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
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
October 19, 2010
Jenny Seagrove and Martin Shaw reunite onstage in Clifford Odets’s The Country Girl at the Apollo Theatre, following their onscreen roles in Judge John Deed.
The Country Girl is the powerful story of washed-up actor Frank Elgin, a desperate and demanding alcoholic who is offered a comeback chance to star in the next Broadway play by hotshot director Bernie Dodd. Believing the actor’s long-suffering wife Georgie is the reason for his decline, Bernie strikes up a stormy relationship with her – but in 1950s New York how far will a woman go to redeem the man she loves?
The play is directed by Rufus Norris (Festen, Cabaret).
Read a round-up of press reviews for The Country Girl, below.