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Danny Boyle Returns to Stage, NT Marks Hall 80th

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Nicholas Hytner announced plans for the 2010 season and beyond at the National Theatre today, with highlights including news of a forthcoming NT debut for director Danny Boyle, making a return to theatre with a new version of Frankenstein due to premiere in early 2011.

Other major news includes the decision by Travelex to renew its sponsorship of the £10 Ticket Season in the Olivier for a further three years, with highlights this year including: Marianne Elliott’s production of Women Beware Women, Moira Buffini’s new play Welcome to Thebes (directed by Richard Eyre), Danton’s Death directed by Michael Grandage, and Rory Kinnear’s Hamlet (See News, 22 Sep 2010).

The new season at the National will also feature new plays by Mike Bartlett, Neil Bartlett and Handspring, Drew Pautz and JT Rogers; and a celebratory production for Peter Hall’s 80th birthday, starring the director's daughter Rebecca Hall.

In the Olivier

The new Travelex £10 season opens on 27 April 2010 with Marianne Elliott’s production of Thomas Middleton’s Jacobean tragedy Women Beware Women, with a cast led by Harriet Walter and Samuel Barnett. It will be followed by the premiere of Moira Buffini's Welcome to Thebes directed by former NT artistic director Richard Eyre, which opens on 22 June.

The season continues in July with Michael Grandage’s production of Danton's Death by Georg Buchner, in a new version by Howard Brenton. The production, which marks Grandage's NT directing debut, will also see Toby Stephens make his NT debut in the title role.

The final play in the 2010 Travelex £10 Season, opening in September, will be Nicholas Hytner’s production of Hamlet with Rory Kinnear in the title role and Clare Higgins as Gertrude. Hamlet will tour the UK and internationally from February 2011.

Currently in the Olivier, Nation, which finishes on 28 March 2010, will be followed (from 10 March) by Nicholas Hytner's production of Dion Boucicault’s London Assurance, with a cast including Mark Addy, Richard Briers, Paul Ready, Simon Russell Beale, Fiona Shaw and Michelle Terry (See News, 13 Nov 2009).

In the Lyttelton

The 2010 Lyttelton season opens with Mikhail Bulgakov’s The White Guard, in a new version by Andrew Upton, which opens on 23 March. It will be directed by Howard Davies, with a cast including Anthony Calf, Pip Carter, Paul Higgins, Conleth Hill and Justine Mitchell, and is supported by American Express.

Thea Sharrock's revival of Terence Rattigan's After the Dance opens on 8 June, and Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, which finishes on 6 April, will return to the repertoire in July with a new cast, ahead of a nine-week UK tour this autumn.

Howard Davies will direct an as yet untitled new play by JT Rogers (The Overwhelming), opening in September.

In the Cottesloe

Following the premiere of Tamsin Oglesby’s Really Old, Like Forty Five (from 3 February 2010) directed by Anna Mackmin, and Inua EllamsThe 14th Tale which joins the repertoire on 9 February, the Cottesloe season continues (from 7 April) with Beyond the Horizon by Eugene O’Neill and Spring Storm by Tennessee Williams, which transfer from the Royal & Derngate, Northampton (where they opened in October 2009). The original cast is directed by Laurie Sansom.

A new play, Love the Sinner by Drew Pautz, opens on 11 May, directed by Matthew Dunster.

Rupert Goold will return to the NT to direct the premiere of Mike Bartlett's Earthquakes in London, in a co-production with Headlong, which opens in August.

A new piece devised and written by Neil Bartlett and Handspring Puppet Company (War Horse), to be performed by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of Handspring and directed by Neil Bartlett, will open in September.

It was also announced today that Neptune Investment Management will become the National Theatre’s Cottesloe Partner for the next three years, sponsoring four productions a year in the space.

Further ahead

Highlights to look forward to beyond the 2010 season include an NT debut for award-winning film director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), who will helm a new version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, written by Nick Dear. It will mark a return to stage work for Boyle, who before his move into film directed at the Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

To mark his 80th birthday, Peter Hall will direct Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, with his daughter Rebecca Hall as Viola, in a production in the Cottesloe Theatre in early 2011..

Also in development for next year are plans for the National to take part in the 400th anniversary celebrations of the King James Bible. Readings from the Gospels and the first five books of the Old Testament will be given by “leading NT actors, past and present”.

NT Live & on tour

Following the successful screenings of Phedre and All's Well That Ends Well, which were seen by a global audience of 75,000 on 300 screens in 21 countries, the pilot season of NT Live continues with a live matinee screening of Nation on 30 January, and culminates with Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art on 22 April. A new season of NT Live will begin in autumn 2010.

The Habit of Art will also embark on a UK tour, which will include visits to Birmingham, Salford, Milton Keynes, Belfast, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow. It will be followed on the road, in 2011, by Nicholas Hytner's production of Hamlet.

Meanwhile, the National will be represented on Broadway by Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters, which opens for a limited run from September at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre complete with the original 2007 cast.

It was also announced today that the West End transfer of War Horse at the New London Theatre will shortly be extended to February 2011, and that Bijan Sheibani, who recently directed Our Class in the Cottesloe, has been appointed an NT Associate Director.


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