The National Theatre, returning to performances with full capacity audiences from later this month, has announced further casting details for forthcoming productions of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, original musical Hex, Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of East Is East and Moira Buffini’s new play Manor.
Opening in the Olivier on 23 September 2021 is The Normal Heart, in a co-production with Fictionhouse. Directed by NT Associate Dominic Cooke, Larry 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 Dino Fetscher as Felix and Richard Cant joining the previously announced Robert Bowman, Liz Carr, Daniel Krikler, Daniel Monks, Elander Moore, Luke Norris, Henry Nott, Freddie Stabb and Danny Lee Wynter.
Set design is by Vicki Mortimer, costume design by Lisa Duncan, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by Carolyn Downing and fight direction by Bret Yount.
In December National Theatre director Rufus Norris directs Hex, a new musical that goes beyond the kiss that woke the Sleeping Beauty and tells the fairy’s tale, with book by Tanya Ronder, music by Jim Fortune and lyrics by Norris. Based on the 17th century folk tale, this new version also reunites director Norris with set and costume designer Katrina Lindsay following their 2002 critically-acclaimed adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, from which Hex is adapted.
Rosalie Craig, Tamsin Carroll, Kat Ronney and Michael Elcock lead the company, alongside Esme Bacalla-Hayes, Madeline Charlemagne, Tamsin Dowsett, Eleanor Kane and Daisy Maywood.
Orchestrations by Simon Hale, music supervision by Marc Tritschler, music direction by Tarek Merchant, lighting design by Paul Anderson, choreography by Jade Hackett with consultant choreography by Bill Deamer and sound design by Simon Baker. The development of new music theatre is supported by the Genesis Foundation through the Genesis Music Theatre Programme.
Reopening the Lyttleton Theatre on 7 October is the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of East Is East, by Ayub Khan Din, directed by Iqbal Khan with set design by Bretta Gerecke and costume design by Susan Kulkarni. Set in 1970s Salford, East Is East follows the lives of the Khan children and their battle between the traditional values of their Pakistani father and their own desire to be citizens of modern Britain.
The production is performed at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in September, transferring to the National Theatre in October before being performed at Chichester Festival Theatre in November.
Following East is East, Manor, a timely new play by Moira Buffini, directed by Fiona Buffini, will open on 16 November in the Lyttelton theatre. This darkly comic piece sees Nancy Carroll play the owner of a rundown manor house, which shelters an explosive mix of people during a storm including Ted Farrier, a charismatic leader of a far-right organisation, played by Shaun Evans. The company will also include Effie Ansah, Michele Austin, Helen Barford, Chris Barritt, Mat Betteridge, Sophie Bradley, Peter Bray, Sophie Cartman, Gillian Dean, Liadán Dunlea, Amy Forrest, Lewis Griffin, David Hargreaves, Edward Judge, Owen McDonnell and Shaniqua Okwok.
Set and costume design by Lez Brotherston, lighting design by Jon Clark, composition and sound design by Jon Nicholls, video design by Nina Dunn, fight direction by Kate Waters.
Additional seating will now be available for performances of After Life from 27 July alongside the previously-announced productions Rockets and Blue Lights in the Dorfman Theatre and Paradise in the Olivier Theatre, with extra tickets going on sale to the public from 19 July. Tickets for The Normal Heart, East is East, Manor and Hex go on sale to the public from 30 July.