May 1, 2012
A West End transfer for the Menier Chocolate Factory’s revival of Mike Leigh’s classic comedy, directed by Lindsay Posner (Noises Off) and starring Jill Halfpenny (Eastenders) as Beverly.
January 24, 2012
Mike Leigh’s classic comedy makes a welcome return to the stage in a brand new production directed by Lindsay Posner (Noises Off) and starring Jill Halfpenny (Eastenders) as Beverly.
November 21, 2011
The 57th annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards were announced last night at a glittering ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Sheridan Smith, who played Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and is rumoured to be starring in the new Bridget Jones musical, took home the Best Actress award for her performance in Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. She beat actresses including Kristin Scott Thomas and Samantha Spiro for the award, although Scott Thomas did not go home empty handed, winning the Lebedev Special Award for her contribution to theatre.
The Best Actor gong was awarded jointly to the stars of Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre, in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller shared the roles of the scientist and the creature.
In a successful night for the National Theatre, the Best Director award went to movie veteran Mike Leigh, winning his very his first theatre directing award for his play Grief at the National.
The National also saw the Best Play award go to Richard Bean for his National Theatre production of One Man, Two Guvnors, currently playing at the Adelphi Theatre before heading to Broadway, along with recognition of his new play The Heretic at the Royal Court.
Other awards went to out-goiong Donmar Warehouse artistic director Michael Grandage, who won the editor’s award. This Spring Grandage will open a Broadway revival of his London production of Evita, starring Elena Roger and Ricky Martin.
June 5, 2011
THE KITCHEN by Arnold Wesker, directed by Bijan Sheibani; and 13, a new play by Mike Bartlett, directed by Thea Sharrock, continue the Travelex £12 Season in the Olivier
THE VEIL, a new play written and directed by Conor McPherson, opens in the Lyttelton
A new play written and directed by MIKE LEIGH opens in the Cottesloe
DOUBLE FEATURE, four short plays by writers new to the National, are presented in the NT’s Paintframe
Jonathan Miller stages Bach’s ST MATTHEW PASSION, in collaboration with Southbank Sinfonia, in the Olivier; and, in the Lyttelton, readings of the KING JAMES BIBLE celebrate its 400th anniversary
Nicholas Hytner’s production of ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS tours the UK following its Lyttelton run and is broadcast as part of NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE; Mike Leigh’s new play visits Bath and Cambridge
Daniel Kitson’s IT’S ALWAYS RIGHT NOW, UNTIL IT’S LATER visits the Lyttelton
LONDON ROAD extends; Rufus Norris is appointed NT Associate Director
Watch This Space returns for the summer; Platforms, Exhibitions and Discover
THE KITCHEN Travelex £12 Tickets, Olivier Theatre
Previews from 31 August, press night 7 September, continuing in repertoire
Bijan Sheibani directs THE KITCHEN by Arnold Wesker, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 7 September. Half the tickets for the production will be Travelex £12 Tickets, with the rest at £20 and £30. The cast includes: Neal Barry, Tom Brooke (as Peter), Ian Burfield, Rebecca Davies, Stavros Demetraki, Craige Els, Ruth Gibson, Colin Haigh, Rendah Heywood, Tendayi Jembere, Siobhán McSweeney, Gerard Monaco, Sarah Mowat, Bruce Myers, Vincenzo Nicoli, Luke Norris, Jessica Regan, Samuel Roukin, Tim Samuels, Sam Swann, Stephanie Thomas and Rosie Thomson. The production will be designed by Giles Cadle, with costumes by Moritz Junge, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound and music by Dan Jones and movement by Aline David.
1950s London. In the kitchen of an enormous West End restaurant, the orders are piling up: a post-war feast of soup, fish, cutlets, omelettes and fruit flans. Thrown together by their work, chefs, waitresses and porters from across Europe – English, Irish, German, Jewish – argue and flirt as they race to keep up. Peter, a high-spirited young cook, seems to thrive on the pressure. In between preparing dishes, he manages to strike up an affair with married waitress Monique, the whole time dreaming of a better life. But in the all-consuming clamour of the kitchen, nothing is far from the brink of collapse.
Arnold Wesker’s extraordinary play premiered at the Royal Court in 1959 and has since been performed in over 30 countries. THE KITCHEN puts the workplace centre stage in a blackly funny and furious examination of life lived at breakneck speed, when work threatens to define who we are.
Arnold Wesker’s plays include Chicken Soup with Barley (currently being revived at the Royal Court), Love Letters on Blue Paper, Caritas, Chips with Everything, Roots (all of which have been produced at the NT), I’m Talking About Jerusalem, Their Very Own and Golden City, The Old Ones, Longitude, Denial and Break My Heart.
