Theatre News

Further casting announced for Tori Amos’ The Light Princess, NT marks 50 years

Casting and dates have been announced for the National Theatre’s autumn programme, along with further details of its 50th anniversary celebrations in October

Poster image for The Light Princess
Poster image for The Light Princess

Tori Amos’ new musical The Light Princess will premiere in the NT Lyttelton on 9 October 2013 (previews from 25 September), it has been confirmed.

The production, which features music and lyrics by Amos and book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson, is directed by Marianne Elliott, whose previous National Theatre credits include War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

Billed as “a dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love”, it will be designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Paule Constable and choreography by Steven Hoggett (Black Watch, Once).

The cast, as previously announced, features Rosalie Craig (Table, London Road, NT) as Althea, the titular princess, opposite Nick Hendrix (The Winslow Boy, Old Vic) as Digby, a neighbouring Prince.

Rosalie Craig
Rosalie Craig
© Dan Wooller

The cast also includes: Amy Booth-Steel, Stephanie Bron, Vivien Carter, James Charlton, Hal Fowler, Owain Gwynn, Nicola Hart, C J Johnson, Luke Johnson, David Langham, Richard Lowe, Tommy Luther, Jamie Muscato, Emma Norin, Malinda Parris, Kane Oliver Parry, Adam Pearce, Caspar Phillipson, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Clive Rowe, Nuno Silva, Phoebe Street, Ben Thompson and Lynne Wilmot.

According to press material: “Once in opposing kingdoms lived a princess and a prince who had lost their mothers. Althea, unable to cry, became light with grief and floated, and so was locked away. Digby became so heavy-hearted that he could never smile, and so was trained as a warrior.

“One day, he declares war. Althea is forced out of hiding and down to ground but, in defiance of her father, she escapes, only to encounter the solemn prince on contested land. Beside a lake the warring heirs begin a passionate and illicit affair. But for Althea to find real love, she must first confront the world’s darkness and face her own deepest fears.”

Tickets are on general sale from 1 July.

Kirby and Soller join Heffernan in Edward II

Also confirmed are dates and further casting for Joe Hill-Gibbins’ NT debut production of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II which, as previously announced, stars John Heffernan (The Hothouse, She Stoops to Conquer) in the title role.

The production, which will offer “a contemporary take on Marlowe’s magnificent, erotic and violent play”, will run in the NT Olivier from 4 September 2013 (previews from 28 August), continuing in rep til 26 October as part of the Travelex £12 Tickets initiative.

Vanessa Kirby
Vanessa Kirby
© Dan Wooller

Joining Heffernan in the principal cast are Vanessa Kirby (Three Sisters, Young Vic) as Queen Isabella and Kyle Soller (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, West End) as Gaveston.

It’s followed in the Olivier by Bijan Sheibani’s Christmas production of Erich Kästner’s Emil and the Detectives, adapted by Carl Miller, which opens on 4 December (previews from 16 November).

The cast includes Naomi Frederick and Sue Wallace; the central characters of Emil and the Detectives will be played by 9-13 year olds, with a 50-strong ensemble of children recruited from local London boroughs, schools and youth theatres.

Casting has also been announced today for former artistic director Richard Eyre’s production of Liolà by Luigi Pirandello, in a new version by Tanya Ronder, which opens in the NT Lyttelton on 7 August.

A Travelex £12 Tickets production, the cast is: Anne Bird, Charlotte Bradley, Anthony Delaney, Lisa Dwyer Hogg, Jenny Fennessy, James Hayes, Rory Keenan, Carla Langley, Rosaleen Linehan, Niamh McGowan, Gertrude Montgomery, Roxanna Nic Liam, Aisling O’Sullivan, Jessica Regan, David Summer and Eileen Walsh.

More Shed programming, 50th Anniversary marked

The temporary Shed venue, situated in front of the main National Theatre building, will stage a season of ‘Limited Editition’ productions from 9 to 21 September 2013, featuring some of “Britain’s most exciting new theatre-makers” including companies Sleepdogs, Little Bulb and The Wardrobe Ensemble.

The NT Shed
The NT Shed

From 30 September to 26 October (previews from 25 September), The Shed will host the UK premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s contemporary China-set play The World of Extreme Happiness, directed by Michael Longhurst.

And from 5 November to 5 December (previews from 30 October) Royal Court playwright debbie tucker green will present her new play nut, starring Gershwyn Eustache Jr, Nadine Marshall, Anthony Welsh and Sharlene Whyte.

The National will mark its 50th Anniversary in October with a series of platforms, screenings and interactive events.

These include a ‘thrilling evening of live performance and rare glimpses from the archive’, which will be broadcast on BBC2 on a yet-to-be confirmed date. It will feature extracts from NT hit shows including The History Boys, Guys and Dolls and Angels in America.

The BBC will also show a new Arena documentary telling the story of the National, from Laurence Olivier’s Old Vic company to the South Bank. And NT Live will broadcast a series of ‘encore’ screenings of recent productions Hamlet, Frankenstein and The Habit of Art.

There will also be a series of platform discussions and exhibitions marking the history of the company, as well as The National Trail, a ‘part-treasure hunt, part-history tour’ which invites audiences to take an interactive journey around the NT building.

A National Theatre pop-up shop will appear on the South Bank this autumn selling “unique items created for the anniversary”.