Tickets for the National Theatre’s upcoming season will go on sale to the public on Thursday 9 November. In the Olivier theatre Nye, Tim Price's new play directed by Rufus Norris, charts the life of Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan and his battle to create the NHS. Michael Sheen is cast as Nye in this co-production with Wales Millennium Centre.
In the Lyttelton is a revival of Dear Octopus by Dodie Smith, directed by Emily Burns and with a cast that includes Lindsay Duncan. This is followed by London Tide, based on Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, which will be directed by Ian Rickson and adapted by Ben Power, with original songs throughout by acclaimed singer-songwriter, PJ Harvey, and Ben Power.
In the Dorfman theatre is Till the Stars Come Down, a passionate, heartbreaking and hilarious portrayal of a larger-than-life family struggling to come to terms with a changing world, written by former writer-in-residence Beth Steel and directed by Bijan Sheibani. Completing the season is Underdog: The Other Other Brontë, an irreverent retelling of the life and legend of the Brontë sisters written by Sarah Gordon and directed by Natalie Ibu, in a co-production with Northern Stage.
Also announced today is the transfer of Tim Price’s new play Nye, directed by Rufus Norris, which will play at the Wales Millennium Centre following its world premiere in the Olivier theatre in February. Michael Sheen will continue his role as Nye Bevan in this strictly limited run from 18 May until 1 June 2024.
From February 2024 the National Theatre will pilot a selected number of early evening performances at 6.30pm. This trial follows a major piece of research undertaken by the National Theatre in recent months to understand more from audiences about their post-Covid lifestyles and habits, including varying working patterns and journey times, particularly for those living outside of London. The early evening performances offer flexibility for audiences to make the most of their evening, with more time after curtain down to eat or to travel. The 6.30pm performances will fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a limited number available for every new production playing on the South Bank in the first half of the year.
The Lehman Trilogy, co-produced with Neal Street Productions and, in association with Trafalgar Entertainment, will make its Australian premiere at Theatre Royal Sydney from 21 February for a strictly limited season.
This critically acclaimed, five-time Tony Award®-winning epic play by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, directed by Academy Award and Tony Award®-winning director Sam Mendes with set design by Es Devlin, is also touring to the American Conservatory Theater’s Toni Rembe Theater in San Francisco, from 25 May until 23 June 2024.
Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, said: ‘I’m thrilled to have such a rich and diverse slate of shows coming up at the National Theatre for audiences to enjoy. We have a wealth of new plays, alongside an exciting revival of Dodie Smith’s Dear Octopus, a play by one of the UK’s most celebrated novelists, which hasn’t been seen on the stage for over 60 years. Audiences are always at the heart of everything we do, and in direct response to what they have told us, we are excited to be trialling an earlier start time of 6.30pm for selected performances. I am also excited to announce today that Tim Price’s brilliant new play Nye, which I will be directing in the Olivier in February, will be a co-production with Wales Millennium Centre where it will transfer following its run with us. To bring the story to Nye Bevan’s home in Wales feels very special and an appropriate way to further honour his legacy through this production.’
The following productions will go on sale to the public on Thursday 9 November. To book, visit the National Theatre website: nationaltheatre.org.uk
Nye is a new play by Tim Price (Teh Internet is Serious Business) directed by Rufus Norris (Small Island), charting the life of Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan. From campaigning at the coalfield to leading the battle to create the NHS, Nye Bevan is often referred to as the politician with greatest influence on our country without ever being Prime Minister. Michael Sheen (Under Milk Wood) plays Nye Bevan in this surreal and spectacular journey through the life and legacy of the man who transformed Britain’s welfare state. Cast also includes Remy Beasley, Roger Evans, Jon Furlong, Stephanie Jacob, Kezrena James, Tony Jayawardena, Rebecca Killick, Rhodri Meilir and Sharon Small.
Directed by Rufus Norris, the Set Designer is Vicki Mortimer, Costume Designer Kinnetia Isidore, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Co-Choreographers Steven Hoggett and Jess Willams, Composer Will Stuart, Sound Designer Donato Wharton, Projection Designer Jon Driscoll and Casting Director Alastair Coomer CDG.
Playing in the Olivier theatre 24 February until 11 May, with press night on 6 March.
Nye is a co-production with Wales Millennium Centre, where it will play from 18 May until 1 June. Tickets for these performances will go on sale to the public on 27 October.
