Three More Productions for NT EnsembleDate: 19 April 1999
Following the success of company productions of Troilus and Cressida and the just opened Candide, the National Theatre has announced the next three productions for its recently formed NT Ensemble company. The new season includes a Victorian comedy, a Gorky revival and another classic Shakespeare.
John Caird, who directed the new version of Bernstein's Candide, based on the Voltaire novel, returns to direct Money by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, which opens in the Olivier Theatre on 3 June (previews from 28 May). Alfred Evelyn, a poor dependent in Sir John Vesey's household, unexpectedly inherits a fortune and the impact is felt by everyone. Simon Russell Beale, currently starring as Pangloss in Candide, plays Evelyn. He is joined by Roger Allam as Graves and Victoria Hamilton as Clara. Design is by Rob Howell with lighting by Peter Mumford, music by Jonathan Dove and sound by Fergus O'Hare.
Following his direction of Troilus and Cressida, National artistic director Trevor Nunn turns his hand to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which has only been produced once before by the National, in 1970. The play opens in the Cottesloe Theatre on 17 June (previews from 11 June). It features Henry Goodman as Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, and Derbhle Crotty as Portia, the young heiress who confronts him in a climactic trial. The Merchant of Venice is designed by Hildegard Bechtler with lighting by Peter Mumford, music by Steven Edis and sound by Paul Groothuis.
Nunn also directs Maxim Gorky's Summerfolk which opens in the Olivier 3 September (previews from 27 August). The play centres around a group of Russian holidaymakers at the turn of the century. Relationships come under strain, love affairs are exposed and business scandals revealed as the arguments for social change disturb the tranquil summer. Summerfolk is designed by Christopher Oram with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by Paul Groothuis.