Bijan Sheibani is an Associate Director at the NT, where his credits include Our Class and Greenland. He was formerly the Artistic Director of ATC for whom he directed co-productions of The Brothers Size and Eurydice with the Young Vic, and the Olivier Award-winning production of Gone Too Far! with the Royal Court.
Press night: Wednesday 7 September
A new play by MIKE LEIGH Cottesloe Theatre
Previews from 14 September, press night 21 September, continuing in repertoire and on tour
The National Theatre has commissioned Mike Leigh to create another play for the Cottesloe Theatre, where it will open on 21 September.
In his unique collaborative way, Leigh is working with a company of actors, together with his regular award-winning creative team, to explore characters, relationships, themes and ideas.
Mike Leigh is reunited on this project with Lesley Manville – his most frequent collaborator – and with regulars Marion Bailey, Sam Kelly and Wendy Nottingham. He worked with them variously on the films Who’s Who (1978), Grown-Ups (1980), Meantime (1984), The Short & Curlies (1987), High Hopes (1988), Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Another Year (2010) and A Running Jump (2012).
The full cast is: Marion Bailey, Ruby Bentall, David Horovitch, Sam Kelly, Lesley Manville and Wendy Nottingham. The designer is Alison Chitty, with lighting by Paul Pyant, music by Gary Yershon and sound by John Leonard.
Mike Leigh’s many stage plays include Babies Grow Old (RSC 1974), Abigail’s Party (Hampstead Theatre 1977), Goose-Pimples (Hampstead Theatre 1981), It’s A Great Big Shame! (Theatre Royal Stratford East 1993), Two Thousand Years (National Theatre 2005) and Ecstasy (1979), which has recetly been revived under Leigh’s direction at Hampstead and in the West End.
The National Theatre’s Cottesloe Partner is Neptune Investment Management.
Press night: Wednesday 21 September
THE VEIL Lyttelton Theatre
Previews from 27 September, press night 4 October, continuing in repertoire
THE VEIL, a new play written and directed by Conor McPherson, opens in the Lyttelton on 4 October. The cast includes Bríd Brennan, Caoilfhionn Dunne, Ursula Jones, Peter McDonald, Jim Norton, Adrian Schiller, Emily Taaffe and Fenella Woolgar. The production is designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Paul Arditti.
Set around a haunted house hemmed in a by a restive, starving populace, Conor McPherson’s new play weaves Ireland’s troubled colonial history into a transfixing story about the search for love, the transcendental and the circularity of time.
May 1822, rural Ireland. The defrocked Reverend Berkeley arrives at the crumbling former glory of Mount Prospect House to accompany seventeen-year-old Hannah to England. She is to be married off to a Marquis in order to resolve the debts of her mother’s estate. However, compelled by the strange voices that haunt his beautiful young charge and a fascination with the psychic current that pervades the house, Berkeley proposes a séance, the consquences of which are catastrophic.
Conor McPherson’s plays include The Seafarer at the National Theatre and on Broadway, for which Jim Norton won Olivier and Tony Awards; Shining City, Dublin Carol and The Weir (Olivier Award for Best Play), all at the Royal Court; Port Authority (West End); and The Birds (Gate Theatre, Dublin). His screenplays include Eclipse, which he also directed.
Press night: Tuesday 4 October
13 Travelex £12 Tickets, Olivier Theatre
Previews from 18 October, press night 25 October, continuing in repertoire
A new play by Mike Bartlett, 13, will be the final Travelex £12 Tickets production of 2011, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 25 October, directed by Thea Sharrock. It will be designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Adrian Johnston and sound by Ian Dickinson.
Morning in London, Autumn 2011. Across the city, people wake up from an identical, terrifying dream. At the same moment, a young man named John returns home after years away to find economic gloom, ineffective protest, and a Prime Minister about to declare war. But John has a vision for the future and his ideas inspire an increasing number of followers. With conflict looming in the Middle East, their protest takes them to the centre of the city, to the heart of government, where coincidences, omens and visions collide with political reality.
Set in a dark and magical landscape of singing pensioners, fanatical atheists and imminent apocalypse, Mike Bartlett’s epic new play depicts a London both familiar and strange, a London staring into the void. In a year which has seen governments fall and hundreds of thousands take to the streets, 13 explores the meaning of personal responsibility, the hold that the past has over the future and the nature of belief itself.
Mike Bartlett’s plays include Earthquakes in London for the National Theatre and Headlong (which tours England this autumn – see page 9); Cock (Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre), Contractions and My Child at the Royal Court, Love Love Love for Paines Plough and Artefacts at the Bush. He is currently writer-in-residence at the NT Studio.
Thea Sharrock’s productions include After the Dance (Olivier Award for Best Revival), The Emperor Jones and Happy Now? for the National; Cause Célèbre (Old Vic); The Misanthrope, Equus, A Voyage Round My Father and Heroes in the West End; Cloud Nine and Mrs Klein at the Almeida; Plenty (Sheffield); and several productions for The Peter Hall Company including Blithe Spirit.
