NEWS: National Theatre announces new season including cast of 40 for stage adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island

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Highlights of the next new season at London’s National Theatre, running from February ­to July 2019, include several new productions:

  • Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Leah Harvey and Aisling Loftus lead the cast of Small Island, adapted by Helen Edmundson from Andrea Levy’s prize-winning novel, directed by Rufus Norris in the Olivier Theatre
  • Inua Ellams Barber Shop Chronicles will play at the Roundhouse, Camden for a limited run from July as part of a UK tour
  • Justine Mitchell joins Roger Allam in Rutherford and Son by Githa Sowerby, directed by Polly Findlay
  • Phoebe Fox takes the title role of ANNA in Ella Hickson and Ben and Max Ringham’s tense thriller directed by Natalie Abrahami
  • Further casting released for Peter Gynt, directed by Jonathan Kent, written by David Hare, after Henrik Ibsen
  • War Horse will return to London as part of the 2019 UK and international tour, playing at a new venue, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, for a limited run in October

Olivier Theatre

Small Island

Previews from 17 April, press night is 1 May, in repertoire until 10 August
Rufus Norris directs Andrea Levy’s epic, Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island, adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson, will feature a cast of 40 telling a story which journeys from Jamaica to Britain through the Second World War to 1948, the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.

Initial casting includes Leah Harvey as Hortense, Aisling Loftus as Queenie and Gershwyn Eustache Jnr as Gilbert. They will perform alongside: CJ Beckford, Jacqueline Boatswain, Phoebe Frances Brown, Chereen Buckley, Cavan Clarke, Shiloh Coke, Beatie Edney, Adam Ewan, David Fielder, Amy Forrest, John Hastings, Stephanie Jacob, Sandra James-Young, Natey Jones, Trevor Laird, Johann Myers and Andrew Rothney.

Peter Gynt

Previews from Thursday 27 June, press night is 9 July, playing until 8 October with additional performance to be announced (at Edinburgh International Festival in August)
In this radical new version, David Hare “kidnaps Ibsen’s most famous hero and runs away with him into the 21st century”. James McArdle takes the title role in this epic story of transformation, following his acclaimed performances in Platonov and Angels in America. He is reunited with Hare and director Jonathan Kent, the partnership behind the triumphant Young Chekhov at Chichester Festival Theatre and the National Theatre. The cast also includes Caroline Deyga, Jonathan Coy and Ann Louise Ross with further details to be announced.

Lyttelton Theatre

Rutherford & Son

Previews from 16 May, press night is 28 May, performances until 19 June with additional dates to be announced.
Githa Sowerby’s play was inspired by her own experience of growing up in a family-run factory in Gateshead. Writing in 1912, when female voices were seldom heard on British stages, she now claims her place alongside Ibsen and Bernard Shaw with this searing depiction of class, gender and generational warfare.

Roger Allam (Les Misérables, The Thick of It) returns to the National for the first time in a decade to play Rutherford in this new production directed by Polly Findlay (Beginning). Justine Mitchell joins Allam in the role of Janet Rutherford.

Dorfman Theatre


Previews from May 11, press night is 21 May, playing until 15 June
Phoebe Fox (Twelfth Night, A View from the Bridge) performs the role of Anna and is cast alongside Nathalie Armin, Max Bennett, Jamie Bradley, Georgia Landers and Dwane Walcott. Created by Ella Hickson (The Writer), Ben and Max Ringham with story by HicksonNatalie Abrahami (Machinal) directs this tense new thriller which uses individual audio headsets to give the audience intimate access to events as they unfold over one evening.

Previously announced

Olivier Theatre: Follies

Previews from 12 February, press night is 22 February, in repertory until 11 May
After a sold-out run, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, winner of the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and Best Costume Design returns in 2019. Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical includes such classic songs as ‘Broadway Baby’, ‘I’m Still Here’ and ‘Losing My Mind’.

Featuring a cast of 40 and an orchestra of 21, Follies is directed by Dominic Cooke. Janie Dee and Peter Forbes return to reprise their roles, Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding join the cast as Ben and Sally. Cast also includes Julie Armstrong, Lindsay Atherton, Josephine Barstow, Rosanna Bates, Jeremy Batt, Tracie Bennett, Billy Boyle, Kaye Brown, Anouska Eaton, Liz Ewing, Vanessa Fisher, Caroline Fitzgerald, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Bruce Graham, Adrian Grove, Alyn Hawke, Harry Hepple, Aimee Hodnett, Dawn Hope, Liz Izen, Jasmine Kerr, Alison Langer, Felicity Lott, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, Ian McIntosh, Ian McLarnon, Claire Moore, Tom Partridge, Gary Raymond, Michael Remick, Rohan Richards, Lisa Ritchie, Myra Sands, Gemma Sutton, Monica Swayne, Christine Tucker and Liam Wrate.

Lyttelton Theatre: Tartuffe

Previews from 9 February, press night is 21 February, in repertoire until 30 April
A ferocious new version of Molière’s comic masterpiece by John Donnelly, directed by Blanche McIntyre (The Writer) who makes her NT debut. Kevin Doyle as Orgon and Denis O’Hare as Tartuffe are joined by Adeyinka Akinrinade, Kitty Archer, Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea, Fayez Bakhsh, Kathy Kiera Clarke, Hari Dhillon, Matthew Duckett, Susan Engel, Henry Everett, Will Kelly, Geoffrey Lumb, Penelope McGhie, Kevin Murphy, Enyi Okoronkwo, Roisin Rae, Dominik Tiefenthaler and Olivia Williams.

Top Girls

Previews from 26 March, press night is 3 April, playing until 22 June with additional performances to be announced
For the first time, the National Theatre stages Caryl Churchill’s innovative play about a country divided by its own ambitions. Lyndsey Turner (Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Chimerica) directs. Cast includes: Lucy Black, Jessica Brindle, Lucy Ellinson, Amanda Hadingue, Liv Hill, Ebony Jonelle, Katherine Kingsley, Wendy Kweh, Amanda Lawrence, Charlotte Lucas, Ashley McGuire, Siobhán Redmond, Ashna Rabheru, Roisin Rae, Nadia Williams and Naomi Yang.

Dorfman Theatre: Downstate

Previews from 12 March, press night is 20 March, playing until 27 April
By Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Clybourne Park and The Low Road Bruce Norris and directed by Tony Award-winner Pam MacKinnon. The American and British cast includes Steppenwolf ensemble members Glenn Davis, K. Todd Freeman, Francis Guinan and Tim Hopper, together with Aimee Lou Wood, Cecilia Noble, Eddie Torres and Matilda Ziegler.

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other (12 Variations on Samuel Richardson’s Pamela)

Press night on 23 January, playing until 2 March
A new play by Martin Crimp (Attempts on Her Life, In the Republic of Happiness). Directed by Katie Mitchell (Waves, Cleansed) with a cast including Cate Blanchett, who makes her National Theatre debut alongside Stephen Dillane returning to the National Theatre for the first time since The Coast of Utopia in 2002. The cast also includes Babirye Bukilwa, Jessica Gunning, Emma Hindle and Craig Miller.

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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.

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