The National Theatre’s June 2017 – January 2018 season is officially live! Tickets go on sale now for Network, with Bryan Cranston making his UK stage debut. John Tiffany directs Pinocchio, with casting announced for its world premiere as well as that of Saint George and the Dragon and Beginning. Tony Award-winning play Oslo opens in the Lyttelton Theatre and, following its current sold out run, Barber Shop Chronicles returns to the Dorfman in November 2017. Not only that, but five new NT Live broadcasts are scheduled for 700 venues across the UK and 60 countries around the world. Phew!
Follies – book by James Goldman, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Including such classic songs as Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind, Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the NT. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, the production is directed by Dominic Cooke.
Saint George and the Dragon – a new play by Rory Mullarkey
A village. A dragon. A damsel in distress. Into the story walks George: wandering knight, freedom fighter, enemy of tyrants the world over. One epic battle later and a nation is born. As the village grows into a town, and the town into a city, the myth of Saint George, which once brought a people together, threatens to divide them.
John Heffernan plays Saint George; the cast also includes Paul Brennen, Richard Goulding, Tamzin Griffin, Conor Neaves, Amaka Okafor, Daniel Ryan and Grace Saif.
Amadeus – by Peter Shaffer
Following a sell-out run last year, Amadeus returns to the Olivier in 2018. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God.
Michael Longhurst’s acclaimed production of Peter Shaffer’s iconic play features live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati reprise the roles of Mozart and Salieri. Further casting to be announced.
Queer Theaetre: LGBT+ Stories & Social Change – In partnership with Pride in London
To mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, the NT looks at how theatre has charted the LGBT+ experience. Events include a debate on LGBT+ rights, talks on Queer Stages, Trans Culture and Drag as an Art Form, and film Page 4 of 23 screenings of Paris was a Woman, Bette Bourne: It Goes with the Shoes and Tangerine. The series features rehearsed readings in the Lyttelton Theatre with full casting to be announced. Post show talks will follow each of the readings.
Oslo – A new play by J.T. Rogers, Transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End from 30 September – 30 December 2017
In 1993, in front of the world’s press, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands on the lawn of the White House. Few watching would have guessed that the negotiations leading up to this iconic moment started secretly in a castle in the middle of a forest outside Oslo. Oslo tells the true story of two maverick Norwegian diplomats who coordinated top-secret talks and inspired seemingly impossible friendships. Their quiet heroics led to the groundbreaking Oslo Peace Accords. Bartlett Sher’s acclaimed production of this new play by J.T. Rogers sets a deeply personal story against an epic historical landscape. This darkly funny political thriller comes to the National Theatre following a sell-out run in New York, prior to a West End run later this autumn.
Jane Eyre – based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë
Following a critically acclaimed season at the National Theatre and a 21 city UK tour, Jane Eyre returns this September to the NT. This innovative reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece is a collaboration between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic and is directed by Sally Cookson. The classic story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment on her own terms. Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.
Cast includes: Hannah Bristow, Matthew Churcher, Nadia Clifford, Ben Cutler, Tim Delap, Alex Heane, Jenny Johns, Melanie Marshall, Evelyn Miller, Paul Mundell, Dami Olukoya, David Ridley, Lynda Rooke, Francesca Tomlinson and Phoebe Vigor.
Network – adapted by Lee Hall & based on the Paddy Chayefsky film.
Howard Beale, news anchor-man, isn’t pulling in the viewers. In his final broadcast he unravels live on screen. But when the ratings soar, the network seizes on their new found populist prophet, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on TV. Network depicts a dystopian media landscape where opinion trumps fact. Hilarious and horrifying by turns, the iconic film by Paddy Chayefsky won four Academy Awards in 1976. Now, Lee Hall and director Ivo van Hove bring his masterwork to the stage for the first time, with Bryan Cranston in the role of Howard Beale.
Pinocchio– by Dennis Kelly, with songs and score from the Walt Disney film by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J Smith, adapted by Martin Lowe
On a quest to be truly alive, Pinocchio leaves Geppetto’s workshop with Jiminy Cricket in tow. Their electrifying adventure takes them from alpine forests to Pleasure Island to the bottom of the ocean. This spectacular new production brings together the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the writer of Matilda the Musical. For the first time on stage, featuring unforgettable music and songs from the Walt Disney film including I’ve Got No Strings, Give a Little Whistle and When You Wish upon a Star in dazzling new arrangements, Pinocchio comes to life as never before. Cast includes Joe Idris-Roberts (Pinocchio), Audrey Brisson (Jiminy Cricket), Annette McLaughlin (Blue Lady), David Langham (The Fox), David Kirkbride (Coachman), Dawn Sievewright (Lampy), Chris Jarman (Stromboli) together with Stuart Angell, Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge, Stephanie Bron, James Charlton, Rebecca Jayne-Davies, Sarah Kameela Impey, Anabel Kutay, Michael Lin, Jack North, Clemmie Sveaas, Michael Taibi, Scarlet Wilderink and Jack Wolfe.
Mosquitoes – by Lucy Kirkwood
Alice is a scientist. She lives in Geneva. As the Large Hadron Collider starts up in 2008, she is on the brink of the most exciting work of her life, searching for the Higgs boson particle. Jenny is her sister. She lives in Luton. She spends a lot of time Googling. When tragedy throws them together, the collision threatens them all with chaos. Mosquitoes by Lucy Kirkwood will have its world premiere in the Dorfman Theatre in July. Rufus Norris directs this new play about families and particle physics with Olivia Williams in the role of Alice and Olivia Colman as her sister Jenny. Cast also includes: Amanda Boxer, Cait Davis, Vanessa Emme, Yoli Fuller, Paul Hilton, Joseph Quinn and Sofia Stuart.
Beginning – a new play by David Eldridge
It’s the early hours of the morning and Danny’s the last straggler at Laura’s party. The flat’s in a mess. And so are they. One more drink? Polly Findlay directs this new play by David Eldridge. Tender and funny, it’s an intimate look at the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance. Justine Mitchell plays Laura, Sam Troughton plays Danny.
Barber Shop Chronicles – by Inua Ellams, a co-production with Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse
Following a sell-out run at the Dorfman this summer, Inua Ellams’ play about stories from barber shops across the globe returns to the National Theatre in November. 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 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 current cast includes Fisayo Akinade, Hammed Animashaun, Peter Bankolé, Maynard Eziashi, Simon Manyonda, Patrice Naiambana, Cyril Nri, Kwami Odoom, Sule Rimi, Abdul Salis, David Webber, and Anthony Welsh.