News: National Theatre announces three new productions for 2023

The National Theatre announces three new productions for 2023 and the revival of the critically acclaimed The Father and the Assassin

Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots) directs a striking revival of Dancing at Lughnasa in the Olivier theatre opening in April. Set during harvest time in County Donegal, 1936, outside the village of Ballybeg, the five Mundy sisters battle poverty to raise seven-year-old Michael and care for their Uncle Jack. During the Festival of Lughnasa, Pagan and Christian meet and collide. The sisters fight, love, dance, yearn and survive. Brian Friel’s Olivier Award-winning play is an astonishing evocation of a family’s world on the brink of change.

Cast includes Siobhán McSweeney (Derry Girls), Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Ted) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Translations). Louisa Harland, Bláithín Mac Gabhann, Justine Mitchell and Alison Oliver join the company.

Set and costume design by Robert Jones, lighting designer is Mark Henderson, choreographer is Wayne McGregor, composer is Hannah Peel, sound designer is Emma Laxton, video designer is Douglas O’Connell and casting director is Alastair Coomer CDG.

Opening in the Dorfman theatre in April is a new play by Deborah Bruce, Dixon and Daughters, a co-production with Clean Break, the ground-breaking company producing theatre with and about women affected by the criminal justice system.

Mary has just been released from prison. She wants to come home and forget all about it, but Briana has other ideas. Over a tumultuous two days a family is forced to confront not just their past but themselves. Because even if you refuse to hear the truth, the truth doesn’t go away.

Róisin McBrinn (Artistic Director, Gate Theatre, Dublin) returns to Clean Break, where she was formerly Joint Artistic Director, to direct this powerful story of family and forgiveness. The cast includes Alison FitzjohnYazmin KayaniAndrea Lowe, Posy Sterling and Liz White. The set and costume designer is Kat Heath, lighting designer is Paule Constable, sound designer is Sinéad Diskin, movement director is Sarita Piotrowski with casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Bryony Jarvis-Taylor.

Sam Mendes directs The Motive and the Cue, a startling new play by Jack Thorne inspired by the making of Burton and Gielgud’s Hamlet.

Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel. This fierce and funny new play offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.

Opening in the Lyttelton theatre in May the cast includes Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Taylor. The cast also includes Allan CordunerRyan EllsworthAysha Kala, Luke Norris, Michael Walters and Laurence Ubong Williams.

The Motive and the Cue was commissioned by Neal Street Productions and has been developed and co-produced by the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions. Set design is by Es Devlin, costume designer is Katrina Lindsay, lighting designer is Jon Clark, composer is Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, sound designer is Paul Arditti, video designer is Luke Halls, casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Naomi Downham and associate director is Zoé Ford Burnett.

Inspired by Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne.

Anupama Chandrasekhar’s acclaimed play The Father and the Assassin returns to the Olivier theatre in September 2023. This gripping play traces the life of Nathuram Godse, journalist, nationalist – the man who murdered Gandhi, from a devout follower of Gandhi through to his radicalisation and their final tragic encounter. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, with Paul Bazely returning to play Gandhi.

Set and costume designer is Rajha Shakiry, lighting designer is Oliver Fenwick, movement director is Lucy Cullingford, composer is Siddhartha Khosla, additional music by David Shrubsole, sound designer is Alexander Caplen, and fight directors are Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of Rc-Annie Ltd. Casting is by Alastair Coomer CDG and Jatinder Chera.

Tickets for Dancing at LughnasaThe Motive and the Cue and Dixon and Daughters go on sale to the public on Thursday 8 December.

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