Mike Leigh to Write and Direct New Play for Britain's National Theatre | Playbill

News Mike Leigh to Write and Direct New Play for Britain's National Theatre
Mike Leigh, the six-time Oscar-nominated director for such films as "Secrets and Lies," "Vera Drake," "Topsy-Turvy" and "Happy-Go-Lucky," will return to Britain's National Theatre to develop a new, as-yet untitled play.

He last worked there in 2005 on Two Thousand Years. According to a report in London's Daily Mail, the plan is for the devised play to open at the National following a 16-week rehearsal period around September 2011. Leigh is also, as previously announced, revisiting his 1979 play Ecstasy, which originally opened at Hampstead Theatre in 1979, and will now return there to begin performances March 10, 2011, prior to an official opening March 15, for a season through April 9, 2011.

It marks the first time Leigh has ever returned to one of his works and marks the continuation of a relationship with Hampstead, which began with the premiere of Leigh's Abigail’s Party in 1977 and also subsequently saw Goosepimples premiere there, amongst others. It is described in press materials as a lively ribald comedy with dark overtones which combines Leigh’s mastery for observation with a satirical caustic edge.

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