Martin Clunes and Patrick Malahide will feature in the National's new schedule for early 2002. Clunes makes his South Bank debut in the title role of Moliere's Tartuffe while Malahide will star in the world premiere of Sebastian Barry's Hinterland, in a co-production with Out of Joint and the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Receiving its UK premiere will be Pamela Gien's Off-Broadway solo show The Syringa Tree.

The three new productions join the NT repertoire, which continues to feature Gregory Burke's Gagarin Way, Billy Bryden's production of The Good Hope starring Frances de la Tour, Harold Pinter's 25th anniversary production of No Man's Land and Trevor Nunn's revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific.

Best known as Gary from the TV series Men Behaving Badly, Martin Clunes has previously appeared on stage in The Admirable Crichton (Haymarket), Valued Friends (Hampstead), Julius Caesar (Open Air) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Three Sisters and Unsuitable for Adults (Bristol Old Vic). His film credits include The Russia House, Staggered, An Evening with Gary Lineker, Saving Grace and Shakespeare in Love.

Tartuffe, in a new translation by Ranjit Bolt, opens in the NT Lyttelton on 5 March 2002, following previews from 23 February. It is directed by Lindsay Posner, with design by Ashley Martin-Davies, lighting by Wolfgang Goebbel, musich by Gary Yershon and sound by Christopher Shutt. Written in the 17th century, the play tells the story of a religious hypocrite who worms his way into the once-ordered household of a prosperous merchant.

In Hinterland, Patrick Malahide plays Johnny Sylvester, once father of the Irish nation who, now past his heyday, is forced to revisit his dubious past. Malahide's stage credits include Mutabilitie (NT Cottesloe), Map of the Heart (Globe) and In the Ruins (Royal Court), while his extensive film and television work includes Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Billy Elliot, The Killing Fields, Victoria and Albert, Middlemarch and five series of Minder.

Sebastian Barry's last play at the National was the award-winning Our Lady of Sligo, also co-produced by Out of Joint. Hinterland is directed by Out of Joint's Max Stafford-Clark, with design by Es Devlin and lighting by Johanna Town. The production will open in the NT Cottesloe on 4 March 2002 (previews from 27 February).

The Syringa Tree, written and performed by Pamela Gien, will also play in the Cottesloe, opening on 14 February, following previews from 9 February. It comes direct from New York where it played for two years and garnered numerous accolades including Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards. It tells the story of two families - one black, one white - and the two children born into their shared household in early 1960s South Africa.

Terri Paddock