Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, presented in a version by Andrew Upton and starring the previously announced Zoë Wanamaker, who returns to the National to play Ranyevskaya, will open this year's Travelex £12 season in the Olivier Theatre, beginning performances May 10, prior to an official opening May 17. The cast also includes Claudie Blakley (as Varya), Mark Bonnar (Trofimov), Pip Carter (Yepihodov), Kenneth Cranham (Firs), Paul Dodds, Craige Els, Mark Fleischmann, Colin Haigh, Conleth Hill (Lopakhin), Gerald Kyd (Yasha), James Laurenson (Gaev), Tim McMullan (Simyonov-Pischik), Jessica Regan, Tim Samuels, Emily Taaffe (Dunyasha), Stephanie Thomas, Joseph Thompson, Rosie Thomson, Ellie Turner, Charity Wakefield (Anya) and Sarah Woodward (Charlotta). The production is directed by Howard Davies, with designs by Bunny Christie; they last collaborated on The White Guard at the National, for which Christie won the 2010 Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Designer. Lighting is by Neil Austin, with music by Dominic Muldowney and sound by Paul Groothuis.
London Road, with book and lyrics by Alecky Blythe and music and lyrics by Adam Cork, begins performances in the Cottesloe April 7, prior to an official opening April 14, then playing in repertoire to June 18. Based on the true story of events in Ipswich in 2006 when the bodies of five women were discovered, it is directed by Rufus Norris, who has previously directed Death and the King's Horseman and Market Boy at the National. The cast comprises Clare Burt, Rosalie Craig, Kate Fleetwood, Hal Fowler, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer, Nicola Sloane, Paul Thornley, Howard Ward and Duncan Wisbey. The designer is Katrina Lindsay, with lighting by Bruno Poet, music direction by David Shrubsole, movement by Javier de Frutos and sound by Paul Arditti.
Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors, based on Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters, will begin performances in the Lyttelton Theatre May 17, prior to an official opening May 24, then in rep before touring to Plymouth, Salford, Birmingham and Edinburgh beginning Oct. 4. The previously announced James Corden returns to the National Theatre for the first time since he starred in the original cast of The History Boys to head the cast, reunited with director Nicholas Hytner. The cast also includes Oliver Chris, Martyn Ellis, Trevor Laird, Claire Lams, Fred Ridgeway, Daniel Rigby, Jemima Rooper and Suzie Toase. The associate director will be Cal McCrystal, and the production will be designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Grant Olding and sound design by Paul Arditti.
Ibsen's Emperor and Galilean will begin performances in the Olivier Theatre June 7, prior to an official opening June 15, as part of the Travelex £12 season. The play charts the true odyssey of a man, Julian, as he struggles to find spiritual fulfilment and political pre-eminence. Andrew Scott plays Julian, with Ian McDiarmid as Maximus; the cast also includes Jamie Ballard, Simon Coombs, Daniel Flynn, John Heffernan, Chris Jared, James McArdle, Simon Merrells, Carole Nimmons, Genevieve O’Reilly, Lara Rossi, Prasanna Puwanarajah and Sargon Yelda. Ibsen's play is presented in a new version by Ben Power, and directed by Jonathan Kent. It is designed by Paul Brown with lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Jonathan Dove, video by Nina Dunn, movement by Denni Sayers and sound by Christopher Shutt.
Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness will begin performances in the Lyttelton July 12, prior to an official opening July 19, as part of the Travelex £12 season. Katie Mithcell directs, with designs by Lizzie Clachan and Vicki Mortimer, lighting by Jon Clark, movement by Joseph Alford and sound by Gareth Fry. There are no casting details available yet. In addition, Nicholas Hytner's production of Hamlet, starring Rory Kinnear in the title role, will return, as previously announced, to the Lyttelton Theatre as part of the Travelex £12 season, for a run of 12 performances from April 13-23 only. Also, the annual Connections Festival, a season of new writing for young performers, will run June 29-July 4 in the Cottesloe and Olivier Theatres, with premieres of ten new plays for young people by writers including Alia Bano, Katori Hall, Nell Leyshon and Douglas Maxwell. Nearly 200 young theatre companies from Cornwall to the Shetland Islands have taken part in Connections 2011 and its 19 regional festivals, culminating in the Connections Festival in the Olivier and Cottesloe Theatres, which showcases an example of each play.
Public phone and online booking for new productions in the March to July season begins March 10. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.