THE LIGHT PRINCESS, a new musical with music and lyrics by Tori Amos, book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson, opens in the Lyttelton directed by Marianne Elliott

Christopher Marlowe’s EDWARD II is directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins in the Olivier

EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES by Erich Kästner, in a new version by Carl Miller, is directed by Bijan Sheibani in the Olivier

In The Shed: LIMITED EDITIONS; Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s THE WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS; and debbie tucker green’s nut

The National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations on screen, online and at the National

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE presents Macbeth from Manchester International Festival, Othello from the Olivier and Coriolanus from the Donmar Warehouse

WAR HORSE and Alan Bennett’s PEOPLE  on tour


See below for a full breakdown of the National Theatre’s July to November 2013 schedule.



Travelex £12 Tickets, Olivier Theatre

Previews from 28 August, press night 4 September, playing in repertoire until 26 October

Joe Hill-Gibbins directs Christopher Marlowe’s EDWARD II, opening in the Olivier on 4 September.  The cast includes Ben Addis, Alex Beckett, Paul Bentall, John Heffernan, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Bettrys Jones, Vanessa Kirby, Nathaniel Martello-White, Matthew Pidgeon, David Sibley and Kyle Soller.  The production, which will offer a contemporary take on Marlowe’s magnificent, erotic and violent play, will have set designs by Lizzie Clachan, costumes by Alex Lowde, lighting by James Farncombe, video design by Chris Kondek, music by Gary Yershon, sound by Paul Arditti, movement by Imogen Knight and dramaturgy by Zoe Svensden.

Hot on the heels of his coronation, Edward II recalls his lover Gaveston from exile, lavishing him with titles and riches. Their all-consuming lust makes enemies of the furious barons and bishops, alienates the King’s once-devoted Queen and tears England to pieces. Ultimately, the monarch himself is destroyed as are many of those who stood both at his side and in his way.  EDWARD II is a behind-the-scenes exploration of power, sexual obsession and a king who treats the realm as his playground.

John Heffernan takes the title role. His previous NT appearances include She Stoops to Conquer, Emperor and Galilean, After the Dance, The Habit of Art, The Revenger’s Tragedy and Major Barbara for which he won an Ian Charleson Award. His recent credits include the title role in Richard II (Tobacco Factory, Bristol), The Hothouse (Trafalgar Studios), Love and Information (Royal Court), The Physicists (Donmar Warehouse) and The Last Duchess (Hampstead Theatre).

Vanessa Kirby plays Queen Isabella; her recent theatre credits include Masha in Three Sisters (Young Vic), The Acid Test (Royal Court) and Women Beware Women at the NT.  Her screen work includes Great Expectations, Labyrinth and Richard Curtis’ forthcoming film About Time.

Kyle Soller (Gaveston) won the Evening Standard 2011 Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his roles in The Glass Menagerie and The Government Inspector (Young Vic) and The Faith Machine (Royal Court). Recently he has appeared in Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Apollo Theatre) and Cyrano de Bergerac in New York.

Joe Hill-Gibbins makes his NT debut. He is Deputy Artistic Director of the Young Vic, where his productions include The Changeling, The Glass Menagerie, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Alecky Blythe’s The Girlfriend Experience.

Almost half the seats in the Olivier will be Travelex £12 Tickets, with the rest at £24 and £34. Media partner: The Independent.



Lyttelton Theatre

Previews from 25 September, press night 9 October, continuing in repertoire until early 2014 (more dates in December, January and February will be announced with the next booking period)

THE LIGHT PRINCESS, a new musical with music and lyrics by Tori Amos and book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson, will open in the Lyttelton Theatre on 9 October, directed by Marianne Elliott. A dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love, the production will be designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Paule Constable and choreography by Steven Hoggett. The music supervisor will be Martin Lowe, with vocal arrangements by Tori Amos and Martin Lowe and arrangements by John Philip Shenale; animations by Matthew Robins, puppetry direction by Finn Caldwell, puppetry designs by Toby Olié; aerial designs by Paul Rubin and sound by Simon Baker;  the associate choreographer will be Neil Bettles.

