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National Theatre 2017 season announced: more news on 'Angels in America', plus Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton

Andrzej Lukowski

The biggest news from today’s annual National Theatre press conference was kind of the same as the biggest news last year, which is that Tony Kushner’s epic two-part magical realist AIDs drama ‘Angels in America’ will be revived in the Lyttelton Theatre from May 2017. We’ve got more details this time, though, including the full, astonishing cast: Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, James McArdle, Denise Gough and Russell Tovey. There will be a special on sale purely dedicated to ‘Angels in America’ in January, and the two parts will both be screened on NT Live.

Elsewhere the star news is that Olivia Colman has been persuaded to return to the stage to take the lead in ‘Chimerica’ playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s latest, ‘Mosquitos’ (in the Dorfman from July 2017) and Imelda Staunton will be leading the cast of a revival of Sondheim’s ‘Follies’ in the Olivier. There’ll also be the previously-announced ‘Twelfth Night’ with Tamsin Greig as Malvolia (ie a gender-reversed Malvolio) opening in the Olivier in February. 

Other interesting shows include ‘My Country: A Work in Progress’ in the Dorfman, which will be a verbatim play responding to Brexit based on a massive survey of the nation, and ‘Lost Without Words’, an improvised piece of theatre with performers in their 70s and 80s.

The Olivier programme is completed by Yael Farber’s radical take on ‘Salomé’ (from May) and ‘Common’, a new play about the Industrial Revolution from DC Moore.

The Lyttelton programme is completed by the European premiere of ‘Ugly Lies the Bone’ (from March), a drama by Lindsay Ferrentino about a US soldier injured in Afghanistan being rehabilitated by virtual reality game therapy.

And the Dorfman line-up is completed by Nina Raine’s new play ‘Consent’ (from April), Inua Ellams’s ‘Barber Shop Chronicles’, set in a succession of barbers’ shops in Africa and the UK, and two transfers from the Edinburgh Fringe: Belgian company BRONKS’s devastating children’s show about the Beslan school siege ‘Us/Them’, and Emmet Kirwan’s ‘Dublin Oldschool’.

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