Ten world premieres are among the forthcoming National Theatre productions announced today by Nicholas Hytner, including new plays by Tom Stoppard and David Hare. Three plays by Rona Munro, about the Stewart Kings James I, James II and James III of Scotland respectively, mark the NT’s first co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland. Classic revivals include Euripides’ Medea with Helen McCrory in the title role, and Ralph Fiennes in Shaw’s Man and Superman; Bryony Lavery adapts Treasure Island for family audiences. Eight of the fourteen original plays being produced at the NT this season are written by women; last year, over half the NT’s new plays were also written or co-written by women.
The expansion of touring and National Theatre Live means that more people in the UK now see our productions outside London than on the South Bank. Between September 2013 – December 2015, NT productions will make over 80 visits to British cities, spending 133 weeks on the road. The National’s total UK audience for 2013-14 will be 2.67 million, including 374,000 on tour and 698,000 via cinema screens.
The NT Future redevelopment project will see the opening of the Dorfman Theatre this autumn, alongside the Clore Learning Centre and the Max Rayne Centre for production and design. The second phase of construction work, focusing on front of house areas, is now underway. £4.6million remains to be raised towards the £80million fundraising target for the project’s successful completion; to date, the audience appeal has raised £1.8million from over 82,000 donors.
230 school and youth theatres all over the UK will perform ten new, specially commissoned plays in the NT’s 2014 Connections festival. The opening of the Clore Learning Centre will, for the first time, create a permanent home for our education programme at the heart of the NT. The new Centre will open up theatre to people of all ages, from playwriting to puppetry, production and technical skills, with programmes for schools, families, young people and adults.
On the South Bank
The twelfth Travelex season will offer 100,000 £15 Tickets, with almost half the seats for every performance of six plays at £15 (and the rest at £25 and £35): once again making a range of exciting and ambitious work available to a wide audience at the equivalent of London cinema prices. The first Travelex £15 Tickets production will be Euripides’s MEDEA in a new version by Ben Power, directed by Carrie Cracknell; Helen McCrory will play the title role, opening in July in the Olivier Theatre.
Next in the Travelex season will be three new plays by Rona Munro: James I: The Key WIll Keep The Lock; James II: Day of the Innocents and James III: The True Mirror, evoking three generations of Stewart Kings who ruled Scotland in the fifteenth century. The James Plays, directed by Laurie Sansom, will mark the first co-production between the National Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland. The ensemble cast will include Sofie Gråbøl (as the Danish-born Queen Margaret), Blythe Duff, and James McArdle, Andrew Rothney and Jamie Sives respectively as the three kings. They will play in the Olivier from September, following the world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August.
In October, Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre returns to the Lyttelton with a new production, JOHN, also part of the Travelex season.
A new play by David Hare, BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS, based on the book by Katherine Boo, directed by Rufus Norris, will be the final Travelex £15 Tickets production of the year, opening in the Olivier in November.
Polly Findlay will direct Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic adventure TREASURE ISLAND, adapted by Bryony Lavery, opening in the Olivier in December for family audiences.
A new play by Tom Stoppard will open in the Dorfman Theatre in January 2015, directed by Nicholas Hytner. RULES FOR LIVING, a new play by Sam Holcroft, directed by Marianne Elliott, will open there in March 2015. The Dorfman Partner is Neptune Investment Management.
Ralph Fiennes will return to the National as John Tanner in Bernard Shaw’s MAN AND SUPERMAN, directed by Simon Godwin in the Lyttelton, opening in February 2015.
A new play by the Croatian-born writer Tena Štivičić will open there in December 2014, directed by Howard Davies.
Following their collaboration on Misterman in 2011, Cillian Murphy is reunited with writer and director Enda Walsh on BALLYTURK; he is joined in the cast by Mikel Murfi and Stephen Rea in the Landmark Productions/Galway Arts Festival production, opening in the Lyttelton this September for a five-week season.
In the Lyttelton this summer there will be a new play by Richard Bean, directed by Nicholas Hytner. There will be another chance to see 1927’s THE ANIMALS AND CHILDREN TOOK TO THE STREETS in May 2014.
