The National Theatre has announced some upcoming Spring productions.
Richard Eyre is directing the world premiere of Nicholas Wright's Vincent in Brixton opening at the Cottesloe on May 1, with previews from April 24. Wright's new play is based on true facts from Vincent van Gogh's early life in London. It's about the transforming effect of love, sex and artistic adventure on unformed talent, and traces the birth of genius. In Brixton, 1873, a young Dutchman rents a room in the house of an English widow. Three years later, he returns to Europe on the first step of a journey ending in breakdown, death and immortality. The cast includes Clare Higgins, who has appeared in many productions at the National including Sweet Bird of Youth (for which she won the Olivier and Critics' Circle Best Actress awards), and the young Dutch actor Jochum ten Haaf, who is making his British theatre debut as Vincent.
Peter Hall directs Euripides' Bacchai, in a new version by Colin Teevan, which will open at the Olivier on May 17, with previews from May 8. Bacchai, written in the 5th century BC, is described by Peter Hall as "a short sharp play, and one of the most challenging ever written. The play deals with extremes: faith is opposed by instinct, reason by emotion, male by female, chaos by order, West by East and life by death." Harrison Birtwistle (Amadeus, The Last Supper) is composing the music for the production.
The 2002 Shakespeare Unplugged tour of Measure For Measure will play at the Cottesloe for a limited run of four performances from April 8 to 10. A disturbing tale of suspense, dark comedy and corruption, Measure for Measure explores sexuality, morality and the law, exposing the abuse of authority in high places and the seething underworld of Vienna. Presented in an interactive, promenade style that strips away the barriers between actor and audience. The production is directed by Jonathan Petherbridge, Artistic Director of London Bubble Theatre. For further information call the Box Office on 020 7452 3000.