Sher, Shepard and Shunt Feature in National Theatre Season; Casting Complete for Hare’s Stuff Happens

News   Sher, Shepard and Shunt Feature in National Theatre Season; Casting Complete for Hare’s Stuff Happens
 
The National Theatre’s autumn season is set to include Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, Kwame Kwei-Armah’s new show Fix Up, Nikolai Erdman’s The Mandate and Anthony Sher’s one-man homage to Primo Levi, Primo. There’s also a collaboration with Shunt — one of the most talked-about fringe theatre groups who specialize in creating drama in challenging spaces — on the new show Tropicana at the Shunt Vaults near London Bridge.

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Buried Child in the Lyttleton Theatre, about a strange and sinister homecoming, will be directed by Matthew Warchus, with designs by Rob Howell. It begins previews on Sept. 18, with opening night on Sept. 29.

Primo, set to preview from Sept. 24 in the Cottesloe Theatre, will be directed by actor-director Richard Wilson. Hildegard Bechtler deisgns, with lighting by Paul Pyant. Opening night is on Sept. 30.

Director Declan Donnellan has provided a new version of Nikolai Erdman’s revolutionary classic The Mandate. Deborah Findlay and Sinead Matthews star. Designs are by Nick Ormerod, with lighting by Judith Greenwood, movement direction by Jane Gibson and sound designs by Rich Walsh. The show previews from Oct. 15, opening on Oct. 26.

The Shunt collaboration, Tropicana, will see audience members taking to the labyrinth below London Bridge station on a journey of self-discovery. Of Shunt’s award-winning last production, Dance Bear Dance, NT boss Nick Hytner said, “It was strange, wild, beautiful and funny, and it conjured astonishing things out of the darkness.” Tropicana opens on Sept. 25, with previews from Sept. 9.

Then, of course, there’s the much-trumpeted new play by David Hare about the Iraq War, Stuff Happens. The full cast is now confirmed, and will include Adjoa Andoh as Condoleezza Rice, Desmond Barrit as Dick Cheney, Isla Blair as Laura Bush, Dermot Crowley as Donald Rumsfeld, Nicholas Farrell as Tony Blair, Alex Jennings as George W. Bush, Joe Morton as Colin Powell and Ian Gelder as Paul Wolfowitz. The play previews in the Olivier Theatre from Sept. 1, and opens on Sept. 10. Hytner directs, with designs by Christopher Oram, lighting by Paul Anderson and sound designs by Paul Groothuis. Angus Jackson will direct Kwame Kwei-Armah’s new play Fix Up, the playwright’s follow-up to his extremely successful NT debut Elmina’s Kitchen. The new show depicts a property company’s plan to convert the Tottenham-based HQ of the All Black African Party into luxury flats, and the arrival of a beautiful visitor which makes the whole situation worse. Bunny Christie designs, with lighting designs by Neil Austin and music by Neil McArthur. It previews in the Cottesloe from Dec. 7, opening on Dec. 16.

Upcoming NT Platforms include Richard Griffiths (July 30), Desmond Barrit (Aug. 6), Frances de la Tour (Aug. 13), Philip Quast (Aug. 20), Charlotte Rampling (Sept. 3). On Sept. 14 Alan Strachan discusses his biography of Michael Redgrave. Sept. 17 sees an appearance by Michael Blakemore. Subsequent highlights include Ian Holm discussing his autobiography, “Acting My Life,” on Oct. 5, and Tony Harrison discussing his work on Nov. 16.

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