Platforms at The National Theatre

Unless stated: 6pm / Length 45 mins

Vicky Featherstone and Lee Hall on Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Thurs 1 September, 6:30pm, Dorfman, £5/£4

The director and writer discuss this new musical, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, and its journey here from the National Theatre of Scotland. Chaired by Rachel Cooke.

Helen McCrory on The Deep Blue Sea

Friday 2 September, 3pm (60 mins), Lyttelton, £6/£5

The actor reflects on the challenges and rewards of playing Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea. Chaired by Libby Purves.

Sean O’Casey by his Daughter

Friday 9 September, Lyttelton, £5/£4

Director Shivaun O’Casey, the playwright’s daughter, reflects on his life and work, including his play, The Plough and the Stars.

Sue Laurie and Alexander Technique in the Theatre

Wednesday 14 September, 6:30pm, Dorfman, £5/£4

As her memoir, Touching Lives, is published, Sue Laurie reflects on thirty years of learning, training and teaching the Alexander Technique – an integral part of the inner workings of the National Theatre and RSC.

Joined by guests including director Ian Rickson, who calls her work ‘invaluable during rehearsal… almost imperceptible yet with palpable results’, she talks about the huge impact that Alexander Technique has on voice, body and mind for actors, directors and puppeteers, and her own indomitable passion for theatre.

The Platform is followed by a booksigning.

Jonathan Kent on Young Chekhov

Thursday 15 September, Olivier, £5/£4

As the Chichester Festival Theatre’s trilogy of Chekhov’s Platonov, Ivanov, and The Seagull comes to the National, director Jonathan Kent discusses the productions.

National Debates: Youth – culture & identity

Thursday 29 September, 60 mins, Dorfman, £6/£5

What’s it like to be young in the 21st century?

A panel discuss the influences, pressures, challenges, opportunities and threats face by young people as they explore the identity of the self, cultural voices, global politics and media, to try and understand the state of the young nation.

Guests include James Massiah, performance poet, lyricist and music producer, who focuses on relationships with youth culture, religion, sexuality and ethics. He has worked for the BBC, the Guardian and Nike, and has performed at Tate Modern, The Southbank Centre and the Houses of Parliament. He is currently part of Shakespeare recited at Selfridges, a series of music and art performances from grim and spoken word artists, in collaboration with cult streetwear brands, in his case British design Liam Hodges.

The NT: 40 Years as a Space for Plays

Tuesday 25 October, Lyttelton, £5/£4

On this date in 1976, the National Theatre’s new building on the South Bank was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen.

Guests including lighting designer and NT Associate Paule Constable, and Richard Pilbrow (Laurence Olivier’s lighting director and theatre consultant), celebrate the creativity of the theatre designer over the last 40 years, and the practical experience of working in the NT’s theatre spaces.

This event is followed by a booksigning of Richard Pilbrow’s A Theatre Project.

Bryony Kimmings on A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

Thursday 27 October, Dorfman, £5/£4

Bryony Kimmings, director of this Complicite co-production, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, talks about the new musical as it arrives at the National.

Michael Longhurst on Amadeus

Monday 31 October, Olivier, £5/£4

Director Michael Longhurst discusses his new production of Peter Shaffer’s play, Amadeus.

Staging Suez: the 60th anniversary of the Suez Crisis

Tuesday 1 November, 5:45pm (60 mins), Lyttelton, £6/£5

A chance to look back at the 1956 Crisis, through the key plays that dramatise it.

Playwrights Howard Brenton (Never So Good, NT 2008) and James Graham (Eden’s Empire, Finborough 2006), and Gill Bennett (Associate Fellow, RUSI, former Chief Historian of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the author of Six Moments of Crisis: Inside British Foreign Policy) join Daniel Rosenthal to explore theatre’s varied approach to the Crisis, and why it was a defining moment in British history.

Illustrated with extracts from some of the Suez plays, read by NT actors.

David Hare and John Simenon on The Red Barn

Monday 7 November, Lyttelton, £5/£4

Playwright David Hare discusses his new play, The Red Barn, adapted from Georges Simenon’s novel La Main, with John Simenon, who reflects on his father’s literary legacy.

La Main is published as The Hand by Penguin Classics on 6 October, part of its long-term project to bring the Belgian writer to a British audience.

A Poem for Every Night of the Year

Friday 25 November, 5:15pm (60 mins), Olivier, £6/£5

Allie Esiri’s new anthology is a journey through a calendar year, highlighting key moments and dates with a poem for every night, by writers such as Maya Angelou, Robert Burns and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Special guests including Helena Bonham Carter and Helen McCrory join her on stage for a fabulous evening of readings of some of the joyous, magical, dramatic and humorous poems in this journey through history and human experience.

Allie Esiri is the curator of live Poetry Corner events at literature festivals such as Cheltenham and at the Soho Theatre, creator of the iF Poems and The Love Book poetry apps, and editor of the poetry anthology, IF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility.

This event is followed by a booksigning of A Poem for Every Night of the Year.


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