Celebrate the Festive Season with the National Theatre

Whether it’s a night out with all the family to see Roald Dahl’s The Witches, a peek inside the dressing room of Burton and Gielgud’s famous Hamlet on Broadway in The Motive and the Cue or a cosy night in with Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag, the National Theatre has something for everyone this festive season.

On the South Bank, The Witches, a co-production with the Roald Dahl Story Company provides festive family fun in the form of a rip-roaring musical version of Roald Dahl’s timeless tale. Filled with wit, daring and heart, the new musical is directed by Lyndsey Turner with book and lyrics by Olivier Award-winner Lucy Kirkwood and music and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Dave Malloy.

The cast includes three-time Olivier-nominated Katherine Kingsley as the Grand High Witch, BAFTA Award-winner Daniel Rigby as hotel manager Mr Stringer and Sally Ann Triplett as Gran.

Across the river in the West End, two critically acclaimed National Theatre productions, Dear England, written by James Graham, and directed by Rupert Goold, and recent winner of ‘Best Play’ at the 2023 Evening Standard Theatre Awards, The Motive and the Cue, written by Jack Thorne and directed by Sam Mendes, thrill audiences this winter.

Dear England tells the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate. Joseph Fiennes reprises his role as Southgate with Dervla Kirwan joining him in the role of Pippa Grange, sports psychologist and Head of People and Team Development at The Football Association from 2017 until 2019.

The Motive and the Cue, a co-production with Neal Street Productions is a fierce and funny play inspired by the making of Richard Burton and Sir John Gielgud’s landmark Broadway production of Hamlet in 1964.  Offering a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity, Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton return to play the iconic roles of Richard Burton, John Gielgud and Elizabeth Taylor.

For those who want to cosy up indoors this winter, there are more than 70 world-class productions available on National Theatre at Home. Fleabag, written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Vicky Jones, is available to stream on the platform, ten years since its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe. From 1 December, marking the 3rd anniversary of NT at Home, The Crucible with Erin Doherty and Brendan Cowell joins the platform. Directed by Lyndsey Turner this contemporary new staging was captured live from the Olivier Stage in 2022. Both productions will be available with audio description.

If a trip to the cinema to escape the hustle and bustle suits, National Theatre Live screenings of David Hare’s critically acclaimed play, Skylight, directed by Stephen Daldry and featuring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan is on a big screen near you.

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