Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart is a largely autobiographical play about the AIDS crisis in 1980, New York. This ground-breaking play will be performed in London in the first professional production since its European premiere in 1986.
Ben Daniels will perform the role of Ned Weeks, the co-founder of an AIDS advocacy group, fighting to change the world around him. Larry Kramer too was an exceptional author and activist, who worked tirelessly to help those with AIDS.
The cast also includes Robert Bowman, Liz Carr, Daniel Krikler, Daniel Monks, Elander Moore, Luke Norris, Henry Nott, Freddie Stabb and Danny Lee Wynter.
The Normal Heart will open in the Olivier theatre in September 2021, marking 35 years since its UK premiere, in a co-production with Fictionhouse. It is directed by Dominic Cooke. Set design is by Vicki Mortimer, costume design by Lisa Duncan, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by Carolyn Downing and fight direction by Bret Yount.
“As a student I was lucky enough to see the landmark Royal Court production of The Normal Heart starring Martin Sheen. It had a profound effect on me at the time and I’ve wanted to direct the play ever since,” says director Dominic Cooke.
He continues, “It is the rarest of things: a history play written by one of its key participants. It deals with the nature of political activism, the internal battle many LGBT people fight to feel worthy of love and, topically, the refusal of those in power to face the reality of an unfolding health crisis.
“Larry Kramer was a firebrand and The Normal Heart is written with all of his characteristic ferocity, political insight and wit.
“I've been talking with Ben Daniels for over five years about playing Ned Weeks. He is one of our greatest actors and I cannot wait to begin working with him, alongside the brilliant team at the National Theatre who Kate Horton and I, as Fictionhouse, will be co-producing with.”