National Theatre Announces Additional Casting for Angels in America and Follies

News   National Theatre Announces Additional Casting for Angels in America and Follies
Four world premieres and two European premieres are among planned productions.
HR - Russell Tovey.jpg
Russell Tovey

Rufus Norris has announced further plans to his artistic program at the National Theatre for 2017, as well as additional casting and creative staff for already announced productions of Angels in America and Follies.

A new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's 1971 musical Follies, which follows the NT's previous productions of Sondheim shows that have included Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, will have Philip Quast as Benjamin Stone, joining the previously announced Janie Dee as Phyllis Rogers Stone and Imelda Staunton as Sally Durant Plummer. It is directed by NT associate Dominic Cooke, with choreography by Bill Deamer (the Olivier Award-winning choreographer of Top Hat), musical supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck and musical direction by Nigel Lilley. Lighting is by Paule Constable, and sound is by Paul Groothuis. It will play in the Olivier Theatre; dates are still to be announced.

Also new in the Olivier will be the return of Yaёl Farber, who previously directed Les Blancs there earlier this year, in her new radical revision of Salomé, the world premiere of which was produced by Washington DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company; the production will receive its European premiere in May 2017. This new staging is part of the 2017 Travelex £15 ticket season. The cast will include Olwen Fouere. It is designed by Susan Hilferty, with lighting by Tim Lutkin and music and sound by Adam Cork. The movement director is Ami Shulman, and the dramaturg is Drew Lichtenberg.

Also in the Olivier as part of the Travelex season, Jeremy Herrin will direct the world premiere of D.C. Moore's Common, an epic history play set in the early days of the Industrial Revolution. It will be co-produced with Headlong at dates to be announced.

The previously announced production of Twelfth Night, opening in the Olivier Theatre February 22 with Tamsin Greig as Malvolia, will see the cast of Simon Godwin's production also include Daniel Rigby as Aguecheek, Tamara Lawrence as Viola, Doon Mackichan as Feste and Daniel Ezra as Sebastian. It is designed by Soutra Gilmour, with lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Christopher Shutt. The movement director is Shelley Maxwell, with music by Michael Bruce and fight direction by Kev McCurdy.

In the Lyttelton, the previously announced new production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, opening May 4, will see Marianne Elliott directing a cast that includes Andrew Garfield, Russell Tovey, Denise Gough and James McArdle all returning to the National, with Tony winner Nathan Lane making his National Theatre debut. Also in the cast are Susan Brown and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. It will be designed by Ian MacNeil with costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Ian Dickinson, music by Adrian Sutton and illusions by Chris Fisher. Robby Graham is movement director with puppets and movement by Finn Caldwell.

Also in the Lyttelton, Lindsey Ferrentino's Ugly Lies the Bone, previously premiered by Roundabout Theatre Company in the Black Box Theatre in 2015, will receive its European premiere, opening March 1. In the play, an American soldier is injured on tour in Afghanistan and returns to her family home. Through the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she builds a new world to escape her pain. It will be directed by Indhu Rubasingham, with set designs by Es Devlin, video design by Luke Halls, costumes by Johanna Coe, lighting by Oliver Fenwick and music and sound by Ben & Max Ringham. The fight directors are Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of RC-Annie Ltd.

In the Dorfman Theatre, Rufus Norris will direct My Country; A Work in Progress. In the days after the European Referendum in June 2016, the National Theatre began a national listening project. From Londonderry to Leicester and Merthyr Tydfil to Glasgow, the National Theatre has created a verbatim archive of conversations from across the U.K. This performance is based on the first round of material, and it is intended that it will tour to some of the places where it was collected after its National Theatre run. Dates are to be announced.

Also in the Dorfman, Nina Raine's Consent, which explores questions of law, justice and forgiveness, will receive its world premiere April 4, directed by Roger Michell in a co-production with Out of Joint. Lucy Kirkwood's Mosquitoes will also receive its world premiere June 6, with Norris directing a cast that includes Olivia Colman. Described as a play about families and particle physics, it is presented by special arrangement with Manhattan Theatre Club, which commissioned the play with funds provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It will be designed by Katrina Lindsay, with lighting by Paule Constable, music by Adam Cork and sound by Paul Arditti.

Lost without Words, a co-production between Improbable and the National, will be presented in March 2017. Improbable have been improvising on stage all their lives; then one day they had a mischievous fantasy: What would happen if they took older actors in their seventies and eighties, actors who had spent their lives on stage bringing life to a writer's words, actors who now that they are old appear in our theatres less and less — what would happen if we put those actors on stage without a script? What scenes would they create? What stories would unfold? What might they tell us about what awaits us all at the other end of life? Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson will direct with lighting by Colin Grenfell and music by Steve Edis.

Inua Ellams’ Barber Shop Chronicles will have its world premiere June 6, before moving to West Yorkshire Playhouse in July, who is co-producing it with the National and Fuel. Unfolding in a succession of barber shops across Africa and the U.K., it is directed by Bijan Sheibani, and designed by Rae Smith.

The Dorfman will also provide a home to shows first seen at the Edinburgh Fringe: Dublin Old School, opening in January, is a new play by Emmet Kirwan presented by Project Arts Centre, and featuring Kirwan and Ian Lloyd Anderson; Us/Them will run January 16-February 18, produced by Belgium's BRONKS and Richard Jordan Productions. During a hostage drama at a school in Beslan, terrorists choose a group of children as their victims. Us/Them is not a straightforward account, it is about the individual way that children cope with extreme situations.

The National has also announced further touring plans for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, beginning a second national tour at Salford's The Lowry in January for a tour through September, a new tour of Jane Eyre that it co-produced with Bristol Old Vic, beginning in Salford in April for a tour through September, and War Horse, opening a second U.K. tour at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre in September 2017 with dates booking through September 2018, with further dates to be announced.

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