Nicholas Hytner's Final Season at National to Include Opening of Dorfman Theatre and New Plays by David Hare and Tom Stoppard

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20 Mar 2014

Nicholas Hytner has announced his final season at the helm of the National Theatre, which will include the opening of the Dorfman (previously the Cottesloe) as part of the theatre's current £80 million NT Future refurbishment in September, and new plays by David Hare (to be directed by Hytner's successor, Rufus Norris) and Tom Stoppard (to be directed by Hytner himself).

At a press conference to announce these plans, he stated that he is not planning on a grand farewell, as he feels that the NT 50th anniversary gala that he directed has already been that. His own final productions will be the new, as yet untitled, play by Stoppard, to premiere in the Dorfman in January, and a new, also untitled, play by Richard Bean, to be staged in the Lyttelton in the summer.

The Dorfman will reopen in September, with a British premiere he was unable to name. As well as the Stoppard, the Dorfman will also offer the premiere of Sam Holcroft's Rules for Living, one of eight new plays by female playwrights out of 14 original plays being produced by the National this season. It will be directed by Marianne Elliott (co-director of War Horse and director of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time) to open in March 2015.

The National's 12th Travelex-sponsored season, which Hytner introduced in his first year at the helm of the theatre, will see 100,000 tickets (almost half of those available for every performance) offered for £15 for six productions, starting with Helen McCrory in the title role of Carrie Cracknell's production of Medea to open in the Olivier in July, and continuing with the previously announced trilogy of Rona Munro's The James Plays, co-produced with the National Theatre of Scotland, opening in the Olivier in September following their world premiere as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

The Travelex season will continue with the return of Lloyd Newson's DV8 Physical Theatre company with their new show John in October (in the Lyttelton Theatre), before the Travelex season concludes with the world premiere of David Hare's Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on the book by Katherine Boo, to be directed by Rufus Norris in November.



This year's Christmas show in the Olivier will be a new adaptation of Robert Louis Stephenson's Treasure Island, to be adapted by Byrony Lavery and directed by Poly Findlay, opening in December.

Other plans announced include a new, untitled play by the Croatian-born Tena Štivičić that Howard Davies will direct in the Lyttelton in December. Ralph Fiennes will return to the National to star in Simon Godwin's production of Man and Superman, opening in the Lyttelton in February 2015. Cillian Murphy will reunite with Enda Walsh, in whose play Misterman he previously appeared at the National, for Ballyturk, to open in the Lyttelton in September for a five-week season. David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face, which originally received its British premiere at North London's Park Theatre, will be revived in the Shed in May, again directed by Alex Sims. It will be followed by Polly Stenham's new play Hotel that Maria Aberg will direct in June.

This year will see the return of the National's free outdoor summer Watch this Space festival, but owing to the Shed occupying Theatre Square in front of the National, it will be based at St. John's Church on Waterloo Roundabout, with entertainment in and around the churchyard. It will also head off on a neighbourhood tour to venues across Lambeth and Southwark, with full details to be announced in June.

Booking for Yellowface and Hotel opens March 24 and for Medea, The James Plays, Ballyturk and Treasure Island opens April 17. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000 or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.