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National Theatre confirms details for spring/summer 2012

By • West End
The National Theatre has confirmed details of its spring/summer season, with several productions running as part of the London 2012 Festival – the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

As previously reported, season highlights include Timon of Athens starring NT stalwart Simon Russell Beale, The Last of the Haussmans starring Rory Kinnear, Helen McCrory and Julie Walters, the return of award-winning musical London Road and an adaptation of Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Last of the Haussmans, which runs from 19 June to 9 September (previews from 12 June) in the Lyttelton, is a new play by Stephen Beresford examining “the fate of the revolutionary generation”. Walters plays an anarchic, ageing high society drop out who holds court in her dilapidated Art Deco house on the Devon Coast. Howard Davies directs the production, which runs as part of London 2012.

It’s joined in rep in the Lyttelton, from 24 July (previews from 17 July), by a revival of Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma, which centres on a Harley Street doctor who must decide which of his patients most deserves treatment. Directed by Nadia Fall, the cast includes Tom Burke, Aden Gillett, Paul McLeary, Genevieve O'Reilly and Malcolm Sinclair.

In the larger Olivier theatre, Timon of Athens starring Simon Russell Beale in the title role opens on 17 July (previews from 10 July), and runs as part of the latest Travelex £12 season. Directed by NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner, the cast also includes Martin Chamberlain, Jason Cheater, Stavros Demetraki, Paul Dodds, Deborah Findlay, Ciaran McMenamin and Nick Sampson. The production is one of the National’s contributions to the RSC’s World Shakespeare Festival, which is part of London 2012.

It’s joined in rep, from 28 July, by the return of Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s Whatsonstage.com Award-winning musical London Road, which also runs as part of the Travelex £12 Tickets season. The show documents the events of 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women.

Original cast members returning for the run include Clare Burt, Kate Fleetwood, Hal Fowler, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer, Nicola Sloane, Paul Thornley and Duncan Wisbey. Rufus Norris directs.

Meanwhile, London Road’s original home the Cottesloe will host a new adaptation of Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, about a teenage boy with Asperger syndrome, by playwright Simon Stephens (Harper Regan).

Directed by NT associate Marianne Elliott (War Horse), the cast includes Matthew Barker, Niamh Cusack, Maggie Service, Nick Sidi, Una Stubbs, Luke Treadaway, Nicola Walker and Howard Ward. It opens on 2 August (previews from 24 July) and runs as part of London 2012.

NT goes Inside Out

Between 1 June and 9 September, the National will stage National Theatre Inside Out, offering a “packed festival programme as the theatre bursts out onto its riverside terraces and squares.”

The Pop-up Workshop on the terrace balcony will offer a range of free performances and activities for all ages. Visitors will be able to try their hand at puppetry and prop-making and learn about stage combat, costume design, or the art of slapstick and commedia. There will be plays performed by young people, story-telling for the very young and a chance to see the winning play from the NT’s New Views playwriting competition.

Cesario, a new play by Bryony Lavery for ages 7+ commissioned for the World Shakespeare Festival, will be performed from 22 to 25 August with a cast of young people from London schools directed by Anthony Banks.

The annual Watch This Space Festival will showcase the best of national and international outdoor performance. Highlights include the London premiere of Barricade by NoFit State Circus, billed as “a maelstrom of high-skill aerial and acrobatics”, France’s Cie Bilbobasso, who return to Theatre Square with Polar, a “stunning tango danced in flames” and The Ark-ive, created by the National Theatre and WildWorks.

In a first for the National, two of its Studio affiliate companies, Made In China and non zero one, have been commissioned to create site-specific work to be performed on the National Theatre’s balcony and terrace spaces. Made In China’s Get Stuff Break Free from 25 June to 4 July is a “funny and moving parable of consumerism, disconnection and the flickering hope of overcoming them”. From 6 to 14 July non zero one’s you’ll see (me sailing in antarctica) invites audiences to meet around a table, to explore the way we look and the way we see.

A specially designed riverfront cafe bar, The Propstore, will evoke the National’s backstage world. Fully licensed and open seven days a week from 12 noon, it will offer late night music on Fridays and Saturdays until 2am.

There will also be Inside Out activity in the theatre’s foyers. From 9 to 26 June, Me and My Shadow sees an interactive pod, linking four European cities, transporting people live to a shared digital space with life-size projections and dynamic sound. Two exhibitions, The Making of War Horse (18 June to 9 September) and The Making of Timon, in association with the British Museum (17 July to 9 September), will follow these two productions on their journey from the National Theatre’s Studio, workshops and rehearsal rooms.

Some of National Theatre Inside Out’s highlights will be part of the London 2012 Festival.

Elsewhere Connections, which takes place in the Lyttelton and Cottesloe from 20-25 June, is the National Theatre’s annual festival of new plays for young performers. This year’s themes range from the plight of teenage soldiers caught in the military machine, to a British Punjabi wedding; and from a new rock-musical take on Alice in Wonderland from the creators of Spring Awakening, to an imagined prequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Beyond the South Bank

Following two record-breaking runs at the National and the Adelphi Theatre, and now playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors will embark on a second UK tour this autumn.

Nicholas Hytner’s production will visit: Leicester Curve (25 October – 3 November); Newcastle Theatre Royal (6 – 10 November); Glasgow Theatre Royal (13 – 17 November); Belfast Grand Opera (20 – 24 November); Blackpool Grand (27 November – 1 December); Norwich Theatre Royal (4 – 8 December); Leeds Grand (11 – 15 December); Venue Cymru, Llandudno (2 – 5 January 2013); The Lowry, Salford (8 – 19 January); Wales Millennium, Cardiff (22 – 26 January); and Nottingham Theatre Royal (29 January – 2 February), followed by an international tour. One Man, Two Guvnors opens at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre on 18 April.

And finally, owing to popular demand, Danny Boyle’s award-winning production Frankenstein returns to cinemas through NT Live from June. Joint Evening Standard Award winners (and Olivier nominees) Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternate the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature in Nick Dear’s play, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, in a special two-part presentation. Later this autumn there will also be broadcasts of The Last of the Haussmans (11 October) and Timon of Athens (1 November).

Tags: Oliviers


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