Labour, Atkins & Redgrave Form Nunn's NT FinaleDate: 19 November 2002
The National Theatre has announced the final programming schedule under the artistic directorship of Trevor Nunn who hands over the reins to Nicholas Hytner on 1 April 2003. In the first three months of next year - the last three months under Nunn - new productions will include: John Webster's Jacobean tragedy The Duchess of Malfi, starring Janet McTeer (See News, 18 Nov 2002); the UK premiere of Honour starring Eileen Atkins and Corin Redgrave; and the Ninagawa Company's visiting Japanese production of Shakespeare's Pericles.
Nunn (pictured) will himself bid farewell as director with his Christmas production of American musical classic Anything Goes, running from 11 December 2002 to 8 February 2003 (See News, 30 Sep 2002), followed by a new mounting of Shakespeare's comedy Love's Labour's Lost, presented by an ensemble of actors.
In Love's Labour's Lost, Nunn's very last production as artistic director, the cast includes John Barrowman (Dumaine), Simon Day (King of Navarre), Denis Quilley (Boyet), Robin Soans (Holofernes), Anthony Cable, Paul Grunet, Richard Henders, Akiya Henry and Tam Mutu. It is designed by John Gunter, with lighting by David Hersey, and opens in the NT Olivier on 21 February.
Anything Goes and Love's Labour's Lost conclude Nunn's five and half years as leader of the National, where his many award-winning productions have included South Pacific, The Relapse, My Fair Lady, The Cherry Orchard, Albert Speer, Summerfolk, The Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida, Not About Nightingales and, this year, A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Glenn Close, and Tom Stoppard's trilogy The Coast of Utopia.
Roger Michell directs the UK premiere of Honour, the play by Australian Joanna Murray-Smith that anatomises the failure of a marriage. Though her plays have been produced often in her native Australia and across the globe - with Honour mounted on Broadway in 1998 - this will be the first time her work has been produced in the UK. The production opens at the NT Cottesloe on 27 February (previews 21 February). It stars Redgrave and Atkins and is designed by William Dudley, with lighting by Rick Fisher.
Following his previous visits to the National with Suicide for Love (1989) and Macbeth and Medea (1987), renowned Japanese director Yukio Ninagawa returns with his company's production of Pericles, translated by Kazuko Matsuoka and performed in Japanese. It will run in the NT Olivier for ten performances only from 28 March to 5 April.
- by Terri Paddock