London NewsNational Theatre Adds Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon and More to 2018 LineupThe London company has also confirmed several previously reported productions, including Antony and Cleopatra starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.
October 03, 2017
Pulitzer Prize finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ 2014 play An Octoroon will head to London’s NationalTheatrein June 2018. The staging—a co-production with Richmond, England’s Orange Tree Theatre—is directed by Ned Bennett.
The piece, a deconstructed interpretation of Dion Boucicault’s 1859 play The Octoroon, will play the National’s Dorfman Theatre.
Next year will bring three world premieres to the National: Francis Turnly’s The Great Wave (a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre directed by Indhu Rubasingham), David Hare’s I’m Not Running (helmed by Neil Armfield), and Nine Night, written by Natasha Gordon and directed by Roy Alexander Weise.
Also on tap for the National is the previously reported production of Antony and Cleopatra, opening in September 2018 at the Olivier Theatre. Ralph Fiennes and Tony winner Sophie Okonedo will star as Shakespeare’s impassioned lovers in the Simon Godwin-helmed staging. It is among the titles to be broadcast as part of the National Theatre’s NT Live season.
July 2018 will mark the U.K. premiere of Stefano Massini’s The Lehman Trilogy. As reported earlier, Sam Mendes will helm the Neal Street co-production, which features an adaptation by Ben Power. Also officially confirmed are Patrick Marber’s production of Exit the King, starring Rhys Ifans and Indira Varma (July 2018), as well as Brian Friel’s Translations, directed by Ian Rickson and starring Colin Morgan (May 2018). Both will play the Olivier Theatre.
In the new season, the National Theatre will launch “Public Acts,” a nationwide theatre initiative inspired by the Public Theater’s Public Works program in New York. The National will partner with theatre companies and local organizations in the Greater London area to give community members the opportunity to create an ensemble theatre piece on a large scale.
An adaptation of Pericles from Chris Bush will be the inaugural production of the Public Acts initiative. National Theatre resident director Emily Lim will helm the presentation, which will feature cameo performances from myriad local performance groups.
In addition to community outreach, the National is also increasing its accessibility initiatives, including an online video database of deaf and differently abled performers known as ProFile, aimed to increase and champion the talent pool of underrepresented artists. The theatre is also launching a pilot phase of a new service (Open Access Smart Capture), which will offer closed captioning and audio descriptions for every performance through individual smart glasses and hearing systems.