Press night: Tuesday 25 October
ST MATTHEW PASSION Olivier Theatre
Previews from 17 September, press night 19 September; nine performances, ending
Jonathan Miller’s staging of Bach’s ST MATTHEW PASSION, in an English translation compiled and edited by Paul Goodwin, will be performed in collaboration with Southbank Sinfonia in the Olivier Theatre from 17 September – 2 October, with a press performance on 19 September.
Bach’s PASSION is presented on one evening in two parts and retells the dramatic story of the events leading to Christ’s crucifixion. Part one includes the last supper and the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, while part two depicts His trial, crucifixion and burial.
Jonathan Miller strips away all traditional performance conventions of this sacred work: it is sung, in a new English translation by Paul Goodwin, by soloists and a choir – all casually dressed – who interact with the full orchestra. The result is a production conveying the full power and overwhelming drama of Bach’s final and most revered Passion.
Southbank Sinfonia, the versatile orchestra of young professional musicians, returns to the National following their highly successful collaboration on Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
The soloists are Sally Bruce-Payne, Ruby Hughes, Benjamin Hulett, James Laing, Andrew Staples and Mark Stone; the chorus is drawn from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Directed by Jonathan Miller and conducted by Paul Goodwin, the production has sound design by Mike Walker.
See also under Exhibitions (page 12).
Press night: Monday 19 September
DOUBLE FEATURE National Theatre Paintframe
Previews from 18 July, press performances 3 & 4 August
Playing until 10 September
This summer the NT will take the opportunity for the first time ever to open up its backstage scenic studio for public performance. Four short plays by writers new to the National Theatre – Tom Basden, Sam Holcroft, DC Moore and Prasanna Puwanarajah – will be presented in the NT Paintframe. A single group of performers and theatre-makers will premiere the two double-bills, directed by Polly Findlay and Lyndsey Turner, designed by Soutra Gilmour, with lighting by James Farncombe, sound by Carolyn Downing, movement by Jack Murphy and fight direction by Bret Yount. The cast includes Tom Basden, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Oliver Birch, Kirsty Bushell, Trevor Cooper, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Karina Fernandez, Phoebe Fox, Richard Goulding, Trystan Gravelle, Richard Hope, Nitin Kundra, Matthew Needham, Damian O’Hare and Stephanie Street.
EDGAR & ANNABEL by Sam Holcroft, directed by Lyndsey Turner
A young married couple prepare dinner in a smartly furnished kitchen. Annabel is composed, intelligent, in love. Edgar is professional, successful, assured. She’s chopping vegetables, he’s brought the wine. But something isn’t right. In a city not so different from our own capital, a group of freedom fighters attempt to stand up to an Orwellian establishment in increasingly perilous circumstances. Sam Holcroft’s ingenious new play paints a picture of a police state in crisis. The story that unfolds brings into question relationships, identities and the very nature of reality itself…
THE SWAN by DC Moore, directed by Polly Findlay
In a decaying pub in South London, preparations are being made for a wake. The beer is warm, the rain is falling, and tempers are running close to breaking point. Denise has lost a father – and Jim has missed his own son’s funeral. With only an hour before their guests arrive, a fractured family begin to settle their accounts. The ghosts of lives lived and opportunities missed are laid to rest as new and ancient betrayals are confronted and forgiven. DC Moore’s touching and very funny new play examines the ties that hold us together in a multi-cultural society.
NIGHTWATCHMAN by Prasanna Puwanarajah, directed by Polly Findlay
Abirami is English. And Sri Lankan. And a professional cricketer. Tomorrow she makes her debut for England against Sri Lanka, but tonight she faces a relentless bowling machine in a one-on-one session to prepare her for the innings of her life. As the night draws on, she challenges our preconceptions of politics, sport and national pride as harshly as she challenges her own. Prasanna Puwanarajah’s new play, coarse, funny and provocative, is a vivid exploration of the search for the meaning of home.
THERE IS A WAR by Tom Basden, directed by Lyndsey Turner
In another country, in another time, civil war rages. The Blues and the Greys have been fighting each other for as long as they can remember. Soldiers, priests and scavengers roam a landscape scorched by years of battle and decay. Anne, a young medical officer, finds herself abandoned and useless, unable to locate the hospital or even the war she was promised. A journey into the dark heart of a strange and surreal conflict, Tom Basden’s miniature epic explores the mad savagery of war with biting black comedy.
The double-bills are: EDGAR & ANNABEL / THE SWAN and NIGHTWATCHMAN / THERE IS A WAR; they are suitable for 15yrs+
The production is supported by the NT’s Young Patrons; media partner i, the new concise quality newspaper.
