National Theatre announce new productions

National Theatre announce new productions!

The National Theatre has announced 3 new productions & many platforms for their season to January 2010.

Public booking opens 2 September 2009 for new shows.


New Productions...

a new play by Alan Bennett
in the Lyttelton Theatre
(Previews from 5 Nov 2009, Opens 17 Nov 2009, booking to 24 Jan 2010)
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, designed by Bob Crowley, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Paul Groothuis
Cast includes Frances de la Tour, Michael Gambon, John Heffernan, Alex Jennings, Elliot Levey, Adrian Scarborough , Stephen Wight
Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first for twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station.
Alan Bennett’s new play is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.

by Ferdinand Bruckner, in a new version by Martin Crimp
in the Cottesloe Theatre
(Previews from 21 Oct 2009, Opens 28 Oct 2009, booking to 21 Jan 2010)
Directed by Katie Mitchell, designed by Vicki Mortimer, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Gareth Fry, costumes by John Bright
Cast includes Sian Clifford, Laura Elphinstone, Cara Horgan, Jonah Russell, Geoffrey Streatfeild and Lydia Wilson.
Vienna, 1923. A discontented post-war generation diagnose youth to be their sickness and do their best to destroy it. Promiscuous, pitiless and bored, six sexually entangled medical students restlessly wander in and out of a boarding house, cramming, drinking, taunting, spying. Freder sets about savagely experimenting with the young, pretty maid, with half an eye on his former lover Desiree, a wild, disillusioned aristocrat. Petrell abandons Marie for the ruthless underdog Irene. Marie doesn’t waste any time weeping – Desiree wants her.

by Dr. Seuss, adapted for the stage by Katie Mitchell
in the Cottesloe Theatre
(Previews from 11 Dec 2009, Opens 16 Dec 2009, Closes 18 Jan 2010)
(Performance times: 10:30am and 1:30pm. Running time: 45 mins approx)
Aimed at an audience of 3 to 6-year-olds
Directed by Katie Mitchell, designed by Vicki Mortimer, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Gareth Fry
From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the cat in the hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he is certainly fun to play with. And he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mum find when she gets home…?


Returning Production...

by Lee Hall, inspired by a book by William Feaver
in the Lyttelton Theatre
Closes 22 Sep 2009, RETURNS 2 Dec 2009 to 18 Jan 2010
Directed by Max Roberts
Cast includes Christopher Connel, Michael Hodgson, Ian Kelly, Brian Lonsdale, Lisa McGrillis, Deka Walmsley, David Whitaker, Phillippa Wilson.
In 1934, a group of Ashington miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. Rapidly abandoning theory in favour of practice, the pitmen began to paint. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends and their work was acquired by prestigious collections; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine.


Cast Update...

by David Hare
in the Lyttelton Theatre
Previews from 29 Sep, Opens 6 Oct, booking to 10 Jan 2010
Directed by Angus Jackson
Cast includes Julien Ball, Jasper Britton, Richard Cordery, Jonathan Coy, Paul Freeman, Ian Gelder, John Hollingworth, Bruce Myers, Claire Price, Jeff Rawle, Christian Roe, Jemima Rooper, Malcolm Sinclair, Peter Sullivan, Nicolas Tennant , Simon Williams
On 15 September 2008, capitalism came to a grinding halt. As sub-prime mortgages and toxic securities continued to dominate the headlines, the National Theatre asked David Hare to write an urgent and immediate work that sought to find out what had happened, and why. It is not so much a play as a jaw-dropping account of how, as the banks went bust, capitalism was replaced by a socialism that bailed out the rich alone.

Productions Extending...

MOTHER COURAGE now closing 8 Dec 2009
THE POWER OF YES extending to 10 Jan 2010
OUR CLASS now closing 12 Jan 2010
NATION extending to 21 Feb 2010


New Platforms...

6pm unless stated/ Length 45 mins

Beyond our Ken: The Multiverse of Ken Campbell
12 Oct, Olivier Theatre, at 7.30pm (2 hours 20 minutes); £5
An evening of capers, memories and divine improvisation which aims to invoke the spirit of the late, great Ken Campbell. With those he inspired we journey from the Road Show days, through Illuminatus! and The Warp, to his acclaimed one-man shows and impro-ventriloquial escapades. Ken Campbell’s productions at the National Theatre included Jamais Vu, Violin Time, Theatre Stories and Pidgin Macbeth. He died on 2 September 2008.

Mark Thomas: A Comic Tries to Understand the Economic Crisis
12 Oct, 7.30pm (1hr 30mins), Lyttelton. All tickets £10.
As David Hare’s The Power of Yes continues in the Lyttelton, comedian and political activist Mark Thomas interviews key political figures and academics as he explores the financial crisis in his inimitable fashion. Holder of the Guinness World Record for ‘Most Political Demonstrations in 24 Hours’ and a commendation from Amnesty International, Mark Thomas’ investigations include the arms trade and Coca Cola.

Roy Hudd
15 Oct, Olivier
With his trademark warmth, wit and enthusiasm, Roy Hudd celebrates his extraordinary 50-year career, ranging from The News Huddlines to panto and Pinter.

Black Theatre Archive at the NT
16 Oct, Olivier
Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by fellow playwrights Michael Abbensetts to introduce the Black Theatre Archive based at the NT Studio; a major venture to archive and record extracts from every black British play produced in the UK. Alongside rehearsed readings, they discuss the genesis of the project.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
with Michael Morpurgo, and Coope Boyes & Simpson
19 Oct, 7.30pm (2hrs), Olivier. Tickets £10
With powerful, lyrical a capella songs from Coope, Boyes & Simpson, former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo (author of War Horse) reads his moving story of two brothers-in-arms, as Tommo Peaceful reflects on his life during one long night in the First World War behind the lines of the battlefield of Ypres.

