Still flush from its success at this years Evening Standard Drama Awards, the Royal National Theatre has announced its new schedule for 1998 (19 January - 14 March) which includes the European premiere of a little-known Tennessee Williams play rediscovered in 1997.
The National's artistic director Trevor Nunn directs Not About the Nightingales, written early in Williams' career (around 1938) but never performed. Based on actual events in the 1930s, the play is set in an American jail and tells the story of a ruthless warden, a young prisoner and his rebellious fellow inmates. Corin Redgrave, currently seen as the dethroned King Edward in HRH at the Playhouse Theatre, will play the Warden. Not About Nightingales opens in the National's Cottlesloe Theatre 5 March.
Howard Davies, who directed the Nationals current production of Arnold Weskers Chips with Everything, now turns his hand to Mikhail Bulgakov's Flight. The play, opening 12 February in the National's Olivier Theatre, follows the lives of Russian emigres as they flee across Europe in the wake of the Russian civil war. Flight has been newly adapted by Ron Hutchinson whose original stage plays include The Rat in the Skull, recently revived as part of the Royal Court Classics Season. Terry Johnson directs his own new adaptation of The London Cuckolds by Edward Ravenscroft which will open in the Lyttelton Theatre on 19 February. This marriage farce, first performed in 1681, is Johnson's first production for the National. Johnson's plays include the award-winning comedies Dead Funny and Hysteria. Alexander Hanson will also make his National debut as one of the three cuckolded husbands. Hanson recently finished a run of Enter the Guardsman at the Donmar Warehouse.