National stages Haddon's Night-time, Bean's Cristo & Bennett's PeopleDate: 25 January 2012
The National Theatre has today announced productions for the remainder of 2012 and beyond at its annual press conference, hosted by artistic director Nicholas Hytner.
Highlights include, as previously reported, a new play by Alan Bennett titled People, as well as major adaptations of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Simon Stephens, and of The Count of Monte Cristo by Richard Bean, directed by Timothy Sheader making his NT debut.
Classic revivals include Polly Findlay's production of Sophocles' Antigone, Shakespeare's Timon of Athens directed by Hytner, Bijan Sheibani's staging of Damned for Despair by Tirso de Molina, and Nadia Fall's production of Bernard Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma.
There will also be new works from Stephen Beresford, Lisa D'Amour, James Graham and Lucy Prebble, while Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork's award-winning musical London Road will be revived by Rufus Norris in the Olivier Theatre for a short season from July.
Looking further ahead to 2013 when the National celebrates its 50th anniversary, Antony Sher (currently appearing in Travelling Light) will return to play the title role in Carl Zuckmayer's The Captain of Kopenick, directed by Adrian Noble in the Olivier in January.
In the Olivier
2012 marks the tenth Travelex Tickets season at the National and today Travelex announced the renewal of their sponsorship for a further three years, from 2013 to 2015. This year, almost half the tickets for five plays in the Olivier Theatre will again be offered at just £12 (the rest will be £22 and £32).
The first new production for the 2012 Travelex season, opening on 30 May, will be Sophocles' Antigone, in a version by Don Taylor, directed by Polly Findlay (Double Feature, Roald Dahl's Twisted Tales).
The season will continue in July with Timon of Athens, directed by Nicholas Hytner as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, with Simon Russell Beale as Timon, and will culminate in October with Tirso de Molina's Damned for Despair, in a version by Frank McGuinness, directed by Bijan Sheibani.
In November, Open Air Theatre artistic director Timothy Sheader will make his NT directorial debut with Richard Bean's new adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas.
Bean's previous plays for the National include The Mentalists, England People Very Nice and the multi award-winning One Man, Two Guvnors, which is currently running in the West End and will soon transfer to Broadway.
Currently in previews in the Olivier, Jamie Lloyd's production of Oliver Goldsmith's classic English comedy She Stoops to Conquer, with a cast including David Fynn, Harry Hadden-Paton, John Heffernan, Cush Jumbo, Katherine Kelly, Steve Pemberton and Sophie Thompson, opens on 31 January 2012.
It's followed in May with the Olivier transfer of Hytner's production of Collaborators by John Hodge, following its sell-out Cottesloe run; Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale recreate their roles as Bulgakov and Stalin.
In the Lyttelton
Opening in the NT Lyttelton on 18 April 2012 for a limited season, Enda Walsh's Misterman will receive its London premiere.
The production will see Cillian Murphy - the lead in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later who has also been seen in films such as Batman Begins, Breakfast on Pluto, The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Inception - recreate his solo performance in the Landmark Productions/Galway Arts Festival production which has previously played in Ireland and New York. Murphy was last seen in the West End in the November 2006 New Ambassador's production of Love Song appearing alongside Neve Campbell.
In June Howard Davies, who has recently helmed the National's The Cherry Orchard and The White Guard will direct Julie Walters, Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory in Stephen Beresford's new play, The Last of the Haussmans.
Following that production Nadia Fall will revived George Bernard Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma in July.
As previously reported, Alan Bennett new play People will open in the NT Lyttelton in late October. Hytner, who will direct the production, kept his cards close to his chest regarding precise details but said the script made him "howl with laughter", and that the play features over 15 characters.
Hytner has helmed two Bennett premieres during his reign as NT artistic director, the multi award-winning international hit The History Boys (on screen as well as stage) and The Habit of Art. His other collaborations with Bennett include The Madness of George III (also premiered at the National, though not during Hytner's tenure as artistic director, and made into a film), which is now being revived in the West End with David Haig, and The Lady in the Van.
Looking further into future, it has been announced that Howard Davies will stage Maxim Gorky's 1905 play Children of the Sun in March 2013.
Finally, as previously reported, acclaimed physical theatre company DV8 will return to the National this year, bringing director Lloyd Newson's new work about freedom of speech, Islam and multiculturalism, Can We Talk About This?, to the South Bank from 12 to 22 March 2012 (previews from 9 March) whilst Travelling Light is on a national tour.
In the Cottesloe
In April, Inua Ellams returns to the NT Cottesloe in April with Black T-Shirt Collection, which is presented by Fuel.
As previously reported, Lisa D'Amour's Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Detroit will transfer to the NT Cottesloe in May, directed by Austin Pendleton who directed the original production by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The production will open with a new London cast.
The book, which told in the first-person perspective of Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy on the autism spectrum living in Swindon, also won Haddon the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book.
Looking forward, director Rupert Goold is reunited with Enron playwright Lucy Prebble in a new co-production. No further details have been announced for the production, which follows the companies Cottesloe August 2010 co-production Earthquakes in London. The new play will debut in November 2012.
Finally in the Cottesloe, National Theatre associate Katie Mitchell returns to direct Hansel and Gretel in a new version for four to seven year-olds in December. Mitchell, whose The Trial of Ubu opened at the Hampstead Theatre last night, directed the National Theatre's 2010 children's show Beauty and the Beast in the Cottesloe.
New tours for 2012/13
Hytner also announced today that several major NT productions will tour the UK and internationally in the coming few years.
These include a second UK tour for One Man, Two Guvnors, which will visit Leicester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Belfast, Blackpool, Norwick, Leeds, Llandudno and Salford in autumn 2012, followed by an international tour.
Travelling Light, starring Anthony Sher, will tour the UK from March with the original cast, led by Anthony Sher, to Salford, Leeds, Aylesbury and Newcastle.
And, as previously announced, the NT's runaway hit War Horse will embark on a nine-month UK tour from September 2013, starting in Plymouth. It will also tour the US this year, starting at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre in February and subsequently visiting 20 US cities.
Hytner said today that, thanks to the continued success of War Horse as well as the growth of NT Live and touring partnerships, he expects the National's annual audience to exceed three million by 2013.