The cast is Amy Booth-Steel, Stephanie Bron, Vivien Carter, James Charlton, Rosalie Craig (Althea), Hal Fowler, Owain Gwynn, Nicola Hart, Nick Hendrix (Digby), C J Johnson, Luke Johnson, David Langham, Richard Lowe, Tommy Luther, Jamie Muscato, Emma Norin, Malinda Parris, Kane Oliver Parry, Adam Pearce, Caspar Phillipson, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Clive Rowe, Nuno Silva, Phoebe Street, Ben Thompson, and Lynne Wilmot.

Once in opposing kingdoms lived a princess and a prince who had lost their mothers. Althea, unable to cry, became light with grief and floated, and so was locked away. Digby became so heavy-hearted that he could never smile, and so was trained as a warrior.

One day, he declares war. Althea is forced out of hiding and down to ground but, in defiance of her father, she escapes, only to encounter the solemn prince on contested land. Beside a lake the warring heirs begin a passionate and illicit affair. But for Althea to find real love, she must first confront the world’s darkness and face her own deepest fears.

Tori Amos is a multi Grammy-nominated singer/composer/pianist whose catalogue of 13 albums have sold more than 12 million copies. They include her debut 1992 album  Little Earthquakes; 1994’s Under The Pink (with the worldwide hit ‘Cornflake Girl’); and the 1996 album Boys For Pele which featured the UK chart-topping ‘Professional Widow’.  Amos’ latest two recordings have been on the classical label Deutsche Grammophon, for whom her label debut Night of Hunters won an Echo Music Award in 2012, and with which she also made history by becoming the first woman simultaneously to have a top 10 Album on the US Billboard Charts in the Classical, Alternative and Rock Categories.

Samuel Adamson’s plays and adaptations include Southwark Fair; Mrs Affleck, a new play from Ibsen’s Little Eyolf; and Pillars of the Community, also from Ibsen, for the  National Theatre; Breakfast at Tiffany’s, from the novel by Truman Capote (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Some Kind of Bliss (Trafalgar Studios); All About My Mother (from Almodóvar’s film, Old Vic); Drink, Dance, Laugh and Lie (Bush Theatre); Grace Note (Old Vic); and Clocks and Whistles (Bush Theatre).

Marianne Elliott is an Associate Director of the National Theatre, where she has co-directed War Horse (Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play), and directed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (also now in the West End; 7 Olivier Awards including Best Director), Port, Season’s Greetings, All’s Well That Ends Well, Harper Regan, Saint Joan (Olivier Award for Best Revival, South Bank Show Award for Theatre) and Pillars of the Community (Evening Standard Award for Best Director).



Olivier Theatre

Previews from 16 November, press night 4 December, continuing in repertoire until March.  Suitable for everyone aged 7 and over.

EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES by Erich Kästner, adapted by Carl Miller, opens in the Olivier Theatre on 4 December. The production will be directed by Bijan Sheibani and designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting design by Lucy Carter, movement direction by Aline David, sound design by Ian Dickinson, music by Paul Englishby and video by Leo Warner;  the associate sound designer is Peter Rice.  The cast includes Naomi Frederick and Sue Wallace; the central characters of Emil and the Detectives will be played by 9-13 year olds, with a 50-strong ensemble of children recruited from local London boroughs, schools and youth theatres.

Join young Emil as he says goodbye to his mother, leaves his small town and sets off on a journey that will change his life. When his money is stolen on the train by a mysterious stranger, Emil thinks he’s lost everything. But as he starts tracking down the thief, he soon discovers that he’s not alone in the big city after all.

For this classic tale of a boy learning to rely on himself – and on his new friends – the Olivier stage transforms into 1920s Berlin: a place full of surprises and danger, where everything moves at the speed of your imagination.

During the run of Emil and the Detectives, we’ll be offering family friendly backstage tours, books and toys in the Bookshop and children’s menus in the cafés and restaurants.