Press performances: EDGAR & ANNABEL / THE SWAN on Wednesday 3 August at 7pm; NIGHTWATCHMAN / THERE IS A WAR on Thursday 4 August at 7pm, with reviews embargoed for publication until Friday 5 August.
KING JAMES BIBLE Lyttelton Theatre
8 October – 6 November
The National Theatre will be taking part in the 400th anniversary celebrations for the KING JAMES BIBLE. An ensemble of leading NT actors, directed by Nicholas Hytner, James Dacre and Polly Findlay, will read twelve extracts (edited by Edward Kemp) from the Book that changed the world.
In the Beginning: From the Creation of the World to Joseph and his brothers in Egypt.
Let My People Go: Moses and his people escape slavery in Egypt in search of the Promised Land.
The Line of David: The boy David defeats a giant and unifies a kingdom. His son Solomon builds the temple in Jerusalem.
Psalms of David and Song of Solomon: The lyrics that have inspired some of the most evocative and sensual translations in English.
Where Shall Wisdom be Found?: As the world falls apart around them, Ecclesiastes the Preacher and Job seek for meaning in catastrophe.
The People that Walked in Darkness: As Israel faces disaster, Isaiah foretells the future.
The Gospel According to Mark: The earliest gospel – Mark’s – is the shortest and most direct telling of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The Gospel According to Matthew: The most influential of the gospels in English, Matthew dramatises the coming of the kingdom of heaven.
The Gospel According to Luke: Luke dwells on the some of the most human moments in the life of Jesus.
The Tongues of Men and Angels: The Acts and Letters of Peter and Paul shape the foundation of the Church.
The Gospel According to John: The latest gospel – John’s – celebrates the mystery of the incarnation.
Revelation: Written in a time of persecution, the Revelation of John foresees the end of days.
Dates and times of the readings vary and can be found in the rep leaflet or NT website. Each extract will last approximately 80 minutes without an interval (accurate running times will be available in October). Tickets: £8 each for 1-3 readings; £6 each for 4 – 10 readings; £5 each for 11 – 12 readings.
IT’S ALWAYS RIGHT NOW, UNTIL IT’S LATER Lyttelton Theatre
A new show by Daniel Kitson about Everything and Nothing
7 – 21 October, 6 performances. All tickets £12.
Written and performed by Daniel Kitson, this is a show about every single one of us, the past in our pockets, the future in our hearts and us, ourselves, very much stuck, trapped forever, in the tiny eternal moment between the two.
Originally performed at 10am throughout the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe to sold-out audiences of drowsy but delighted devotees and restaged in the Lyttelton for the first time at the opposite end of the day, this is without doubt Kitson’s most ambitious, heartbreaking and human show to date. It is designed by Susannah Henry and Daniel Kitson; the technical director is Jon Meggat.
NT BEYOND THE SOUTH BANK
ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre Live and on tour
Following its run at the National, Nicholas Hytner’s hit production of ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS will tour the UK with its original cast led by James Corden, visiting: Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury (27 September – 1 October); Theatre Royal, Plymouth (4 – 8 October); The Lowry, Salford (11 – 15 October); New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham (18 – 22 October); and King’s Theatre, Edinburgh (25 – 29 October).
ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS will be broadcast live to over 100 UK cinemas and 300 more abroad on 15 September (varying dates internationally), opening a new season of NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE, sponsored by Aviva.
MIKE LEIGH’S new play visits Bath and Cambridge
Mike Leigh’s new play will visit Theatre Royal, Bath (25 – 29 October) and Cambridge Arts Theatre (1 – 5 November), during its Cottesloe run.
EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON
Following its sell-out run at the Cottesloe last year, Mike Bartlett’s EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON will embark on a seven-date tour this autumn. The Headlong/National Theatre co-production, directed by Rupert Goold, will visit: Theatre Royal, Plymouth (22 – 24 September); Theatre Royal, Bath (27 September – 1 October); Malvern Theatres (4 – 8 October); Theatre Royal, Brighton (11 – 15 October); Richmond Theatre (25 – 29 October); Oxford Playhouse (1 – 5 November); and Cambridge Arts Theatre (12 -15 November).
PRODUCTION AND CASTING UPDATES
LONDON ROAD extends; Rufus Norris appointed NT Associate Director
Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s acclaimed music-theatre piece LONDON ROAD
will have an eight-week extension at the Cottesloe Theatre. Rufus Norris’s production, with the original cast, will now continue until 27 August.
Rufus Norris has become an Associate Director of the National Theatre, where his productions have also included Death and the King’s Horseman and Market Boy. His other work includes productions of Vernon God Little, Tintin, Sleeping Beauty, Peribanez and Afore Night Come for the Young Vic, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Broadway), Festen (Almeida, West End, on tour and on Broadway, for which he received the Evening Standard Award for Best Director), Cabaret (West End) and Don Giovanni (ENO).
