March 29, 2013
The actor Richard Griffiths has died at the age of 65.
Star of stage and film, Richard Griffiths died after complications following heart surgery.
His long and accomplished career as an actor on stage, film and TV included Tony and Olivier Award wins for his performance as Hector in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys at the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, and in the 2006 film version.
Recent stage performances included playing WH Auden in Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art at the National Theatre in 2009 and alongside Danny DeVito in The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy Theatre in 2012.
Griffiths started his stage career at the RSC and went on to play a huge variety of roles, including starring alongside Daniel Radcliffe in Equus in London and on Broadway, playing WH Auden in Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art at the National Theatre in 2009, and alongside Danny DeVito in The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy Theatre in 2012.
Screen highlights included playing a cooking-loving detective in TV drama Pie in the Sky, and film roles including Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films and Uncle Monty in Withnail and I.
Thea Sharrock, who directed Griffiths in Equus, Heroes and The Sunshine Boys, said: “Everybody knew he was my favourite. He was the most tender, gentle, kind, generous, loving man. His curiosity was unending, as was his striving for perfection. I cannot imagine a world without all those stories. I will miss him so very very much.”
Daniel Radcliffe paid tribute to the star saying, “Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys’, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease. Seven years later, we embarked on Equus [at the Gielgud Theatre in London] together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humour made it a joy.In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.”
Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, said that Griffiths “wasn’t only one of the most loved and recognisable British actors – he was also one of the very greatest. H>is performance in The History Boys was quite overwhelming: a masterpiece of wit, delicacy, mischief and desolation, often simultaneously. His anecdotes were legendary. They were, literally, endless. They would go on for hours, apparently without destination, constantly side-splitting.”
His agent Simon Beresford described him as a “remarkable man. On stage he allowed us to share in our own humanity and constantly question our differences. Richard gave acting a good name. He was a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors. He will be greatly missed.”
Richard Griffiths was appointed an OBE in the 2008 New Year Honours.
January 18, 2013
Thea Sharrock’s hit production of The Bodyguard, which opened in December last year, today announces the release of over 250,000 tickets for sale, taking booking at the Adelphi Theatre to 28 September 2013. Starring Heather Headley (to 10 August 2013) as Rachel Marron and Lloyd Owen (to 7 September 2013) as Frank Farmer and based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, Sharrock’s production of this new musical has book by Alex Dinelaris.
The current cast performing alongside Headley and Owen are Debbie Kurup (Nicki Marron), Mark Letheren (The Stalker), Ray Shell (Bill Devaney), Nicolas Colicos (Tony Scibelli), Mark McKerracher (Herb Farmer), Sean Chapman (Sy Spector), David Page (Rory Fryman) and Oliver Le Sueur (Ray Court). They are joined by Luis Buddy, Caius Duncombe, Jayden Fowora Knight, Kwame Kandekore, Taylor Lockhart and Malakai Paul who will share the role of Fletcher, Rachel Marron’s young son. Ensemble members are Nigel Barber, Jordan Darrell, Yasmin Harrison, Shanay Holmes, Holly James, Robert Jezek, Melissa Keyes, Gil Kolirin, Janet Kumah, Nicholas Maude, Richard Murphy, Gloria Onitiri, Ashley J Packer, Dharmesh Patel, Lucinda Shaw, Paul Smethurst, Charlotte Watts and James Wooldridge.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a whole host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
With designs by Tim Hatley, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Richard Brooker and video designs by Duncan McLean. Choreography is by Arthur Pita, orchestrations by Chris Egan with musical supervision by Mike Dixon. The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.
Tony and Grammy award-winning Heather Headley makes her West End stage debut as Rachel Marron. Having originated the role of Nala in The Lion King on Broadway, Headley went on to play the title role in Aida for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Her debut solo album, This is Who I Am, was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Her third studio album, Audience of One, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. In recent years she has worked extensively with Andrea Bocelli on his American and international tours and sung at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Lloyd Owen was last on stage in London playing leading roles in Loyalty at Hampstead Theatre and Blood and Gifts at the National Theatre. Previously his theatre credits include The York Realist for the Royal Court, Julius Caesar for the Young Vic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for the Almeida Theatre and The Way of the World for the Royal Exchange Theatre. On television Owen is best known for playing Paul Bowman-MacDonald in the BBC’s long running drama Monarch of the Glen and Indiana Jones’ father Professor Henry Jones, Sr, in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. His other television credits include Ghost Squad, The Vice, Coupling, Wire in the Blood and Dead Gorgeous. His film credits include Apollo 18, Miss Potter, The Republic of Love, Between Dreams and the forthcoming Free Ride with Anna Paquin and Drea de Matteo.
