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Kate Tempest has written a play for the National Theatre

Kate Tempest
Photograph: Rene Oonk / Shutterstock.com

Before her career as a poet and musician catapulted her into the big time, Kate Tempest wrote a string of well-received mid-sized plays. Now she’s written another, but a bigger star needs a bigger theatre, and ‘Paradise’ will play in the National Theatre’s huge Olivier.

The play itself is an adaptation of Sophocles’s drama ‘Philoctetes’, about a wounded, embittered war hero, who sees a chance of escape when a young man awed by the Greek hero’s reputation lands on the island he’s been exiled to. But Philoctetes’s exultation turns to thoughts of revenge. Lesley Sharp plays the hero (that’s theatre, baby!) in a production that runs from June 30, with tickets on sale on March 13 at 8.30am.

Also announced today for the year ahead at the National Theatre: a return for its sell-out hit adaptation of ‘Small Island’, a West End transfer for Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ and Kristin Scott-Thomas making her NT debut in ‘Phaedre’.

‘Paradise’ will be the main event in the next NT season, all of which goes on sale on March 13, and also includes ‘The Corn Is Green’ – a classic Welsh play by Emlyn Hughes starring Nicola Walker – the previously announced ‘Welcome to Iran’ and ‘Romeo and Julie’, Gary Owen’s response to ‘Romeo & Juliet’, that will run at the NT in advance of a major revival of Shakespeare’s classic starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor.

See our current National Theatre listings

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