Carl Miller was the Artistic Director of the Young People’s programme at the Royal Court Theatre from 1997 to 1999, and since 2002, has been the Literary Manager of the Unicorn Theatre. His plays and adaptations include White Suit, Ostrich Boys, The Three Musketeers and The London Eye Mystery.

Naomi Fredrick’s recent theatre credits include The Winslow Boy (Old Vic), The Chair Plays (Lyric, Hammersmith), As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Brief Encounter (Cinema Haymarket).  She has appeared at the National as Isabella in Measure for Measure, and in Mrs Affleck, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and The Mandate.

Bijan Sheibani is an Associate Director at the NT, where his credits include The Kitchen, Our Class and the US touring production of War Horse.



The Shed is an intimate venue in front of the NT until February 2014, providing a third stage during the Cottesloe’s closure for the NT Future redevelopment.


9 – 21 September

Some of Britain’s most exciting new theatre-makers visit the Shed for a series of limited runs.


The Bullet and the Bass Trombone

9 – 11 September

A Sleepdogs production, written and performed by Timothy X Atack, directed by Tanuja Amarasuriya. Sleepdogs’ previous theatre work includes Buzzard, Astronaut (Bristol Old Vic) and Tales from the Old World (Live Theatre, Newcastle).

There’s a concert orchestra, trapped in a city during a military coup. As violence erupts, with pitched battles breaking out around them, the orchestra becomes separated – lost – hoping and trying to find their way back to each other.

The composer is left to tell the story.


Squally Showers

12 – 14 September

Little Bulb explore the political whirlwind that was the 1980s. It’s the decade of all or nothing and a magical storm is gathering pace… Told with exciting choreography, music and bizarre character, Squally Showers is a fantastical balletic farce of politics, power, loneliness and love.

Little Bulb’s previous work includes Orpheus at Battersea Arts Centre, Operation Greenfield and Crocosmia (winner of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe First and Total Theatre Award).


Ours Was the Fen Country

15 – 17 September

A Still House production, devised and performed by Dan Canham, Laura Dannequin, Ian Morgan and Neil Paris. Dan Canham has previously performed as a member of DV8 Physical Theatre, Kneehigh Theatre and Punchdrunk. Productions by his company Still House include 30 Cecil Street.

For the past two years Dan Canham has been capturing conversations with people of the fens in East Anglia. Eel-catchers, farmers, parish councillors, museum keepers, molly dancers and conservationists have all been interviewed. This ethereal piece of dance-theatre fuses movement and sound with the words and memories of the native collaborators to get to the heart of this beautiful, bleak and mysterious expanse of flat land.



18 – 20 September

Bristol-based company The Wardrobe Ensemble present an epic tale of violence, greed and cheap sofas. The Wardrobe Ensemble’s other work includes Sense and 33 for the Bristol Old Vic.

10 February 2005. At the stroke of midnight the British public punch, kick, strangle and eventually stab their way to £45 sofas and £35 bed frames at the opening of their favourite Swedish furniture store. RIOT is a true story set in a lamp-lit flat-pack universe bursting with violence, chaos and more characters than you can throw a meatball at.


Up Down Boy

21 September 

A Myrtle Theatre Company Production in association with Salisbury Playhouse. Myrtle Theatre Company’s other productions include Hot Air which will play at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre in July and August.

Matty is off to college in an hour – and he’s left it to Mum to pack his case. She won’t miss the slamming doors, the queue for the bathroom and the phone bills. But Matty is no ordinary teenager and will his mother cope without him? This honest and uplifting play was inspired by the extraordinary life story of a boy with Down’s syndrome and his mother’s humorous perspective on bringing him up.



25 September – 26 October; press night 30 September

THE WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig has its UK premiere, directed by Michael Longhurst and designed by Chloe Lamford, opening on 30 September.

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s new play is a wildly energetic and imaginative journey through contemporary China. Sunny leaves her family and her home in the Chinese countryside to head to the city and the promise of a job in a factory and a new life. But letting go of the past and embracing a bright new future proves harder than she could have imagined.

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s work includes 410 [Gone] and Lidless which received the Yale Drama Series Award, a 2010 Edinburgh Fringe First Award and was performed at Trafalgar Studios 2 in 2011.

Michael Longhurst’s recent work includes The History Boys (Sheffield Crucible) and Nick Payne’s Constellations which transferred from the Royal Court to the West End; and Adam Brace’s Stovepipe, a promenade production for HighTide Festival, later produced in London in collaboration with the NT.



30 October – 5 December; press night 5 November

nut, a new play created and directed by debbie tucker green, opens in the Shed on 5 November.  The production is choreographed by Polly Bennett and designed by Lisa Marie Hall, with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Emma Laxton. The cast includes Gershwyn Eustache Jr, Nadine Marshall, Anthony Welsh and Sharlene Whyte.

Bein you means not bein me – see, a deficit already – before you even started we running at a loss.

Elayne thinks she’s alright. Nobody else does.

Debbie tucker green’s work for theatre includes truth and reconciliation, random and stoning mary for the Royal Court Theatre, generations (Young Vic), trade (RSC) and born bad (Hampstead Theatre) for which she won an Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Her film and television work includes random for which she won a 2012 BAFTA for Best Single Drama and second coming for Film Four.



The National Theatre opened its doors in 1963 at the Old Vic under Laurence Olivier. Eight hundred productions later, we are marking our half-century with a short season celebrating the remarkable people and plays that made the NT one of the most cherished and creative of great British institutions.

On screen

National Theatre: 50 years on stage

A once-in-a-lifetime performance, broadcast on BBC Two (transmission date tbc) and to cinemas internationally. From Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to The History Boys, from The Mysteries to Angels in America, from Guys and Dolls to London Road, this will be a thrilling evening of live performance and rare glimpses from the archive, featuring many of the most celebrated actors who have performed on our stages over the past five decades and directed by Nicholas Hytner.


Arena: The National Theatre

Broadcast on BBC TV in the autumn, this new documentary will tell the story of the National from Laurence Olivier’s Old Vic company to the South Bank, and most  recently to stages and screens around the world. It includes footage of historic performances, and goes behind the scenes of recent productions such as War Horse, Frankenstein and Othello. Contributors include Joan Plowright, Peter Hall, Adrian Lester, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Lucy Prebble, Alan Bennett and many more.


National Theatre Live encore screenings

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, National Theatre Live will present encore screenings of some of the National’s most acclaimed recent productions at venues throughout the UK:

Shakespeare’s Hamlet on 22 October;

Frankenstein by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, from 31 October;

The Habit of Art by Alan Bennett on 7 November



Your National Theatre

The NT archive tells the story of the company, the productions, and the opening of the building, but this history is incomplete without the experiences of our audiences.

We are asking for people’s memories of the NT. When did they first come here? What was their favourite production? They can tell us online or pick up a postcard at the NT, and help to tell the story of the National Theatre.


Timeline app

An exclusive window into the archive, an interactive timeline of the National Theatre’s first 50 years will be available to download for iPad. Focusing on 50 seminal productions, it will include beautiful photography, exclusive video interviews, costume and set designs, audio features and original programme articles.


Online exhibitions

Curated by theatre specialists using the riches of the NT Archive, these exhibits will be made available online through the Google Cultural Institute. The first exhibition, available later this summer, will explore Classical theatre at the NT, with a further five exhibits planned over the next two years.


At the National


The anniversary Platforms programme tells three very distinct stories. Scene Changes looks at the sweeping changes that have taken place across the theatre sector over the last 50 years, both onstage and off. National Histories tells very personal stories about the National by some of the leading artists who have been part of the company. Future Questions looks ahead at the challenges facing theatre over the next 50 years. See page 14 for the full schedule of 50th Anniversary Platforms.



