Today the National Theatre announces three new productions for 2023 and the revival of the critically acclaimed The Father and the Assassin. A new production devised by The PappyShow will tour directly to 55 schools across England, and National Theatre Live brings The Crucible, Othello and GOOD to cinema-goers around the world.
Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots) directs a striking revival of Dancing at Lughnasa in the Olivier theatre opening in April. Set during harvest time in County Donegal, 1936, outside the village of Ballybeg, the five Mundy sisters battle poverty to raise seven-year-old Michael and care for their Uncle Jack. During the Festival of Lughnasa, Pagan and Christian meet and collide. The sisters fight, love, dance, yearn and survive. Brian Friel’s Olivier Award-winning play is an astonishing evocation of a family’s world on the brink of change.
Cast includes Siobhán McSweeney (Derry Girls), Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Ted) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Translations). Louisa Harland, Bláithín Mac Gabhann, Justine Mitchell and Alison Oliver join the company.
Set and costume design by Robert Jones, lighting designer is Mark Henderson, choreographer is Wayne McGregor, composer is Hannah Peel, sound designer is Emma Laxton, video designer is Douglas O’Connell and casting director is Alastair Coomer CDG.
Opening in the Dorfman theatre in April is a new play by Deborah Bruce, Dixon and Daughters, a co-production with Clean Break, the ground-breaking company producing theatre with and about women affected by the criminal justice system.
Mary has just been released from prison. She wants to come home and forget all about it, but Briana has other ideas. Over a tumultuous two days, a family is forced to confront not just their past but themselves. Because even if you refuse to hear the truth, the truth doesn’t go away.
Róisin McBrinn (Artistic Director, Gate Theatre, Dublin) returns to Clean Break, where she was formerly Joint Artistic Director, to direct this powerful story of family and forgiveness. The cast includes Alison Fitzjohn, Yazmin Kayani, Andrea Lowe, Posy Sterling and Liz White. The set and costume designer is Kat Heath, lighting designer is Paule Constable, sound designer is Sinéad Diskin, movement director is Sarita Piotrowski with casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Bryony Jarvis-Taylor.
Sam Mendes directs The Motive and the Cue, a startling new play by Jack Thorne inspired by the making of Burton and Gielgud’s Hamlet.
Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel. This fierce and funny new play offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.
Opening in the Lyttelton theatre in May the cast includes Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Taylor. The cast also includes Allan Corduner, Ryan Ellsworth, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Michael Walters and Laurence Ubong Williams.
The Motive and the Cue was commissioned by Neal Street Productions and has been developed and co-produced by the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions. Set design is by Es Devlin, costume designer is Katrina Lindsay, lighting designer is Jon Clark, composer is Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, sound designer is Paul Arditti, video designer is Luke Halls, casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Naomi Downham and associate director is Zoé Ford Burnett.
Inspired by Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne.
Anupama Chandrasekhar’s acclaimed play The Father and the Assassin returns to the Olivier theatre in September 2023. This gripping play traces the life of Nathuram Godse, journalist, nationalist - the man who murdered Gandhi, from a devout follower of Gandhi through to his radicalisation and their final tragic encounter. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, with Paul Bazely returning to play Gandhi.
Set and costume designer is Rajha Shakiry, lighting designer is Oliver Fenwick, movement director is Lucy Cullingford, composer is Siddhartha Khosla, additional music by David Shrubsole, sound designer is Alexander Caplen, and fight directors are Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of Rc-Annie Ltd. Casting is by Alastair Coomer CDG and Jatinder Chera.
Tickets for Dancing at Lughnasa, The Motive and the Cue and Dixon and Daughters go on sale to the public on Thursday 8 December.
National Theatre Learning
Touring into schools nationwide
Shut Up I’m Dreaming, a new production devised by The PappyShow, will visit 55 secondary schools across the country from January 2023 as part of the National Theatre’s Theatre Nation Partnerships initiative. Directed by Kane Husbands with set and costume design by Pete Butler, this new play is informed by residencies in schools to include young people’s voices and explores the dreams and ambitions of the next generation in an uncertain world.
The production will be performed in secondary school halls across Doncaster, Greater Manchester (Salford, Rochdale and Wigan) Havering, Leicester, North Devon, Peterborough, Stoke, Sunderland, Wakefield and Wolverhampton.
