David Hare's Bush Drama Stuff Happens Starts Happening at London's National Sept. 1

News   David Hare's Bush Drama Stuff Happens Starts Happening at London's National Sept. 1 Smack dab in the middle of the Republican National Convention, previews begin at London's Royal National Theatre for the much-trumpeted new David Hare play about the Iraq War, Stuff Happens.
Promotional art for Stuff Happens
Promotional art for Stuff Happens

Official opening is another tellingly timed date: Sept. 10, one day before the three-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks which led to the Bush administration's War on Terror and its decision to invade Iraq. Nearly every major character in the Bush White House is depicted in Hare's political work. The full cast includes Adjoa Andoh as Condoleezza Rice, Desmond Barrit as Dick Cheney, Isla Blair as Laura Bush, Dermot Crowley as Donald Rumsfeld, Nicholas Farrell as Tony Blair, Alex Jennings as George W. Bush, Joe Morton as Colin Powell and Ian Gelder as Paul Wolfowitz. Nicholas Hytner directs at the Olivier Theatre, with designs by Christopher Oram, lighting by Paul Anderson and sound designs by Paul Groothuis.

The title comes from a phrase in a Donald Rumsfeld/Dick Cheney letter to President Clinton in 1998, which urged America to adopt a new global strategy that should include the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

In a press conference earlier in 2004, NT boss Nick Hytner denied that the play would be explicitly against the war, saying, “It would be a very poor play that didn’t eloquently and passionately occupy both positions.” Hytner himself is to direct and, unlike Hare’s recent documentary-based The Permanent Way, Stuff Happens is fictional, though based on factual events.

The show is part of the Travelex £10 season, with two-thirds of tickets in the Olivier Theatre available for £10. Though the show opens on Sept. 10, previews start Sept. 1. The show plays in repertory until Nov. 6.

For further information, call (0)20 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.