News: National Theatre reveals Othello and Kerry Jackson

The National Theatre has announced two further productions to be staged this winter, Shakespeare’s Othello and Kerry Jackson a new play by April De Angelis, both going on sale to the public on 21 July.

© Felicity McCabe

Opening in November, Clint Dyer directs Shakespeare’s Othello in the Lyttelton theatre. This extraordinary new vision for one of Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedies includes Giles Terera (Death of England: Face to Face) as Othello, Rosy McEwen (The Alienist) as Desdemona and Paul Hilton (The Inheritance) as Iago.

A bright, headstrong daughter of a senator; elevated by her status but stifled by its expectations. A refugee of slavery; having risen to the top of a white world, he finds that love across racial lines has a cost. Wed in secret, Desdemona and Othello crave a new life together. But as unseen forces conspire against them, they find their future is not theirs to decide.

Cast includes Jack BardoeRory Fleck ByrneKirsty J CurtisTanya FranksGareth KennerleyMartin MarquezAmy NewtonSteffan Rizzi and Jay Simpson with further cast to be announced.

Set designer is Chloe Lamford, costume designer is Michael Vale and lighting designer is Jai Morjaria. Music and Sound by Pete Malkin and Benjamin Grant, movement director is Lucie Pankhurst and fight director is Kev McCurdyOthello will also be broadcast to cinemas worldwide in 2023 via National Theatre Live.

© Ben Stockley

In the Dorfman theatre from November Indhu Rubasingham will direct the world premiere of April De Angelis‘ biting new comedy, Kerry JacksonFay Ripley plays Kerry, owner of a new restaurant in fashionable Walthamstow. Wearing her working-class roots as a badge of honour, Kerry navigates the local characters in a bid to make the tapas restaurant a success – without losing herself in the process.

Set and costume design is by Richard Kent, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, movement director is Lucy Hind and casting director is Juliet Horsley CDG. Further cast to be announced.

National Theatre nationwide

Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane will tour the UK and Ireland later this year, direct from the West End, visiting more than 29 towns and cities for a total of 40 weeks. Directed by Katy Rudd (Camp Siegfried) and adapted by Joel Horwood (Skins, I Want My Hat Back), the first major stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s work is a thrilling adventure of fantasy, myth and friendship, which blends magic with memory in a tour-de-force of storytelling that takes audiences on an epic journey to a childhood once forgotten and the darkness that lurks at the very edge of it.

Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He’s transported to his 12th birthday when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible…

Plunged into a magical world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.

Featuring an ensemble cast of 17, the tour will open at The Lowry in Salford where it will play over Christmas (12 December 2022–7 January 2023), before visiting a further 28 venues up to September 2023. Check oceanonstage.com for full touring schedule and to book tickets.

© Robling Photography

Rehearsals begin today for The Doncastrian Chalk Circle, with Cast and the NT joining forces with the community of Doncaster for this epic third Public Acts production featuring over 100 local performers alongside a professional company and live band. The cast of professional actors announced today includes Benjamin ArmstrongDaisy Ann FletcherBeth Hinton-LeverCharlotte Mills and John Partridge.

Filled with passion, hope, and plenty of Yorkshire grit and humour, this new musical version of Brecht’s classic is adapted by Chris Bush with music by Ruth Chan and directed by James Blakey. Performances take place at Cast in Doncaster from 27–29 August. castindoncaster.com

National Theatre in the West End

A co-production with Neal Street ProductionsThe Lehman Trilogy, which recently won a total of five 2022 Tony Awards – including Best Play and Best Director – making it the most awarded play on Broadway this season, will return to London’s West End from January 2023 for a strictly limited season.

Written by Stefano Massini and adapted by Ben Power, the story of a family and a company that changed the world is directed by Sam MendesThe Lehman Trilogy features a cast of three playing the Lehman brothers, their sons, and grandsons, in an extraordinary feat of storytelling told in three parts on a single evening.

The Tony Award-winning set design is by Es Devlin, with costume design by Katrina Lindsay, video design by Luke Halls, and Tony Award-winning lighting design by Jon Clark. The Composer & Sound Designer is Nick Powell, the Co-Sound Designer is Dominic Bilkey, with music direction by Candida Caldicot and movement by Polly Bennett. The West End Director is Zoé Ford Burnett. Casting is by Jessica Ronane CDG CSA.

Dates, including assisted performances, casting and booking information to be announced. Sign up for more news coming soon at thelehmantrilogy.com

National Theatre Learning

This year’s winning New Views play Barrier(s) by 17-year-old student Eloise Pennycott from Southend High School for Girls will be staged on 7–8 July in the Dorfman theatre. Selected from 427 entries submitted by young people nationwide, Eloise was inspired to write her play to showcase Deaf culture on stage. Directed by Lucy Jane Atkinson with Associate Director Paula Garfield, Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre, the production will be performed by Erin Siobhan Hutching and Lara Steward in a mix of British Sign Language and English.

National Theatre Digital

Coming next on National Theatre LiveJodie Comer (Killing Eve) makes her West End debut in the UK premiere of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play, Prima Facie. A production from Empire Street Productions, Justin Martin directs this solo tour de force, captured live from the intimate Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End and in cinemas worldwide from 21 July.

Audiences are invited to an early autumn escape to the Italian Riviera in Much Ado About Nothing, with Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) and John Heffernan (Dracula) as Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare’s undeniable romantic comedy, broadcast live from the National Theatre on 8 September and available internationally from 1 December. Director Simon Godwin returns to the NT to direct the production following the award-winning success of his Romeo & Juliet film.

The season of comedy continues with rollicking new production, Jack Absolute Flies Again by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Oliver Chris, based on Sheridan’s The RivalsCaroline Quentin (Jonathan Creek), Laurie Davidson (Cats), Natalie Simpson (Three Sisters) and Kelvin Fletcher (Emmerdale) lead the cast in this spectacularly entertaining new version of the play, directed by Emily Burns and set for global release in cinemas from 6 October.

On National Theatre at HomeCharlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane Eyre, a bold and dynamic production directed by Sally Cookson, from the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic, will be available to stream this July. Also new to the platform this summer is Master Harold’ . . . and the boys from Tony Award-winning playwright Athol Fugard, a semi-autobiographical and blistering masterwork exploring the nature of friendship, and Shakespeare’s glorious comedy of love and change, As You Like It, with Rosalie Craig (London Road) as Rosalind, available from August 2022.

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