Russell Beale to Star in Major Barbara As Part of National's 2008 Season | Playbill

News Russell Beale to Star in Major Barbara As Part of National's 2008 Season
London's National Theatre has announced that its 2008 Travelex season will open with Simon Russell Beale in a new production of Major Barbara.
Simon Russell-Beale
Simon Russell-Beale Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Helmed by Nicholas Hytner, the National's artistic director, George Bernard Shaw's state-of-the-nation play will officially open on the Olivier stage on March 4, 2008, following previews that begin Feb. 26. Russell Beale won an Olivier for his performance in the Donmar's Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night and was most recently seen at the National in The Alchemist and in the title role of The Life of Galileo. In December he opens in Hytner's production of Much Ado About Nothing opposite Zöe Wanamaker.

Equus director Thea Sharrock will helm Happy Now?, a new play by Lucinda Coxon (Waiting on the Water's Edge) that will open at the National's Cottesloe stage on Jan. 24 following previews that begin Jan. 16.

There will also be new offerings from Roy Williams, Dennis Kelly and Lin Coghlan, whose plays Baby Girl, DNA and The Miracle, respectively, are targeted at teenagers. All will be directed by Paul Miller and staged at the Cottesloe beginning Feb. 16.

The National's Lyttelton stage will host Peter Handke's The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, described as "a play without words" with "25 actors, 450 characters and no dialogue."

"For a moment, a bright, empty town square. And then a figure darts across, and another, and another – business people, roller-bladers, a cowboy, several street-sweepers, a half-dressed bride, a film crew, a line of old men, a tourist, a beauty in a mirrored dress, Abraham and Isaac, a family of refugees, a fool – more and more people, the bizarre and the humdrum, fleetingly connected by proximity alone."

Directed by James Macdonald, whose production of Glengarry Glen Ross is currently playing the West End, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other opens on Feb. 13 following previews from Feb. 6.

For more on the National's 2008 season call (0)20 752 3000.

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