About The Cherry Orchard

National Theatre - Olivier Theatre, London
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Zoe Wanamaker and Kenneth Cranham star in Olivier Award winner Howard Davies’ new production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre.

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Venue Information

National Theatre - Olivier Theatre, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PX
Nearest Tube or Train: Waterloo (Jubilee line, Northern line, Bakerloo line)
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News about The Cherry Orchard

National Theatre: July – November 2011
National Theatre: July – November 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 2 October 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 PLATFORMS www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/platforms 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 infamous betrayal. 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 FREE EXHIBITIONS www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/exhibitions 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 Student workshops 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. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/secondary Discover more 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 For adults 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 www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/discover 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 www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/theatreworks Release issued by: National Theatre press office LINKS National Theatre website
The Cherry Orchard at the Olivier Theatre starring Zoe Wanamaker – Review
The Cherry Orchard at the Olivier Theatre starring Zoe Wanamaker – Review
A review of The Cherry Orchard at the Olivier Theatre (National Theatre) starring Zoe Wanamaker and Conleth Hill [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Zoe Wanamaker in The Cherry Orchard"][/caption] It was the great theatre critic, Kenneth Tynan, who when asked which of Anton Chekhov's quartet of masterpieces he liked best, answered, 'the last one I saw.' I know exactly what he meant. The last one I saw, just days ago, was The Cherry Orchard which time cannot wither nor custom style its infinite variety - even in a new version by Australian Andrew Upton better suited to the Ozzie outback than the Russian countryside. Though 'nudged' (according to a programme note) from the play's 1904 setting to 1905, the year in which the Bloody Sunday massacre outside the Winter Palace would began to sow the seeds of the 1917 Revolution, Upton anachronistically coarsens his adaptation to nearer our own time with expressions such as 'you whiffy crap artist', 'bloody hell', 'listen up', 'oh bollocks!' and 'I've told you a thousand frigging bloody, frigging times' - uttered in exasperation by the peasant-turnedcapitalistic landowner Lopahin as he vents his frustration on the cherry orchard's near bankrupt owner, Madame Ranevskaya, who stubbornly refuses to take his advice and sell the estate to pay off her gargantuan debts. The result of this coarsening of the text while adding a discombobulating comic tone to the proceedings - which, it could be argued, is in keeping with Chekhov's insistence that his play is a comedy - nevertheless undermines the heart-breaking, elegaic quality that is so essential to any great Chekhov production. The scene towards the very end of the play, in which Ranevskaya's adopted daughter Varya hopes Lopahan will propose to her, should break your heart, but it doesn't; nor does the play's final moments, when the old retainer Firs is inadvertently left to die alone in the abandoned house as Ranevskaya and her family finally leave the estate for the last time. Yet, while director Howard Davies and Upton seem deliberately to have desentimentalised this great text, the production nevertheless thrives on a cluster of beautifully observed performances. Zoe Wanamaker is absolutely splendid as the feckless Ranevskaya, who, though the architect of her own financial downfall, and still harbouring guilt for her drowned, ten year-old son, is a loving mother to her daughters Anya and Varya, and a caring sister to her useless but endearing brother Gaev (James Laurenson excellent). Conleth Hill is superb as the caring, but frustrated landowner whose love and concern for Ranevskaya and her doomed brood is wonderfully conveyed in his contradictory mood swings. There's fine work, too, from Charity Wakefied and Claudie Blakley as Anya and Varya, from Mark Bonnar as the eternal student Trofimov, and Kenneth Cranham as the ageing butler Firs. I couldn't quite work out the architecture of Bunny Christie's crumbling wooden set - whose windows remained frosted in the height of summer. Nor did I feel it imparted any sense of the beauty that made the cherry orchard so speacial to Ranevskaya and her family. Still, it's an imperishable play and a good start to the National's £12 Travelex season. CLIVE HIRSCHHORN. Courtesy of This Is London magazine. LINKS Book tickets to The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre
New shows opening this week: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, James Cordon, Eve Best
New shows opening this week: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, James Cordon, Eve Best
What's opening in the West End this week including David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado, Zoe Wanamaker and James Corden at the National and The Lord of the Flies. NEW SHOWS OPENING 16 - 22 MAY 2011 [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate[/caption] The star of the week is Much Ado About Nothing, which starts previews from today, 16 May at the Wyndham's Theatre. The high-profile casting of David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Beatrice and Benedick should guarantee the production some serious press coverage and Sold Out boards outside the theatre. Shakespeare's play is directed by Josie Rourke, who will soon take over from Michael Grandage as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse. The Cherry Orchard opens on Tuesday at the National Theatre starring Zoe Wanamaker. Also at the National on Tuesday, One Man, Two Guvnors starts previews in the Lyttelton starring James Corden, who returns to the National for the first time since The History Boys. The new play by Richard Bean, based on Carlo Goldoni's classic Italian comedy The Servant of Two Masters will feature songs by Grant Olding. Finally on Tuesday, Thrille Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story transfers to the Charing Cross Theatre after a sold-out and critically successful run at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Stephen Dolginoff’s multi-award winning musical about infamous Chicago thrill killers Leopold & Loeb stars George Maguire and Jye Frasca. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors[/caption] On Thursday 19 May the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park launches its 2011 summer season with a stage adaptation of William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Created by the same team who produced last season’s The Crucible, including director Timothy Sheader, the play's setting promises to be a perfect match for the story of a group of schoolboys who survive a plane crash. Saturday sees the start of previews for the week's second production of Much Ado About Nothing, this time at Shakespeare's Globe starring Nurse Jackie's Eve Best as Beatrice and Charles Edwards as Benedick. Also on Saturday over in Washington DC, a new production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies opens at the Kennedy Center starring Bernadette Peters and our very own EP (Elaine Paige!) AND CLOSING: This Saturday we say goodbye to Tracie Bennett in End of the Rainbow and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud Theatre. OPENING NEXT WEEK The press night for Anya Reiss's new play The Acid Test at the Royal Court on 23 May. The short run at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs is already sold out but promises to be one of the most exciting new plays to emerge in London this year. On Wednesday 25 May, Rupert Everett, Kara Tointon and Diana Rigg  open in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion at the Garrick Theatre. On Friday 27 May, Kristin Soctt Thomas leads the cast in previews of Harold Pinter's Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre, in a new production directed by Ian Rickson, also starring Douglas Henshall and Ben Miles. AND OPENING IN JUNE 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); Shrek The Musical has its press night at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane starring Amanda Holden and Nigel Lindsay (7 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); and 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).  

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