Pantomime is heading to the National Theatre this Christmas as the iconic venue confirms it will stage festive favourite Dick Whittington.
Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd’s hilarious and heartfelt version of the famous story, first staged at Lyric Hammersmith in 2018, will be freshly updated and re-staged in-the-round at the Olivier Theatre under the direction of Ned Bartlett.
Speaking about Dick Whittington, Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd said: ‘In 2018 we set out to celebrate the heart of the Dick Whittington story – that London has always been, and will always be, enriched by the brilliant brains and invigorating spirit of those who come from all over the world and call it home. That’s a story we want to tell now more than ever, and in quintessentially British fashion: with irreverent jokes, talking animals, awesome songs, and wholesale destructive silliness.’
Ned Bennett continued: ‘We are inordinately excited to be talking about a show, never mind having the privilege of being able to stage one right now. We are facing such challenging times, as artists and as an industry, so we feel so lucky to have the NT able to provide this opportunity. We cannot wait to bring audiences (safely) into the Olivier and allow them to remember the joy of theatre for a night.’
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said: “Pantomime is an essential part of the living fabric of our nation, and it is devastating that so many theatres across the country have had no choice but to postpone their pantos this year because of the unprecedented financial impact of Coronavirus. We’ll do all we can to keep the flame alive: brilliant theatre artists will serve up a slice of joy to families on the South Bank, and we’ll be asking everyone to support their local theatres by booking ahead for their 2021 pantomimes. Of course, we hope that it will be possible for theatres to perform safely to fuller audiences long before then.”
The festive show, which is to reveal cast and dates, has set and costume designs by Georgia Lowe, and lighting designed by Jessica Hung Han Yun.
The National Theatre reopens on 21 October 2020 for live performances with Death of England, in a newly configured Olivier Theatre.
The largest auditorium at the venue will now show socially distanced performances in-the-round allowing 500 attendees to sit and watch for each performance