September 4, 2014
David Hare brings his new play Behind the Beautiful Forevers to the National Theatre, based on the book by Katherine Boo.
A fascinating new play by award-winning playwright David Hare (Skylight) set in India and based on the acclaimed book by Katherine Boo.
Katherine Boo spent three years in Annawadi in India recording the lives of its residents. From her uncompromising book, winner of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2012, David Hare has fashioned a tumultuous play on an epic scale.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers is directed by Rufus Norris.
India is surging with global ambition. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, full of people with plans of their own.
Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, twelve and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate.
But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum-dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood.
The cast includes Hiran Abeysekera, Esh Alladi, Nathalie Armin, Pal Aron, Tia-Lana Chinapyel, Vincent Ebrahim, Sartaj Garewal, Mariam Haque, Thusitha Jayasundera, Muzz Khan, Ranjit Krishnamma, Manjeet Mann, Nikita Mehta, Anjli Mohindra, Tia Palamathanan, Bharti Patel, Ronak Patani, Chook Sibtain, Anneika Rose, Gavi Singh Chera, Stephanie Street, Meera Syal, Anjana Vasan, Assad Zaman and Shane Zaza.
March 20, 2014
Nicholas Hytner has announced his last season as Artistic Director of the National Theatre.
Highlights of the National Theatre’s 2014 – 2015 season include:
- 10 world premieres including new plays by Tom Stoppard, David Hare, Richard Bean, Enda Walsh and Polly Stenham
- 3 plays by Rona Munro, about the Stewart Kings James I, James II and James III of Scotland
- Helen McCrory to star in Euripides’ Medea, Ralph Fiennes in Shaw’s Man and Superman, plus Cillian Murphy, Sofie Gråbøl, Stephen Rae
- Directors include Nicholas Hytner, Rufus Norris, Carrie Cracknell, Howard Davies, Simon Godwin, Marianne Elliot, Polly Findlay
- Family Christmas show to be Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island adapted by Bryony Lavery
- The new Dorfman Theatre to open this autumn
Sir Nicholas Hytner has announced his final season as Artistic Director of the National Theatre for 2014 and 2015, with a range of productions including ten world premieres and starring roles for Helen McCrory and Ralph Fiennes.
Tickets to this year’s Travelex season will go up to £15 and include a new production of Euripides’s Medea, in a new version by Ben Power. Directed by Carrie Cracknell and starring Helen McCrory, Medea opens in the Olivier Theatre in July 2014, and will also be screened live to cinemas on 4 September 2014.
Also part of the Travelex season will be three new plays by Rona Munro in collaboration with the National Theatre of Scotland. James I: The Key Will Keep the Lock, James II: Day of the Innocents and James III: The True Mirror will evoke three generations of Stewart Kings who ruled Scotland in the fifteenth century. Directed by Laurie Sansom, the cast includes The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl (as the Danish-born Queen Margaret), Blythe Duff, and James McArdle, Andrew Rothney and Jamie Sives as the three kings. The plays open in the Olivier Theatre from September 2014.
The third play in the new Travelex season, opening in October in the Lyttelton Theatre, will see Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre return to the National with a new show called John.
The final play in the season will be a brand new work by David Hare called Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Based on a book by Katherine Boo, the play will be directed by in-coming artistic director of the National Rufus Norris, and will open in the Olivier Theatre in November 2014.
Christmas 2014 will see a big new family show directed by Polly Findlay and adapted by Bryony Lavery, as Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic adventure Treasure Island is brought to the stage of the Olivier Theatre (from December 2014).
THE DORFMAN THEATRE
The new Dorfman Theatre will see a new play by Tom Stoppard open in January 2015 (title as yet unknown), to be directed by Nicholas Hytner.
Also at the Dorfman, a new play called Rules for Living by Sam Holcroft will open in March 2015, directed by Marianne Elliott (War Horse).
This summer in the Lyttelton will see a brand new play that reunites writer Richard Bean and director Nicholas Hytner following their huge hit with One Man, Two Guvnors.
September 2014 will see Cillian Murphy reunited with writer and director Enda Walsh, following their collaboration on Misterman, for Ballyturk. The cast will also include Mikel Murfi and Stephen Rea.