A WOMAN KILLED WITH KINDNESS
The cast for Katie Mitchell’s production of A WOMAN KILLED WITH KINDNESS by Thomas Heywood, opening in the Lyttelton Theatre on 19 July as part of the Travelex £12 Tickets season, is: Sebastian Armesto (Wendoll), Leo Bill (Charles Mountford), Nick Blakely, Louis Brooke, Josie Daxter, Kate Duchêne, Nick Fletcher, Gawn Grainger, Tom Kay, Esther McAuley, Sandy McDade (Susan), Rob Ostlere, Leighton Pugh, Paul Ready (John Frankford), Hugh Sachs, George Taylor, Liz White (Anne Frankford) and Gilbert Wynne.
WATCH THIS SPACE 1 July to 11 September
Giant green chairs in Theatre Square can mean only one thing – the return of the National Theatre’s annual Watch This Space Festival, running from 1 July until 11 September 2011 and featuring an exciting range of free theatre, dance, circus and music events for all ages.
July highlights include PLANET LEM, a UK premiere from Poland’s foremost outdoor theatre company Teatr Biuro Podróży: an explosive sci-fi extravaganza of robots, aliens and cosmonauts. The Circus Space Graduates 2011 build up to their spectacular ensemble show, THE OTHER ROAD, and Australian company ThisSideUp explore the concept of ‘controlled falling’ using the highest-levels of acrobatic skill; while FLIGHTS OF FANTASY FAMILY WEEK kicks off the school holidays with fun activities and shows.
In August The Gandinis return for a week of invigorating juggling, and you can join an epic battle between the Trojans and the Greeks in THE GREAT SHAKESPEAREAN WORKOUT from the UK’s 1623 Theatre Company. During DANCE WEEK Cie Bilbobasso present a passionate, incendiary tango amidst fire and smoke, and THE ALTERNATIVE VILLAGE FETE by Home Live Art returns for an urban twist on traditional village fetes for the Bank Holiday weekend.
In September we host the outdoor performances for the Liberty Festival, London’s annual disability arts festival, and during Thames Festival Weekend, over twenty-five shows culminate in a massive all-singing, all-dancing painting created in PAGE BLANCHE by Compagnie Luc Amoros from France.
Full details will be available online at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/wts
6pm (45 mins), £4/£3 unless stated; * = Platform followed by booksigning
Nicholas Hytner on One Man, Two Guvnors Mon 27 June, Lyttelton
The National’s Director discusses his production.
Connections Writers’ Forum Mon 4 July, Lyttelton
To celebrate this year’s Connections plays, the writers gather to talk about
how they created their new dramas for young people.
Chekhov: A Man for our Time? Fri 15 July, Olivier*
Despite international admiration, a campaign to save Chekhov’s house in Yalta faced huge political and financial struggles. His biographer Rosamund Bartlett is joined by
actress Caroline Blakiston to question his relevance in his homeland today.
Ibsen’s Modern Breakthrough Fri 22 July, 5.30pm, Olivier
Ibsen always considered Emperor and Galilean his most important play. Toril Moi explores why this neglected masterpiece, written at a moment of transition to modernism, mattered so intensely to Ibsen, and why it should matter to us today.
Ian Hislop Mon 25 July, Lyttelton
The indefatigable Editor of Private Eye celebrates 25 years at the helm of the satirical magazine, with Mark Lawson.
Michael Simkins Wed 3 Aug, Lyttelton*
In Last Flannelled Fool, the actor and author goes on a reflective odyssey to recharge his cricketing batteries, in search of himself and an England past.
Jonathan Lynn Fri 5 Aug, Lyttelton*
The creator of Yes Prime Minister shares stories from a life misspent making people laugh in plays, television and film, to coincide with his new book, Comedy Rules.
Creating Double Feature Thu 11 Aug, 6.30pm, The Paintframe
The directors and writers talk about the double bill of new plays.
Katie Mitchell on A Woman Killed with Kindness Mon 22 Aug, Lyttelton
Katie Mitchell discusses her new production.
Galton & Simpson: The Fathers of Sitcom Thu 1 Sept, Lyttelton*
Writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson talk to their biographer Christopher Stevens about creating Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son, and working with numerous comedy legends.
The John Harvard Lecture with Simon Schama
Whatever Happened to Toleration? Thoughts from an Anglo-New Yorker a decade after 9/11. Mon 5 Sept, 5.45pm (1hr), Lyttelton, £5/£4
With issues of tolerance front and centre in Europe, the US and the Middle East, the historian Simon Schama poses the simple, painful, question: how did this happen? And asks, what are the prospects for that most fragile plant of cultural co-existence, toleration?
Bijan Sheibani on The Kitchen Fri 9 Sept, Olivier
The director discusses his new production of Arnold Wesker’s play.
