U.K.'s National Theatre to Revive Alan Ayckbourn's A Small Family Business and Sean O'Casey's The Silver Tassie

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23 Jan 2014

The U.K's National Theatre will revive Alan Ayckbourn's A Small Family Business — premiered by the theatre in 1987 — in a new production starring Nigel Lindsay, and Sean O'Casey's The Silver Tassie.



A Small Family Business will begin performances April 1, prior to an official opening April 8. It is initially booking through May 31, with further performances to be announced, including a National Theatre Live broadcast into cinemas across Britain and the world June 12.

The play, which premiered at the National in 1997, is described in press materials as a "riotous exposure of entrepreneurial greed. Jack McCracken: a man of principle in a corrupt world. But not for long. Moments after taking over his father-in-law's business he's approached by a private detective armed with some compromising information. Jack’s integrity fades away as he discovers his extended family to be thieves and adulterers, looting the business from their suburban homes. Rampant self-interest takes over and comic hysteria builds to a macabre climax."

Nigel Lindsay, who is currently appearing as Bolingbroke in Richard II at the RSC, stars as Jack McCracken. He returns to the National, where he has previously appeared in The Pillowman, The London Cuckolds, Blue Remembered Hills and Dealer’s Choice. Recent theatre includes The Same Deep Water As Me (Donmar Warehouse) and the title role in the original West End production of Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

The cast also includes Debra Gillett, Gawn Grainger, Amanda Hadingue, Amy Marston, Gerard Monaco, Samuel Taylor and Niky Wardley. It is being directed by Adam Penfold, associate director and choreographer for the NT production of One Man, Two Guvnors (West End, Broadway, U.K. and international tours).

The production is designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Paul Anderson, music by Grant Olding, sound by Gareth Fry and fight direction by Alison de Burgh.

The Sliver Tassie will begin performances April 15 prior to an official opening April 23. It is booking initially through May 21, with further performances to be announced.

Set in Ireland during World War One, it "revolves around dashing Harry Heegan, who leads his football team to victory. He arrives home in swaggering celebration before he grabs his kit and heads for the trenches. A nightmare world awaits. The men, reduced to cannon-fodder, speak in mangled incantations as the casualties stack up. Months later, Harry returns, a cripple at the football club party. Everyone but the shattered war veterans dances and forgets."

Directed by National Theatre associate director Howard Davies, the cast includes Adam Best, Aidan Kelly, Stephen Kennedy, Aidan McArdle, Deirdre Mullins and Ronan Raftery. The production will be designed by Vicki Mortimer with costume design by John Bright, lighting design by Neil Austin, music by Stephen Warbeck, movement by Scarlett Mackmin and sound by Paul Groothuis.

Public booking will open Feb. 14. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit nationaltheatre.org.uk.