National Theatre artistic director Rufus Norris announced the flagship institution’s 2018 plans at a press conference held today. Amongst some of the announcements today that reach beyond the confines of the NT’s South Bank home are:
- A London run of Good Hope Theatre’s The Jungle, set in the Calais refugee camp, co-produced with the Young Vic
- NT will be on tour for 115 weeks and will visit 40 venues and 36 towns and cities by March 2019
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will begin in autumn 2018 and be performed in schools across the UK
- Public Acts, a new programme to create participatory theatre with local communities, launches with a new production of Pericles in the Olivier Theatre
In addition, the National has announced two new accessibility and diversity initiatives. The NT has teamed up with Spotlight launch ProFile – a resource for TV, film and theatre casting directors to address the underrepresentation of D/deaf and disabled actor. And, with Open Access Smart Capture, the NT is piloting a new technology enabling access service users the ability to attend any National Theatre performance via always-on closed-captioning service.
At the Young Vic
The Jungle by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson of Good Chance Theatre tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope. Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais ‘Jungle’ became a temporary home for more than 10,000 people at its peak – many desperate to find a way to enter the UK. Commissioned by the NT in a co-production with the Young Vic The Jungle is directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, set design Miriam Buether, costume design Catherine Kodicek, sound designer Paul Arditti and lighting Jon Clark. Opening at the Young Vic in December, cast to be announced. Generously supported by Glenn and Phyllida Earle and Clive and Sally Sherling.
Public Acts: a nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The programme builds on our experience of creating the award-winning we’re here because we’re here with volunteer performers and theatres across the UK.
Public Acts is inspired by Public Works, The Public Theater’s ground-breaking programme of participatory theatre in New York.
Public Acts will be built on sustained partnerships with organisations that share our vision for theatre as a force for change. Over the next two years we will work with the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch and a number of community organisations across Greater London. Through these partnerships we will invite members of London’s diverse communities to take part in regular creative activity and join us in the creation of theatre productions.
The first of these will be a new production of Pericles on the Olivier stage in August 2018. It will feature a small cast of professional actors together with a large number of non-professional actors who will be cast through their connection with our community partner organisations. The NT has commissioned Chris Bush, a writer with extensive experience working with large community ensembles, to adapt Shakespeare’s Pericles which will be directed by NT resident director Emily Lim. The production will also feature cameo performances from a diverse range of local performance groups.
Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch will be the first theatre partner for Public Acts. The Queen’s Theatre is a vibrant regional theatre working in Outer East London, Essex and beyond. Over 200,000 people enjoy the programme each year, including the best in home grown theatre, visiting live entertainment and inspiring Learning and Participation projects including a wide range of life enhancing workshops and classes for people of all ages. Queen’s Theatre staff will work alongside NT staff on Pericles.
Our community partners for Public Acts over the next two years will include: Body & Soul, a charity dedicated to transforming the impact of childhood adversity; Open Age, a charity that works with older Londoners to create opportunities for them to connect, learn new skills and combat isolation; Thames Reach a London-based charity helping homeless and vulnerable people to find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives; The Havering Asian Social Welfare Association(HASWA) works with all sections of the local Havering community, particularly of Asian origin with specific emphasis on isolated and disadvantaged individuals; Bromley by Bow Centre supports vulnerable young people, adults and families to help create a cohesive, healthy, successful and vibrant east London community, Coram, the UK children’s charity that helps children and young people develop their skills and emotional health, finds adoptive parents and upholds children’s rights, creating a change that lasts a lifetime and Three Faiths Forum (3FF) who work to build good relations between people of all different faiths, beliefs and identities.
Future Public Acts productions will be developed in partnership with theatres and community groups outside London. Generously supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Sackler Trust, founding supporters of Public Acts. The first 3 years of Public Acts is also supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.
Curious schools tour
Today the NT announces a schools tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, in a specially staged production which will visit selected secondary schools from autumn 2018 targeting areas of the country with lower engagement with theatre. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time schools tour marks the NT’s desire to take more work into schools over the coming years. The novel is the winner of more than 17 literary awards and features on the national curriculum.
Winner of seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards® including ‘Best Play’, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award®‑winning director Marianne Elliott.
Simon Stephens said:
‘It means the world to me that Curious Incident will be touring schools around the country. I worked as a schoolteacher teaching kids in Dagenham in Essex 20 years ago. I loved it. I still think of myself as a teacher. I have seen firsthand how inspiring drama is to young people in schools. I believe the arts to be fundamental to our society. We can’t afford to lose them from our education system. I am delighted that our play will play its part in introducing young people to the theatre. I always hoped that Curious Incident was a play that could be performed anywhere, by anyone. The play is designed to provoke and inspire imagination and interpretation in its staging and inspiration in its audience. The tour will, I hope, provide the same kind of imagination and inspiration throughout the country.’