National Theatre nationwide
The critically acclaimed production of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane is touring the UK and Ireland from December, visiting 29 towns and cities for a total of 38 weeks. Directed by Katy Rudd (Camp Siegfried and Eureka Day, Old Vic) and adapted by Joel Horwood (E4’s Skins and I Want My Hat Back, National Theatre), this first major stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s work is a thrilling adventure of fantasy, myth and friendship, which blends magic with memory in a tour-de-force of storytelling that takes audiences on an epic journey to a childhood once forgotten and the darkness that lurks at the very edge of it.
Featuring an ensemble cast of 17, Charlie Brooks (Ursula), Daniel Cornish (alternate Boy), Trevor Fox (Dad), Emma-Jane Goodwin (understudy), Paolo Guidi (ensemble),Millie Hikasa (Lettie Hempstock), Lewis Howard (understudy), Kemi-Bo Jacobs (Ginnie Hempstock), Jasmeen James (ensemble), Ronnie Lee (ensemble), Aimee McGoldrick (ensemble), Laurie Ogden (Sis), Keir Ogilvy (Boy), Domonic Ramsden (ensemble), Joe Rawlinson-Hunt (understudy), Risha Silvera (understudy) and Finty Williams (Old Mrs Hempstock).
Rudd is joined by set designer, Fly Davis; costume and puppet designer, Samuel Wyer; movement director, Steven Hoggett; composer, Jherek Bischoff; lighting designer, Paule Constable; sound designer, Ian Dickinson; magic and illusions director and designer, Jamie Harrison; puppetry director, Finn Caldwell and casting director, Naomi Downham. The associate creative team includes associate director, Sophie Dillon Moniram; associate set designer, Tim Blazdell; associate movement director, Jess Williams; associate lighting designers, Rob Casey (for Ammonite) and Tom Turner; associate sound designer, Chris Reid; associate magic and illusions director, John Bulleid; and associate puppetry director, Gareth Aled.
The tour will open at The Lowry in Salford where it will play over Christmas (12 December 2022–8 January 2023), before visiting a further 28 venues until September 2023.
For further tour information, including details about assisted performances, please visit oceanonstage.com
Bill Kenwright presents a Theatr Clwyd and National Theatre production of Home, I’m Darling. This new tour opens at Theatre Royal Windsor on 25 January ahead of a national tour until May 2023.
Leading the cast are BAFTA award winner Jessica Ransom (Doc Martin, Armstrong and Miller, Horrible Histories) as Judy, Diane Keen (Doctors, The Cuckoo Waltz) as Sylvia and Neil McDermott (EastEnders, Casualty) as Johnny, with further casting to be announced. This sparkling, thought-provoking comedy by Laura Wade (Posh, The Riot Club) is about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife.
Home, I’m Darling received its world premiere at Theatr Clwyd in 2018, before playing at the National Theatre and then transferring to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End, winning the 2019 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. This production reunites the entire original creative team, led by Theatr Clwyd Artistic Director and Co-Director Designate of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tamara Harvey. It is co-directed by Hannah Noone, with design by Olivier Award winner Anna Fleischle, lighting by Lucy Carter, sound design by Tom Gibbons and choreography by Charlotte Broom.
For further tour information, including a full list of venues, please visit kenwright.com
National Theatre in the West End
The critically acclaimed, five-time Tony Award® winning production of The Lehman Trilogy returns to London’s West End, in a co-production with Neal Street Productions. Written by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power and directed by multi-award-winning director, Sam Mendes with set design by Es Devlin, The Lehman Trilogy is an extraordinary feat of storytelling told in three parts on a single evening. Playing for a limited 17-week run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre from 24 January until 20 May 2023.
Michael Balogun (Death of England: Delroy, Macbeth, National Theatre) will play the role of Emanuel Lehman with Hadley Fraser (The Antipodes, National Theatre; Coriolanus, Donmar Warehouse) playing the role of Mayer Lehman and Nigel Lindsay (The Pillowman, A Small Family Business, National Theatre) playing the role of Henry Lehman. They will be joined by pianist, Yshani Perinpanayagam.
Mendes is joined by set designer, Es Devlin; costume designer, Katrina Lindsay; video designer, Luke Halls; lighting designer Jon Clark; composer and sound designer, Nick Powell; co-sound designer, Dominic Bilkey; music director, Candida Caldicot; movement director, Polly Bennett and West End director, Zoé Ford Burnett. Company voice work is by Charmian Hoare with casting by Jessica Ronane CDG. They are joined by associate director, Rory McGregor; associate casting director Abby Galvin and associate designer, Amalie White.
Tickets are available from £20. For further information, including details about assisted performances, please visit thelehmantrilogyy.com
A co-production with Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal, in association with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Emma Rice returns with Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights, adapted from Emily Brontë’s legendary novel. Interspersed with music, dance, passion and hope, Emma Rice catapults Brontë’s brooding love story into an intoxicating revenge tragedy for our time.
