National Theatre Announces Plans for Productions through April 2013
By Mark Shenton
The National Theatre has confirmed dates for previously announced new productions through April 2013, which include Antony Sher in the title role of The Captain of Kopenick and a new production of Simon Stephen's Port. In addition, James Graham's This House will relocate from its current Cottesloe home to the Olivier.
The Captain of Kopenick will begin performances Jan. 29, 2013, prior to an official opening Feb. 5, for a run through April 4 in the Olivier Theatre. Adrian Noble, former artistic director of the RSC, will make his National Theatre debut to direct Carl Zuckmayer's play, first staged in Germany in 1931, in a new English version by Ron Hutchinson. In the play, "petty criminal Wilhelm Voight wanders 1910 Berlin in desperate, hazardous pursuit of identity papers after being released after fifteen years in prison. Luck changes when he picks up an abandoned military uniform in a fancy-dress shop and finds the city ready to obey his every command. At the head of six soldiers, he marches to the Mayor's office, cites corruption and confiscates the treasury with ease. But still what he craves is official recognition that he exists."
The cast also includes Sandy Batchelor, Paul Bentall, Jason Cheater, Paul Chequer, Alan David, Robert Demeger, James Hayes, Barnaby Kay, David Killick, Siobhán McSweeney, Nick Malinowski, Anthony O’Donnell, Olivia Poulet, Iris Roberts, Nick Sampson, Adrian Schiller, Robin Weaver, Joseph Wilkins and Lynne Wilmot. The production will be designed by Anthony Ward, with lighting by Neil Austin, music by Steven Edis, movement by Sue Lefton, fight direction by Malcolm Ranson and sound by Mic Pool.
Port will begin performances Jan. 22, prior to an official opening Jan. 28, for a run through March 24 in the Lyttelton Theatre. Marianne Elliott will return to direct the play that she previously staged the world premiere of at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre in 2002. Set in Stockport in 1988, "it's midnight and Rachel, eleven, and Billy, six, wait in the car in agitated excitement. Their mother is at her wits' end with all their chatter and fighting and dreams of Disneyland. She is about to leave them for good. Their father, drunk in the flat above, has locked the door. It's a pivotal moment, the beginning of a thirteen-year odyssey for two kids, largely abandoned and growing up in the deprived suburban shadows of Manchester, a city that felt itself to be the most exciting in the world." According to press materials, the play is a "celebration of the human spirit as Rachel, through sheer courage and despite an economic and political climate that pushes her into the very margins, looks to the future and opts for love and life and for something better."
The cast will include John Biggins, Calum Callaghan, Jack Deam, Danny Kelly, Mike Noble, Kate O’Flynn, Katherine Pearce and Liz White. Designs are by Lizzie Clachan with lighting by Neil Austin, music by Damon Gough (also known as Badly Drawn Boy) and sound by Ian Dickinson.
This House will transfer to the Olivier Theatre, beginning previews Feb. 23 prior to an official opening Feb. 28. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, the production is designed by Rae Smith with lighting design by Paule Constable, music by Stephen Warbeck, choreography by Scott Ambler and sound by Ian Dickinson. Original cast members continuing with their roles include Gunnar Cauthery, Phil Daniels, Charles Edwards, Vincent Franklin, Christopher Godwin, Andrew Havill, Ed Hughes, Helena Lymbery, Lauren O’Neil, Matthew Pidgeon. Richard Ridings, Giles Taylor, Tony Turner, Rupert Vansittart and Julian Wadham.
Public phone and online booking for new productions in the November to April season opens Nov. 23. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.
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