The National Theatre has announced its new booking period, running from July 2015 to January 2016, with several new productions and some big names – including Anne-Marie Duff, whose previous award-winning NT credits include Strange Interlude and Saint Joan – entering the repertoire, as well as myriad casting updates.
NATIONAL THEATRE: JULY 2015 – JANUARY 2016
- Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT is directed by Polly Findlay, with Rosalie Craig as Rosalind
- Anne-Marie Duff returns to the NT in D H Lawrence’s HUSBANDS & SONS, adapted by Ben Power, directed by Marianne Elliott in a co-production with the Royal Exchange
- Roger Michell directs WASTE by Harley Granville-Barker, with a cast led by Charles Edwards
- A new play by Wallace Shawn, EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE, is directed by Ian Rickson
- HERE WE GO, a new play by Caryl Churchill, is directed by Dominic Cooke
- wonder.land, a new musical by Damon Albarn and Moira Buffini, directed by Rufus Norris, opens at the National after its premiere at Manchester International Festival
- For young and family audiences: I WANT MY HAT BACK adapted from Jon Klassen’s book by Joel Horwood and Arthur Darvill, and THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
HUSBANDS & SONS Dorfman Theatre
Previews from 19 October, press night 27 October, booking until 19 January with additional performances to be announced
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 19 February – 19 March 2016
Anne-Marie Duff returns to the National to play Lizzie Holroyd in HUSBANDS & SONS by DH Lawrence, adapted by Ben Power and directed by Marianne Elliott, opening in the Dorfman Theatre on 19 October. A co-production with the Royal Exchange Theatre, it will play in Manchester from 19 February – 19 March 2016. The cast also includes Joe Armstrong, Matthew Barker, John Biggins, Cassie Bradley, Louise Brealey, Susan Brown, Julia Ford, Johnny Gibbon, Tala Gouveia, Lloyd Hutchinson, Philip McGinley, Martin Marquez, Katherine Pearce, Josie Walker and Sue Wallace. The production will be designed by Bunny Christie with lighting by Lucy Carter, video design by Tal Rosner, movement by Scott Graham, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Ian Dickinson and fight direction by Kate Waters.
On the cracked border of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire stands the village of Eastwood. The women of the village, wives and mothers, struggle to hold their families and their own souls together in the shadow of the great Brinsley pit.
Husbands & Sons interweaves three of D H Lawrence’s greatest dramas (The Daughter-in-Law, A Collier’s Friday Night and The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd), and plays them simultaneously. Describing the world he came from with fierce tenderness, Lawrence evokes a now-vanished world of manual labour and working class pride.
Anne-Marie Duff’s National Theatre work includes Strange Interlude and Saint Joan (for which she won Best Actress at the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2008 and was nominated for an Olivier); other recent theatre work has included Cause Célèbre (Old Vic) and the title role in Berenice (Donmar Warehouse). Her many television appearances include the title role in Elizabeth the Virgin Queen and Shameless. Anne-Marie Duff will appear in the feature film Suffragettes written by Abi Morgan and due to be released in October.
Marianne Elliott is an Associate Director at the NT where her work includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (winner of seven Olivier Awards including Best Director and five Tony Awards including Best Director), Rules for Living, The Light Princess, Port, Season’s Greetings, Women Beware Women, All’s Well That Ends Well, Mrs Affleck, Harper Regan, Saint Joan with Anne-Marie Duff (Olivier Award for Best Revival, South Bank Show Award for Theatre), Thérèse Raquin, Pillars of the Community (Evening Standard Award for Best Director) and War Horse (co-directed with Tom Morris, winning a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play).
The Dorfman Partner is Neptune Investment Management.
AS YOU LIKE IT Olivier Theatre
Previews from 26 October, press night 3 November, in repertoire until 5 March
National Theatre Live broadcast on 25 February 2016
Polly Findlay directs Shakespeare’s comedy of love and change, As You Like It, opening on 3 November in the Olivier Theatre in its first production at the National for over 30 years. Rosalie Craig plays Rosalind; the cast also includes Rosa Leon Annor, Philip Arditti, Mark Benton (as Touchstone), Paul Chahidi (as Jaques), Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Patsy Ferran (as Celia), Patrick Godfrey, Gemma Lawrence, Ken Nwosu, Ekow Quartey and Alan Williams. The production will have set designs by Lizzie Clachan, costumes by Christina Cunningham, lighting by Jon Clark, music by Orlando Gough, movement by Jonathan Goddard, sound by Carolyn Downing and fight direction by Kate Waters.
