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Coriolanus, National Theatre, 2024
Photo: National TheatreDavid Oyelowo

The National Theatre has just announced its autumn season

David Oyelowo makes his NT debut in Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’, plus more besides

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski

Though the National Theatre has been steadily drip dripping details of its Christmas season, with the recent announcement of ‘Ballet Shoes’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ starring Ncuti Gatwa, that’s left a big autumn-shaped hole in our flagship theatre’s schedule.

Well no more, as today (May 7) the National Theatre’s 2024 autumn season has been announced… alongside confirmation that from November its smallest theatre the Dorfman will shut down for several months for ‘urgent infrastructure work’, meaning it’s confirmed that ‘Ballet Shoes’ and ‘Earnest’ are in fact the entire winter season.

The biggest news – in the biggest theatre – is that screen star David Oyelowo will be returning to the UK stage for the first time in almost 20 years to star as Shakespeare’s embittered Roman general Coriolanus in the eponymous play. That’ll run in the Olivier Theatre September 11-November 9, directed by NT regular Lyndsey Turner (last seen with ‘The Witches’).

In the Lyttelton theatre, Emma D’Arcy, Tobias Menzies and Nina Sosanya will star in ‘The Other Place’ (Sep 27-Nov 9) an intriguing adaptation of Sophocles’s ‘Antigone’ by director Alexander Zeldin, who is known mostly for his social realist dramas about life in modern Britain.

Finally, the last play in the Dorfman before its refurbishment will be Tanika Gupta’s new play, ‘A Tupperware of Ashes’ (Sep 25-Nov 15) which will star Meera Syal as a Michelin-starred chef whose mind starts slipping in a drama about the Indian spiritual cycle of death and rebirth that will be directed by Pooja Ghai.

And that is basically the National Theatre for 2024 – we’re unclear if this is the very last programming from outgoing artistic director Rufus Norris or if he'll stay for a chunk of 2025, but certainly this is his last full year of shows before successor Indhu Rubasingham takes over. 

All three shows – plus ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ – will go on sale Thursday May 23.

The best new shows to book for in London this year.

Why the plan to turn the ODEON Covent Garden into a new theatre is so controversial?

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