National Announces West End Transfers; U.S. Transfer of Jumpers and Democracy in Works

News   National Announces West End Transfers; U.S. Transfer of Jumpers and Democracy in Works
 
The National Theatre’s colonization of London’s West End and beyond continues. Not content with two shows already in Theatreland (Jerry Springer: The Opera and Anything Goes), with another, Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers set to begin previews on Nov. 14, the South Bank mothership is preparing to send another two productions across the river.

Conleth Hill and Roger Allam in Democracy at the National Theatre in London
Conleth Hill and Roger Allam in Democracy at the National Theatre in London Photo by Conrad Blakemore

Moira Buffini’s Dinner, premiered in the NT’s tiny Loft auditorium during 2002’s Transformations season, will open at the Wyndham’s Theatre on Dec. 9, with previews from Dec. 4. Produced by Michael Codron and Lee Dean, the show will star original cast-members Harriet Walter, Nicholas Farrell and Penny Downie, as well as newcomers Paul Kaye, Adrian Lukis, Flora Montgomery and Paul Sirr. The play tells the story of the dinner from hell when a hostess invites a scientist, an artist and a sexpot to celebrate the publication of her husband’s book. Only there’s a gatecrasher, and the waiter is an unusual sort hired from a little-known website.

Codron and Dean will also transfer Michael Frayn’s hit play Democracy to the Wyndham’s in early April 2004. A sell-out at the NT’s Cottesloe, the play—about Willy Brandt and West German politics in the late 1960’s—will move to the building’s larger Lyttleton auditorium from Feb. 12. before its West End jump. The cast includes Roger Allam as Brandt and Conleth Hill as Stasi-spy Gunter Guillaume.

Meanwhile, Americans wait for the fruits of the NT’s new first-look deal with U.S. producers Bob Boyett and Ostar Productions’ Bill Haber. Boyett told Playbill On-Line that scheduling talks have started to bring both Jumpers and Democracy to America (with a U.S. tour planned as well as possible Broadway runs). "The National deserves a much stronger and more positive image than it currently has in America." Boyett said. "[Artistic director] Nick Hytner is turning out incredibly great theatre, and the U.S. must see it."

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