News: National Theatre announces new productions for autumn 2024

The National Theatre has announced two new productions for its South Bank stages this autumn: the world premiere of Tanika Gupta’s A Tupperware of Ashesin the Dorfman theatre from 25 September, and a new play by Alexander Zeldin inspired by Antigone called The Other Placein the Lyttelton theatre from 27 September, in association with A Zeldin Company. David Oyelowo will make his National Theatre debut this autumn in Lyndsey Turner’s new production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, which will play in the Olivier theatre from 11 September. Tickets for all three productions will go on sale to the public from Thursday 23

Following landmark capital investment from the government in the spring budget, the Dorfman theatre will close from mid-November 2024 following performances of A Tupperware of Ashes until mid-2025 to allow urgent renovations and infrastructure upgrades to be completed. This work will address the most urgent needs of the theatre; including the complete rewiring of the space, replacement of the ‘get in’ lift and flying system, and the replacement of lighting and dimming systems, to ensure the continued staging of new work in the space for decades to come.

Full casting has also been revealed for Katori Hall’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy The Hot Wing King, making its UK premiere in the Dorfman theatre from 11 July to 14 September, and for Frank Galati’s award-winning adaptation of John Steinbeck’s masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath, playing the Lyttelton theatre from 17 July to 14 September.

For The Hot Wing King, previously announced Kadiff Kirwan will be joined by Jason BarnettKaireece DentonOlisa OdeleSimon-Anthony Rhoden and Dwane Walcott, directed by Roy Alexander Weise (‘Master Harold’… and the boys, Nine Night).

Joining previously announced Tony Award-winner Cherry Jones for The Grapes of Wrath will be Zoë AldrichAfolabi AlliRhys Bailey, Rachel BarnesBrandon Bassir, Lin Blakley, Morgan Burgess, Tom BulpettRyan Ellsworth, Amelia GabrielChristopher Godwin, Valentine Hanson, Greg HicksHarley JohnstonNatey JonesWilliam LawlorMirren MackMaimuna MemonMatthew Romain, Anish RoyMichael Shaeffer, Robyn SinclairTucker St IvanyEmma Tracey, Harry Treadaway and Cath Whitefield, directed by Carrie Cracknell (JulieThe Deep Blue Sea).

Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris said:

‘We are delighted to be welcoming three new productions to our South Bank stages this autumn, all created by some of the world’s greatest modern theatre-makers.  

‘These shows exemplify what we strive to do here at the National Theatre: to reinvestigate classics with Lyndsey Turner’s fresh take on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus in the Olivier; reimagine old stories into new plays that speak to audiences today with Alexander Zeldin’s The Other Place after Antigone in the Lyttelton; and staging new work from contemporary voices with Tanika Gupta’s A Tupperware of Ashes with Meera Syal in the central role in the Dorfman theatre. It is a rich slate exploring resonant stories and I cannot wait to share them with you all.

‘We will also undertake some important infrastructure work in the Dorfman theatre from mid-November. This work, made possible by significant investment from the government in the spring budget, will ensure the rich and varied new work we present will have the best possible environment in which to be brought to life for our audiences. We remain hugely grateful for this important, visionary investment in the future of the National Theatre.’

Olivier theatre

In the Olivier theatre, David Oyelowo (Selma, Lawmen: Bass Reeves) will make his return to the London stage in the title role of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus from 11 September to 9 November, directed by National Theatre Associate Lyndsey Turner (Under Milk Wood, The Crucible). Cast also includes Luke AquilinaAnushka ChakravartiAnton CrossPatrick EluePeter ForbesKobna Holdbrook-SmithConor McLeodJordan Metcalfe, Richard PryalJordan RhysStephanie Street and John Vernon, with further casting to be announced.  

Unrivalled in the art of war, undefeated on the field of battle, Coriolanus is Rome’s greatest soldier. When a legendary victory brings the opportunity of high office, he is persuaded to stand for election. But while populist politicians tell the people what they want to hear, Coriolanus refuses to play the game. As Rome’s most celebrated warrior becomes its most dangerous enemy, the future of the city and its hero hangs in the balance.