In December 2014, Howard Davies returns to the National to direct a new play by Croatian-born writer Tena Štivičić in the Lyttelton.
Ralph Fiennes will return to the National in February 2015, to star as John Tanner in Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman in the Lyttelton, directed by Simon Godwin.
In The Shed, Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang, originally staged at The Park Theatre, will open in May 2014 directed by Alex Sims.
In June sees a new play by Polly Stenham called Hotel, directed by Maria Aberg.
October 18, 2013
A round-up of news and gossip from the West End this week, including Denise van Outen’s new one-woman show, gala nights at One Man, Two Guvnors and The Bodyguard, The Lion King reaches its 14th birthday and more.
Denise van Outen heads to West End?
West End producers will be watching Denise van Outen’s new one-woman show, Some Girl I Used To Know, with interest when it tours the UK next year.
The TV and stage star is much-loved by audiences and her new show, which begins at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on 5 February 2014, is tipped to find a London home if it does well on tour.
In the show Denise plays a media darling who has a successful career and supportive husband, and is set to music from the 80’s and 90’s. Given van Outen’s recent split from West End star Lee Mead, much attention will be on both her and the show.
Photo: One Man, Two Guvnors
Photo: The Bodyguard
The cast of The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre celebrated this week with a special media night to welcome new cast members Beverley Knight as pop superstar Rachel Marron and Tristan Gemmill as her bodyguard Frank Farmer. The Thea Sharrock helmed musical continues to do well at the Adelphi Theatre in London.
Penelope Wilton is Bliss
A special series of National Theatre Platforms are currently underway to celebrate this month’s 50th anniversary of the theatre. And if there is any justice in the world then producers should be hysterically calling Penelope Wilton around now. She said on Tuesday in her Platform alongside playwright David Hare that she has always dreamed of playing Judith Bliss in Noel Coward’s Hay Fever but no one has ever asked her. PRODUCERS – YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. Read more.
The Lion King Teen
Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre is well into his teenage years now as the show celebrates its 14th birthday on 19 October. This comes at the same time as the original Broadway production tops the $1 billion gross of ticket sales – the first time for a Broadway show. Read more.
Norris Nets National
Director Rufus Norris was named new artistic director of the National Theatre, taking over from Nicholas Hytner in Spring 2015. An Associate Director of the National Theatre, he recently directed James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner at the National Theatre, and new play Table in the National’s Shed venue written by his wife, playwright Tanya Ronder. Read more.
Move over Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, there’s a new First Couple in town!
The owners of Ambassador Theatre Group may still have the Number One spot in the Stage 100 power players of British Theatre but there’s a new couple in town.
With the news announced today that Rufus Norris is to succeed Nicholas Hytner as Artistic Director of the National Theatre, his wife Tanya Ronder also takes more of the spotlight.
Like Norris, she also trained at RADA as an actor. She worked for fourteen years on stage and screen, appearing in shows such as Survivors, The Bill and Prime Suspect, before deciding that playwriting was her passion, in the same way that Norris decided that directing was his.
Her long list of writing credits include a number of recent projects at the National Theatre, meaning that the couple have both been very present at the venue throughout the process of looking for a successor to Hytner.
Currently playing at the National is her adaptation of Pirandello’s play Liolà directed by former National Theatre Artistic Director Richard Eyre, and she recently wrote Table, an evolving project with her husband Rufus Norris, developed with the support of the National Theatre Studio in the National’s temporary Shed venue.
Other projects include adapting Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding for the Almeida Theatre in 2005, and writing Or Nearest Offer for the venue in 2009. Also in 2009 she adapted a highly successful new version of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and at the O2.
In 2007 she adapted DBC Pierre’s novel Vernon God Little for the Young Vic, for which it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play and revived in 2011. Other adaptations include Peribanez (Young Vic), Night Flight (Muztheater, Amsterdam) and Macbett (RSC).
Her original work includes Table, which opened at the Shed venue at the National in 2013 to critical acclaim, directed by Rufus Norris.
Recent projects include an adaptation of Pirandello’s play Liolà at the National Theatre, and The Blake Diptych, a collaboration with the Fleur Darkin Dance Ensemble.
Tanya’s screenwriting credits include the short film King Bastard, which was also directed by Rufus Norris, and Random in 2010.