With her father the Duke banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden.
There released from convention, Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.
Rosalie Craig’s work for the National includes The Light Princess (for which she won the 2013 Evening Standard Award for Best Musical Performance and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Table, London Road on stage and screen, and wonder.land at Manchester International Festival. Her other work includes the title role in Miss Julie and Clea in Black Comedy (Chichester Festival Theatre); Lady Macduff in Macbeth (Manchester International Festival); Sweeney Todd (ENO); The Vote and City of Angels (both Donmar Warehouse); Ragtime (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Company (Crucible, Sheffield); and Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic).
Polly Findlay’s productions for the NT include Treasure Island, Protest Song, Antigone, The Swan and Nightwatchman, and the German-language production of War Horse in Berlin. Her other work includes The Merchant of Venice and Arden of Faversham for the RSC.
As You Like It is supported by Radisson Blu Edwardian, the National’s official hotel partner.
WASTE Lyttelton Theatre
Previews from 3 November, press night 10 November, booking until 16 January with additional performances to be announced
Roger Michell directs Harley Granville Barker’s WASTE, opening in the Lyttelton Theatre on 10 November; with designs by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Rick Fisher and sound by John Leonard. Charles Edwards leads the cast, which also includes William Chubb.
Backstage at a hung parliament, visionary Independent Henry Trebell is co-opted by the Tories to push through a controversial Bill. Pursuing his cause with missionary zeal, he’s barely distracted by his brief affair with a married woman until she suffers a lethal backstreet abortion. Threatened by public scandal, the Establishment closes ranks and coolly seals the fate of an idealistic man.
Famously banned by the censors in 1907, Harley Granville Barker’s controversial masterpiece gathers a large ensemble to expose a cut-throat, cynical world of sex, sleaze and suicide amongst the political elite of Edwardian England.
Charles Edwards’ work for the National includes Strange Interlude, This House, Twelfth Night, The Duchess of Malfi and All My Sons. He was nominated for the 2012 Olivier Best Actor Award for his role as Jack Weatherill in This House jointly with his role as Bertie in The King’s Speech in the West End. Other recent theatre includes Richard II and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe), Blithe Spirit (West End) and The 39 Steps (West End and Broadway). His television work includes Downton Abbey.
Roger Michell’s previous NT work includes Blue/Orange, Honour, Landscape with Weapon and The Homecoming. Other theatre includes Birthday, Tribes and My Night With Reg (Royal Court), Rope (Almeida), Farewell to the Theatre (Hampstead) and Betrayal (Donmar Warehouse). His many films include Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, Enduring Love, The Mother, Venus, Hyde Park on Hudson and Le Week-End; television includes Lost Honour.
I WANT MY HAT BACK temporary Theatre
Previews from 12 November, press performance 16 November at 1.30pm, playing in repertoire until 2 January. Suitable for ages 3+
I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen, with book and lyrics by Joel Horwood and music by Arthur Darvill, plays in the Temporary Theatre from 12 November until 2 January. It will be directed by Wils Wilson and designed by Fly Davis, with lighting by Beky Stoddart and sound by Joel Price.
Jon Klassen’s brilliant, witty book was published in 2011, and has fast become a modern children’s classic. I Want My Hat Back now comes to the stage in a joyous new adaptation stuffed with humour, music and surprises.
Bear’s hat is gone. He loves his hat. He wants it back. He asks all of the animals in the forest, but no one has seen it. WAIT! He has seen it somewhere…
EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE Dorfman Theatre
Previews from 17 November, press night 24 November, booking until 23 January with additional performances to be announced.
A new play by Wallace Shawn, Evening at the Talk House receives its world premiere at the Dorfman Theatre on 24 November. Directed by Ian Rickson, the cast includes Sinead Matthews. It will have set designs by The Quay Brothers, costumes by Soutra Gilmour, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Stephen Warbeck and sound by Ian Dickinson.
A reunion at the almost legendary club, The Talk House. Still presided over by the kindly Nellie, there’s the same genteel atmosphere, the familiar drinks and the special snacks.
The playwright, the composer, the actress. The former television star brutally beaten up. The possibility of a pleasant night.
Wallace Shawn’s last play to premiere at the National was The Designated Mourner in 1996. His other stage plays include The Fever and Aunt Dan and Lemon; among his screenplays are My Dinner with André and Vanya on 42nd Street, in both of which he also appeared. His many other acting credits include Manhattan,The Princess Bride, Clueless, The Good Wife and the voice of Rex in the three Toy Story films.
