FEATURED: National Theatre Announces New Season

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National Theatre Announces New Season

  The National Theatre has announced its new season, which will feature six shows, including the return of last year’s acclaimed production of Brian Friel’s ‘Translations’.

  Following a sold-out run in 2018, Ian Rickson’s exquisite production of Friel’s masterpiece returns to the National’s Olivier Theatre from 15th October.

Translations, Olivier Theatre

‘Owen, the prodigal son, returns to rural Donegal from Dublin. With him are two British army officers. Their ambition is to create a map of the area, replacing the Gaelic names with English. It is an administrative act with radical consequences’.

  This modern classic is ‘a powerful account of nationhood, which sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in one quiet community’.

  Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones) reprises his critically acclaimed role as patriarch and schoolmaster Hugh, whose livelihood and culture are at risk. 

  Seamus O’Hara and Judith Roddy will also reprise their roles, with further casting to be announced.


  Also playing in the Olivier Theatre will be the London premiere of Kate Grenville’s acclaimed novel ‘The Secret River’.

The Secret River, Olivier Theatre

‘William Thornhill arrives in New South Wales a convict from the slums of London. Upon earning his pardon he discovers that this new world offers something he didn’t dare dream of: a place to call his own. But as he plants a crop and lays claim to the soil on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, he finds that this land is not his to take. Its ancient custodians are the Dharug people’.

  This multi-award winning production, which tells the story of two families divided by culture and land, was described by the Sunday Telegraph (Australia) as “a stunning and shattering piece of theatre”, whilst the Sun Herald called it “astonishingly beautiful… deeply affecting. Essential viewing”.

  A deeply moving and unflinching journey into Australia’s dark history, the production is presented by Sydney Theatre Company, and will feature direction by Neil Armfield and live music by composer Iain Grandage. Casting is yet to be announced.

  ‘The Secret River‘ will run from 22nd August.


  A new play by Simon Wood, ‘Hansard‘ provides a witting and devastating portrait of the governing classes.

Hansard, Lyttleton Theatre

‘It’s a summer’s morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital sparring quickly turns to blood-sport’.

  Returning to the National are two-time Olivier Award-winner Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings, who will play the roles of Diana and Robin.

  ‘Hansard’ will run in the National’s Lyttleton Theatre from 22nd August.


  Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) directs Tony Award-winning playwright Athol Fugard’s semi-autobiographical and blistering masterwork ‘Master Harold’… and the boys, which explores the nature of friendship, and and the ways people are capable of hurting even those they love.

Master Harold… and the boys, Lyttleton Theatre

‘1950. Apartheid South Africa.

St George’s Park Tea Room, Port Elizabeth, 1950. On a long rainy afternoon, employees Sam and Willie practice their steps for the finals of the ballroom dancing championship.

Hally arrives from school to hide out in his parents’ tea room. These two men have been unlikely best friends to Hally his whole life. But it is apartheid era South Africa: he’s Master Harold, and they are the boys’.

  Starring Lucian Msamati (Amadeus) as Sam and Hammed Animashaun (Barber Shop Chronicles) as Willie, ‘Master Harold… and the boys’ will run at the Lyttelton Theatre from 21st September.


  In the Dorfman Theatre is Ben Weatherhill’s ‘Jellyfish’, the story of a first kiss, chips by the beach and coming of age with Down’s Syndrome in a seaside town.

Jellyfish, Dorfman Theatre

‘Kelly likes dirty jokes and finding creatures washed up on the shore. Neil likes Kelly, who makes him dizzy and breathless. But Agnes, Kelly’s mum, struggles to accept their new relationship’.

  Sarah Gordy, Penny Layden and Nicky Priest return to reprise their roles in this radical and heartfelt new play.

  Following a sold out run at the Bush Theatre last year, this unique romance across uncharted waters asks: does everyone really have the right to love as they choose?

  All performances of ‘Jellyfish‘ will play in a relaxed performance environment, from 5th July.


  Also in the Dorfman Theatre is Andy Stanton’s ‘Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – The Musical!’.

Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – The Musical!, Dorfman Theatre

‘Who likes bears? Everyone likes bears! Well, not quite everyone… Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals and fun of any kind – so when a big bear called Padlock strolls into town, trouble can’t be far off. Can nine-year-old Polly and her band of misfit friends help Padlock escape the villain’s evil clutches? Or will Mr Gum and his gruesome butcher sidekick prevail?’

  Based on the hilariously anarchic, award-winning children’s books, ‘Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – the Musical!’ promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza for children and adults alike. Author Andy Stanton creates the book and lyrics, with music by Jim Fortune (Pericles).

  Full of outlandish characters and joyful, utterly idiotic songs, this production is definitely not your average family fare.

  ‘Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – The Musical!’ will run at the Dorfman Theatre from 25th July.


  The National Theatre has announced full casting for David Hare’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Peter Gynt’.

Peter Gynt, Olivier Theatre

  The full cast will include James McArdle, Tamsin Carroll, Jonathan Coy, Anya Chalotra, Caroline Deyga, Lauren Ellis-Steele, Oliver Ford Davies, Andrew Fraser, Guy Henry, Dani Heron, Ryan Hunter, Isabelle Joss, Lorne MacFadyen, Adam McNamara, Martin Quinn, Ann Louise Ross, Nabil Shaban and Jatinder Singh Randhawa.

  ‘Peter Gynt‘ will run at the Olivier Theatre from 27th June until 8th October, alongside ‘Small Island‘, ‘Top Girls‘ and ‘Rutherford and Son‘ (Lyttelton Theatre), and ‘ANNA‘ (Dorfman Theatre).



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