The National Theatre has announced that director Rufus Norris will become its sixth Artistic Director, winning the most high-profile job in British Theatre.
In an announcements at 10.45am today (15 October 2013) at the National Theatre on the South Bank in London, Rufus Norris was named the new Artistic Director of the National Theatre, taking over from current director Sir Nicholas Hytner in Spring 2015.
The announcement comes in an important year for the venue, with celebrations for the National’s 50th anniversary currently underway. The National Theatre was first run by Laurence Olivier in 1963.
Rufus Norris is a celebrated and widely respected director who trained as an actor at RADA before turning to directing. An Associate Director of the National Theatre, he recently directed James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner at the National Theatre, and new play Table in the National’s Shed venue written by his wife, playwright Tanya Ronder. See a full biography of Rufus Norris here.
The National’s current Artistic Director, Sir Nicholas Hytner, has presided over a golden decade of activity at the National Theatre including a succession of hit shows on the South Bank, and a growing international commercial production division that has seen shows such as War Horse become worldwide theatrical successes.
Hytner also introduced the hugely successful scheme of low-priced, £10 (now £12) tickets, sponsored by Travelex, and National Theatre Live broadcasting theatre to cinemas in the UK and overseas.
The National is currently undergoing a major £80m redevelopment and building programme to be completed next year that will see its smallest stage, the Cottesloe, transformed and renamed after Travelex founder Lloyd Dorfman, and a new riverside bar and gardens and major education centre.
The National Theatre’s executive director, Nick Starr, will also leave when Hytner departs in 2014.
It is believed that Hytner would like to continue producing after his tenure at the National ends, but not necessarily become a freelance director such as his predecessors Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn and Richard Eyre. “I’d want to continue to do something that wasn’t just about me. I’m a director and always will be, but I love the relationship I have with directors, with writers I have never worked with directly and actors I have never worked with”, he told the Guardian last year.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE NATIONAL
- 800 productions: The National has staged or hosted over 800 productions since its inception in 1963
- Sir Denys Lasdun: The National’s building on the South Bank was designed by Sir Denys Lasdun
- 1,000 people: Around 1,000 theatre staff work on the 5 acre site of the National, that houses the three theatres plus rehearsal rooms, set-building and scenic-painting workshops, costume and prop-making and digital design
- 3.6 million: the National Theatre’s audience in 2012-2013, in London representing a THIRD of total play-going
- 90%: Average audience attendance on the South Bank
- £87 million: The income generated by the National in 2012-2013, 59% from box office receipts, 20% from the Arts Council
- 600 cinemas: The number of cinemas worldwide that screen National Theatre Live shows, including 260 in the UK
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS OF THE NATIONAL THEATRE
- Lord Olivier OM: 1963 to 1973
- Sir Peter Hall CBE: 1973 to 1988
- Sir Richard Eyre CBE: 1988 to 1997
- Sir Trevor Nunn CBE: 1997 to 2003
- Sir Nicholas Hytner: 2003 to March 2015
A biography of RUFUS NORRIS, new Artistic Director of the National Theatre.
Rufus Norris trained as an actor at RADA before becoming a theatre director.
He came to prominence in 2001 with his production of Afore Night Came at the Young Vic, winning a Most Promising Newcomer Evening Standard Theatre Award. He won his second Evening Standard Award and the Critics Circle Award for his production of Festen in 2004.
Other shows include an adaptation of DBC Pierre’s Booker Prize winning novel Vernon God Little at the Young Vic, and a West End revival of Cabaret, which won two Oliviers.
In 2008 his Broadway production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Laura Linney and Ben Daniels garnered five Tony Award nominations including Best Revival.
In 2011 his production of London Road at the National Theatre, where he is an Associate Director, won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.
In 2009, Rufus made his screen debut with the short film King Bastard, written by his wife Tanya Ronder and produced by BBC Films. In 2012 his debut feature Broken opened Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival and went on to win Best Film at the British Independent Film Awards.
Rufus Norris is currently developing the screen adaptation of London Road for Cuba Pictures and BBC Films.
