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The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer to open at the National Theatre in February 2021

A black and white photograph of author and activist Larry Kramer.

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 Danny Lee Wynter as Tommy Boatwright, Daniel Monks as Mickey Marchus and Stanley Townsend as Ben Weeks. 

The Normal Heart will open as part of our Olivier in-the-round season in February 2021 in a co-production with Fictionhouse, directed by Dominic CookeVicki Mortimer is Set Designer and Paule Constable is Lighting Designer. 

“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.”  

Ticket booking dates and full dates of The Normal Heart’s run are to follow soon. Subscribe to our email newsletter to be the first to hear.
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