Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet among new shows at National Theatre

National Theatre

A host of new shows have been announced at the National Theatre, including two productions of Romeo and Juliet, a Hamlet for younger audiences, and a transfer from the Edinburgh Fringe.

Simon Godwin will direct the first Romeo and Juliet in the Olivier next summer. Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor will play the star-crossed lovers of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, with Fisayo Akinade, currently appearing in The Antipodes, as Mercutio. Opening in August, the production will feature set and costume designs by Soutra Gilmour, lighting design by Lucy Carter, compositions by Michael Bruce and sound design by Christopher Shutt.

The second take on the Bard’s story will be directed by the Lyric Hammersmith’s artistic director Rachel O’Riordan and written by Gary Owen. Romeo and Julie is a modern take on the hope and heartbreak of two young people in the 21st century, and will star Callum Scott Howells, Rosie Sheehy and Anita Reynolds. It will tour to a number of National Theatre partners in the regions before opening in the Dorfman from 14th July.

Another Shakespeare story will be reimagined for young audiences as part of the National Theatre’s 2020; following from his take on othellomacbeth, Jude Christian will write a Hamlet for suitable for audiences aged 8 to 12 year. Directed by Tinuke Craig, with set and costume design by Frankie Bradshaw, lighting design by Paul Knott, music by Sarah Taylor Ellis, sound design by Clark Henry-Brown and movement direction by Morgan Runacre-Temple, Hamlet will run from 30th March to 9th April in the Dorfman.

Following a sold-out run in Edinburgh, Alanna Mitchell’s piece on the state of the oceans – Sea Sick – will run in the Dorfman from 22nd April to 7th May. Directed by Franco Boni and Ravi Jain, the play is an adaptation of journalist Mitchell’s 2009 bestseller which investigated the effects climate change is having on the seas.

Casting has also been announced for a number of other upcoming National shows:

- Laurie Davidson, Natalie Simpson, Caroline Quentin and Richard Fleeshman join the cast of Richard Bean and Oliver Chris’ new play Jack Absolute Flies Again.

- Daneka Etchells, Jenny Galloway, Haydn Gwynne, Zainab Hasan, June Watson, Laurence Ubong Williams, Shaofan Wilson and Hara Yannas join Maxine Peake and Ria Zmitrowicz in Lucy Kirkwood’s new play The Welkin.

- Lesley Manville and Hugo Weaving are joined by Jason Barnett, Joseph Mydell, Sara Kestelman and Nicholas Woodeson join in The Visit or The Old Lady Comes to Call.

- Francesca Martinez is joined by Chris Anderson, Bryan Dick, Francesca Mills and Wanda Opalinska in her debut play, All of Us.

- Michele Austin and David Hargreaves join Nancy Carroll and Ben Daniels in Moira Buffini’s new play, Manor.

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