National Theatre to Offer U.K. Premiere of Detroit, New Steven Sater-Duncan Sheik Musical and More

By Mark Shenton
January 25, 2012

The U.K.'s National Theatre plans for 2012 include the U.K. premiere of Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, originally produced by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company last year, and appearances by actors Cillian Murphy, Julie Walters, Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory.



There will also be a new rock musical Alice by Heart written by the Spring Awakening team of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik to be staged as part of the 2012 Connections season of specially commissioned plays for young people. Amongst other new work, there will be premieres of plays by Alan Bennett, actor-turned-playwright Stephen Beresford, James Graham and Lucy Prebble (the latter reuniting with director Rupert Goold, with whom she previously collaborated on Enron), as well as new adaptations by Simon Stephens and Richard Bean. Revivals include productions of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Tirso de Molina and Bernard Shaw.

The 2012 Travelex season, offering reduced ticket prices for plays in the Olivier Theatre with almost half of the tickets in the season being offered for £12, will include a new production of Sophocles' Antigone, opening May 30, in a version by Don Taylor that will be directed by Polly Findlay. The season continues with Nicholas Hytner directing Simon Russell Beale in the title role of Timon of Athens in July, presented as part of the World Shakespeare Festival; and culminating with Tirso de Molina's Damned for Despair in October, to be presented in a version by Frank McGuinness and directed by Bijan Sheibani.

Also in the Travelex season, the current Cottesloe production of John Hodge's Collaborators will transfer to the Olivier in May with Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale re-creating their roles as Bulgakov and Stalin, respectively. Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork's London Road, which won this year's Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical and originally also premiered in the Cottesloe last year, will be revived in the Olivier Theatre for a short season from July.

For the Olivier's Christmas show, Timothy Sheader, artistic director of the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park who is currently represented by the transfer of his production of Crazy for You to the West End's Novello Theatre, will stage Richard Bean's adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, beginning performances in November.

In the Lyttelton, Enda Walsh's Misterman, with Cillian Murphy reprising his solo performance that has already been seen in Ireland and New York, will open April 18. Julie Walters, Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory wlll star in The Last of the Haussmans, written by actor-turned-playwright Stephen Beresford and directed by Howard Davies, in June. Bernard Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma will be directed by Nadia Fall in July, and Nicholas Hytner will stage the previously announced world premiere of Alan Bennett's latest, People, in late October.

In the Cottesloe, new productions will include the U.K. premiere of Lisa D'Amour's Detroit in May, directed by Austin Pendleton, who also helmed the play's Steppenwolf premiere last year, but presented now with a new London cast. Marianne Elliott will direct The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, based on the novel by Mark Haddon that has been adapted by Simon Stephens, to open in July, with a cast that includes Una Stubbs, Luke Treadaway and Nicola Walker. Jeremy Herrin will direct Hames Graham's new play House in September, and Rupert Goold will direct Lucy Prebble's new play, as yet untitled, in November in a co-production with Headlong. Katie Mitchell will return to the National to direct Hansel and Gretel for four-seven year olds in December.

In addition, the National will also launch a second tour of One Man, Two Guvnors in the fall of 2012, visiting Leicester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Belfast, Blackpool, Norwich, Leeds, Llandudno and Salford. War Horse will also embark on a  nine-month U.K. tour in fall 2013.

In 2013, Adrian Lester will return to the National to star in the title role of Othello, with Rory Kinnear as Iago, under the direction of Nicholas Hytner, in the Olivier; Antony Sher will, as previously announced, star in the title role of Carl Zuckmayer's The Captain of Kopenick, directed by Adrian Noble, also in the Olivier; and Howard Davies will direct Gorky's Children of the Sun in the Lyttelton in March.

Public booking for Antigone, Detroit and Misterman will open Feb. 15. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.