In a press conference to announce repertoire plans for 2010, current artistic director Nicholas Hytner also revealed further casting for the already-announced Travelex £10 season in the Olivier Theatre, which opens April 27 with Marianne Elliott's production of Thomas Middleton's Women Beware Women and will feature Harriet Walter and Samuel Barnett leading the cast.
Walter was Tony nominated in 2009 for reprising her Donmar Warehouse and West End performance in Mary Stuart, and was last seen at the National Theatre in the premiere of Moira Buffini's Dinner in 2002. She also appeared at the National in the original production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. Barnett, who is currently appearing at London's Bush Theatre in the premiere of The Whisky Taster, was Tony Award-nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Play for the Broadway transfer of Alan Bennett's The History Boys in 2006 from the National Theatre.
The Travelex season continues with the premiere of Moira Buffini's Welcome to Thebes (previously announced as Eurydice) opening June 22, which former NT artistic director Richard Eyre will return to the National to direct. Last year he directed the premiere of Matt Charman's The Observer in the Cottesloe. It is followed by Michael Grandage's National directorial debut with Danton's Death, opening in July, with Toby Stephens making his NT debut in the title role. Stephens will first play the lead role in a new production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, premiering at the Old Vic in April. The Travelex season will conclude with the previously announced Rory Kinnear starring as Hamlet, opening in September, opposite Clare Higgins as Gertrude, under the direction of Nicholas Hytner, which Hytner announced will embark on a U.K. and international tour from February 2010.
It was further announced that the National will stage:
Love the Sinner, a new play by Drew Pautz about the ordination of gay priests in the Church of England, directed by Matthew Dunster, opening May 11 in the Cottesloe. Additionally, Thea Sharrock, who last directed The Emperor Jones for the National Theatre, as well as s Lucinda Coxon's Happy Now? in 2008, will return to direct a new production of Terence Rattigan's rarely-seen After the Dance, to open in the Lyttelton June 8.
Further ahead, Danny Boyle — best known as the Oscar winning director of the film "Slumdog Millionaire," but who began his career as a director of plays at the Royal Court and RSC — will return to the theatre after a 15-year absence to direct Frankenstein, a new play commissioned from Nick Dear that is based on the novel by Mary Shelley. Peter Hall will return to the National to direct Twelfth Night, starring his actress daughter Rebecca as Viola. She was last seen on the London stage in Sam Mendes' productions of The Winter's Tale and The Cherry Orchard at the Old Vic.
It was also announced that NT Live — the initiative in which National Theatre productions are broadcast live to cinemas around the U.K. and the rest of the world — is to continue, with a new season to be announced to commence from autumn 2010. Finally, it was also announced that Bijan Sheibani, who recently directed Our Class in the Cottesloe, has been appointed associate director of the National.
Booking has not yet opened for any of these productions.