The National Theatre has announced its programme of productions between December 2019 and June 2020, with highlights including:
- Simon Godwin directs Romeo & Juliet with Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley as the star-crossed lovers and Fisayo Akinade as Mercutio
- Sea Sick, written and performed by Alanna Mitchell
- Hamlet reimagined for younger audiences by Jude Christian and directed by Tinuke Craig will tour to state schools across London, before performances in the Dorfman Theatre
- Gary Owen’s new play Romeo and Julie, a co-production with Sherman Theatre, with Callum Scott Howells and Rosie Sheehy as Romeo and Julie
- NT Live broadcasts in 2020 to include Cyrano De Bergerac with James McAvoy from the Playhouse Theatre, and The Welkin, Jack Absolute Flies Again and Romeo & Juliet from the NT
Updates on previously announced productions include news of casting for Richard Bean and Oliver Chris’ new play Jack Absolute Flies Again, directed by Thea Sharrock.
Laurie Davidson and Natalie Simpson will play Jack Absolute and Lydia Languish with Caroline Quentin as Mrs Malaprop and Richard Fleeshman as Dudley Scunthorpe.
Daneka Etchells, Jenny Galloway, Haydn Gwynne, Zainab Hasan, June Watson, Laurence Ubong Williams, Shaofan Wilson and Hara Yannas join the company of Lucy Kirkwood’s new play The Welkin, which also includes Maxine Peake and Ria Zmitrowicz.
Jason Barnett, Joseph Mydell, Sara Kestelman and Nicholas Woodeson join Lesley Manville and Hugo Weaving in the company of The Visit or The Old Lady Comes To Call.
Chris Anderson, Bryan Dick, Francesca Mills and Wanda Opalinska join the cast of All Of Us alongside Francesca Martinez in her debut play.
Michele Austin and David Hargreaves join Nancy Carroll and Ben Daniels in the cast of Manor, a new play by Moira Buffini, directed by Fiona Buffini.
Romeo & Juliet
Olivier Theatre, August 2020
Simon Godwin returns to the National Theatre to direct Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet following his productions of Antony and Cleopatra and Twelfth Night in the Olivier Theatre. Set in modern Italy in a world where Catholic and secular values clash, Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose, Judy) and Josh O’Connor (The Crown, God’s Own Country) play the two young lovers who strive to transcend a world of violence and corruption. Fisayo Akinade (The Antipodes, Barber Shop Chronicles) is cast as Mercutio.
Dorfman, 22 April to 7 May 2020
Following a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a Canadian tour, the Theatre Centre’s production Sea Sick about the state of the global ocean, written and performed by Alanna Mitchell, comes to the National Theatre. The piece is inspired by Mitchell’s international bestseller and award-winning book of the same name, and is directed by Franco Boni and Ravi Jain.
Dorfman, 30 March to 9 April 2020
Jude Christian (Lyric Hammersmith’s othellomacbeth) has reimagined Hamlet for younger audiences. This energetic and engaging re-telling of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedy is suitable for ages 8-12.
Directed by Tinuke Craig, the production will also tour to state primary schools across Greater London from 10 February, collectively reaching over 6,000 pupils during the run as part of the NT’s commitment to introducing children and young people to theatre.
Romeo and Julie
After tour, Dorfman, 14 July to 29 August, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff 16 September to 3 October
Inspired by Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, writer Gary Owen and director Rachel O’Riordan reunite (Iphigenia in Splott, Killology) to deliver Romeo and Julie, a powerful, funny and poignant new play about the hope and heartbreak of two young people in the 21st century. Callum Scott Howells and Rosie Sheehy will play Romeo and Julie, with Anita Reynolds as Kath.
Romeo is a teenage single dad hanging on tight. Julie is fighting to follow her dream of studying at Cambridge. Two working-class eighteen-year-olds raised a few streets apart, but from entirely different worlds, the pair crash headlong into first love, physics and dirty nappies. But at this crossroads to the rest of their lives, both families fear the worst in a world of unequal opportunity.
A co-production with Sherman Theatre the production will open at The Lowry, Salford (5 to 10 June), before touring to Cast, Doncaster (16 to 20 June); Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch (23 to 27 June); and Theatre Royal, Wakefield (30 June to 4 July).