In the NT Lyttelton (See The Goss, 21 Jul 2006), Thérèse Raquin - in a version by Nicholas Wright directed by Marianne Elliott, who scored a hit on the same stage last November with Samuel Adamson’s new version of Ibsen’s 1877 moral thriller Pillars of the Community - will open on 13 November 2006 (previews from 4 November).
In Zola’s 19th-century tale of lust, murder and retribution, Thérèse, unhappily married to Camille, embarks on a passionate affair with the couple’s lodger Laurent, with whom she conspires to murder her husband, under the very nose of his doting mother. The successful deed sets in motion a chain of nightmarish consequences for the guilt-ridden culprits.
Zola was first to adapt his 1867 novel for the stage, in an 1873 play that also scandalised French society of the time. Versions since include English composer Michael Finnissy’s 1992 opera; Peter Flannery’s 2005 play The Bodies, which relocated the story to Victorian Tyneside (See News, 22 Jun 2005); and various films, including one soon to be released starring Glenn Close as Madame Raquin.
At the National, Ben Daniels will star as Laurent. Daniels has most recently been seen on stage in The Wild Duck and The God of Hell at the Donmar Warehouse, while his previous NT credits include Iphigenia at Aulis, Three Sisters and All My Sons, for which he won both an Olivier and a Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor. On screen, he’s been seen in Doom, Conspiracy, Beautiful Thing and three series of Cutting It, amongst others.
Others so far confirmed for the NT cast include Mark Hadfield, Emma Lowndes and Judy Parfitt. Thérèse Raquin is designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with costumed by Fotini Dimou, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Olly Fox and sound by Christopher Shutt.
In the NT Cottesloe (See The Goss, 21 Jul 2006), Waves, which according to promotional material is “suggested by” Woolf’s fragmented and dreamlike novel The Waves, opens on 16 November 2006 (previews from 8 November). The multimedia production is devised by director Katie Mitchell and her company, which will include Kate Duchene, Anastasia Hille and Liz Kettle.
Credited as Woolf’s most experimental work, 1931’s The Waves consists of dramatic monologues from six characters which are broken up by poetic sections describing a coastal setting at different times of the day. Last year in the Cottesloe, Mitchell – working with Caryl Churchill and her collaborative cast – presented a highly acclaimed version of Strindberg’s rarely staged A Dream Play, which, like Woolf’s work, also explored concepts of individuality and self through a stream of consciousness and semi-consciousness.
Mitchell’s other work at the National includes Ivanov, Three Sisters, Iphigenia at Aulis and, currently running in the NT Lyttelton with Juliet Stevenson and Ben Whishaw, Chekhov’s The Seagull. Waves is designed by Vicki Mortimer, with lighting by Paule Constable and sound by Gareth Fry.
- by Terri Paddock