Swarovski is the jewellery and crystal partner for The Bodyguard. Nadja Swarovski said: “Swarovski is thrilled to be supporting the stage production of The Bodyguard. Tim Hatley has created show-stopping costumes for Heather Headley’s portrayal of superstar Rachel Marron, bringing a modern and innovative approach to the designs.”
Press release issued by: Premier PR
May 1, 2012
Based on the smash hit film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, The Bodyguard is a brand new musical featuring Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Heather Headley and Lloyd Owen as the former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker.
The show features a wealth of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, including Queen of the Night, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and – of course – I Will Always Love You.
The Bodyguard is directed by acclaimed and award-winning director Thea Sharrock, with designs by Tim Hatley, choreography by Arthur Pita, orchestrations by Chris Egan, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Richard Brooker and video designs by Duncan McLean.
Theatre: Adelphi Theatre
January 8, 2012
A major new West End musical version of hit 90′s movie The Bodyguard will come to London in 2012.
Directed by Thea Sharrock, the show is rumoured to star Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Heather Headley (Aida, The Lion King) in the role played by the late Whitney Houston in the film.
Produced by David Ian and Michael Harrison, the theatre and casting is to be confirmed.
Details to be confirmed. Sign up to our news alerts service to hear about booking for this show.
August 24, 2011
Ruby Wax had it all – career, dream house, husband, kids, so when was the moment she realised she was the 1 in 4… Somewhere between painting her kitchen beige (again), realising she didn’t own a life manual or comprehend the contents of a children’s party bag?
Ruby’s acerbic, honest humour and Judith Owen’s touching songs are both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. This show gives you the chance to explore the ups and downs of mental illness, its stigmas and the freedom you discover when you share the darkest moments of your life.
August 1, 2011
Ruby Wax’s sold out show transfers into the West End for a strictly limited season. Showcasing the inimitable Ms Wax’s distinctive wit, sharp observation and worldly wisdom, she is joined by singer-songwriter Judith Owen in this darkly hilarious show, directed by Thea Sharrock.
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
May 13, 2011
It’s all change in the West End over the next few weeks as a number of high-profile West End shows bring down their curtains for the final time, including Tracie Bennett in End of the Rainbow, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, In A Forest, Dark And Deep, Flare Path and Dirty Dancing.
Tracie Bennett may have missed out on an Olivier award this year for her stellar performance as Judy Garland in Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios, but audiences and critics have hailed the show a massive hit. With a UK tour planned and rumours that the show may now go on to Broadway, Bennett won’t be putting down the whiskey bottle just yet. But her bravura performance in London will come to an end on 21 May.
Also on the 21 May, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg will depart the Gielgud Theatre starring Joanna Riding and Meow Meow. There was much anticipation for Kneehigh’s return to the West End following its smash-hit production of Brief Encounter, but the show didn’t click with critics and swiftly announced its closing notices. However, Joanna Riding will be spared having to pack up her knick-knacks from her dressing room as she is remaining at the Gielgud to star in Lend Me A Tenor, from 2 June.
Trevor Nunn’s bullet-proof production of Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path closes on 11 June at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The play, which stars Sienna Miller, Sheridan Smith and James Purefoy, will make way for another Nunn production, this time his Chichester Festival Theatre revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead from 16 June featuring Tim Curry, Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker.
The West End has been doubly terrified over the past year with both The Woman in Black and Ghost Stories scaring audiences senseless. The Woman in Black is still going strong, and is promised a boost from a forthcoming movie adaptation of the classic ghost story starring Daniel Radcliffe. But the Lyric Hammersmith transfer of Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s spine-tingling Ghost Stories is ending its run, finishing up at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 19 June.
