Exit the King
Olivier Theatre, National, London

Rufus Norris announces new National Theatre season for 2018

National Theatre

National Theatre artistic director Rufus Norris has laid out the theatre’s plans for its new season.

Patrick Marber will direct his new version of Exit the King, Eugène Ionesco’s drama about a king who appears to be able to control nature and make others obey him. It will star Rhys Ifans and Indira Varma when it runs in the Olivier in July. It will be the National Theatre’s first production of an Ionesco play.

Colin Morgan will make his National Theatre debut in Translations, by Brian Friel. It will be directed by Ian Rickson, and runs in the Olivier in May.

Also in the Olivier, Ralph Finnes and Sophie Okenedo will star in William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Directed by Simon Godwin, it will run in September 2018.

Fresh from his smash-hit play The Ferryman, which is touted for a Broadway transfer in 2018, James Bond director Sam Mendes will direct Stefano Massini’s The Lehman Trilogy, translated by Ben Power, in July. The play looks at the 160-year history of the Lehman family, who founded the successful American financial firm Lehman Brothers.

As previously announced, Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff are set to star in Macbeth in the Olivier, directed by Norris, in spring 2018.

In the Lyttelton, Joe Hill-Gibbins will direct Rodney Ackland’s play Absolute Hell, opening in April. Polly Stentham will then adapt Strindberg’s Miss Julie in the space, placing it in contemporary London. Titled Julie, it will run in June 2018, directed by Carrie Cracknell and starring Vanessa Kirby. . David Hare’s play I’m Not Running, which is about the Labour party, will be directed by Neil Armfield in autumn 2018.  

In the Dorfman, Indhu Rubasingham will direct Francis Turnly’s The Great Wave, which will run in March 2018. Roy Alexander Weise will also direct Natasha Gordon’s first play Nine Night, which looks at family rituals, and will star Cecilia Noble in April.  The Orange Tree Theatre’s production of An Octoroon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' play directed by Ned Bennett, will transfer to the theatre in June. Laura Wade’s new play Home, I’m Darling will star Katherine Parkinson in July, directed by Theatr Clwyd artistic director Tamara Harvey. A production of The Winter's Tale, adapted by Justin Audibert for primary school children, will run in Rebruary 2018. 

A co-production with the Young Vic has also been announced. The Jungle by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson of Good Chance Theatre. It will run at the Young Vic, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin in December.

As part of a push against cut in arts education, a stripped-back production of Simon StephensThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will tour secondary schools. Emily Lim will direct a production of Pericles as part of Public Arts, a new scheme to create ambitious pieces of participatory theatre in communities across the country. It will see a large community ensemble perform with a smaller professional cast, and will see three performances of the production in the Olivier.

Photo courtesy James Stringer (flickr)

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