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Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:03

London: National Theatre Announces Plans for 2013, Celebrating its 50th Anniversary

The National Theatre

30 January 2013

Nicholas Hytner announces the National Theatre’s plans for 2013 – its 50th anniversary year – and beyond

Forthcoming productions at the National Theatre, announced today by Nicholas Hytner, include plays familiar, rare and new: Shakespeare’s Othello, Gorky’s Children of the Sun,James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner;Marlowe’s Edward II, Pirandello’s Liolà, Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude and Georg Kaiser’s From Morning to Midnight. Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson’s musical The Light Princess will premiere in October, and there will be a new adaptation of Emil and the Detectives for family audiences at Christmas.

The Shed, a temporary venue in front of the theatre, will present new work by theatre- makers familiar to the NT as well as emerging voices. Artists working in The Shed include Carrie Cracknell, Rob Drummond, Marianne Elliott, Nadia Fall, Polly Findlay, Matthew Herbert, Rufus Norris, Nick Payne, Tim Price, Tanya Ronder, The TEAM and debbie tucker green. A Visitors’ Festival in September will celebrate the breadth of talent outside London.

The 50th anniversary of the National Theatre company’s first performance at the Old Vic in October 1963 will be marked in the autumn by a unique performance broadcast from the Olivier Theatre on BBC 2 and two Arena documentaries on BBC 4, as well as the publication of a book, The National Theatre Story by Daniel Rosenthal.

The first phase of construction work for the NT Future redevelopment project – a new production centre, the refurbishment of the Cottesloe (which will close in February and re-open in April 2014 as the Dorfman) and the creation of the Clore Learning Centre – has begun. £9million remains to be raised for the project’s successful completion; an audience appeal has been launched.

The NT productions of War Horse and Alan Bennett’s People will spend a record 38 weeks on tour in the UK in 2013/14.  War Horse is now running in Australia and on a North American tour and opens in Berlin in the autumn, while One Man,Two Guvnors visits Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong this spring. National Theatre Live broadcasts have to date been seen by over one million people in 23 countries, with 250 venues in the UK; forthcoming screenings include This House, People and Othello. Four NT productions will be playing simultaneously in the West End this spring: Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, War Horse and One Man,Two Guvnors.  In 2012 the National’s audience reached 3.2million globally, and in London represented 35% of total play-goers.

Ben Power and Bijan Sheibani will collaborate on a new production of Romeo and Juliet, which will tour London primary schools and visit The Shed. Connections has commissioned ten new plays for performance by 230 school and youth theatres around the UK.

Olivier Theatre

Nicholas Hytner directs Shakespeare’s OTHELLO, with Adrian Lester in the title role and Rory Kinnear as Iago, opening on 23 April.  The cast also includes Jonathan Bailey as Cassio, Lyndsey Marshal as Emilia and Olivia Vinall as Desdemona.

James Baldwin’s THE AMEN CORNER will be directed by Rufus Norris, with Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Sharon D Clarke leading the cast; the production, part of the Travelex £12 Tickets season, opens in June.

EDWARD IIby Christopher Marlowe will be directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, also in the Travelex Tickets season, in September; John Heffernan will play the title role.

In November, Bijan Sheibani will stage a new production of the classic children’s adventure EMIL AND THE DETECTIVESby Erich Kästner, adapted by Carl Miller.

Earlier in the year, James Graham’s much-acclaimed play THIS HOUSE transfers to the Olivier in February following its sell-out Cottesloe run; Jeremy Herrin’s production opens on 28 February with Reece Dinsdale joining members of the original cast including Phil Daniels, Charles Edwards, Vincent Franklin and Julian Wadham.

Adrian Noble’s production of Carl Zuckmayer’s THE CAPTAIN OF KÖPENICK, in a new English version by Ron Hutchinson, with Antony Sher in the title role, opens on 5 February.

Looking further ahead to 2014, Sam Mendes will direct Simon Russell Beale in KING LEAR, opening in January.

Lyttelton Theatre

Howard Davies’s production of CHILDREN OF THE SUN by Maxim Gorky, in a new version by Andrew Upton, will be the first Travelex £12 Tickets show of 2013, opening on 16 April;  the cast includes Lucy Black, Paul Higgins, Gerald Kyd, Emma Lowndes, Justine Mitchell and Geoffrey Streatfeild.

Simon Godwin makes his NT directorial debut in June with STRANGE INTERLUDE by Eugene O’Neill; the cast will include Anne-Marie Duff and Charles Edwards.

Former NT Director Richard Eyre will direct LIOLÀ by Luigi Pirandello, in a new version by Tanya Ronder; it willopen in August as the second of this year’s Travelex £12 Tickets productions in the Lyttelton.

