The National Theatre has unveiled a slew of titles set to take the London stage later this year. Among the titles in the May–October lineup are Simon Woods’ new play Hansard (with a cast including Alex Jennings and Lindsay Duncan), a Lucian Msamati and Hammed Animashaun-led ‘Master Harold’…and the boys, and the return of Brian Friel’s Translations with Ciarán Hinds.
The new batch of shows begins in July in the Dorfman Theatre, as Ben Weatherill’s Jellyfish plays July 5–16 after a 2018 run at the Bush Theatre. Tim Hoare will direct a cast led by Sarah Gordy, Penny Layden, and Nicky Priest in the coming-of-age play about first loves and living with Down Syndrome. A musical adaptation of the children’s book Mr. Gum and the Dancing Bear, featuring music by Jim Fortune and a libretto by Andy Stanton, will follow July 25–August 31.
In the Olivier Theatre, the Sydney Theatre Company production of The Secret River, adapted by Andrew Bovell from the Kate Grenville novel, will play August 22–September 7. Neil Armfield directs an ensemble cast of 22 performers in the play, which is performed in both English and the now nigh-extinct Dharug.
The Olivier will also be home once again to Friel’s Translations, in a revival presentation of Ian Rickson’s staging. Hinds will reprise his performance as Hugh, joined once more by Seamus O’Hara and Judith Roddy. Performances will run October 15–26.
Jennings and Duncan will play a married couple in Woods’ Hansard, beginning Augsut 22 and running through October 24 in the Lyttelton Theatre. Simon Godwin helms the new play, exploring the personal side of the governing class in the late 1980s. A new production of Athol Fugard’s ’Master Harold’…and the boys will follow September 21–October 26. Roy Alexander Weise will direct a cast including Lucian Msamati and Hammed Animashaun.
The titles join a previously reported slate of 2019 programming, which also includes Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, the Rufus Norris-helmed Small Island, the new thriller Anna, and Githa Sowerby’s Rutherford and Son.
The National has also announced full casting for this summer’s David Hare adaptation of Peer Gynt. Joining the previously announced James McCardle, Caroline Deyga, Jonathan Coy, and Ann Louise Ross are Tamsin Carroll, Anya Charlotra, Lauren Ellis-Steele, Oliver Ford Davies, Andrew Fraser, Guy Henry, Dani Heron, Ryan Hunter, Isabelle Joss, Lorne MacFayden, Adam McNamara, Martin Quinn, Nabil Shaban, and Jatinder Singh Randhawa.