Theatre News

National Theatre announces new shows including Much Ado About Nothing and Blues for an Alabama Sky

The National has mapped out its summer

Casts for various National shows
Casts for various National shows

The National Theatre has unveiled a plethora of new productions as well as plans for those rescheduled by the pandemic, set to premiere this summer.

Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) and John Heffernan (Dracula) will star in a new production of Much Ado About Nothing courtesy of Simon Godwin (Romeo and Juliet). Running in the Lyttelton from July, the play also has set design by Anna Fleischle, costume design by Evie Gurney and lighting design by Lucy Carter. The composer is Michael Bruce and sound design is by Christopher Shutt. Staff director is Hannah Joss.

Set to play in the Lyttelton in September will be a new revival of Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky, directed by the Bush Theatre's artistic director Lynette Linton (making her National debut).

A crack cast involved in the show will be Samira Wiley (The Handmaid's Tale) as Angel Allen with Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo (Three Sisters) as Delia Patterson, Osy Ikhile (Sweat) as Leland Cunningham, Sule Rimi (Barber Shop Chronicles) as Sam Thomas and Giles Terera (Death of England: Face to Face) performing the role of Guy Jacobs.

Cleage's play, set in 1930 during the Harlem renaissance, has set and costume design by Frankie Bradshaw, lighting designer is Oli Fenwick, movement direction by Kane Husbands, composition by Ben Kwasi Burrell, sound design by George Dennis and staff direction by TD Moyo.

Richard Bean and Oliver Chris' postponed wartime comedy Jack Absolute Flies Again will finally run in the Olivier from July, directed by Emily Burns (The Comeback). Appearing will be Laurie Davidson (Cats) as Jack Absolute alongside Caroline Quentin (Jonathan Creek) as Mrs Malaprop, Natalie Simpson (Three Sisters) as Lydia Languish, Kelvin Fletcher (Emmerdale) as Dudley Scunthorpe and Kerry Howard (Him and Her) as Lucy.

The cast is completed by James Corrigan, Theo Cowan, Jordan Metcalfe, George Kemp, Akshay Sharan, Tim Steed, Geoffrey Towers, Shona White and Helena Wilson. The piece has set and costume design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, composition by Paul Englishby, sound design by Paul Arditti and video and projection design by Jeff Sugg. Thee physical comedy director is Toby Park and choreography is by Lizzi Gee. Staff director is Cara Nolan.

Award-winning writer and comedian Francesca Martinez's All of Us runs in the Dorfman, also from July. Ian Rickson (Jerusalem) will direct Chris Anderson, Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Bryan Dick, Kevin Hely, Christopher-John Slater, Francesca Mills and Wanda Opalinska. Set and costume design is by Georgia Lowe, lighting design by Anna Watson, movement direction by Lucy Cullingford. The composer is Stephen Warbeck, sound design by Gregory Clarke and fight director is Terry King. Staff director is Hana Pascal Keegan.

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