JT Rogers’ incredibly gripping political drama Oslo imagines the behind-closed-doors meetings that set up secret talks between the State of Israel and Palestine Liberation Organisation, masterminded by two husband-and-wife Norwegian diplomats.
Directed by Bartlett Sher (The King and I), tickets sold out for the London premiere of the play at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre, before transferring to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre.
Starring Lydia Leonard and Toby Stephens as the central Norwegian protagonists, the play was nominated for best new play, and Peter Polycarpou received a nomination for best actor in a supporting role as he took on the leader of the PLO.
A tremendously insightful and enthralling piece of theatre, Oslo takes you through the intense twists and turns of setting up the unprecedented negotiations between two countries that hardly saw eye-to-eye, yet ended with an iconic handshake on the lawn of the White House.
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Oslo originally premiered in New York, its critically-acclaimed run on Broadway earned it every ‘Best Play’ award going on Broadway, including those given by New York Drama Critics' Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Tony, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.
Its opening in London was greeted with a string of four and five-star reviews from the press, including one from LondonTheatre.co.uk, who said: “it will help us realise how important viewing your enemies as humans can really be”.
In The Times, Ann Treneman’s five-star review lauded the play as a “serious, and seriously good play”. Henry Hitchings lauded the play as “an absorbing mix of historical reconstruction and political thriller, in which world events are viewed from an unfamiliar angle” in the Evening Standard, while in the Financial Times, Sarah Hemming wrote “the keynote of this fine, humane play is hope.”
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