The Sunday Times reports that the National Theatre is preparing for a “full-scale shift away from musicals and West End-style hits with a run of polemical plays about current events”. According to the newspaper, a series of five half-hour plays, running under the title National Headlines, will be written by the likes of Tom Stoppard, David Hare, Simon Gray and, making his theatrical debut, poet Murray Lachlan Young, and will tackle topics including the NHS, Palestine, the Countryside Alliance, sexuality and tabloid journalism. A theatre spokesperson confirmed to Whatsonstage.com that - coinciding with the premiere production of Stuff Happens, David Hare’s play about the Iraq War - there will be a series of politically orientated events in October as part of the NT’s ongoing Platform programme, but said that no subjects had been confirmed, nor any contributors approached. The rest she said was “total speculation”.