The creative team includes director Lyndsey Turner, set designer Es Devlin, costume designer Annemarie Woods, lighting designer Tim Lutkin, sound designer Tom Gibbons, composer Angus MacRae, video designer Ash J Woodward,fight director Sam Lyon-Behan, casting by Bryony Jarvis-Taylor, voice coaches Cathleen McCarron and Shereen Ibrahim and staff director Júlia Levai.

Dorfman theatre

From 25 September to 16 November, Meera Syal (Behind the Beautiful Forevers) will perform in the world premiere of Tanika Gupta’s A Tupperware of Ashes in the Dorfman theatre. A vivid and heart-breaking family drama about life, immigration and the Indian spiritual cycle of death and rebirth to be directed by Pooja Ghai.

An ambitious Michelin-star chef, Queenie is used to having the last word. But when her children notice gaps in her memory and her grip on reality loosening, they are faced with an impossible choice. As Raj, Gopal and Kamala battle to reconcile their life-long duty to their mother, the ramifications of their decision take on a heartbreaking permanence.

Tanika Gupta (A Doll’s House, Lyric Hammersmith) and Pooja Ghai (Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre Company) reunite for their latest collaboration, following the critically acclaimed The Empress.

The cast includes Raj BajajNatalie DewMarc ElliottStephen Fewell, Shobna GulatiAvita JayMeera Syal and Zubin Varla.

Director Pooja Ghai is joined on the creative team by set and costume designer Rosa Maggiora, lighting designer Matt Haskins, composer Nitin Sawhney, sound designer Elena Peña, illusions director and designer John Bulleid, movement director Anjali Mehra, fight and intimacy directors Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown for Rc-Annie Ltd, casting director Naomi Downham and staff director Layla Madanat.

Lyttelton theatre

In the Lyttelton, Lee Braithwaite (Cowbois), Emma D’Arcy (House of the Dragon), Jeremy Killick (The Confessions), Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones) and Nina Sosanya (Love Actually) will appear in a new play inspired by Antigone titled The Other Place, in association with A Zeldin Company. Further casting to be announced.

Playing from 27 September to 9 November, The Other Place has been written and will be directed by National Theatre Associate, Alexander Zeldin (The Confessions; Faith, Hope and Charity), and includes music composed by Yannis Philippakis (Foals).

Two sisters reunite on the anniversary of the death of their father. Their uncle has remodelled their family home, in an attempt at a fresh start. But one sister’s sudden reappearance threatens to shatter this fragile idyll as she demands justice for the pain she carries. Amid the debris and the new extension, guilt, grief and greed battle it out in the family’s competing dreams of their future. When we are faced with the suffering of others, even those closest to us, can we look away?

Directed by Alexander Zeldin with set and costume design by Rosanna Vize, lighting design by James Farncombe, composer Yannis Philippakis, sound designer Josh Anio Grigg, movement director Marcin Rudy, casting director Alastair Coomer CDG, voice coach Cathleen McCarron and staff director Sammy Glover.

Public Acts

Following the epic multi-venue production of The Odyssey last year, Public Acts, the National Theatre’s nationwide community programme, returns in collaboration with Sunderland Culture and Sunderland Empire.

Director of Public Acts Emily Lim, Co-Director and Choreographer Dan Canham and Sunderland-born musician Ross Millard (The Futureheads) are teaming up to develop a new production Public Record, a celebration of the people and music of Sunderland performed by community members and professional artists from across the city. Using a combination of dance and live music and set in a live recording studio, the piece will explore what it means to come together and make a record of who we are – to write our own history, to capture our present and to look forward to a shared future.

The production will take place from 25 – 27 April 2025 at The Fire Station in Sunderland, featuring over 50 people from partner community groups.

The National Theatre also today releases a new documentary, The Odyssey: A National Story, following the creation of the 2023 landmark Public Acts production The Odyssey which was reimagined with hundreds of community members in five episodes in Stoke-on-Trent, Doncaster, Trowbridge, Sunderland and at the NT. The documentary gives a unique insight into how this epic production was brought to life, highlighting the power of theatre to bring communities together. It has been created by award-winning director Hanan Abdalla and will be available to watch on the NT’s YouTube channel from 7pm, Tuesday 7 May.

