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National Theatre Blog

The National Theatre is on the road to reopening

The National Theatre is on the road to performing again. Our reopening show will be Death of England: Delroy, a new play by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer, featuring Giles Terera. 

We’re committed to developing new work and this first play will begin indoor, socially distanced performances in late October. The production team have been back in the building this week, working on the piece. They’re the first artists to work in the building, since we closed for the lockdown. 

This new, one-man play follows on from Roy and Clint’s Death of England, which featured Rafe Spall as Michael, and finished its run shortly before lockdown. Written in response, it focuses on the character of Delroy, the best friend of Michael. Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, describes it as an ‘explosive piece of work.’

Roy Williams, Giles Terera and Clint Dyer at the National Theatre, London. Photo by Helen Murray

Roy Williams, Giles Terera and Clint Dyer are developing a new play at the National Theatre, London. Photo by Helen Murray.

Delroy is arrested on his way to the hospital. Filled with anger and grief, he recalls the moments and relationships that gave him hope before his life was irrevocably changed. Death of England: Delroy tells the story of a Black working-class man searching for truth and confronting his relationship with Great Britain. 

‘There’s a moment in Death of England, at his father’s funeral, where Michael tells Delroy, ‘You may act like us and speak like us, but you will never be one of us,’ Roy and Clint reflected. ‘In telling Delroy’s story, we hope to take audiences on an illuminating journey into the Black British psyche and realities of a ‘tolerant’ England, in the wake of the Blacks Lives Matter movement.' 

We’re excited to reunite this production team for Death of England: Delroy from the first play. Clint Dyer directs. The set and costume designers are Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and ULTZ, with lighting design by Jackie Shemesh, sound design by Pete Malkin and Ben Grant. 

The play was commissioned by our New Work department at the start of lockdown and developed over the subsequent 5 months. 

Tickets will go on sale in September, alongside full details of the performance schedule, ticketing, and our measures to keep you safe. 

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