Di Trevis Fri 23 Sept, Cottesloe*
Being a Director is both a practical guide to directing and a professional autobiography of her National Theatre productions.
David Edgar: Playwrights and Politics Tue 27 Sept, Cottesloe*
Post-war British playwrights have been solicited, and sometimes derided, for their opinions on the issues of the day. Does this reflect the character of British Theatre?
Or the place of the “intellectual” in British society? Janelle Reinelt, co-author of The Political Theatre of David Edgar, discusses these questions with the playwright.
Simon Russell Beale Wed 28 Sept, Olivier*
Simon Russell Beale talks about his 20-year creative partnership with the director Sam Mendes, as celebrated in Mark Leipacher’s new book, Catching the Light.
Jonathan Miller Fri 30 Sept, Olivier
With St Matthew Passion and an exhibition at the NT, the distinguished director, author, broadcaster, humorist and sculptor talks about his life and work.
Mrs Oscar Wilde Mon 3 Oct, Cottesloe*
Constance and Oscar Wilde’s lifestyle shook the foundations of 19th-century society; drawing on Constance’s letters, Franny Moyle’s book examines another victim of an
Mike Leigh Tue 4 Oct, Olivier
The award-winning director talks about his new play.
Arnold Wesker Wed 5 Oct, Olivier*
The playwright reads from his one-woman play, Annie Wobbler, in which he discusses, for the only time in his fiction, the process of writing.
Bonnie Greer on Langston Hughes Tue 11 Oct, Cottesloe*
Bonnie Greer’s new biography gives an insight into the controversial and contradictory life of the African-American poet, novelist, campaigner and playwright.
Craig Brown and Friends Fri 14 Oct, Cottesloe*
The satirist and guests perform One on One, a daisy chain of 101 meetings, from Bacon heckling Princess Margaret to Edward Heath carol-singing for Sickert.
Black Voices Mon 17 Oct, Lyttelton
Paterson Joseph is joined by several generations of Black British actors to discuss the identity of the modern black voice in British theatre today.
Conor McPherson on The Veil Tue 25 Oct, Lyttelton
The playwright and director discusses his new play.
James Corden Mon 31 Oct, Lyttelton*
The multi-talented James Corden talks about his recent memoir.
Melvyn Bragg Sat 5 Nov, 10.30am, Lyttelton*
The broadcaster and author looks at the radical impact of The King James Bible over the last 400 years in The Book of Books.
In Conversation with… 3pm (1hr), £5/£4
Afternoon interviews with members of the company, talking to Al Senter
about their current role and career, and answering your questions.
James Corden Mon 27 June, Lyttelton
Zoë Wanamaker Fri 15 July, Olivier
Kenneth Cranham Thu 4 Aug, Cottesloe
Ian McDiarmid Wed 10 Aug, Cottesloe
Stage by Stage, a permanent exhibition on the National’s history is in the Olivier Circle, plus a changing programme throughout the year, FREE to attend.
THE PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER’S YEAR 2011 18 July – 4 September
The Press Photographer’s Year is unique: the only competition that showcases the outstanding photography commissioned for and used in the UK media. Designed by
photographers for photographers, and judged by their peers, it celebrates the unsung art of seeing through the chaos to capture that one still moment which defines an
entire news event. With a thought-provoking collection of images from 2010, The Press Photographer’s Year returns to the NT for a sixth year and is held in association with The British Press Photographers’ Association and supported by Diageo and Canon.
JONATHAN MILLER 12 September – 23 October
Running alongside Jonathan Miller’s extraordinary career in revue, television, the theatre and opera has been a fascination with the visual arts. As a practitioner, Miller has concentrated on assemblages – of discarded metal, which he beats and welds into sculpture, or of old and tattered posters, which he photographs, or reconstitutes as montages. “I’m interested in the overlooked and the negligible,” he says, “where some of the most interesting breakthroughs in art and science come from.” As an
interpreter, Miller has frequently used the imagery of celebrated artists as a backdrop to his directorial work. This exhibition will explore both aspects of this fertile preoccupation.
THE LINBURY PRIZE 31 October – 27 November
The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is one of UK’s most important awards for stage design, and a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with leading directors and gain a professional commission with one of four major companies, which this year are Lyric Hammersmith and Filter Theatre, The Opera Group, Royal
Opera House – ROH2 and Watermill Theatre. The prize is a turning-point in the careers of young designers; all the finalists’ designs are exhibited at the National Theatre. Find out more at linburyprize.org.uk.
Discover: National Theatre
A programme of events and activities for people of all ages to discover more about the National Theatre.
For secondary schools
Shakespeare on Stage 22 July, 9.30am – 4pm, Lyttelton
NT artists and educators adapt their work for teachers directing Shakespeare with students. The day includes masterclasses on voice and the young actor; stage combat with large groups; and great effects from simple lighting.