Dear Octopus by Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle) will play in the Lyttelton theatre from February, directed by National Theatre Associate Emily Burns (Jack Absolute Flies Again) in its first revival since the 1960s. When a golden wedding anniversary reunites the Randolph family on the eve of WWII, Dora and Charles must reckon with the adults their children have become. Their children, meanwhile, are haunted by the memory of the family they once were. Heartbreaking and joyful, this captivating revival is a moving dissection of family and what it means to grow up and return home. Lindsay Duncan (Hansard) is cast as Dora alongside Malcolm Sinclair, with further casting to be announced.
Directed by Emily Burns, the Set and Costume Designer is Frankie Bradshaw, Lighting Designer Oliver Fenwick, Composer Nico Muhly, Sound Designer Tingying Dong and Casting Director Bryony Jarvis-Taylor.
Playing in the Lyttelton theatre from 7 February until 27 March, with press night on 14 February.
Following Dear Octopus in the Lyttelton theatre is London Tide, based on Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend. Directed by Ian Rickson (Translations) and adapted by Ben Power (The Lehman Trilogy), with original songs throughout, the genius of Dickens meets the fierce musical imagination of acclaimed singer-songwriter, PJ Harvey.
A storm rages and, in the darkest part of the night, a body is pulled from the swirling Thames. Across the city, two young women confront an uncertain future. In Limehouse, Lizzie Hexam struggles to break free of the river and its dark secrets. On the other side of town, Bella Wilfer mourns a lost marriage. The appearance of the mysterious John Rokesmith has the potential to change their lives for ever. Will they sink or swim? This romantic and propulsive thriller is a hymn to the city and the river that runs through it.
Cast includes Brandon Grace, Scott Karim, Bella Maclean, Tom Mothersdale, Ami Tredrea and Peter Wight.
Directed by Ian Rickson, the Set and Costume Designer is Bunny Christie, Lighting Designer Jack Knowles, Music Director Ian Ross, Co-Sound Designers Tingying Dong and Christopher Shutt, Movement Director Anna Morrissey and Casting Director Bryony Jarvis-Taylor.
Playing in the Lyttelton theatre from 10 April until 22 June, with press night on 17 April.
Opening in the Dorfman theatre in January is Till the Stars Come Down, a new play by former National Theatre writer-in-residence Beth Steel (The House of Shades) and directed by Bijan Sheibani (Barber Shop Chronicles). Over the course of a hot summer’s day, a family gathers to welcome a newcomer into their midst. But as the vodka flows and dances are shared, passions boil over and the limits of love are tested. This new play is a passionate, heartbreaking and hilarious portrayal of a larger-than-life family struggling to come to terms with a changing world.
Cast includes Lorraine Ashbourne, Lucy Black, Lisa McGrillis, Sinéad Matthews, Derek Riddell, Ruby Stokes, Alan Williams and Marc Wootton.
Directed by Bijan Sheibani, the Set and Costume Designer is Samal Blak, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Choreographer and Movement Director Aline David, Sound Designer Gareth Fry, Fight Director Kev McCurdy, Intimacy Coordinator Asha Jennings-Grant, Staff Director Stephan Mysko von Schultze and Casting Director Alastair Coomer CDG.
Playing in the Dorfman theatre from 24 January until 16 March, with press night on 31 January.
Underdog: The Other Other Brontë by Sarah Gordon (The Edit) will then play from March 2024, directed by Northern Stage Artistic Director Natalie Ibu (The White Card) in a co-production with Northern Stage.
Winner of the 2020 Nick Darke Writer's Award, this play is an irreverent retelling of the life and legend of the Brontë sisters, and the story of the sibling power dynamics that shaped their uneven rise to fame. This is not a story about well-behaved women. This is a story about the power of words. It’s about sisters and sisterhood, love and jealousy, support and competition.
Cast includes Rhiannon Clements, Adele James and Gemma Whelan.
Directed by Natalie Ibu, the Set and Costume Designer is Grace Smart, Lighting Designer Zoe Spurr, Sound Designer Alexandra Faye Braithwaite and Casting Director Naomi Downham.
Playing in the Dorfman theatre from 27 March until 25 May, with press night on 4 April.
National Theatre in the West End and on tour
The West End transfer of the critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Dear England is now playing at the Prince Edward Theatre. This new play by James Graham, directed by Rupert Goold, tells the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate.
