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by Kae Tempest
a new version of Philoctetes by Sophocles

4 August - 11 September 2021


A thrilling story of pride, glory and betrayal.

Kae Tempest, the astonishing writer, recording artist and performer, forges an epic new take on Greek legend.  

Philoctetes: once a celebrated wartime hero, now a wounded outcast on a desolate island.

When a young soldier appears, his hope of escape comes with suspicion.  And as an old enemy also emerges, he is faced with an even greater temptation: revenge.

Director Ian Rickson returns to the National Theatre following his acclaimed, sold-out runs of Translations.

The all-female company, with Lesley Sharp as Philoctetes, will perform amidst a dramatic wasteland designed by Rae Smith (War Horse, Barber Shop Chronicles).

Kae Tempest has a gift for shattering and transcending convention.
New York Times

Kae Tempest (Brand New Ancients, Let Them Eat Chaos) is winner of the Ted Hughes Award, has been nominated for the Costa Book Award for Poetry, and twice-nominated for the Mercury Prize.

We can’t wait to welcome you for live performances

We're proud to be See It Safely approved by Official London Theatre, and have received the Visit Britain 'We're Good to Go' industry standard mark, so you can feel confident knowing that staff, artists and audiences are always COVID-secure based on the latest government guidelines.

Here are some helpful things to remember when booking tickets and planning your visit:  

  • Performances of Paradise will take place without social distancing, should Government confirm the lifting of remaining COVID restrictions in England as expected. Until ‘Step 4’ confirmation is received, these performances will be sold at socially distanced capacities in fixed clusters of singles, pairs or groups of 3-4 people. Further tickets will be released following confirmation of ‘Step 4’ guidelines.
  • Seats in our theatres are allocated four separate arrival groups, which are indicated when you select tickets: Group 1 is the earliest arrival time, with Group 4 being the closest to the start of the performance.
  • In advance of your visit, you will receive an email with your specific arrival time. 
  • We ask that everyone over the age of 16 to provide contact details for NHS Test & Trace on arrival. 
  • Some of our theatre entrances may have changed since your last visit, so please view our map to familiarise yourselves with entry points. 


Learn more about the ways we are welcoming audiences back safely


Supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation through the Weston Culture Fund


Garfield Weston Foundation logo


The reopening of the Olivier theatre is generously supported by Areté Foundation / Betsy & Ed Cohen. 

Production supported by Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation. 

Member booking opens from 16 June
Public booking opens from 25 June

See all booking dates and times and find out more about membership

NT Together: Join as a Member and together we can shape a bright creative future.


Eska Mtungwazi
Amie Francis
Amie Francis
Sutara Gayle
Sutara Gayle
Anastasia Hille
Anastasia Hille
Sarah Lam
Sarah Lam
Kayla Meikle
Kayla Meikle
Gloria Obianyo
Gloria Obianyo
Lesley Sharp
Lesley Sharp
Naomi Wirthner
Naomi Wirthner

Production team

Ticket Prices

Monday - Thursday eves, all matinees
£86, £66, £46, £36, £20
Friday & Saturday eves
£89, £69, £49, £39, £20
Previews 4 & 5 August
£68, £48, £38, £30, £20
Previews 6 - 9 August
£80, £60, £40, £30, £20

Access performances

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Sat 4 September, 2.30pm preceded by a Touch Tour at 12.30pm

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Wed 8 September, 8pm

Smart caption glasses

Smart Caption Glasses will be available for performances from Saturday 14 August, 7.30pm

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre. For the first time, service users can experience our productions, including this one, from any seat in any theatre.

Find out about smart caption glasses

Pre-show drinks and snacks menu

We ask that you order refreshments in advance so our team can make them available to you on arrival.

After adding tickets to your basket, you will have the option to choose from the below menu, for pre-show drinks and snacks.

Wines, Beers & Spirits
Prosecco 125ml – £8.50
White Wine 175ml – £6.50
Red Wine 175ml – £6.50
Lager 330ml – £5.50
Pale Ale 330ml – £5.50
Gin & Tonic – £6.50

Soft Drinks
Still Water 500ml – £2.50
Sparkling Water 500ml – £2.50
Coca Cola 200ml – £2.50
Diet Coke 200ml – £2.50

Salted Nuts – £2.50
Cadbury Twirl Bites – £3

Tickets for 16-25 year olds

Find out more

Young people taking part in a NT youth workshop

Photography (Lesley Sharp) by Alex Telfer

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets