Rising star Jodie Whittaker will make her National Theatre debut when she plays the title role in Polly Findlay’s forthcoming revival of Antigone, which opens in the NT Olivier on 30 May (previews from 23 May).

Whittaker rose to fame starring opposite Peter O'Toole in the film Venus and has since appeared in TV series including Cranford, Marchlands and Black Mirror.

Her theatre work includes Awake and Sing! and Enemies (Almeida), The Storm (Globe) and Bash (Trafalgar Studios).

In Sophocles' classic Greek tragedy, the laws of the gods and the laws of humans are pitted against one another. War has destroyed Antigone's world - her brothers lie dead on the battlefield while Creon her uncle has seized the throne. Alone, she stands against Creon's tyranny, risking her life to bury her allegedly traitorous brother.

Polly Findlay directed DC Moore’s The Swan and Prasanna Puwanarajah’s Nightwatchman for Double Feature in the NT’s Paintframe in 2011. She was the winner of the JMK Award for Young Directors, and the recipient of the 2006/07 Bulldog Prinsep Bursary at the NT Studio.


In other National Theatre news:

  • In the NT Cottesloe, Clare Dunne will be among the cast of Detroit by Lisa D’Amour, which receives its UK premiere in a new production by Austin Pendleton, who directed the premiere of this “brutal, hilarious” play at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2011. Opening on 15 May (previews from 8 May), it examines the relationship between two neighbouring couples in the suburb of a mid-sized American city.

  • Also in the Cottesloe, performance poet Inua Ellams will return with Black T-Shirt Collection, playing in rep from 31 to 24 April (preview 12 April). The show sees Ellams tell a new story about two foster brothers building a global t-shirt brand. On their journey from a market in Nigeria to a sweatshop in China, Matthew and Muhammed discover the consequences of success.

  • The National has announced full casting for One Man, Two Guvnors when it transfers to the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 2 March. Joining the previously announced Owain Arthur (Francis Henshall), Martin Barrass (Alfie), David Benson (Gareth), Nigel Betts (Harry), Derek Elroy (Lloyd), Gerard Horan (Charlie), Daniel Ings (Alan), Ben Mansfield (Stanley), Jodie Prenger (Dolly), Hannah Spearritt (Pauline) and Gemma Whelan (Rachel) are: Robin Berry, Gillian Budd, Andrew Dennis, Laura Matthews, Richard Shanks and Matthew Woodyatt.

  • The full cast of Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, which opens in the Cottesloe on 14 March directed by Michael Buffong, is: Jude Akuwudike, Jade Anouka, Ray Emmet Brown, Burt Caesar, Trevor Michael Georges, Jenny Jules, Martina Laird, Joshua McCord, Danny Sapani, Tahirah Sharif and Lloyd Thomas.