For the National Theatre: The Amen Corner, Table, London Road (Critics Circle Award winner), Death and the King’s Horseman, Market Boy
In the West End and on tour: The Country Girl, Cabaret (Olivier Award winner)
On Broadway: Les Liasons Dangereuses (five Tony Award nominations)
Festen (Almeida, West End, tour and Broadway)
Blood Wedding (Almeida)
Feast (Young Vic)
Vernon God Little (Young Vic)
Tintin (Young Vic)
Sleeping Beauty (Young Vic)
Peribanez (Young Vic)
Afore Night Come (Young Vic)
Under the Blue Sky (Royal Court)
About the Boy (Royal Court)
Clubbed Out (Royal Court)
Small Change (Sheffield Crucible)
Dirty Butterfly (Soho Theatre)
My Dad’s Cornershop (Birmingham Rep)
Mish Alla Ruman (Al Kasaba Theatre, Pakistan)
Tall Stories (Battersea Arts Centre and Vienna Festival)
Sea Tongue (The Shout)
Opera: Dr Dee (MFI and ENO), Don Giovanni (ENO)
Broken (Best Film – British Independent Film Awards)
October 10, 2012
Production photos of Rufus Norris’s revival of CABARET at the Savoy Theatre.
A glittering new revival of Cabaret opened last night in the West End as Rupert Norris revived his acclaimed production of Kander & Ebb’s modern musical classic.
The show features sexy performances by pop idol Will Young and former EastEnders actress Michelle Ryan and is running at the Savoy Theatre in London until 19 January 2013.
The legendary show first premiered on Broadway in 1966 and along with the famous movie version starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, Cabaret has won 8 Oscars, 7 BAFTAs and 13 Tonys awards!
Photos by Roy Tan.
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October 10, 2012
A round-up of reviews of Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre starring Will Young and Michelle Ryan.
Kander & Ebb’s musical masterpiece CABARET opened in the West End last night, in a starry revival of Rufus Norris’s stylised 2006 production featuring pop star Will Young and EastEnders and Bionic Woman actress Michelle Ryan.
Set during the last days of Germany’s Weimar Republic, Will Young stars as the Emcee of Berlin cabaret den The Kit Kat Club. He is joined by Michelle Ryan as cabaret singer Sally Bowles, a role made famous by Liza Minnelli in the Oscar-winning movie, plus Sian Phillips as Fraulein Schneider and Matt Rawle as Cliff.
Once again choreography is by Javier De Frutos and design by Katrina Lindsay.
Check out what the critics made of Cabaret, below. Reading this on a tablet or iPhone? Click here.
June 10, 2012
Will Young and Michelle Ryan star in CABARET – at the Savoy Theatre from 3 October. Rufus Norris’s acclaimed production of Kander & Ebb’s classic musical Cabaret enjoys a revival at the Savoy Theatre starring pop star Will Young as the Emcee and Michelle Ryan (EastEnders, The Bionic Woman) as Sally Bowles. Divine decadence.
June 6, 2012
Rufus Norris’s acclaimed production of Kander & Ebb’s classic musical Cabaret enjoys a revival at the Savoy Theatre starring pop star Will Young as the Emcee and Michelle Ryan (EastEnders, The Bionic Woman) as Sally Bowles. Divine decadence.
Bill Kenwright bring this multi-award winning production of Kander and Ebb’s landmark musical Cabaret back into the West End, now playing at the Savoy Theatre.
Winner of multiple awards including 8 Oscars, 7 BAFTAs and 13 Tonys, Cabaret is one of the all-time greats of musical theatre. Set in 1930’s Berlin in the last days of Weimar Germany, the show is a dark and sexually charged mix of decadence and impending doom, as nightclub singer Sally Bowles performs at the infamous Kit Kat Klub against a backdrop of rising Nazism and her own complicated love life.
Celebrated singer/songwriter Will Young and EastEnders and The Bionic Woman actress Michelle Ryan make their musical theatre debuts in this acclaimed re-imagining of Rufus Norris’ double Olivier-award winning production of Cabaret, choreographed by Javier De Frutos.
Cabaret features show-stopping choreography, dazzling costumes and some of the most iconic songs in musical theatre including ‘Money Makes The World Go Round’, ‘Two Ladies’ ‘Maybe This Time’ and of course ‘Cabaret’.
“Wonderful” The Express
“[Will Young] is a potent mixture of malignity and glee” Telegraph
“Hugely entertaining” Daily Express
“Worth seeing for its bold imaginative sweep” Independent