Russell Beale and Alex Jennings to Be Part of National's 2006 Season

News   Russell Beale and Alex Jennings to Be Part of National's 2006 Season National Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner has announced a 2006 season whose highlights include new plays by David Eldridge, Conor McPherson and American dramatist J.T. Rogers.
Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Also confirmed is the U.K. premiere of the Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical Caroline, or Change, which will be directed by George C. Wolfe, who staged the 2003-04 Public Theater and Broadway productions.

Some the of best-known performers lined up for the season include Juliet Stevenson, Ben Whishsaw, Alun Armstrong, Paterson Joseph, Julian Glover, Dominic West. Simon Russell Beale will star in two productions, the second with Alex Jennings.

Following the previously announced Trevor Nunn revival of Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun, the Olivier stage’s Travelex season continues with Market Boy, a new play by David Eldridge.

The play sees Eldridge, author of the stage version of Festen, reunited with that play’s director, Rufus Norris, who will be making his National Theatre debut.

According to production notes, the play is set in 1985 in Romford, South East England, “where a boy has everything to learn about selling, discovering sex, alcohol and drugs and how to stay sharp in the savage world of market trading.” Market Boy begins previews May 26, opening on June 6. The third play in the Olivier season will be David Hare’s new version of Brecht’s The Life of Galileo. Directed by Howard Davie, the title role will be played by Russell-Beale, who will also co-star with Alex Jennings in the Olivier season’s final play, Ben Jonson’s Jacobean comedy The Alchemist, which will be directed by Hytner and open in September.

Meanwhile, the Lyttelton stage will host a revival of Harley Granville Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance, directed by Peter Gill, starring Julian Glover and playing in repertoire April 18- June 7.

That’s followed by Martin Crimp’s new version of Chekhov’s The Seagull with Juliet Stevenson as Madame Arkadina and Ben Whishaw as Konstantin. On the same stage, Mitchell will return with a revival of Crimp’s Attempts on Her Life, first seen at the Royal Court in 1997.

In May J.T. Rogers (Madagascar) makes his U.K. debut at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre with the world premiere of The Overwhelming, to be directed by Max Stafford Clark.

Also at the Cottesloe, Conor McPherson (The Weir) receives his National Theatre debut directing his own new play The Seafarer.

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