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Tony Kushner, Kate Tempest, Neil Gaiman and more in new National Theatre season

Andrzej Lukowski

Today was the day of the National Theatre’s big annual press conference in which boss Rufus Norris laid out a year of work. There was a lot of stuff announced, but highlights include:

    • ‘My Brilliant Friend’ (pictured), April de Angelis’s epic two-part adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan novels will transfer to the Olivier in November in reworked form after an acclaimed run at the Rose Theatre Kingston a couple of years back.

    • The family Christmas show (for ages 12-plus) will be Joel Horwood’s Dorfman adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s magical ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’, about a man transported back to his rural boyhood and the pond his friend always said was an ocean. It runs December 3 to January 25.

    • Again in the Olivier, legendary ‘Angels in America’ playwright Tony Kushner will adapt Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s black comedy ‘The Visit, or The Old Lady Comes to Call’, which will star Oscar nominee and all-round national treasure Lesley Manville.

    • Kate Tempest will make her NT debut adapting Sophocles’s ‘Philoctetes’ as ‘Paradise’, about friends-turned-enemies Odysseus and Philoctetes, starring Lesley Sharp and running from June next year in the Olivier.

    • Ex Machina’s seven-hour-long, Robert Lepage-directed epic ‘The Seven Streams of the River Ota’ will be revived to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, and will play in the Lyttelton in March.

Plus! Another nine productions. As ever with the annual press conference, much of this stuff isn’t on for a long time, and there will be other shows programmed that haven’t currently been announced. But you can expect the 2019 shows to go on sale fairly soon. 

You can see the current listings for the National Theatre here


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