National Theatre Learning

Over 7,500 young people aged 13–19 have taken part in Connections, the National Theatre’s annual youth theatre festival, this year, with 250 youth groups performing specially commissioned plays at one of 33 partner theatres across the UK. Ten groups will be selected to perform at the National Theatre on 25 – 29 June 2024.

Applications for Connections 2025, the festival’s 30th anniversary, are now open, offering young people the chance to perform new plays and get involved in all aspects of theatre-making. To take part in this anniversary year celebrating the talent of young people across the UK, visit the National Theatre website. Applications close on 8 July.

The National Theatre’sYoung Technicians Programme also returns this year, offering young people aged 14 – 18 the opportunity to develop technical skills, learn from top industry professionals about sound, lighting and stage and discover routes into the industry. Applications open on 13 May and close 1 July, with sessions taking place weekly at the National Theatre. As part of the creation of a pioneering National Theatre Skills Centre, supported by government investment, the National Theatre is committed to increasing engagement, opening career pathways and providing skills development and training opportunities for over 5,000 young people nationwide each year, inspiring the next generation of theatre makers and supercharging specialist skills needed across the sector.  

National Theatre on tour

The National Theatre’s global smash-hit production of War Horse, the unforgettable theatrical event based on Michael Morpurgo’s beloved novel, embarks on a major 18-month UK and Ireland tour from 5 September 2024, officially opening in Salford on 22 September and touring through to 2026.

Current dates and venues are; New Wimbledon Theatre (5 – 14 September 2024), The Lowry, Salford (18 – 28 September 2024) Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (8 – 19 October 2024), The Marlowe, Canterbury (22 October – 2 November 2024), Sunderland Empire (5 – 16 November 2024), Theatre Royal Plymouth (26 November – 7 December 2024), New Theatre Oxford (10 December 2024 – 4 January 2025), New Victoria Theatre, Woking (14 – 25 January), Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin (29 January – 1 February), Grand Opera House, Belfast (4 – 15 February), The Regent Theatre, Stoke (4 – 8 March), Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (11 – 22 March), Theatre Royal Glasgow (25 March – 5 April), Liverpool Empire (8 – 19 April), Milton Keynes Theatre (22 April – 3 May), Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (6 – 17 May), Bristol Hippodrome (3 – 21 June).

War Horse, adapted by Nick Stafford and originally directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, has become the most successful play in the history of the National Theatre, winning more than 25 major awards and has been seen by over 8.3 million people worldwide. This all-new tour is co-produced with Michael Harrison, Fiery Angel, and Playing Field.

Creative development for the tour is being led by Tom Morris with revival director Katie Henry, featuring reimagined designs by Rae Smith and additional music by Adrian Sutton. Puppet design and fabrication by Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting design is by Rob Casey, movement and horse choreography is by Toby Sedgwick with puppet direction by Matthew Forbes. Animation and projection design is by Nicol Scott for 59 ProductionsJohn Tams is songmaker and sound design is by Christopher Shutt. Casting is by Jill Green CDG and associate designer is Will Fricker.

Casting and further tour dates and venues to be announced. For more information and to sign-up for priority booking at these newly announced venues visit

National Theatre Live and National Theatre at Home

Filmed live from the Olivier stage, Nye is now available to watch in cinemas through National Theatre Live and is the 100th title to release through the initiative. Audiences can still watch National Theatre Live Vanya with Andrew Scottin cinemas nationwide until 16 May 2024. Screenings can be found at:

National Theatre at Home will host its first live streamed premiere of the ‘triumphant new musical’ (★★★★★ WhatsOnStageThe Little Big Things at 7pm BST on 9 May 2024. Audiences around the world can come together to enjoy this ‘groundbreaking’ (★★★★ Time Out) production from the comfort of home on the theatre streaming platform. Viewers of the premiere can join the live conversation via social media using hashtags #TLBT and #NationalTheatreatHome. Find out more at

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