The National Theatre has today postponed the press night for Deborah Warner’s new staging of Bertolt Brecht’s 1939 polemic Mother Courage and Her Children, which stars Fiona Shaw in the title role.

The final production in this year’s Travelex £10 Season, it was due to open this Thursday 16 September 2009 (previews from 9 September) in the NT Olivier, where it runs in rep for a limited season to 8 December. It will now have its press performance on Friday 25 September.

An NT spokesperson told Whatsonstage.com that, following a last-minute cast replacement, “the show needs a bit more time and a few more performances” before it faces the critics. With the rep schedule, the postponement provides four more public performances before the press night.

Stephen Kennedy has replaced Peter Gowen as the chaplain. The cast also comprises: Anthony Mark Barrow, William J Cassidy, Johannes Flaschberger, Jonathan Gunthorpe, Stephen Kennedy, Youssef Kerkour, Martin Marquez, Louis McKenzie, Kyle McPhail, Siobhán McSweeney, Harry Melling, Eleanor Montgomery, Stephen O'Toole, Charlotte Randle, Guy Rhys, Clifford Samuel, Gary Sefton, Roger Sloman, Colin Stinton, Sophie Stone, Morgan Watkins and Sargon Yelda.

Mother Courage continues a long and fruitful collaboration between Fiona Shaw and director Deborah Warner. The women have previously worked together on Happy Days, Richard II, The Good Person of Sichuan and The Powerbook at the National, as well as Medea (West End and Broadway), Electra, Hedda Gabler and The Wasteland.

This new version of the Brecht classic is translated by Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Caroline, Or Change) and designed by Tom Pye, with costumes by Ruth Myers and lighting by Jean Kalman.