£50/£25 for schools participating in the Shakespeare Schools Festival, including lunch. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/secondary
New Views from September/October 2011
The NT’s political play-writing programme for 6th formers offers the chance for students to develop their writing skills and be in with a chance of having their play staged in Parliament in July 2012. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/newviews
Two-hour production and skills-related workshops are available for KS 3-5 school groups visiting the NT. 30 minute Q&A sessions offer students a unique opportunity to ask questions of a key member of the creative team before the show.
Video and audio content from and about past and current productions is available, as well as background packs about NT productions. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/discover
Interactive whiteboard resources are available to download from www.prometheanplanet.com/nationaltheatre
In Depth: Ibsen 6 – 7 July, 10.30am
A two-day intensive exploration of Ibsen and his extraordinary play, Emperor and Galilean, including seminars by Dr Marie Wells who worked on the production; Stephen Unwin, who will talk about directing Ibsen; and an introduction of his new version of the play by writer and NT Associate Director Ben Power.
£75 including a ticket for Emperor and Galilean
Theatreworks Shorts on ‘The Deck’
A short masterclass followed by drinks in the NT’s private rooftop events space.
Vocal Impact, 8 August, 6.15pm
Coaching Others, 22 August, 6.15pm
Half-day Open Courses: experiential learning at its best
Resilience, 13 September
Gravitas, 20 September
Voice, 29 September
One day in-depth Open Courses
Personal Impact: 6 September & 26 October
Release issued by: National Theatre press office
April 12, 2011
Valid all performances except Saturday evening until the 28 May
A sell-out before it even opened at Hampstead Theatre, Mike Leigh’s brand new production of his 1979 hit play Ecstasy transfers to the The Duchess Theatre from April 12 for 50 performances only.
Mike Leigh is, for the first time ever, returning to one of his past plays. He is joined by his regular collaborator and multi award-winning designer Alison Chitty. Leigh is best known for his films, including Happy-Go-Lucky, Vera Drake (winner of the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival), Topsy-Turvy and Secrets & Lies (winner of the Palm d’Or at Cannes Film Festival).
This acclaimed production stars Sian Brooke, Sinead Matthews and Allen Leech.
“MIKE LEIGH IS A GREAT ARTIST” (Daily Telegraph)
“SUPERB PERFORMANCES” (Evening Standard)
“COMPELLING” (The Sunday Times)
Valid all performances except Saturday evening until the 28th May
April 1, 2011
Mike Leigh returns to his acclaimed 1979 play, writing and directing this sell-out Hampstead Theatre production starring Sian Brooke, Sinead Matthews and Allen Leech.
January 26, 2011
Highlights of the forthcoming productions at the National Theatre, announced today by Nicholas Hytner, include Howard Davies’s production of The Cherry Orchard; Jonathan Kent’s staging of Ibsen’s Emperor and Galilean; Katie Mitchell’s production of A Woman Killed with Kindness; Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s London Road; Dominic Cooke’s NT debut with The Comedy of Errors; and Nicholas Hytner’s production of Richard Bean’s One Man,Two Guvnors. There will be a new musical by Tori Amos and Sam Adamson; new plays by John Hodge, Mike Leigh and Conor McPherson; revivals of classic 20th-century plays by Odets, Wesker and O’Casey; and Jonathan Miller’s staging of Bach’s St Matthew Passion.
Tickets for the ninth Travelex season at the National Theatre will continue to offer exciting and ambitious work at the equivalent of cinema prices, with almost half the tickets for every performance at £12 and the rest at £20 and £30. The season opens on 17 May with Howard Davies’s production of THE CHERRY ORCHARD by Anton Chekhov, in a version by Andrew Upton; Zoë Wanamaker as Madame Ranevskaya and Conleth Hill as Lopakhin head the cast, which also includes Claudie Blakley, Mark Bonnar, Pip Carter, Gerald Kyd, James Laurenson, Tim McMullan, Emily Taaffe, Charity Wakefield and Sarah Woodward.
Ibsen’s EMPEROR AND GALILEAN, in a new version by Ben Power, will be directed by Jonathan Kent, opening on 15 June; Andrew Scott plays Julian and the cast also includes James McArdle, Jamie Ballard, John Heffernan, Ian McDiarmid (as Maximus), Genevieve O’Reilly and Prasanna Puwanarajah.
The Travelex £12 Season will continue in September with a production yet to be confirmed, directed by Thea Sharrock; and will conclude in October with a new production of Arnold Wesker’s 1957 play THE KITCHEN, directed by Bijan Sheibani.
