Theatre News

National revives Ayckbourn's Small Family Business and O'Casey's Silver Tassie

New productions have been announced for the Olivier, Lyttelton and NT Shed

Nigel Lindsay
Nigel Lindsay
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The National Theatre will revive Alan Ayckbourn's comedy A Small Family Business in the Olivier Theatre later this year, starring Nigel Lindsay.

The production opens on 8 April 2014 (previews from 1 April), directed by Adam Penford. The cast also features Debra Gillett, Gawn Grainger, Amanda Hadingue, Amy Marston, Gerard Monaco, Samuel Taylor and Niky Wardley.

The play's hero is Jack McCracken (Lindsay), a man of principle in a corrupt world. But not for long. Moments after taking over his father-in-law’s business he’s approached by a private detective armed with some compromising information.

Jack’s integrity fades away as he discovers his extended family to be thieves and adulterers, looting the business from their suburban homes. Rampant self-interest takes over and comic hysteria builds to a macabre climax.

A Small Family Business was first seen at the NT Olivier in 1987.

Other newly announced productions at the National include Sean O'Casey's 1928 play The Silver Tassie, which will be directed by Howard Davies in the Lyttelton from 23 April (previews from 15 April).

Set in Ireland during World War One, the play centres on a dashing football player who swaps his kit for a soldier's uniform and heads for the trenches. Months later, Harry returns, a cripple at the football club party. Everyone but the shattered war veterans dances and forgets.

The cast includes Ronan Raftery as Harry Heegan, who has recently appeared in O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at the NT/Abbey Theatre, Ireland; A View from the Bridge (Royal Exchange); Unscorched (Finborough); and in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat.

He's joined by Adam Best, Aidan Kelly, Stephen Kennedy, Aidan McArdle and Deirdre Mullins.

Also in the Lyttelton, full casting has been announced for Bijan Sheibani's revival of Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey, which opens on 18 February and plays in rep until 11 May. The full cast is: Eric Kofi Abrefa, Kate Adler, Greg Baxter, Harry Hepple, Dean Lennox Kelly, Miles Mitchell, Kate O’Flynn, Mark Rose, Lesley Sharp and Sarah Thom.

The season announcement today follows the announcement of the new season in the temporary NT Shed venue, which is standing in for the Cottesloe while it's refurbished, earlier this month.