Ian Rickson has previously directed The Red Lion, The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still for the National. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1998 – 2006; recent productions include Electra and The Cherry Orchard (Old Vic), The River (Royal Court and Broadway), Old Times, Mojo (West End), Hamlet (Young Vic) and Jerusalem (Royal Court, West End & Broadway).
HERE WE GO Lyttelton Theatre
Previews 25 & 26 November, press night 27 November, playing until 19 December
Here We Go, a new, short play about death by Caryl Churchill, will be directed by Dominic Cooke and designed by Vicki Mortimer, with sound by Christopher Shutt.
A funeral party for a man with an adventurous past and a ginger cat that needs a home. Where is he now? Is his heart lighter than a feather? How did he die? And what happens to his friends?
Caryl Churchill’s seminal plays include Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (recently revived at the NT), Cloud Nine, Top Girls, Serious Money, The Skriker, A Number and Love and Information. Her new version of Strindberg’s A Dream Play was seen at the National in 2005.
Dominic Cooke is an Associate Director of the NT; his production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will open in the Lyttelton next January. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 2007 – 2013, where his productions included Caryl Churchill’s Identical Twins, This is a Chair, Seven Jewish Children and Ding Dong the Wicked; and The Low Road, In the Republic of Happiness, Choir Boy, Chicken Soup with Barley, Clybourne Park, Aunt Dan and Lemon,The Fever, Wig Out!, Now or Later, The Pain and The Itch and Other People. He directed The Comedy of Errors for the National Theatre in 2011; for the BBC, he has directed the forthcoming The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses.
wonder.land Olivier Theatre
Previews from 23 November, press night 2 December, booking until 28 February with additional performances to be announced.
wonder.land, a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, with music by Damon Albarn and book and lyrics by Moira Buffini, is directed by Rufus Norris in a co-production with Manchester International Festival; opening in the Olivier Theatre on 2 December. In June 2016, wonder.land will visit the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The production has set designs by Rae Smith, with projections by 59 Productions, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Paul Arditti and choreography by Javier De Frutos; the music supervisor is David Shrubsole and associate director, James Bonas.
Welcome to wonder.land, where you can be exactly who you want to be. Aly, 12, loves this extraordinary virtual world. Bullied at school and unhappy at home, wonder.land offers an escape.
Online, Aly becomes Alice: brave, beautiful and in control. But some of the people she meets – the weird Dum and Dee, the creepy Cheshire Cat, the terrifying Red Queen – seem strangely familiar. And as hard as Aly tries to keep them apart, real life and wonder.land begin to collide in ever more curious and dangerous ways.
Damon Albarn is a Grammy and Brit Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and composer. His first full-length opera composition, Monkey: Journey to the West, created in collaboration with Jamie Hewlett and Chen Shi Zheng, premiered at Manchester International Festival in 2007. His second opera Dr Dee, co-created with Rufus Norris, premiered at MIF in 2011. Albarn has written music for film soundtracks to 101 Reykjavik, Ravenous and Broken. Releases outside of Blur and Gorillaz also include: Mali Music, The Good The Bad and The Queen, Rocket Juice & The Moon, Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes and his Mercury-nominated debut solo album Everyday Robots. Blur released their new album, The Magic Whip, earlier this year.
Moira Buffini’s plays include Welcome to Thebes and Dinner for the National Theatre and A Vampire Story for NT Connections; Handbagged for the Tricycle Theatre/Vaudeville (Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre); Dying For It (adapted from Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide) and Marianne Dreams (adapted from Catherine Storr’s book) for the Almeida Theatre; Loveplay for the RSC; and Silence for Birmingham Rep (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize). Her screenplays include Tamara Drewe, Jane Eyre and Byzantium. She recently directed her first short film, Father.
Rufus Norris became Director of the National Theatre in April; his NT productions are Everyman, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Amen Corner, Table, London Road, Death and the King’s Horseman and Market Boy. His other work includes Feast, Vernon God Little and Tintin for the Young Vic; the Olivier Award-winning Cabaret in the West End and on tour; Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Broadway; Festen at the Almeida, West End and New York; and Doctor Dee at the Manchester Festival in 2011 and ENO in 2012. Screen work includes Broken, which won the British Independent Film Award for Best Film, and the film of London Road which was released last month.
wonder.land is commissioned by Manchester International Festival, the National Theatre and the Théâtre du Châtelet.