Jonathan Miller’s staging of Bach’s ST MATTHEW PASSION, in collaboration with Southbank Sinfonia, will have nine performances in September as part of the four hundredth anniversary celebrations for the King James Bible. The National will also present readings from the Old and New Testaments, abridged by Edward Kemp, by a company of leading actors from the NT’s last 25 years; Nicholas Hytner will be the supervisory director and the readings will take place in the Olivier and Lyttelton Theatres.
Dominic Cooke, Artistic Director of The Royal Court, will make his National Theatre debut with Shakespeare’s THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, opening in the Olivier in November.
As already announced, earlier in the year Danny Boyle directs FRANKENSTEIN, a new play by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternate the roles of Victor Frankenstein and The Creature; the cast also includes Karl Johnson and Naomie Harris. The production, sponsored by Coutts & Co, has press nights on 22 and 23 February.
The 2011 Lyttelton season opens on 1 February, as previously announced, with GREENLAND by Moira Buffini, Matt Charman, Penelope Skinner and Jack Thorne. NT associate directors Bijan Sheibani and Ben Power are the director and dramaturg respectively; the production is sponsored by Accenture.
Angus Jackson directs ROCKET TO THE MOON by Clifford Odets, opening on 30 March, with a cast led by Keeley Hawes, Joseph Millson, Jessica Raine and Nicholas Woodeson.
In May, Nicholas Hytner directs ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS by Richard Bean, based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni; James Corden heads the cast. The production will tour the UK in October following its Lyttelton run.
A WOMAN KILLED WITH KINDNESS by Thomas Heywood will be directed by Katie Mitchell, opening in July.
A new play written and directed by Conor McPherson will open in the Lyttelton in October. As yet untitled, the play is set in 19th-century Ireland.
Howard Davies will direct Sean O’Casey’s JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK, with Sinead Cusack as Juno and Ciaran Hinds as Captain Boyle. This will be a co-production with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland, where it premieres in September before opening at the Lyttelton in November.
Ryan Craig’s new play, THE HOLY ROSENBERGS, opens on 16 March directed by Laurie Sansom, with a cast led by Henry Goodman and also including Philip Arditti, Stephen Boxer, Paul Freeman, Tilly Tremayne, Alex Waldmann and Susannah Wise.
Rufus Norris will direct LONDON ROAD, with book and lyrics by Alecky Blythe, and music and lyrics by Adam Cork, opening on 14 April; the cast includes Rosalie Craig, Kate Fleetwood, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer and Paul Thornley. (Alecky Blythe’s award-winning play Do We Look Like Refugees?, seen at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010, will visit Riverside Studios in May, in a co-production by the NT Studio/Rustaveli Theatre, Georgia.)
In July, four new one-hour plays commissioned from emerging writers new to the National Theatre will be directed by Polly Findlay and Lyndsey Turner, presented in alternating double-bills.
Mike Leigh returns to the National with a new play, opening in September; the cast will include Ruby Bentall and Lesley Manville.
A new play by John Hodge will be directed by Nicholas Hytner, opening in October. The play centres on an imaginary encounter between Joseph Stalin and the playwright Mikhail Bulgakov; Alex Jennings will play Bulgakov and Simon Russell Beale will play Stalin.
Winter and beyond
Looking further ahead, a production of THE WAY OF THE WORLD by William Congreve will open in the Olivier in January 2012.
A new musical with music and lyrics by Tori Amos and book and additional lyrics by Samuel Adamson, suggested by a story by George MacDonald, will be directed by Marianne Elliott, opening in April 2012 in the Lyttelton Theatre.
Beyond the National: National Theatre Live, on tour, in the West End and on Broadway
Following its sell-out run at the Olivier, Nicholas Hytner’s production of HAMLET will tour from mid-February to Salford, Nottingham, Woking, Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Luxembourg.
Richard Bean’s ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, with the original cast led by James Corden, will visit Plymouth, Salford, Birmingham and Edinburgh in October.
Mike Leigh’s new play will visit Bath and Cambridge in the autumn, during its Cottesloe run.
The second season of National Theatre Live (now on 360 screens across 20 countries, sponsored by Aviva) continues with the Donmar Warehouse’s production of KING LEAR, with Derek Jacobi directed in the title role by Michael Grandage, filmed at the Donmar’s home in Covent Garden on 3 February; Danny Boyle’s production of FRANKENSTEIN on 17 March; and Howard Davies’s production of THE CHERRY ORCHARD on 30 June. A third season of National Theatre Live will begin in the autumn.
WAR HORSE, based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford, continues its run at the New London Theatre where it is now booking until February 2012. The National’s production opens at Lincoln Center Theater, New York, with the original creative team working with a new American cast, from 15 March 2011.
Watch This Space Festival
The National’s free summer festival of outdoor entertainment will return with the giant grass furniture in Theatre Square in June 2011, featuring theatre, fire, circus, juggling, hula-hooping, dance and street performance.
Release issued by: National Theatre press office