Nicholas Hytner announces plans for 2011 and beyond at the National Theatre

Highlights of the forthcoming productions at the National Theatre, announced today by Nicholas Hytner, include Howard Davies’s production of The Cherry Orchard; Jonathan Kent’s staging of Ibsen’s Emperor and Galilean; Katie Mitchell’s production of A Woman Killed with Kindness; Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s London Road; Dominic Cooke’s NT debut with The Comedy of Errors; and Nicholas Hytner’s production of Richard Bean’s One Man,Two Guvnors. There will be a new musical by Tori Amos and Sam Adamson; new plays by John Hodge, Mike Leigh and Conor McPherson; revivals of classic 20th-century plays by Odets, Wesker and O’Casey; and Jonathan Miller’s staging of Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

Olivier Theatre

Tickets for the ninth Travelex season at the National Theatre will continue to offer exciting and ambitious work at the equivalent of cinema prices, with almost half the tickets for every performance at £12 and the rest at £20 and £30. The season opens on 17 May with Howard Davies’s production of THE CHERRY ORCHARD by Anton Chekhov, in a version by Andrew Upton; Zoë Wanamaker as Madame Ranevskaya and Conleth Hill as Lopakhin head the cast, which also includes Claudie Blakley, Mark Bonnar, Pip Carter, Gerald Kyd, James Laurenson, Tim McMullan, Emily Taaffe, Charity Wakefield and Sarah Woodward.

Ibsen’s EMPEROR AND GALILEAN, in a new version by Ben Power, will be directed by Jonathan Kent, opening on 15 June; Andrew Scott plays Julian and the cast also includes James McArdle, Jamie Ballard, John Heffernan, Ian McDiarmid (as Maximus), Genevieve O’Reilly and Prasanna Puwanarajah.

The Travelex £12 Season will continue in September with a production yet to be confirmed, directed by Thea Sharrock; and will conclude in October with a new production of Arnold Wesker’s 1957 play THE KITCHEN, directed by Bijan Sheibani.

Jonathan Miller’s staging of Bach’s ST MATTHEW PASSION, in collaboration with Southbank Sinfonia, will have nine performances in September as part of the four hundredth anniversary celebrations for the King James Bible. The National will also present readings from the Old and New Testaments, abridged by Edward Kemp, by a company of leading actors from the NT’s last 25 years; Nicholas Hytner will be the supervisory director and the readings will take place in the Olivier and Lyttelton Theatres.

Dominic Cooke, Artistic Director of The Royal Court, will make his National Theatre debut with Shakespeare’s THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, opening in the Olivier in November.

As already announced, earlier in the year Danny Boyle directs FRANKENSTEIN, a new play by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternate the roles of Victor Frankenstein and The Creature; the cast also includes Karl Johnson and Naomie Harris. The production, sponsored by Coutts & Co, has press nights on 22 and 23 February.

Lyttelton Theatre

The 2011 Lyttelton season opens on 1 February, as previously announced, with GREENLAND by Moira Buffini, Matt Charman, Penelope Skinner and Jack Thorne. NT associate directors Bijan Sheibani and Ben Power are the director and dramaturg respectively; the production is sponsored by Accenture.

Angus Jackson directs ROCKET TO THE MOON by Clifford Odets, opening on 30 March, with a cast led by Keeley Hawes, Joseph Millson, Jessica Raine and Nicholas Woodeson.

In May, Nicholas Hytner directs ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS by Richard Bean, based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni; James Corden heads the cast. The production will tour the UK in October following its Lyttelton run.

A WOMAN KILLED WITH KINDNESS by Thomas Heywood will be directed by Katie Mitchell, opening in July.

A new play written and directed by Conor McPherson will open in the Lyttelton in October. As yet untitled, the play is set in 19th-century Ireland.

Howard Davies will direct Sean O’Casey’s JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK, with Sinead Cusack as Juno and Ciaran Hinds as Captain Boyle. This will be a co-production with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland, where it premieres in September before opening at the Lyttelton in November.

Cottesloe Theatre

Ryan Craig’s new play, THE HOLY ROSENBERGS, opens on 16 March directed by Laurie Sansom, with a cast led by Henry Goodman and also including Philip Arditti, Stephen Boxer, Paul Freeman, Tilly Tremayne, Alex Waldmann and Susannah Wise.

Rufus Norris will direct LONDON ROAD, with book and lyrics by Alecky Blythe, and music and lyrics by Adam Cork, opening on 14 April; the cast includes Rosalie Craig, Kate Fleetwood, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer and Paul Thornley. (Alecky Blythe’s award-winning play Do We Look Like Refugees?, seen at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010, will visit Riverside Studios in May, in a co-production by the NT Studio/Rustaveli Theatre, Georgia.)

In July, four new one-hour plays commissioned from emerging writers new to the National Theatre will be directed by Polly Findlay and Lyndsey Turner, presented in alternating double-bills.

Mike Leigh returns to the National with a new play, opening in September; the cast will include Ruby Bentall and Lesley Manville.

A new play by John Hodge will be directed by Nicholas Hytner, opening in October. The play centres on an imaginary encounter between Joseph Stalin and the playwright Mikhail Bulgakov; Alex Jennings will play Bulgakov and Simon Russell Beale will play Stalin.

Winter and beyond

Looking further ahead, a production of THE WAY OF THE WORLD by William Congreve will open in the Olivier in January 2012.

A new musical with music and lyrics by Tori Amos and book and additional lyrics by Samuel Adamson, suggested by a story by George MacDonald, will be directed by Marianne Elliott, opening in April 2012 in the Lyttelton Theatre.

Beyond the National: National Theatre Live, on tour, in the West End and on Broadway

Following its sell-out run at the Olivier, Nicholas Hytner’s production of HAMLET will tour from mid-February to Salford, Nottingham, Woking, Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Luxembourg.

Richard Bean’s ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, with the original cast led by James Corden, will visit Plymouth, Salford, Birmingham and Edinburgh in October.

Mike Leigh’s new play will visit Bath and Cambridge in the autumn, during its Cottesloe run.

The second season of National Theatre Live (now on 360 screens across 20 countries, sponsored by Aviva) continues with the Donmar Warehouse’s production of KING LEAR, with Derek Jacobi directed in the title role by Michael Grandage, filmed at the Donmar’s home in Covent Garden on 3 February; Danny Boyle’s production of FRANKENSTEIN on 17 March; and Howard Davies’s production of THE CHERRY ORCHARD on 30 June. A third season of National Theatre Live will begin in the autumn.

WAR HORSE, based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford, continues its run at the New London Theatre where it is now booking until February 2012. The National’s production opens at Lincoln Center Theater, New York, with the original creative team working with a new American cast, from 15 March 2011.

Watch This Space Festival
The National’s free summer festival of outdoor entertainment will return with the giant grass furniture in Theatre Square in June 2011, featuring theatre, fire, circus, juggling, hula-hooping, dance and street performance.

Release issued by: National Theatre press office


National Theatre venue information: Lyttleton Theatre |  Olivier Theatre
National Theatre website

📷 Main photo: Nicholas Hytner announces plans for 2011 and beyond at the National Theatre

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