. With design by Fly Davis, lighting design by Jack Knowles and sound design by Paul Arditti. Opening in October 2017.
JOHN Following The Flick in 2016, Annie Baker returns to the Dorfman with her new play, John. James Macdonald directs the European premiere, with a cast including Georgia Engel. Opening in early 2018.
UPDATES ON PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED PRODUCTIONS
TWELFTH NIGHT – Will now run until 13 May, previews from 15 February, press night 22 February.
Simon Godwin directs this joyous new production. Tamsin Greig is a transformed Malvolia, performing alongside Adam Best, Oliver Chris, Claire Cordier, Imogen Doel, Mary Doherty, Ammar Duffus, Daniel Ezra, Phoebe Fox, Whitney Kehinde, Emmanuel Kojo, Tamara Lawrance, Andrew Macbean, Doon Mackichan, Tim McMullan, Brad Morrison, Daniel Rigby, Imogen Slaughter, James Wallace and Niky Wardley. The production will be designed by Soutra Gilmour, lighting by James Farncombe, movement by Shelley Maxwell, music by Michael Bruce, sound by Christopher Shutt, and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.
A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. So begins a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love. The nearby households of Olivia and Orsino are overrun with passion. Even Olivia’s uptight housekeeper Malvolia is swept up in the madness. Where music is the food of love and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible. Broadcast to cinemas by NT Live on 6 April.
SALOMÉ – Previews from 2 May, press night 9 May, continuing in the repertoire until 15 July.
Salomé in a new version by Yaël Farber. 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, Aidan Kelly, Yasmin Levy, Theo T J Lowe, Isabella Niloufar, Lubana al Quntar, Raad Rawi and Stanley Townsend.
Hundreds of Travelex tickets at £15 available per performance. Broadcast to cinemas by NT Live on 22 June.
COMMON – Previews from 30 May, press night 6 June.
A co-production with Headlong. Mary’s the best liar, rogue, thief and faker in this whole septic isle. And 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. D C 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 Trevor Fox. Design is by Richard Hudson, lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Stephen Warbeck and sound design by Ian Dickinson.
Hundreds of Travelex tickets at £15 available per performance.
Further casting has been announced for Follies, which will be directed by Dominic Cooke, book by James Goldman and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Joining Imelda Staunton will be Dame Josephine Barstow, Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee, Peter Forbes and Phillip Quast. Design will be by Vicki Mortimer, choreography by Bill Deamer, musical supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical direction by Nigel Lilley, lighting design by Paule Constable and sound design by Paul Groothuis. Opening in August 2017.
HEDDA GABLER – Ends 21 March
Just married. Buried alive. Hedda longs to be free … Ruth Wilson plays the title role in a new version of Ibsen’s masterpiece, by Patrick Marber. Directed by Ivo van Hove, set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, costume design by An D’Huys, sound design by Tom Gibbons. Production supported by the Williams Charitable Trust.
Broadcast to cinemas by NT Live on 9 March.
UGLY LIES THE BONE
Previews from 22 February, press night 1 March
Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino makes its European premiere. ‘Beauty is but skin deep, ugly lies the bone; beauty dies and fades away, but ugly holds its own.’ After three tours in Afghanistan and months in a severe burns unit, Jess finally returns to Florida. In a small town on the Space Coast, as the final shuttle is about the launch, Jess must confront her scars, and a home that may have changed even more than her. Experimenting with pioneering virtual reality therapy, she builds a breathtaking new world where she can escape her pain. There, she begins to restore her relationships, her life and, slowly, herself.
Award-winning playwright Lindsey Ferrentino’s honest and funny new drama is directed by Indhu Rubasingham, with set design by Es Devlin, video design by Luke Halls, costume design by Johanna Coe, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, music and sound by Ben and Max Ringham, movement direction by Lucy Hind and fight direction by Rachel Brown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of RC-Annie Ltd. The cast is Marianne Adams, Katy Brittain, Olivia Darnley, Buffy Davis, Kate Fleetwood, Ralf Little, Kris Marshall, Tom Peters and Siân Polhill-Thomas.
Hundreds of Travelex tickets at £15 available per performance.
ANGELS IN AMERICA: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
Previews from 11 April, press day 4 May, continuing in repertoire
America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis, and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell.
This new staging of Tony Kushner’s multi-award-winning two-part play is directed by Olivier and Tony award-winning director Marianne Elliott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse). Part One: Millennium Approaches was first performed at the NT in 1992, and was joined by Perestroika in a double-bill the following year. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the shows.
