London's National Theatre Launches Nicholas Hytner's First Season

News   London's National Theatre Launches Nicholas Hytner's First Season
At the heart of Nicholas Hytner's plans for the National is a six-month season in the Olivier by a group of leading directors and designers collaborating on a bold new way of staging plays in the National's largest auditorium, for which two-thirds of the tickets are £10. The rest will be £25.

The Cottesloe — for which prices have also been reduced —presents a repertoire of predominantly new work, while in the Lyttelton there is a blend of innovation and classics.

The plays to be staged include:

Henry V Olivier Theatre, £10
Nicholas Hytner's first production as Director of the National will be Shakespeare's Henry V, with Adrian Lester playing the title role and Penny Downie as Chorus. It previews May 6, with a press night on Tuesday, May 13.

His Girl Friday Olivier Theatre, £10
The stage premiere of His Girl Friday, adapted by John Guare from The Front Page by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur, and the film produced by Columbia Pictures, will be the second production in the Olivier £10 season, previewing from May 29 with a press night on Thursday, June 5. American director Jack O'Brien makes his NT debut; Alex Jennings plays Walter Burns and Zoë Wanamaker plays Hildy Johnson.

Jerry Springer — the Opera Lyttelton Theatre
Jerry Springer — The Opera, the concert version of which was the hit of last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will receive its world premiere as the new season's opening production in the Lyttelton Theatre with a press night on Tuesday, April 29 (following previews beginning April 9). The cast is to be announced. Jumpers Lyttelton Theatre
David Leveaux directs Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, with Simon Russell Beale as George Moore. The cast also includes John Rogan as Crouch and Nicholas Woodeson as Bones. It previews in the Lyttelton on June 7, with a press night on Thursday, June 19.

Scenes From the Big Picture Cottesloe Theatre
Peter Gill directs Scenes From the Big Picture, a new play by Owen McCafferty, whose Closing Time recently premiered at the National. It begins previews April 2, with a press night on Thursday, April 10. The cast includes Kathy Kiera Clarke, Ruairi Conaghan, Chris Corrigan, Darren Healy, Packy Lee, Karl Johnson, Gerard Jordan, Aoife McMahon, Eileen Pollock, Frances Tomelty, Harry Towb and June Watson.

Elmina's Kitchen Cottesloe Theatre
Elmina's Kitchen, a new play by Kwame Kwei-Armah, opens in the Cottesloe on Thursday, May 29, following previews May 23, directed by Angus Jackson. The production will be designed by Bunny Christie. Other members of the creative team and cast are to be announced.

Power Cottesloe Theatre
Power, a new play by Nick Dear, opens at the Cottesloe Theatre on Thursday, July 3 (following previews that begin June 27), directed by Lindsay Posner, with music by Michael Nyman. The cast is led by Robert Lindsay.

Among the projects listed for the summer and beyond are:

His Dark Materials Olivier Theatre
Philip Pullman's great epic His Dark Materials will be adapted into two plays by Nicholas Wright and directed by Nicholas Hytner, with designs by Giles Cadle, Jon Morrell and Michael Curry, lighting by Paule Constable, music by Jonathan Dove and movement by Aletta Collins.

Cyrano de Bergerac Olivier Theatre
Howard Davies will direct Cyrano de Bergerac, a freely adapted version of Rostand's play by the Irish poet Derek Mahon, with Stephen Rea playing the title role.

Three Sisters Lyttelton Theatre
Chekhov's Three Sisters, in a new version by Nicholas Wright, will be directed by Katie Mitchell and designed by Vicki Mortimer. This will be the first production of the play at the National since Laurence Olivier's celebrated 1967 production.

Mourning Becomes Electra Lyttelton Theatre
Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra will be directed by Howard Davies, whose production of O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh (in London & on Broadway) won the Olivier, Critics Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Director.

The Pillowman Cottesloe Theatre
This new play by Martin McDonagh will be directed by John Crowley.

The Permanent Way Cottesloe Theatre
A new play by David Hare, The Permanent Way, will be directed by Max Stafford-Clark, in a co-production with Out of Joint.

A new play by Michael Frayn Cottesloe Theatre
There will be a new play by Michael Frayn, whose many plays include Copenhagen, Noises Off, Benefactors and Alphabetical Order.

The Mandate Cottesloe Theatre
A lost comic masterpiece, The Mandate by Nikolai Erdman, in a version by Declan Donnellan, will be directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod.

A new play by Mike Leigh Cottesloe Theatre
There will be a new play by Mike Leigh, whose plays include Abigail's Party. His films include All or Nothing, Topsy Turvy, Secrets and Lies, Naked and Life is Sweet.

Theatre Of Blood: There will be a co-production with Improbable Theatre of a new devised piece, Theatre of Blood, based on the 1970's MGM cult classic film.

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