National Theatre Artistic Director Rufus Norris has announced extensive plans for new productions in 2017 (and into 2018) that include Ivo van Hove directing Bryan Cranston in a world premiere of a stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Network; Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff starring in Macbeth; and Annie Baker's John receiving its European premiere.
The season will feature 12 new plays, 50 percent of them by women, and will also see the theatre touring to 47 venues in 35 towns and cities across the U.K. in 2017-18. In addition, the NT's production of Duncan Macmillan's People, Places and Things will transfer to New York's St. Ann's Warehouse, with Denise Gough reprising her award-winning performance. The play is also set to launch a major U.K. tour with a new cast in the fall, beginning performances September 22 at Manchester's HOME, then touring to Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton, and Liverpool.
In the Olivier Theatre, Rory Mullarkey's Saint George and the Dragon, described as an epic new folk play that tells of a knight who became a myth, and a country in need of a story, will receive its world premiere in October 2017. It will be directed by Lyndsey Turner, with designs by Rae Smith, lighting design by Bruno Poet, music by Grant Olding, choreography by Lynne Page, and sound design by Christopher Shutt.
Macbeth will open in the Olivier in the spring of 2018, with Rufus Norris returning to Shakespeare for the first time in 25 years to direct Rory Kinnear in the title role and Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth. It will be broadcast to cinemas by NT Live in 2018.
Michael Longhurst's production of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus will return to the Olivier in January 2018, with Lucian Msamati and Adam Gillen reprising their performances as Salieri and Mozart alongside a company of actors, singers, and musicians.
In the Lyttelton Theatre, Ivo van Hove—currently represented there by Hedda Gabler starring Ruth Wilson—will direct a new adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning Network, opening in November 2017. Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot, The Pitmen Painters), it will star Tony Award winner Bryan Cranston (All the Way) as Howard Beale. The production will have set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld, video design by Tal Yarden, costume design by An D’Huys, music by Eric Sleichim, and sound design by Tom Gibbons. It will be produced in association with Patrick Myles, David Luff, Ros Povey, and Lee Menzies.
In the Dorfman Theatre, Rob Drummond will return to the National with his new one-man show, The Majority, opening in August 2017. Originally co-commissioned with The Arches, Glasgow, it will be directed by David Overend. Also in the Dorfman, David Eldridge's new play Beginning will premiere in October. In the play, two people meet in the early hours of the morning, in the aftermath of a party in North London. And nothing will ever be the same for them again. It will be directed by Polly Findlay, with design by Fly Davis, lighting design by Jack Knowles, and sound design by Paul Arditti.
Also in the Dorfman, James Macdonald will direct the European premiere of Annie Baker's John, opening in early 2018, where her previous play The Flick also received its U.K. premiere in 2016.
For further information, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.