Photo credit: National Theatre (Photo by Matt Brown on Flickr under CC 2.0) 

Giles Terera, Tanya Moodie and Lesley Sharp feature in new National Theatre season, full details announced

The London venue opened its doors earlier this week.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

The National Theatre has announced six new productions as part of their reopening season, as well as five productions confirmed to return after being halted by the pandemic. New shows confirmed include Hex and The Father and the Assassin, as well as an NT return for Alecky Blythe. 

The London venue reopened earlier this month with After Life in the Dorfman Theatre. Under Milk Wood begins performances in a reconfigured Olivier Theatre from 16 June, starring Michael Sheen.

Speaking in a press conference, executive director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris said this season is about "adaptability and evolution... to prioritise the employment of as many artists as we can, making work that is representative and innovative."

At least a third of new work will be committed to developing ideas with specific focus of work to be produced outside London.

A full list of shows announced by the National Theatre today are as follows, broken down by venue.

Olivier Theatre

Lesley Sharp will lead an all-female cast in Kae Tempest's adaptation of Sophocles' Philoctetes. Titled Paradise, Ian Rickson will direct the production, opening at the Olivier Theatre in August.

Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart will now open from September, directed by Dominic Cooke. Ben Daniels will play the role of Ned Weeks, joined by Liz Carr, Daniel Monks and Danny Lee Wynter.

In the Olivier this Christmas, Rufus Norris will direct Hex, a new musical inspired by the fairytale Sleeping Beauty. Hex follows the 2002 adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, with this new version featuring an original book by Tanya Ronder, music by Jim Fortune, lyrics by Rufus Norris, and scenic and costume design by Katrina Lindsay. Casting for Hex is to be announced, but performances will begin at the Olivier from December.

Anupama Chandrasekhar's The Father and the Assassin will premiere in the Olivier in early 2022. Directed by Indhu Ribasigham, the play follows the story of Nathuram Godse, radicalised from following Gandhi to becoming an assassin in 1948.

Lyttelton Theatre

Following Death of England and Death of England: Delroy, a new feature film, Death of England: Face to Face will be broadcast on Sky Arts this autumn. Written by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, the film will be recorded at the Lyttelton Theatre in June, starring Neil Maskell as Michael, Giles Terera as Delroy and Phil Daniels as Alan. 

Speaking about the film, Dyer said: "the story is still a stand-alone piece, hope to remain the same tone and add to Michael and Delroy's animated storytelling."

The Lyttelton will reopen for live performances in October, with a 25th anniversary revival of Ayub Khan Din's East is East. Iqbal Khan directs, with casting to be announced.

In November, Moira Buffini's Manor will open, 18 months after it was first scheduled. Fiona Buffini will direct the comedy, with Nancy Carroll playing the owner of a rundown manor house.

Following regional performances, Emma Rice's adaptation of Wuthering Heights will open for performances in February 2022. Lucy McCormick plays Cathy in a co-production between the NT, Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal.

Emlyn Williams' The Corn is Green will be revived at the Lyttleton in April 2022, starring Nicola Walker as Miss Moffat and Iwan Davies as Morgan Evans. Dominic Cooke directs, with further casting to be announced. 

Dorfman Theatre

Miranda Cromwell will direct Winsome Pinnock's play Rockets and Blue Lights, retelling British history through the prism of the slave trade,. Performances begin at the Dorfman Theatre from September.

Tanya Moodie will play Wiletta Mayer in Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind. Nancy Medina directs the production, following the aforementioned African-American singer as she makes her mark on the Broadway stage. Trouble in Mind performances begin in December.

Based on five years worth of material from 12 young British people, Alecky Blythe's Our Generation will run in the Dorfman from February 2022. Daniel Evans will direct the production, with performances in London and Chichester.

Touring productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time have been confirmed for 2022, with The Ocean at the End of the Lane touring in 2023. Beginning will also tour this year, commencing at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch this September.

The Lehman Trilogy will return to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre this autumn, starring Adrian Lester, Simon Russell Beale and Adam Godley. Hadestown also reopens this year, with performances at the Walter Kerr Theatre from September 2.

New productions have also been added to the National Theatre's streaming platform, National Theatre at Home. Check out all the shows on National Theatre at Home here.

The National Theatre has also announced a new campaign, National Theatre Together, encouraging theatre-makers and communities to come together. As said in a press conference, Rufus Norris said the initiative will ensure we "emerge from this time into a bright and creative future... to articulate vision that the National Theatre can make for the people in this country." 

Photo credit: National Theatre (Photo by Matt Brown on Flickr under CC 2.0)

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