skip to main content

National Theatre Blog

Coming up at the NT: 2016 and Beyond

National Theatre building viewed from the West

Rufus Norris has announced a host of productions for the rest of 2016 and beyond. There are contemporary revivals of 20th century NT premieres, and collaborations with regional and independent theatre companies including Chichester Festival Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Leading actors will include Anna Chancellor, Rosalie Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Andrew Garfield, Tamsin Greig, Rory Kinnear, James McArdle, Helen McCrory, Elizabeth McGovern, Ben Miles, Lucian Msamati,  Siân Phillips, Danny Sapani and Geoffrey Streatfeild.  Directors new to the NT include Vicky Featherstone, Robert Icke, Michael Longhurst and Ivo van Hove.

War Horse, Jane Eyre and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will tour the UK.

We are also delighted to announce that Sir Lenny Henry joins the board of the National Theatre. Sir Lenny, who made his National Theatre debut in The Comedy of Errors in 2011, has made an immeasurable impact on the arts, from his work as an actor and comedian, to co-founding Comic Relief and his campaigning for greater representation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the entertainment industry.

The full details on what’s coming up from the NT, both at the South Bank and elsewhere, are included below.

Olivier Theatre

Young Chekhov
From July

Jonathan Kent’s acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre trilogy, of Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull, in new versions by David Hare, comes to the Olivier this summer.

Anna Chancellor as Arkadina in The Seagull and James McArdle in the title role of Platonov and as Lvov in Ivanov again lead the ensemble company, joined by Geoffrey Streatfeild in the title role of Ivanov and as Trigorin in The Seagull; members of the original cast also include Emma Amos, Pip Carter, Jonathan Coy, Nicholas Day, Peter Egan, Joshua James, Beverley Klein, Adrian Lukis, Des McAleer, Nina Sosanya and Olivia Vinall.

Amadeus by Peter Shaffer
From October (Travelex £15 tickets)

Michael Longhurst directs the play, which had its world premiere at the NT in 1979. Lucian Msamati, currently Toledo in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, plays Salieri.

Peter Pan (co-production with Bristol Old Vic)
From November

Sally Cookson’s production, devised by the original company based on the works of JM Barrie, originally played in the Bristol Old Vic in 2012.  

Twelfth Night
From February 2017

Tamsin Greig returns to the NT to play ‘Malvolia’. Simon Godwin directs his first of two Olivier Shakespeares…

Antony and Cleopatra
From early 2018

Godwin returns a year later to direct Ralph Fiennes as Antony.

Casting News

Siân Phillips and Danny Sapani lead the cast of Yaël Farber’s production of Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry, the first of the year’s Travelex £15 Tickets productions, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 30 March as already announced. The company also includes Sheila Atim, Gary Beadle, Sidney Cole, Elliot Cowan, James Fleet, Clive Francis, Tunji Kasim, Anna Madeley, Anna Maria Nabirye, Roger Jean Nsengiyumva and Mark Theodore.

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, in a new translation by Simon Stephens, will be directed by Rufus Norris in the Olivier Theatre from May, also part of the Travelex £15 Tickets season. Rory Kinnear will play Macheath and the cast will also include Jamie Beddard, Rosalie Craig and Nick Holder.

Lyttelton Theatre

The Red Barn by David Hare
From October

Robert Icke directs a new play by David Hare, based on Georges Simenon’s novel La Main. It is Icke’s NT debut, and Hare’s 17th new play here. Produced in association with Scott Rudin.

Hedda Gabler by Ibsen
From December

Ivo van Hove directs for the first time at the NT. He will remake the production, which he previously directed at New York Theatre Workshop and Toneelgroep Amsterdam, for the NT with British actors.

Angels in America by Tony Kushner
From April 2017

Marianne Elliott directs the two-part landmark play. The first part, Millennium Approaches, received its British premiere in the Cottesloe in 1992, joined by Perestroika in a double bill the following year. Andrew Garfield plays Prior Walter.

Casting News

Helen McCrory will play Hester in Carrie Cracknell’s production of The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan in the Lyttelton Theatre, opening on 8 June, reuniting actor and director following their remarkable Medea in 2014.

Howard Davies directs Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, also in the Lyttelton, opening on 27 July, with an ensemble cast including Stephen Kennedy, Justine Mitchell and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.

Earlier in the year, The Suicide by Suhayla El-Bushra, after Erdman, joins Dominic Cooke’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in the Lyttelton repertoire on 13 April: another Travelex £15 Tickets production. Set in contemporary Britain and directed by Nadia Fall, the cast will be led by Javone Prince with Pal Aron, Ayesha Antoine, Nathan Clarke, Chloe Hesar, Lisa Jackson, Michael Karim, Paul Kaye, Ashley McGuire, Pooky Quesnel, Sule Rimi, Rebecca Scroggs, Tom Robertson and Lizzie Winkler.

Dorfman Theatre

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour by Lee Hall
From August

Vicky Featherstone directs the stage adaptation of Alan Warner’s cult Scottish novel The Sopranos, in the National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre production’s London debut.

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer book by Bryony Kimmings and Brian Lobel, music by Tom Parkinson, lyrics by Bryony Kimmings
From October

A Complicite Associates co-production in association with HOME Manchester, opening in Manchester in September, then the Dorfman the following month.

Love by Alexander Zeldin
From December

Zeldin directs his own new play, a co-production with Birmingham Rep. It will transfer to Birmingham in January.

Mosquitoes by Lucy Kirkwood
From January 2017

Rufus Norris will direct a new play by Kirkwood, presented by special arrangement with Manhattan Theatre Club.

Consent by Nina Raine
From April 2017

A new play by Raine, Consent will be a co-production with Out of Joint.

Casting News

Jaygann Ayeh, Louisa Krause and Matthew Maher join the cast of The Flick. Sam Crane, Elizabeth McGovern, Ben Miles and Pippa Nixon will lead the cast of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s new play, Sunset at the Villa Thalia, directed by Simon Godwin, opening in the Dorfman on 1 June.

Temporary theatre

Another World: Losing Our Children to Islamic State by Gillian Slovo
From 15 April

This piece of verbatim documentary theatre, developed with Nicolas Kent from his original idea, and directed by Nicolas Kent, will be the final full production in the temporary theatre.

The West End, UK and Internationally

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will embark on a second major national tour from January to September 2017.

Jane Eyre, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic, will tour the UK from April to August 2017.

A second major UK tour of War Horse will open in Canterbury in September 2017, then visit Bristol, Liverpool, Oxford, Brighton, Bradford and Nottingham, coinciding with the centenary commemorations of the final year of World War One. Its last performance at the New London Theatre will be on 12 March 2016, by which time it will have played over 3,000 performances and been seen by 2.7 million people in London.

Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things transfers to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre from 15 March, again directed by Jeremy Herrin in a collaboration between Headlong and the NT. Denise Gough recreates her performance as Emma, for which she won the 2016 Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of NT Connections, celebrated by 500 theatre companies and involving 10,000 young people all over the UK, working with 40 major regional theatres.

There are two upcoming NT Live broadcasts: As You Like It, from the Olivier Theatre, on 25 February, followed by the Royal Court production of Hangmen by Martin McDonagh on 3 March.

Finally, over 2,000 teachers in 1,500 schools are now using the ground-breaking free video streaming service National Theatre: On Demand in Schools. New titles will be added in September, including Dominic Cooke’s production of The Comedy of Errors with Lenny Henry and Polly Findlay’s Treasure Island, adapted by Bryony Lavery.