U.K.'s National Theatre Confirms Further Plans and Casting Through January 2015, Including New David Hare Play

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01 Jul 2014

The National Theatre has confirmed further plans and casting for new productions that will open through January 2015, including a new play by David Hare, a new verbatim dance-theatre work co-produced with DV8 Physical Theatre and a new play by Croatian writer Tena Štivičić.



David Hare's new play, Behind the Beautiful Flowers, based on the book by Katherine Boo, will begin performances Nov. 10 prior to an official opening Nov. 18 in the Olivier Theatre, as part of the Travelex £15 tickets season. Rufus Norris, who succeeds Nick Hytner as artistic director of the National Theatre next year, will direct a cast that includes Meera Syal.

According to press materials, "India is surging with global ambition. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, full of people with plans of their own. Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, twelve and stunted, wants to eat until he's as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a 'first-class person,' while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate. But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood."

Katherine Boo, who is a staff writer at the New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for the Washington Post, spent three years in Annawadi recording the lives of its residents. Her debut book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity" won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2012 and the 2013 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, and was a 2013 Pulitzer finalist.

JOHN, co-produced by the National and DV8 Physical Theatre and conceived and directed by Lloyd Newson, will begin performances Oct. 30 prior to an official opening Nov. 4 in the Lyttelton Theatre for a run through Jan. 13, 2015, as part of the Travelex £15 tickets season. It will have a National Theatre Live broadcast into cinemas around the world Dec. 9.

It is described in press materials as a new "verbatim dance-theatre work. Newson interviewed more than 50 men, asking them frank questions initially about love and sex. One of those men was John. What emerged was a story that is both extraordinary and touching. Years of crime, drug use and struggling to survive lead John on a search in which his life converges with others, in an unexpected place, unknown by most."

DV8 Physical Theatre have previously been seen at the National with their productions of To Be Straight With You, Can We Talk About This? and Just for Show. This new show is co-produced by the National Theatre, Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, Théâtre de la Ville and Festival d’Automne Paris, Dansens Hus Stockholm and Dansens Hus Oslo and DV8 Physical Theatre.

3 Winters, a new play by London-based Croatian-born playwright Tena Štivičić, will begin performances Nov. 26 prior to an official opening Dec. 3 in the Lyttelton Theatre. Howard Davies will direct a play set in Croatia between 1945 and 2011. Set against a country in turmoil, it creates a portrait of an eclectic family, held together by the courage to survive.

Also, the previously announced Treasure Island has confirmed dates. It will begin performances Dec. 3 prior to an official opening Dec. 10 in the Olivier Theatre, with a National Theatre Live broadcast Jan. 22.

Poly Findlay will direct Bryony Lavery's new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny. The cast includes Patsy Ferran as Jim.

Public booking for Treasure Island is already open. For Behind the Beautiful Forevers, JOHN and 3 Winters, booking opens July 18.

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