Joseph Fiennes has reprised his role as Gareth Southgate with Dervla Kirwan playing the role of Pippa Grange.
Playing until 13 January with press night on 19 October.
Following a highly acclaimed tour across the UK and Ireland, the smash-hit production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane has returned to the West End. Based on a best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd, this spectacular and thrilling theatrical event is a tour de force of magic and storytelling.
Playing at the Noël Coward Theatre until 25 November.
The hugely celebrated The Motive and the Cue, co-produced with Neal Street Productions, written by Jack Thorne and directed by Sam Mendes, is transferring into the West End this winter. Inspired by the making of Richard Burton and Sir John Gielgud’s landmark Broadway production of Hamlet in 1964, this new play offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.
Following a sold-out run at the Lyttelton theatre, Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton will return to play the iconic roles of Richard Burton, John Gielgud and Elizabeth Taylor.
Playing at the Noël Coward Theatre from 9 December until 23 March, with press night on 18 December.
The multi-award-winning Hadestown will make its highly anticipated return to London five years after its sold-out run at the National Theatre in 2018. Winner of eight Tony-Awards® including ‘Best Musical’ and a Grammy Award® for ‘Best Musical Theatre Album’, Hadestown features music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell with direction by Rachel Chavkin.
Hadestown is produced in London by Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, Tom Kirdahy and the National Theatre in association with JAS Theatricals.
It makes its West End premiere at the Lyric Theatre from 10 February 2024, with press night on 21 February.
Sheffield Theatres’ production of Standing at the Sky’s Edge, co-produced by the National Theatre and Various Productions, will make its West End debut in 2024. Originally written as a love letter to Sheffield and an ode to the iconic Park Hill Estate, Standing at the Sky’s Edge is directed by Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director Robert Hastie and features songs by Richard Hawley with book by Chris Bush. This Olivier Award-winning new British musical is a heartfelt exploration of the power of community and what it is we all call home.
Playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre from 8 February 2024, with a press night on 28 February 2024.
The Lehman Trilogy, co-produced with Neal Street Productions, will open in Sydney and San Francisco in 2024.
In association with Trafalgar Entertainment, this critically acclaimed, five-time Tony Award®-winning epic play by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, directed by Academy Award and Tony Award®-winning director Sam Mendes, with set design by Es Devlin will make its Australian premiere at Theatre Royal Sydney.
Playing from 21 February for a strictly limited season with tickets on sale via the venue’s website on 18 October.
The Lehman Trilogy will also visit the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Playing from 25 May until 23 June 2024 at American Conservatory Theater’s Toni Rembe Theater. Tickets are now available to purchase via the venue’s website.
National Theatre Learning
With National Theatre Learning activity now reaching every local authority across the UK, the National Theatre Collection continues to be a vital digital resource, with 85 per cent of all UK state secondary schools signed up to use the resource in the classroom.
Ten new titles announced today will be added to the National Theatre Collection in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing in February 2024, taking the total number of titles available to state schools to stream for free to 70. These new plays are also available to access for free in local libraries across the UK.
The ten new titles are:
The Wife of Willesden adapted by Zadie Smith and directed by Indhu Rubasingham at Kiln Theatre
Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood directed by Lyndsey Turner, with cast including Michael Sheen
National Theatre primary schools’ touring production of Hamlet adapted by Jude Christian and directed by Tinuke Craig
Othello directed by Clint Dyer, with cast including Giles Terera and Rosie McEwan
Romeo and Julie, a modern love story by Gary Owen and directed by Rachel O’Riordan, with a cast which includes Callum Scott Howells
New musical Hex based on ‘Sleeping Beauty’ directed by Rufus Norris with book by Tanya Ronder, music by Jim Fortune and lyrics by Rufus Norris
The Great Wave by Francis Turnly and directed by Indhu Rubasingham
Shakespeare’s comedy of love and change As You Like It directed by Polly Findlay
Dixon and Daughters by Deborah Bruce and directed by Róisín McBrinn in a co-production with Clean Break
Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress and directed by Nancy Medina
Applications are currently open for teachers take part the National Theatre’s Drama Teacher Conference in February 2024 with workshops and masterclasses from creatives across the industry including Katie Mitchell, Ian Rickson and Gecko Theatre, exploring their new production Kin.
Applications are also open for young people to take part in free In Focus: theatre-making workshops exploring the theatre-making process of upcoming productions.
For more information please visit nationaltheatre.org.uk/learning