The Official Make-Up Partner of wonder.land is M.A.C Cosmetics. The production is generously supported by Areté Foundation / Ed & Betsy Cohen, Beth & Gary Glynn and Leila Maw Straus.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Temporary Theatre
21 October – 6 November; suitable for children aged 8 – 12
Bijan Sheibani directs Shakespeare’s THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, in a new version by Ben Power for young audiences aged 8 – 12, with daytime performances in the Temporary Theatre from 21 October – 6 November.
A fast-paced and energetic re-telling of Shakespeare’s hilarious and moving farce. In a city celebrating carnival, two sets of identical twins seek each other amidst a riot of music and colour. Separated for many years, the brothers face comedic confusion, arrests, and multiple mistaken identities before a final joyful reunion.
Family workshops will be available during half term; see nationaltheatre.org.uk/families.
Ben Power and Bijan Sheibani previously collaborated on a highly successful version of Romeo and Juliet for young audiences at the Temporary Theatre. Ben Power’s work for the for the NT also includes an adaptation of Ross Collins’ The Elephantom.
Bijan Sheibani has previously directed A Taste of Honey, Emil and the Detectives, The Kitchen and Our Class for the National.
Supported by The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, Jill and David Leuw.
SPILL Festival of Performance: Inextinguishable Fire Dorfman Theatre
Sunday 8 November at 5pm, suitable for ages 16+
A world premiere by internationally renowned artist Heather Cassils, marking the end of SPILL 2015, the international festival of live art, experimental theatre and activism. It forms part of a weekend of work taking place at the NT and the NT Studio and is a SPILL commission, presented by Pacitti Company in partnership with the National Theatre.
Engaging with the impossibility of representing trauma and violence, and borrowing techniques from Hollywood stunt performance, Cassils is lit on fire in a treacherous ‘full body burn’. This unique event is suitable for ages 16+. spillfestival.com
RIVER STAGE Riverside Square
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 24 July – 30 August
This summer the National Theatre presents an eclectic season of free outdoor entertainment on the River Stage, in front of the National on the newly created Riverside Square.
Events on the River Stage will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 24 July – 30 August. On Friday afternoons there will be street theatre followed by guest DJs; on Saturdays there will be live music in the afternoon and late evening; and Sundays are all about family fun, with dazzling circus, vibrant dance and intriguing installations.
The full cast for Patrick Marber’s production of his own new version of Three Days in the Country, after Turgenev, opening in the Lyttelton on 28 July, is: Nigel Betts, Nicholas Bishop, Tom Burgering, Paige Carter, Amanda Drew, Mark Extance, Lynn Farleigh, Mark Gatiss, Debra Gillett, Gawn Grainger, Joshua Gringras, John Light, Matthew Lloyd Davies, Mateo Oxley, Debra Penny, Royce Pierreson, Cassie Raine, Lily Sacofsky, John Simm, Cherrelle Skeete, Joel Thomas and Lisa Tramontin.
Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker, opens in the Olivier Theatre on 26 August, directed by Nadia Fall. The cast will include: Jonathan Coote, Matthew Cottle, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Caoilfhionn Dunne, Peter Forbes, Jason Hughes (as Ralph Clark), Ellie James, Shalisha James-Davis, Paul Kaye, Ashley McGuire, Graeme McKnight, Jodie McNee, David Mara, Tadhg Murphy, Cyril Nri, Debra Penny and Lee Ross.
People, Places and Things, Duncan Macmillan’s new play, opens in the Dorfman Theatre on 1 September. It will be directed by Jeremy Herrin and is a co-production with Headlong. The cast will include Denise Gough in the central role, with Jacob James Beswick, Alastair Cope, Jacqui Dubois, Barbara Marten, Nathaniel Martello-White and Kevin McMonagle.
Jane Eyre, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic, directed by Sally Cookson, devised by the company and based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë, will have a cast including Benji Bower, Will Bower, Elly Condron, Craig Edwards, Laura Elphinstone, Felix Hayes, Richard Hurst, Phil King, Melanie Marshall, Simone Saunders, Maggie Tagney, Stevie Thompson, Joannah Tincey and Madeleine Worrall. Jane Eyre opens in the Lyttelton on 17 September, will be broadcast by NT Live on Tuesday 8 December and will return to Bristol Old Vic in January 2016 followed by a UK Tour.