This production is currently touring the US; playing from 18 November 2022 until 12 March 2023 at Berkeley Rep, California, Wallis Annenberg, California, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, New Jersey.
National Theatre Digital
In the new year on National Theatre Live, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by Lyndsey Turner (Hamlet) with set design by Tony Award-winner Es Devlin (The Lehman Trilogy), will be broadcast to cinemas. This captivating parable of power includes Erin Doherty (The Crown) as Abigail Williams and Brendan Cowell (Yerma) as John Proctor and will be released in the UK and Ireland from 26 January and internationally from 2 March.
Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedy, Othello, comes to cinema screens in an extraordinary new production directed by Clint Dyer (Death of England: Parts 1, 2 and 3). Giles Terera (Hamilton) is Othello, Rosy McEwen (The Alienist) is Desdemona and Paul Hilton (The Inheritance) plays Iago. Broadcast to cinemas in the UK and Ireland from 23 February and internationally from 27 April.
In spring 2023, audiences are invited to see GOOD, produced by Fictionhouse and Playful Productions. A blistering reimagining of one of Britain’s most powerful, political plays, David Tennant (Doctor Who) leads the cast in his much-anticipated return to the West End, also featuring Elliot Levey (Cabaret) and Sharon Small (The Bay). Olivier Award-winner Dominic Cooke (Follies) directs C.P. Taylor’s timely tale, to be broadcast in the UK and Ireland from 20 April and internationally from 15 June.
National Theatre at Home has just launched smash-hit play, Prima Facie, in partnership with Empire Street Productions, featuring an award-winning performance from Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), available worldwide (excluding the United States) until March 2023. This production is available with captions in English and Spanish, audio-description and British Sign Language.
To celebrate National Theatre at Home’s second birthday, the multi-award-winning production of War Horse joins the platform for a limited period this festive season, from 1 December. New productions added to the platform also include, classic wild comedy of love and cash, The Beaux’ Stratagem, directed by Simon Godwin, from 22 November, and Francesca Martinez’s powerful new play, All of Us, inspired by real-life experiences of disabled people, from 8 December; both recorded at the National Theatre. Audiences in the UK and Ireland will also be able to watch Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt, the Olivier Award-winning drama from Sonia Friedman Productions, and David Hare’s blazing new play Straight Line Crazy, with Ralph Fiennes leading as the controversial New Yorker Robert Moses, from the Bridge Theatre, also on NT at Home from 8 December.
National Theatre Exhibitions
The Linbury Prize 2022 Showcase
The 12 recipients of the 2020/21 Linbury Prize for Stage Design are exhibiting their design work in an open showcase in the Lyttelton Lounge at the National Theatre. The showcase displays a range of design work from this exciting next generation of artists and will give them the opportunity to meet with professionals across the industry, showcase their skills and network with other creatives.
In recognition of the impact of the pandemic on graduating designers, 12 young people were awarded the Linbury Prize in 2021. Each received a bursary and a design associate placement with an established designer to gain first-hand experience of large-scale production process including placements with Gecko Theatre Company and Kiln.
The showcase is now open until January 2023 and is free to view.
The Makers: Portraits from Backstage
The Makers: Portraits from Backstage exhibition opens at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Lounge on the 27 January 2023 with works by the National Theatre’s first artist in residence, Curtis Holder.
Curated by Kate Bryan, broadcaster, writer and Global Director of Art for Soho House, The Makers: Portraits from Backstage is a love letter to the dynamic creative forces that exist behind the scenes. Holder’s multi-layered pencil portraits capture a range of ‘makers’ at the National Theatre including; wigs hair and make-up assistants, prop and puppet makers, deputy ladies’ cutter, costume workroom trainee, technicians, and stage door supervisors.
Holder has explored every corner of the vast backstage areas selecting people to draw, with the exhibition celebrating the people behind the craft.
Fascinated by the expertise at work, Holder draws attention to the dedication and passion at play, most especially in his nine large-format portraits. Distilling months of observation and quick sketches, Holder selected a small number of sitters to focus upon.
For two decades he was a primary school teacher in south London and in 2020 became a full-time artist after winning Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year – judged by this exhibition’s curator, Kate Bryan. This is Holder’s first institutional solo exhibition and will incorporate a number of public events including family drawing workshops and a live in-conversation portrait sitting.
The exhibition is free and will open on 27 January 2023 in the Lyttelton Lounge.