Theatre News

Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart to be staged at the National Theatre

An all-star cast will appear in the piece, co-produced with Fictionhouse

Daniel Monks, Ben Daniels, Danny Lee Winter and Stanley Townsend
Daniel Monks, Ben Daniels, Danny Lee Winter and Stanley Townsend

Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart will be staged in the socially distanced Olivier Theatre next year.

Not seen professionally in London since its 1986 European premiere, the piece follows Ned Weeks, founder of an AIDS advocacy group. It was adapted for HBO in 2014.

The show is set to be directed by Dominic Cooke (Follies) with design by Vicki Mortimer and lighting by Paule Constable. It will star Ben Daniels as Weeks, with Danny Lee Wynter as Tommy Boatwright, Daniel Monks as Mickey Marcus and Stanley Townsend as Ben Weeks.

Tickets will go on sale at the end of November, with the show to be staged in February 2021.

Cooke said: "As a student I was lucky enough to see the landmark Royal Court production of The Normal Heart starring Martin Sheen. It had a profound effect on me at the time and I've wanted to direct the play ever since. It is the rarest of things; a history play written by one of its key participants. It deals with the nature of political activism, the internal battle many LGBT people fight to feel worthy of love and, topically, the refusal of those in power to face the reality of an unfolding health crisis.

"Larry Kramer was a firebrand and The Normal Heart is written with all of his characteristic ferocity, political insight and wit. I've been talking with Ben Daniels for over five years about playing Ned Weeks. He is one of our greatest actors and I cannot wait to begin working with him, alongside the rest of the company and the brilliant team at the NT who Kate Horton and I, as Fictionhouse, will be co-producing with."

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