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New plays from Tom Stoppard and David Hare in Nicholas Hytner's final National Theatre season

The artistic director of the Southbank venue has today announced the final year of programming under his leadership

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Nicholas Hytner
© Dan Wooller

Nicholas Hytner has unveiled his final season as artistic director of the National Theatre, which features new plays from David Hare, Richard Bean and Tom Stoppard plus a new version of Medea starring Helen McCrory and a Christmas production of Treasure Island.

New writing

Hytner will direct a new play from Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors), with the title to be confirmed, in the Lyttelton Theatre this summer.

Other new projects announced today include a new play from David Hare, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo's Mumbai-set book.

Artistic director-in-waiting Rufus Norris, who takes over from Hytner in April 2015, will direct the production, which opens at the Olivier in November.

Croatian-born writer Tena Štivičić's new play opens in the Lyttelton December, directed by National associate Howard Davies (Children of the Sun, The Last of the Haussmans).

And Nicholas Hytner's final directed show will be a new play by Tom Stoppard, details of which - including the title - are being kept very much under wraps. It opens at the Dorfman Theatre in January 2015.

Hytner said today he has been "nagging" Stoppard to write a play for the National "about twice a year" for the past decade. Stoppard's last work for the venue, The Coast of Utopia trilogy, premiered in 2002.

Also in the Dorfman (formerly the Cottesloe), Marianne Elliott (War Horse) will direct Sam Holcroft's new play Rules for Living, which opens in March 2015.

Hytner was keen to emphasise that eight of the 14 new plays in 2014-15 are by women, in response to criticism of the lack of female playwrights represented during his tenure.

Olivier Theatre

Carrie Cracknell will helm a new adaptation, by Ben Power, of Euripides' Medea in July starring Helen McCrory in the title role, which will be broadcast live from the Olivier on 4 September as part of NT Live.

As previously announced, Rona Munro's James Plays, a co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland centring on the first three Stewart kings, will come to the Olivier Theatre in September. Directed by Laurie Sansom, the cast includes Sofie Grabøl, Blythe Duff, James McArdle, Andrew Rothney and Jamie Sives.

The Christmas show in the Olivier will be an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island by Bryony Lavery, directed by Polly Findlay, which opens in December.

The 12th Travelex season will offer 100,000 £15 tickets, to productions including Medea, The James Plays, John and Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

Cillian Murphy in Misterman

Lyttelton returnees

Cillian Murphy will reunite with Enda Walsh following the acclaimed Misterman at the National in 2012, starring in Ballyturk which opens in September. The play, which will receive its world premiere at the Galway Arts Festival this July, also features Mikel Murfi and Stephen Rea.

Physical theatre company DV8 will return to the Lyttelton Theatre in October with a new show, John.

As previously rumoured, Ralph Fiennes will star as John Tanner in a revival of George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman. Directed by Simon Godwin, it opens in the Lyttelton Theatre in February 2015.

And the Lyttelton will also host a reprise of 1927's acclaimed production The Animals and Children Took to the Streets in May, which Hytner said audiences "can't get enough of".

In the Shed and on tour

Originally opened as a temporary venue whilst the Cottesloe Theatre underwent renovation to become the Dorfman, the Shed will now remain open until 2017.

The new season in the theatre will include a transfer from the Park Theatre, Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang, which will open in May.

It will also see a new play from Polly Stenham (That Face) called Hotel. Directed by Maria Aberg, it opens in June.

Meanwhile Watch This Space, the outdoor festival that has traditionally run in the space currently occupied by The Shed, will embark on a 'neighbourhood tour'. Throughout July and August, the festival hub will be at St John's Church on Waterloo Roudabout, with outdoor entertainment in and around the churchyard.

Watch This Space will also 'pop up' with unexpected shows across Lambeth and Southwark, at locations ranging from Brockwell Park to the Aylesbury Estate.