London's National to Premiere Richard Bean's Great Britain, Starring Billie Piper

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25 Jun 2014

The National Theatre has made a late addition to its summer program, announcing the premiere of Richard Bean's Great Britain just six days ahead of its June 30 opening. It will begin performances that day (also the official opening) for a run through Aug. 23 in the Lyttelton Theatre.

According to press materials, the play is an anarchic satire about the press, the police and the political establishment. National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner will direct a cast led by Billie Piper as Paige Britain, the ambitious young news editor of The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never-ending battle for more readers.

The cast also includes Sarah Annis, Ross Boatman, Robert Calvert, Oliver Chris, William Chubb, Dermot Crowley, Jo Dockery, Robert Glenister, Ian Hallard, James Harkness, Scott Karim, Barbara Kirby, Nicholas Lumley, Maggie McCarthy, Iain Mitchell, Miles Mitchell, Aaron Neil, Nick Sampson, Kellie Shirley, Kiruna Stamell, Harriet Thorpe, Rupert Vansittart, Joseph Wilkins and Andrew Woodall.

Bean's previous plays for the National include One Man, Two Guvnors, winner of the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Play and currently on its third U.K.M tour following runs at the NT, in the West End and on Broadway; England People Very Nice and The Mentalists. Other plays include The Heretic, Harvest, Honeymoon Suite, Under the Whaleback and Toast (all for the Royal Court, with the latter shortly to be revived at the Park Theatre), The Big Fellah for Out of Joint at the Lyric Hammersmith and on tour, and the forthcoming Pitcairn for Out of Joint, Chichester Festival Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe. He is also writing the book for the new West End musical Made in Dagenham.

Piper was last seen on the London stage in The Effect at the National (Evening Standard and Olivier Award nominations for Best Actress). Other stage credits include Reasons to be Pretty (Almeida) and Treats (Garrick). TV and film credits include "Foxtrot," "Penny Dreadful," "True Love," "A Passionate Woman," "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," "Doctor Who" and "Much Ado About Nothing."



The production is designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Neil Austin, music by Grant Olding, sound by Paul Arditti and video/projection by Leo Warner.

Tickets for the first two weeks of performances (through July 12) are now on sale, with the rest of the run (through Aug. 23) on public sale from June 26.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.