National Theatre 2020

New season at National Theatre announced, featuring Kristin Scott Thomas and Giles Terera

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

The National Theatre has announced the latest season of shows to be performed across the three theatres, with new plays by April de Angelis and Jack Thorne, as well as a West End transfer of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which will play at the Duke of York's Theatre from October 2020.

The season will also feature performances by Kristin Scott Thomas and Giles Terera and a London transfer of Standing at the Sky's Edge.

Olivier Theatre

Lesley Sharp plays Philoctetes in Kate Tempest's adaptation of Sophocles' Greek drama Philoctetes. Titled Paradise, Ian Rickson directs the play about a war hero who finds themselves outcasted from society. Paradise is in the Olivier Theatre from 30th June, with a press night on 7th July and performances to 1st August.

Bringing the Bard to the National, Jessie Buckley and Josh O'Connor will play Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers in Romeo and Juliet. Simon Godwin directs a new production that sees the fateful tragedy relocated to modern Italy, with Fisayo Akinade as Mercutio. Romeo and Juliet is in the Olivier from August.

Following a limited engagement in the Olivier Theatre last year that Mark Shenton said was "big, bold, poignant and powerful storytelling theatre", Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Small Island will return to the National's biggest theatre. Based on Andrea Levy's novel, Small Island tells the stories of those who traveled from Jamaica to Britain onboard HMT Empire Windrush. Small Island returns to the Olivier Theatre from October 2020, with casting to be announced.

After a world premiere in Sheffield last year, Standing at the Sky's Edge will transfer to the Olivier from January 2021. With a book by Chris Bush and songs by Richard Hawley, the original musical tells the stories of three families living in Park Hill, Sheffield.

Lyttelton Theatre

Nancy Carrolls and Ben Daniels lead the cast in Moira Buffini's new play. Titled Manor, it's set to be a comedy play about people taking shelter from floods. Manor is in the Lyttleton from 7th April, with a press night on 15th April and performances to 15th July.

Dominic Cooke will direct a production of Emlyn Williams' The Corn is Green. Set in late nineteenth-century Wales, Nicola Walker will play an English school teacher L.C. Moffat as she tries to win over the Welsh minters and help illiterate teenagers. The Corn is Green is in the Lyttleton from 17th June.

John Pfumojena will play Heathcliff and Lucy McCormick will play Cathy in Emma Rice's adaptation of Wuthering Heights. Presented by Wise Children, the adaptation will be performed in the Lyttleton in September 2020, ahead of a national tour.  

Rachel Cusk's trilogy of novels Outline, Transit, Kudos will also be performed in the Lyttleton, in a new adaptation by Alice Birch. Performed in repertory from October, the trilogy uses film and audio to tell the stories of a writer and divorced mother of two.

Kristin Scott Thomas will lead the cast in the titular role of Simon Stone's Phaedra, with the pair making their National Theatre acting and playwriting debuts respectively. Assaad Bouab will also star in Phaedra, with performances from December 2020.

The Olivier Award-winning actors Giles Terera makes his National Theatre debut in Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky. Making her NT debut, Park Theatre AD Lynette Linton will direct the Harlem Renaissance-inspired play, with performances from February 2021.  

Dorfman Theatre

Francesca Martinez makes her National Theatre debut in the one-woman play All Of Us. Ian Rickson directs a gripping drama, exploring what it means to struggle to fit in society in a time of austerity. All Of Us is in the Dorfman from 18th March, with a press night on 26th March and performances to 16th May.

Following a run at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall's Welcome to Iran transfers to the Dorfman Theatre. The play follows Ava, a young woman living in London who travels to the Middle Eastern country to find out more about her identity. Welcome to Iran is in the Dorfman Theatre from 21st May to 13th June.

Callum Scott Howells and Rosie Sheehy will play the titular characters in Gary Owen's Romeo and Julie, directed by Rachel O'Riordan. It's a co-production with Sherman Theatre, with performances in the Dorfman from 14th July to 29th August.

After performances at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Nicole Charles will direct Roy Williams' Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, a compassionate play that asks what it means to be black, white and English in modern-day Britain. Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads is in the Dorfman from September 2020, with casting to be announced.

Indhu Rubasingham will direct the world premiere of April de Angelis' new play. Titled Kerry Jackson, Angelis' latest work is set in a Hackney restaurant battling gentrification wars in an ever-changing country. Kerry Jackson is in the Dorfman from November, with casting to be announced.

In January 2021, After Life will be created by Jack Thorne, Jeremy Herrin and Bunny Christie in the Dorfman, in collaboration with Headlong. Adapted from Hirokazu Kore-eda's award-winning film After Life, the play is set in between life and death, where people are asked to pick one memory to live in for eternity.

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