THE LIGHT PRINCESS, music and lyrics by Tori Amos, book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson, suggested by a story by George MacDonald, will open in October, directed by Marianne Elliott. The cast will include Rosalie Craigand Clive Rowe.

In November, Melly Still will direct FROM MORNING TO MIDNIGHT by Georg Kaiser, in a new version by Dennis Kelly.

The Shed

A temporary space in Theatre Square, with 225 tickets at £12 and £20.  The programme will include:

TABLE, written by Tanya Ronder and directed by Rufus Norris: a devised play developed at the National Theatre Studio, opening in April.

BULLET CATCH, written and performed by Rob Drummond, presented by Arches, Glasgow for 13 performances in May, following its success at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012.

MISSION DRIFT from New York ensemble company The TEAM in collaboration with Heather Christian and Sarah Gancher, directed by Rachel Chavkin, in June.

A project exploring sound devised by the electronic musician Matthew Herbert, in July.

HOME, a verbatim theatre piece with music exploring social housing in London, devised and directed by Nadia Fall, in August.

nut, a new play written and directed by debbie tucker green, opening in November.

THE ELEPHANTOM, based on the book by Ross Collins, adapted by Ben Power, directed by Finn Caldwell, Marianne Elliott and Toby Olié. A play with puppets for young audiences, in December.

A new play by Tim Price about the Occupy Movement, directed by Polly Findlay, in December.

A new play by Nick Payne, directed by Carrie Cracknell, in early 2014.

The Shed Partner is Neptune Investment Management.

National Theatre throughout the UK, in the West End and internationally

Nicholas Hytner’s production of PEOPLE by Alan Bennett will tour from September to cities including Birmingham, Leicester, Norwich, Canterbury, Milton Keynes, Leeds and Plymouth.

WAR HORSE will embark on a ten-month, nine-venue tour of the UK and Dublin from September 2013 – July 2014, visiting Plymouth, Birmingham, Salford, Edinburgh, Southampton, Dublin, Sunderland, Bradford and Cardiff.  The production’s sell-out run at the New London Theatre is booking until February 2014; and its North American tour continues into a second year. Now playing in Melbourne, the Australian production will move to Brisbane and Sydney before visiting New Zealand; American Express is its official card partner. A German language production will open in Berlin this autumn.

Richard Bean’s ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORScontinues its London run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where Rufus Hound will lead a new cast from 4 February, following a second UK tour which ends in Nottingham this week.  Owain Arthur leads the production on an international tour to Hong Kong, Adelaide, Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne from February. American Airlines is the National Theatre’s Airline Partner for One Man... and War Horse.

Following its sell-out Cottesloe run in 2012, Marianne Elliott’s production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens, will transfer to the West End’s Apollo Theatre from 1 March, with a press night on Tuesday 12 March, and Luke Treadaway again leading the cast.

Alan Bennett’s UNTOLD STORIES, featuring the two autobiographical recollections Hymn and Cocktail Sticks – directed respectively by Nadia Fall and Nicholas Hytner – will transfer to the Duchess Theatrefrom22 March, with a press night on 2 April; Alex Jennings recreates his performance as Bennett in both pieces.

National Theatre Live  broadcasts this year will include People (21 March), This House (16 May),and Othello (in September), supported by Aviva.

The 2013 CONNECTIONS FESTIVAL will again put young people centre stage with ten specially commissioned plays by Howard Brenton, Jim Cartwright, Lucinda Coxon, Ryan Craig, Stacey Gregg, Jonathan Harvey, Lenny Henry, Jemma Kennedy, Morna Pearson and Anya Reiss. An example of each will be performed at the NT festival in The Shed and Olivier Theatre in July, after 230 young theatre companies have mounted productions in their home venues and at 20 youth theatre festivals around the UK.  In addition, Bristol Old Vic Young Company will return with their 2012 Connections production, Rory Mullarkey’s THE  GRANDFATHERS, directed by Jesse Jones, for seven performances in The Shed.

A Primary Theatre production of ROMEO AND JULIET, adapted and directed by NT Associate Directors Ben Power and Bijan Sheibani and supported by an extensive education programme, will tour London schools in the summer term and visit Derry-Londonderry for the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations, before coming to The Shed in July:  reaching a total  audience of 8000 children.

The winning entry from NEW VIEWS, the NT’s national playwriting programme for 15-to-19 year-olds, will also be performed in The Shed in July.

The National Theatre is supported by Arts Council England.

Book tickets online at Box Office: 020 7452 3000.

Twitter: @nationaltheatre   @NTShed