Chris Arthur: Scenes from National life (Lyttelton Exhibition Area, from 9 September)

Celebrating the working life of the National’s very first company, this exhibition includes brilliant unseen portraits, including Anthony Hopkins, Maggie Smith and Laurence Olivier. Chris Arthur joined the lighting team of the National while making his first photographic experiments. Unique access allowed him to document the NT’s shows and company life, the backstage world of the Old Vic and the street life of Waterloo.

National Theatre Lampoon (Olivier Exhibition Area, from 19 September)

Uncover the story of the National from the early 1900s to today through rarely-seen cartoons and caricatures, satirical swipes from diarists, and records from the National’s own archive.


The National Trail (1 October – 10 November)

Part-treasure hunt, part-history tour, the National Trail takes the audience on an exciting interactive journey around the NT. Follow the trail and discover hidden glimpses into the rich history of the company. Solve all the clues and gain entry to the secret vault where many other treasures await you. The National Trail has been made by metro-boulot-dodo, who create innovative, engaging and unexpected experiences which respond to their surroundings.


50th Anniversary gifts

A National Theatre pop-up shop will appear on the South Bank this autumn for unique items created for the anniversary. Iconic designers Michael Craig-Martin, Jamie Reid, Paula Scher, David Carson and Graphic Thought Facility have created signed, limited edition prints. A witty range of gifts centres on Shakespeare’s Tragedies, while artist Adam Dant stylishly celebrates the theatre audience. Plus gifts, cards and books featuring the best of young British design talent. Daniel Rosenthal’s book The National Theatre Story is also scheduled for publication this autumn.



PEOPLE on tour

Brigit Forsyth (as Iris), Siân Phillips (Dorothy) and Michael Thomas (Lumsden) join original cast member Selina Cadell (June) in Alan Bennett’s PEOPLE on tour this autumn.

Nicholas Hytner’s production visits: Birmingham Rep Theatre (3 – 21 Sept), Curve, Leicester (24 – 28 Sept), Theatre Royal, Norwich (1 – 5 Oct),  The Lowry, Salford (15 – 19 Oct), Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (22 – 26 Octr), Milton Keynes Theatre (29 Oct – 2 Nov), Grand Theatre, Leeds (5 – 9 Nov) and Theatre Royal, Plymouth (12 – 16 Nov).


WAR HORSE on tour

The National Theatre’s award-winning production of War Horse begins a ten month, nine-venue tour of the UK and Dublin this autumn, visiting: Theatre Royal, Plymouth (27 Sep – 12 Oct), Birmingham Hippodrome (16 Oct – 10 Nov), The Lowry, Salford (20 Nov 2013 – 18 Jan 2014), Edinburgh Festival Theatre (22 Jan – 15 Feb), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (19 Feb – 15 Mar), The Bord Géis Energy Theatre, Dublin (26 Mar – 26 Apr), Sunderland Empire Theatre (30 Apr – 17 May), Bradford  Alhambra (21 May – 14 Jun) and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (18 Jun – 19 Jul). The West End production continues at the New London Theatre, currently booking until February 2014.



Several forthcoming National Theatre Live broadcasts to cinemas will be partnerships with other British theatre productions: Peter Morgan’s new play THE AUDIENCE, with Helen Mirren as The Queen, broadcast live from the West End’s Gielgud Theatre on 13 June; MACBETH, with Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston, broadcast live from Manchester International Festival on 20 July; and the Donmar Warehouse production of CORIOLANUS, with Tom Hiddleston in the title role, on 30 January 2014.  From the National itself, Nicholas Hytner’s production of OTHELLO, with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, will be broadcast live from the Olivier Theatre on 26 September. International dates for these screenings vary.

To coincide with the NT at 50 celebrations, there will be encore screenings in the UK of three previous NT productions: HAMLET, with Rory Kinnear, on 22 October; Danny Boyle’s production of FRANKENSTEIN with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, from 31 October and Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, with Alex Jennings and the late Richard Griffiths, on 7 November.

There will also be a chance for international audiences to see a screening of National Theatre: 50 years on stage, dates to be confirmed.

National Theatre Live is supported by Aviva. For venue information and booking details, please visit