In The Shed, YELLOW Face by David Henry Hwang, originally staged at The Park Theatre, will open in May, again directed by Alex Sims. It will be followed by a new play by Polly Stenham, HOTEL, opening in June, directed by Maria Aberg.
As already announced, Adam Penford’s revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS (premiered at the NT in 1987), with Nigel Lindsay as Jack McCracken, joins the Olivier repertoire on 8 April, alongside Sam Mendes’ production of KING LEAR with Simon Russell Beale which will extend its run to 2 July; it is sponsored by Julius Baer. Howard Davies’ production of THE SILVER TASSIE by Sean O’Casey opens in the Lyttelton on 23 April; and Nadia Fall’s HOME returns to The Shed, opening on 31 March.
National Theatre throughout the UK, in the West End and internationally
Richard Bean’s ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS embarks on a third UK tour to 37 cities from May 2014 until March 2015. After opening in Sheffield on 12 May, the tour will visit Birmingham, Southampton, Bristol, Woking, Hull, Glasgow, Plymouth, Bradford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Dartford, Aylesbury, Crawley, Stoke-on-Trent, Liverpool, Bath, Northampton, Canterbury, Leicester, Aberdeen, Truro, Leeds, Belfast, Dublin, Norwich, High Wycombe, Brighton, Salford, Sunderland, Nottingham, Bromley, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Oxford, Wimbledon, York and Wolverhampton.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens, re-opens at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End on 8 July; American Express is its official card partner. The production opens on Broadway at the Barrymore Theatre on 5 October, and will tour the UK from December, opening in Salford with further dates to be announced.
THE ELEPHANTOM by Ross Collins, adapted by Ben Power, plays at the New London Theatre for a summer season of daytime performances from 30 June until 6 September.
WAR HORSE at the New London Theatre is now booking until February 2015. The production continues its year-long UK tour until October 2014, with forthcoming visits to Dublin, Sunderland, Bradford, Cardiff, Salford (return visit) and Stoke-on-Trent. The North American tour continues until June 2014, from where it travels to Tokyo to play from July to September; the German language production is running in Berlin; a Dutch production opens in Amsterdam in June, followed by a tour of the Netherlands; and a Chinese language production will open in 2015 in Beijing, followed by touring in China, as part of the NT’s new partnership with the National Theatre of China.
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE broadcasts are now available in 500 British venues. Last month the NT Live broadcast of WAR HORSE set a new audience record, with 155,000 watching live (125,000 in the UK) and another 86,000 so far seeing the ongoing encore screenings. Forthcoming screenings include King Lear on 1 May; an encore screening of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME on 22 May; A Small Family Business on 12 June; and MEDEA on 4 September.
The 2014 CONNECTIONS FESTIVAL will again put young people centre stage with ten specially commissioned plays by Deborah Bruce, Matt Hartley, Sam Holcroft, Dafydd James, Catherine Johnson, Sabrina Mahfouz, Pauline McLynn, Luke Norris, Evan Placey and Simon Vinnicombe. An example of each will be performed at the NT festival in July, after 230 young theatre companies have mounted productions in their home venues and at 26 partner theatre festivals around the UK. NEW VIEWS, the NT’s national playwriting programme for 15-to-19 year-olds, also returns, with one play chosen to be staged at the NT with a professional cast. NT Associate Directors Ben Power and Bijan Sheibani’s Primary Theatre production of ROMEO AND JULIET, supported by an extensive education programme, will be revived for a tour of London schools this autumn before returning to the NT for two weeks from late October.
This year, Watch This Space, the National’s free summer festival, heads off on a neighbourhood tour. Throughout July and August, the festival hub will be at St John’s Church on Waterloo Roundabout, with outdoor entertainment in and around the churchyard. WTS will also pop up with unexpected shows across Lambeth and Southwark – from Brockwell Park and Brixton Market to Camberwell Green and the Aylesbury Estate. There will be international visitors, the best of UK work and newly commissioned shows. Full details of the performances and venues will be announced in June.