The NT will tour to 40 venues in 36 towns and cities across the UK, for a total of 115 playing weeks, until March 2019
The UK tour of War Horse and a UK and Ireland tour of Hedda Gabler both open this week. The War Horse 10th Anniversary tour opens tonight (3 October) at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, and Hedda Gabler opens on Friday (6 October) at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Due to demand War Horse will return to the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury from 27 February – 16 March 2019, following its 17 venue UK tour, which coincides with the Centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War. The tour will also visit the Sunderland Empire from 6 – 23 February 2019. Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things (a Headlong Production) and James Graham’s This House(co-produced by Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong), which both originated at the NT, will also visit numerous theatres across the country.
A 10th Anniversary tour of War Horse begins tonight at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to live on stage. War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt. Katie Henry is the revival director and Craig Leo is the associate puppetry director. The resident puppetry director is Matthew Forbes and resident director, Charlotte Peters.
Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre earlier this year, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, in a new version by Patrick Marber, directed by Ivo van Hove, begins a UK and Irelona tour this week at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, continuing its journey across the UK to Edinburgh, Leicester, Salford, Norwich, Hull, Aberdeen, Northampton, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Woking, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, Milton Keynes and Dublin. Set and lighting design for Hedda Gabler is by Jan Versweyveld, with costume design by An D’Huys and sound by Tom Gibbons. The Associate Directors are Jeff Jamesand Rachel Lincoln.
Following a critically-acclaimed, sold-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End, People, Places & Things embarks on a major UK tour this autumn for Headlong in a co-production with the National Theatre, HOME and Exeter Northcott Theatre. People, Places & Things is written by Duncan Macmillan, and directed by Jeremy Herrin with Holly Race Roughan. The play features set designs by Bunny Christie, costumes by Christina Cunningham, lighting by James Farncombe, music by Matthew Herbert, sound by Tom Gibbons and video design by Andrzej Goulding.
Jonathan Church Productions and Headlong present The National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre production of This House, produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Neal Street Productions and Headlong. James Graham’s smash-hit political drama examining the 1974 hung parliament tours the UK for the first time. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, the production is designed by Rae Smith with lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Stephen Warbeck, choreography by Scott Ambler and sound by Ian Dickinson.
The NT’s Olivier and Tony Award®-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time tours the world, visiting the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong, with further international dates to be announced. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time recently completed a North American tour which took in 30 cities across the USA.
The play is adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book, and directed by Marianne Elliott. The production is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting design by Paule Constable and video design by Finn Ross. Movement is by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton (who also composed music for Angels in America and War Horse) and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.
Internationally, People, Places & Things will transfer to St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York later this month and Angels in America transfers to the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway in February 2018.
Following a sold-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End, Denise Gough reprises her Olivier award-winning role in the American Premiere of People, Places & Things at St. Ann’s Warehouse — a raw, heartbreaking and truthful performance about life spinning recklessly out of control. This American Premiere marks the first collaboration between St. Ann’s Warehouse and the National Theatre. People, Places & Things is produced in New York by the National Theatre, St Ann’s Warehouse, Bryan Singer Productions and Headlong.
The great work returns to Broadway from February 2018. Angels in America will open at the Neil Simon Theater on 21 March. The NT Production of Tony Kushner’s epic masterwork, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, returns to Broadway for the first time since its now-legendary original production opened in 1993. Starring two-time Tony Award® winner Nathan Lane and Academy Award® and Tony Award nominee Andrew Garfield, the cast of Angels in America will feature fellow original National Theatre cast members Susan Brown, Denise Gough, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. Angels in America is directed by Marianne Elliott. Ian MacNeilis the Scenic Designer, Nicky Gillibrand is the Costume Designer, Paule Constable is the Lighting Designer, Adrian Sutton is the composer , Ian Dickinson is the Sound Designer. The Puppetry design is by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell (also Puppetry Director and Movement), Robby Graham is the Movement Director, and Illusions are by Chris Fisher. Angels in America is NT America, Jujamcyn Theaters and Elliott & Harper Productions.
National Theatre Live
NT Live currently screens to 60 countries across the globe.
- Hamlet returns to cinemas on Thursday 5th October. Lyndsey Turner’s production starring Benedict Cumberbatch was originally staged at the Barbican Theatre in August 2015 and broadcast live to cinemas later the same year.
- Stephen Sondheim’s Follies directed by Dominic Cooke features a cast of 37 including Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee and Tracie Bennett. Broadcast live on 16 November.
- Rory Kinnear plays Marx and Oliver Chris plays Engels in Young Marx directed by Nicholas Hytner and broadcast live from the Bridge Theatre on 7 December.
- Benedict Andrews directs Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell in The Young Vic production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Captured during its West End run and broadcast on 22 February 2018.
- Nicholas Hytner directs Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, David Calder and David Morrissey in Julius Caesar. Broadcast from the Bridge Theatre on 22 March 2018.
- Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff appear in a new production of Macbeth, directed by Rufus Norris.Broadcast live on 10 May.
- Simon Godwin’s production of Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo will be broadcast live. Date tbc.