National's Nicholas Hytner Reveals Plans for 2011 and Additional Productions of War Horse

News   National's Nicholas Hytner Reveals Plans for 2011 and Additional Productions of War Horse
Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of Britain's National Theatre, has revealed advance plans for the 2011 Travelex season that runs annually in the Olivier Theatre, beginning in April. It will include Zoë Wanamaker, currently appearing in the West End in All My Sons, returning to the National to star as Madame Ranevskaya in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard.

Nicholas Hytner
Nicholas Hytner Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The production will be directed by Howard Davies, who also directed All My Sons, and who is currently represented at the National by his production of JT Rogers' Blood and Gifts.

The Travelex season will also feature the first production in English of Ibsen's The Emperor and Galilean, to be directed by Jonathan Kent, in a version by Ben Power and Mike Bartlett; a new production of Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen, to be directed by Bijan Sheibani; and an unnamed new play.

In addition, James Corden – one of the original cast of The History Boys at the National Theatre and subsequently on Broadway – is confirmed to return to the National in a new version of Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters by Richard Bean. Also, Dominic Cooke, artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, who formerly worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, will make his directorial debut at the National with a new production of The Comedy of Errors.

Hytner was speaking at the annual press conference to coincide with the publication of the theatre's Annual Report for the financial year 2009-10. This revealed that although attendances have dipped slightly – to around 89 percent, from last year's 92 percent — revenue has substantially increased, helped by £13.2 million earned by the West End transfer of the National's War Horse, which contributed a surplus of some £2.5 million to the National's coffers.

The National Theatre's executive director Nick Starr also said that in addition to the Broadway transfer of War Horse to Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont in March, the production will also be rolled out to Toronto in January 2012 and for a U.S. national tour in the middle of 2012. An international tour will also be staged in the fall of 2012. The original production, continuing at the West End's New London Theatre, currently has an advance of some £2.1 million. The National will also participate financially in the film version of War Horse currently being shot in Devon by Steven Spielberg, because elements of the storytelling from the stage version that are not in the book are being used in the film.

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