Ben Daniels to Star in The Normal Heart at London's National Theatre

London News   Ben Daniels to Star in The Normal Heart at London's National Theatre
Dominic Cooke will direct the late Larry Kramer's AIDS crisis drama.
Ben Daniels
Ben Daniels

A London revival of Larry Kramer’s AIDS crisis drama The Normal Heart will play in the round at the National Theatre’s newly reconfigured Olivier stage, with performances slated to begin in February 2021.

Dominic Cooke will direct the staging, with Ben Daniels as Ned Weeks, Danny Lee Wynter as Tommy Boatwright, Daniel Monks as Mickey Marcus, and Stanley Townsend as Ben Weeks. The Fictionhouse co-production features set designs by Vicki Mortimer and lighting designs by Paule Constable.

“As a student I was lucky enough to see the landmark Royal Court production of The Normal Heart starring Martin Sheen,” says Cooke. “It had a profound effect on me at the time and I’ve wanted to direct the play ever since. It is the rarest of things; a history play written by one of its key participants. It deals with the nature of political activism, the internal battle many LGBT people fight to feel worthy of love and, topically, the refusal of those in power to face the reality of an unfolding health crisis.”

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Additional casting and creatives will be announced later. The Normal Heart played on Broadway in 2011, starring Joe Mantello as Ned, Jim Parsons as Tommy, Patrick Breen as Mickey, and Mark Harelik as Ben. The production scored three Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Play and Best Featured Performance for Ellen Barkin as Dr. Emma Brookner and John Benjamin Hickey as Felix Turner.

As previously announced, the National plans to stage Dick Whittington this winter, with performances of the panto now scheduled to begin December 11.

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