Director-of-the-moment Thea Sharrock’s current West End productions, running at the Apollo Theatre and Old Vic, both come to an end in June. Her revival of Rattigan’s Cause Celebre starring Anne-Marie Duff ends at the Old Vic on 11 June, swiftly followed on 18 June by her production of Noel Coward’s comedy Blithe Spirit at the Apollo Theatre starring Alison Steadman and Ruthie Henshall.
The show that has done more than any other to shift the audience profile of the West End is leaving the Aldwych Theatre on 9 July after an impressive run of just under 4 years. Dirty Dancing, based on the hit 80′s movie, is off on a UK tour but the original London production, which has inspired a myriad of also-rans and shown them how its done, is still the one to see.
Also closing in the next few weeks are two high-profile plays: Mike Leigh’s Ecstasy at the Duchess Theatre, closing on 28 May, and Neil LaBute’s play In A Forest, Dark And Deep, which ends its run at the Vaudeville Theatre on 4 June, starring Matthew Fox and Olivia Williams as dysfunctional siblings in this dark comedy come psychological thriller.
AND OPENING SOON…
Shows closing in the West End means a raft of new productions opening in London this summer.
Plays and musicals opening shortly in London include soon-to-be artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse Josie Rourke’s new production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the sparring Beatrice and Benedick (from 16 May); a new production of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, which kicks off the 2011 season at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park (from 19 May); Eve Best in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe (from 21 May); Kristin Scott Thomas in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre (from 27 May); Dominic West in Simon Gray’s Butley at the Duchess Theatre (from 1 June); Broadway musical Lend Me A Tenor at the Gielgud Theatre starring Joanna Riding (from 2 June); The Flying Karamazov Brothers come crashing into the Vaudeville Theatre with much kilt wearing, flame throwing and general madcap hysteria (from 9 June); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead starring featuring Tim Curry, Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker at the Theatre Royal Haymarket (from 16 June); Kevin Spacey as Richard III in Sam Mendes’s new production of Shakespeare’s play at the Old Vic (from 18 June); a big-budget new movie-to-stage musical comes to town as Ghost The Musical opens at the Piccadilly Theatre starring Caissie Levy, Richard Fleeshman and Sharon D Clarke, with music by Dave Stewart (from 22 June); and early July sees the return of classic TV comedy Yes, Prime Minister, at the Apollo Theatre (from 6 July).
Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit starring Alison Steadman and Ruthie Henshall: Special offer – Save £16.50
May 3, 2011
Offer valid Monday to Thursday, 3 – 26 May
Featuring an all-star cast including Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey) as Madame Arcati, Ruthie Henshall (Crazy for You) as Elvira, Hermione Norris (Spooks) as Ruth and Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet) as Charles Condomine.
Enjoy a special offer on the sparkling new West End revival of Noel Coward’s classic comedy Blithe Spirit, at the Apollo Theatre in London.
In the play, the novelist Charles Condomine (Bathurst) and his second wife Ruth (Norris) are haunted when an eccentric medium (Steadman) manages to conjure up the ghost of Charles’s neurotic and beautiful first wife, Elvira (Henshall), at a séance.
Noel Coward’s witty comedy is directed by Thea Sharrock (Cause Celebre, After The Dance).
Offer valid Monday to Thursday, 3 – 26 May
March 31, 2011
Production photos of Terence Rattigan’s Cause Celebre at the Old Vic Theatre
The play is based on the true story of Alma Rattenbury (Anne-Marie Duff), who was put on trial in 1935 along with her 18-year-old lover, accused of killing her husband. Vilified by the public as much for her seduction of a younger man as the murder of her husband, the play examines the role of passion, guilt and loyalty in 1930s England. Niamh Cusack plays socially and sexually repressed jury forewoman of the trial, Edith Davenport.
The play also stars Lucy Black, Timothy Carlton, Simon Chandler, Richard Clifford, Oliver Coopersmith, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Freddie Fox, Jenny Galloway, Patrick Godfrey, Nicholas Jones, Tommy McDonnell, Lucy Robinson, Tristan Shepherd, Richard Teverson, Sarah Waddell, Michael Webber and Tristram Wymark.