John Lithgow: Stories By Heart
19 & 26 October, Lyttelton , 7.30pm; all tickets £10.
Actor John Lithgow will perform a double bill of stories, Uncle Fred Flits by P G Wodehouse and Haircut by Ring Lardner, directed by Jack O’Brien.

Dara O’Briain
23 Oct, Lyttelton
The Irish comic casts an affectionate eye over British mores and manners in Tickling the English, and seeks to understand this nostalgic, eccentric and gin-loving Sceptred Isle.

Alan Bennett
26 Oct, 7.30pm (1hr 30mins), Olivier. All tickets £10.
With a new play at the National – The Habit of Art; a new edition of his poignant memoir – A Life Like Other People’s; and a new DVD collection of his TV work – Alan Bennett at the BBC, one of our best-loved writers is busier than ever. The celebrated writer reads from and talks about his extensive work.

Leslie Caron
27 Oct, Olivier
In Thank Heaven…, Leslie Caron reflects on a film career which includes Gigi and Chocolat, her marriage to Peter Hall, her friendship with Rudolf Nureyev, and dancing with Fred Astaire.

Amadeus – 30 Years On
29 Oct, Olivier
Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus opened in the Olivier in the autumn of 1979. Thirty years on, key figures in the creation of this legendary production reunite to look back on a theatrical phenomenon.

Terrace Cabarets
1hr, £7.50, Terrace Bar and Food
John Standing: Standing Up for Coward
30 & 31 Oct, 3 & 4 Nov at 8pm
31 Oct at 3pm, 1 Nov at 4.30pm
John Standing performs a witty and affectionate selection of Noel Coward’s songs, interwoven with his personal memories of ‘the master’. With Stuart Barr on the piano.

Terrace Cabarets
1hr, £7.50, Terrace Bar and Food
Frank Lazarus: The Hollywood/ Ukraine Backers Audition
1 Nov at 3pm
Frank Lazarus recreates his riotous solo audition for the ‘angels’ to bring A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine – a Chekhovian Marx Brothers musical – to Broadway.

Michael Rosen
3 Nov, Cottesloe, 10.15am & 1.15pm, (1hour)
Michael Rosen, former Children’s Laureate, award-winning author and champion of children’s poetry, performs an exciting and exuberant selection of poems for 7–11 year-olds.

Alan Davies
9 Nov, Cottesloe
Alan Davies, of QI and Jonathan Creek, introduces My Favourite People & Me, a memoir of his Essex childhood, his changing enthusiasms for Barry Sheene, Arsenal and an early interest in politics and comedy.

Quentin Blake and David Walliams
13 Nov, Lyttelton
Little Britain’s David Walliams is joined by his illustrator, Quentin Blake, to talk about his new children’s book, Mr Stink, an hilarious tale of family secrets… and a tramp in a shed.

The Linbury Prize for Stage Design 2009
23 Nov, Cottesloe
To coincide with the Linbury Prize Exhibition at the National (see below under Exhibitions), leading designers discuss the art of stage and costume design.

Adrian Noble
4 Dec, Lyttelton
In How to do Shakespeare, the former director of the RSC sheds new light on performing the complex but rewarding texts.

Alan Bennett and Nicholas Hytner on The Habit of Art
8 Dec, Lyttelton
The writer and director discuss their latest collaboration.

In Conversation with…
3pm (1hr) £5/4, Cottesloe
The ongoing series of informal conversations with company members chatting about their work and answering audience questions. Chaired by Al Senter.
Alex Jennings – Tue 8 Dec
Frances de la Tour – Thur 10 Dec

Michael Frayn
10 Dec, Lyttelton
Mid-career, the playwright returned to his old trade of journalism and wrote about places in the world that interested him. He discusses his travel writing from the 60s and 70s in Travels with a Typewriter.

An Evening with Private Eye
14 Dec, 7pm (1hr 30mins), Olivier. All tickets £10
Private Eye’s Ian Hislop and guests make their annual appearance at the National to take a satirical look at the newsworthy events and people of 2009.

Mark Ravenhill and Melly Still on Nation
16 Dec, Olivier
The playwright and director discuss bringing Terry Pratchett’s parallel world to the stage.

Theatre Quiz
18 Dec, Olivier
Emma Freud takes charge of two rival National Theatre companies as they do battle over theatrical knowledge in the festive annual quiz.

Katie Mitchell on Pains of Youth
6 Jan, Cottesloe
The director talks about her new production.

Antonia Fraser
21 Jan, Lyttelton
Must You Go? is Antonia Fraser’s memoir of her life with Harold Pinter. She discusses the book with Mark Lawson.

The Annual Jocelyn Herbert Lecture Richard Eyre: Less is More
22 Jan, Olivier, 5.30pm
In memory of designer Jocelyn Herbert, the former director of the National Theatre gives the first annual lecture to celebrate the role of the theatre designer.Felix Barrett and Tom Morris on Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
25 Jan, Olivier, 5.30pm
As Tom Stoppard’s play for actors and orchestra returns to the Olivier, the directors discuss the production.


NT Live

An initiative to broadcast live performances of plays onto cinema screens worldwide. Following the hugely successful screening of PHEDRE on 25 June, seen by almost 50,000 people in 19 countries around the globe, the next shows in the pilot season will be Marianne Elliott’s acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, with Oliver Ford Davies, Clare Higgins, Conleth Hill, George Rainsford and Michelle Terry heading the cast, on Thursday 1 October; and NATION, based on a novel by Terry Pratchett, adapted by Mark Ravenhill, at a matinee performance on Saturday 30 January. The performances are filmed in high definition, using innovative digital technologies to broadcast them via satellite to over 70 cinemas across the UK and 200 venues around the world.

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