Roald Dahl’s The Witches musical to premiere at the National Theatre starring Katherine Kingsley & Daniel Rigby

The National Theatre has announced a new musical version of Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s book The Witches.

The show boasts a book and lyrics by award-winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica), and music and lyrics by Dave Molloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812). The director will be Lyndsey Turner, who is back at the National following her acclaimed production of The Crucible, which is playing the West End’s Gielgud Theatre from 7 June.

The Witches will star West End actor Katherine Kingsley (The Larkins, Matilda The Musical, Noises Off), as the Grand High Witch, plus Daniel Rigby, following his acclaimed turn in Accidental Death of an Anarchist at the Lyric Hammersmith; Julie Armstrong, Chrissie Bhima, Zoe Burkett, Daniele Coombe, Molly-May Gardiner, Tiffany Graves, Tania Mathurin, Jacob Maynard, Laura Medforth and Ben Redfern.

The creative team will include set and costume designer Lizzie Clachan, choreographer Stephen Mear, music supervisor Nigel Lilley, music director Cat Beveridge, lighting designer Bruno Poet, co-sound designers Alexander Caplen and Ian Dickinson, and video designer Ash J Woodward. Illusions will be by Chris Fisher and Will Houstoun, the casting director is Bryony Jarvis-Taylor, associate director Séimí Campbell, staff director Priya Patel Appleby, associate set designer Shankho Chaudhuri, associate costume designer Johanna Coe, associate choreographer Jo Morris, associate music director Natalie Pound and children’s and assistant music director Sarah Morrison.

Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris said in a press statement today: “I’m thrilled that the National Theatre and Roald Dahl Story Company are coming together for the first time to bring one of Dahl’s most enduring stories to the Olivier stage. This extraordinary, exciting production of The Witches with Lucy Kirkwood’s brilliant, witty book and Lyndsey Turner’s ambitious vision is the culmination of many years of development at the National Theatre’s exceptional New Work Department. With Dave Malloy at the musical helm, I couldn’t be more excited to be bringing this ambitious new piece of music theatre to the stage.”

A number of high-profile movie adaptations of The Witches have ensured that Roald Dahl’s book is one of the highest profile in his collection, including the 1990 movie starring Anjelica Huston, and recent 2020 version starring Anne Hathaway.

Rehearsals start in September 2023 for the show, which will run in the National Theatre’s Olivier Theatre from 7 November 2023.

Other shows coming soon to the National and announced today include a major revival of Lucy Prebble’s The Effect directed by Jamie Lloyd in the Lyttelton starring Paapa Essiedu and Taylor Russell.

Also announced today was casting for Anupama Chandrasekhar’s The Father and the Assassin directed by Indhu Rubasingham, in the Olivier Theatre this September. The play will star Life of Pi’s Hiran Abeysekera, with Paul Bazely.

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📷 Main photo: The Witches - Katherine Kingsley and Daniel Rigby

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