Set design is by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Paule Constable, choreography and movement by Robby Graham, music by Adrian Sutton, sound design by Ian Dickinson, puppetry direction and movement by Finn Caldwell, puppetry design by Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes, illusions by Chris Fisher, aerial direction by Gwen Hales and fight direction by Kate Waters.
The cast is Stuart Angell, Mark Arnold, Arun Blair-Mangat, Susan Brown, Laura Caldow, Andrew Garfield, Denise Gough, Kate Harper, John Hastings, Claire Lambert, Nathan Lane, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, Becky Namgauds, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Russell Tovey, Paksie Vernon, Stan West and Lewis Wilkins.
The Angels in America ballot presented by Delta – each week hundreds of £20 tickets will be released in a ballot for the following week’s performances.
Broadcast to cinemas by NT Live – Part One on 20 July, Part Two on 27 July
John Tiffany directs the world premiere of Pinocchio by Dennis Kelly, with songs and score from the Walt Disney film by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J. Smith newly adapted by Martin Lowe. With design and puppet co-design by Bob Crowley, lighting design by Paule Constable, music supervision, orchestrations and additional music by Martin Lowe, choreography by Steven Hoggett, puppet co-design and puppetry direction by Toby Olié, sound design by Simon Baker and illusions by Jamie Harrison. Presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions. Opening in the Lyttelton in December 2017.
SHAKESPEARE FOR YOUNGER AUDIENCES
Following highly successful schools performances, these productions can be seen in the Dorfman.
Macbeth 6 – 20 February
Amid bloody rebellion and the deafening drums of war, Macbeth and his wife will stop at nothing to fulfil their ambition. Witchcraft, murder, treason and treachery are all at play in this murky world. A bold contemporary retelling of one of Shakespeare’s darkest plays. Suitable for 13yrs+
Romeo and Juliet 11 – 24 February
Set against a vibrant urban backdrop bursting full of excitement, colour, dancing and live song, a company of eight tell the most famous love story of all time. Join us for this swift, contemporary celebration of Shakespeare’s masterpiece as we bring Romeo and Juliet to life for a new generation. Suitable for 8 – 12yrs
Shakespeare for younger audiences is supported by: The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, The Ernest Cook Trust, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation and the Topinambour Trust.
MY COUNTRY; A WORK IN PROGRESS
28 February – 22 March, prior to national tour, see p10 for details
Britannia has called a meeting, to listen to her people. Form an orderly queue.
In the months following the Brexit vote, a team of interviewers from the NT spoke to people nationwide, hearing their views on Britain, the community they live in, and the referendum. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Director of the NT Rufus Norris put those conversations centre stage in this new production, which opens in London before playing at venues around the country. Designed by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Paul Knott, Music by David Shrubsole and sound design by Alex Caplen. The cast for My Country; a work in progress are Seema Bowri, Cavan Clarke, Laura Elphinstone, Adam Ewan, Penny Layden, Stuart McQuarrie and Christian Patterson. Created in collaboration with eight UK arts organisations in association with Cusack Projects Limited.
The NT today announces a new behind-the-scenes BBC Radio 4 documentary, which will track the development of Rufus Norris’ new play My Country: a work in progress. The Radio 4 programme captures the development of the creative process for the NT’s production My Country: a work in progress. It follows the rehearsal process as Rufus Norris, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and designer Katrina Lindsay work with the interviewers, their material and the cast to bring to life this current and compelling verbatim play.
LOST WITHOUT WORDS 4 – 18 March
A co-production with Improbable. Imagine older actors in their 70s and 80s, actors who have spent their lives being other people, bringing life to other people’s words. Imagine they were on stage with nothing but themselves and no worlds but their own. No script, no map, a different show every night, all they have is a lifetime of theatre to help them find their way.
Lost Without Words is co-directed by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson with design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Colin Grenfell and music by Steven Edis. The cast is Georgine Anderson, Caroline Blakiston, Anna Calder-Marshall, Lynn Farleigh, Charles Kay and Tim Preece.
Previews from 28 March, press night 4 April, playing until 17 May
A co-production with Out of Joint. Consent by Nina Raine will receive its world premiere in the Dorfman Theatre. Why is justice blind? Is she impartial? Or is she blinkered? This powerful, painful and funny play sifts the evidence in a rape case from every side and puts justice in the dock. Directed by Roger Michell with set design by Hildegard Bechtler, costume design by Dinah Collin, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by John Leonard. Cast includes Priyanga Burford, Pip Carter, Ben Chaplin, Heather Craney, Daisy Haggard, Adam James and Anna Maxwell Martin.
BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES
Previews from 30 May, press night 7 June, in repertoire until 8 July
A co-production with Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse. A new play by Inua Ellams, directed by Bijan Sheibani. 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 National, 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 and sound design by Gareth Fry. Barber Shop Chronicles will play at West Yorkshire Playhouse 12 – 29 July.
Mosquitoes by Lucy Kirkwood will have its world premiere in the Dorfman Theatre in July. Rufus Norris will direct this new play about families and particle physics, with a cast that includes Olivia Colman. Designed by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Adam Cork, sound design by Paul Arditti and video design by Finn Ross & Ian William Galloway.
Mosquitoes is generously supported by the Edgerton Foundation, the Winton Charitable Foundation, and Rosetrees Trust. This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award.
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE
NT Live has a season of ten new broadcasts to the UK and 55 countries across the globe
Amadeus by Peter Shaffer. Lucian Msamati plays Salieri, with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. Broadcast live from the NT on Thursday 2 February.
Saint Joan Josie Rourke directs Gemma Arterton as Joan of Arc in Bernard Shaw’s electrifying classic. Broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse on Thursday 16 February.
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Patrick Marber. Ruth Wilson plays the title role in Ivo van Hove’s production. Broadcast live from the NT on Thursday 9 March.
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Tamsin Greig plays Malvolia in Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identity. Directed by Simon Godwin. Broadcast live from the NT on Thursday 6 April.
Salomé A radical retelling of the biblical story of one young woman’s political awakening. Directed by Yaël Farber. Broadcast live from the NT on Thursday 22 June.
Peter Pan, Sally Cookson’s wondrously inventive production recorded live during its run at the NT will be broadcast on Saturday 10 June.
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Fifty years after the play premiered at The Old Vic, David Leveaux directs Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern alongside David Haig as The Player in this iconic mind bending situation comedy. Broadcast live from The Old Vic on Thursday 20 April, this marks the Old Vic’s first collaboration with NT Live.
Angels in America, Marianne Elliott’s new production of Tony Kushner’s two-part play will be broadcast live from the NT. Part 1: Millennium Approaches on Thursday 20 July and Part 2: Perestroika on Thursday 27 July.
Yerma – Billie Piper stars in Yerma as a woman driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child. Simon Stone creates a radical new production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece. Broadcast live from the Young Vic on 31 August.
Macbeth with a cast including Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff will be broadcast by NT Live in 2018.
NATIONAL THEATRE THROUGHOUT THE UK, IN THE WEST END AND INTERNATIONALLY
The NT will tour to 47 venues in 35 towns and cities across the UK in 2017-18
PEOPLE PLACES AND THINGS TRANSFERS TO NEW YORK AND TOURS THE UK THIS AUTUMN
The National Theatre, Headlong and St Ann’s Warehouse in association with Bryan Singer Productions will present the National Theatre/Headlong production of People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York in October 2017. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, Macmillan’s intoxicating new play opened at the NT’s Dorfman Theatre in autumn 2015, and transferred to the Wyndham’s Theatre in March 2016 where it became the ‘must see’ show of the season. Denise Gough will reprise her award-winning role as Emma. Gough’s raw and heart-breaking performance as an actress whose life has spun recklessly out of control because of her addiction to drink and drugs was unanimously acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, earning her the 2016 Olivier Award and the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress. Further cast details and dates to be announced.
Generous support to the National Theatre for People, Places and Things from: Areté Foundation / Betsy & Ed Cohen and Leila Maw Straus MBE.
Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things will also begin a major UK tour with a new cast this autumn, in a co-production between the National Theatre, Headlong, HOME and Exeter Northcott Theatre. Full casting to be announced shortly. The tour begins at HOME, Manchester (22 September – 7 October), and continues to Oxford Playhouse (11 – 14 October), Theatre Royal Bath (17 – 21 October), Bristol Old Vic (24 – 28 October), Exeter Northcott Theatre (31 October – 4 November), Nuffield Southampton Theatres (7 – 11 November) and finish at Liverpool Playhouse Theatre (14 – 18 November).
The set is designed by Bunny Christie, the Olivier and Tony Award winning designer of the NT’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Costumes are by Christina Cunningham, lighting by James Farncombe, video by Andrzej Goulding and music is composed by Matthew Herbert with Olivier award-winning sound design by Tom Gibbons.