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Colman debuts in National spring

Published 7 November 2008

The National Theatre has confirmed its spring season of shows, which includes the Southbank debut of Peepshow star Olivia Colman.

The previously announced productions of England People Very Nice, Death And The King’s Horseman, Dido Queen Of Carthage and Time And The Conways are joined in the spring schedule by Peter Flannery’s Burnt By The Sun, David Hare’s Berlin and site specific promenade performance Stovepipe.

Colman leads the cast of Richard Bean’s new comedy England People Very Nice (previews 4 Feb, press night 11 Feb), which premieres on the Olivier theatre’s stage as the first show in the 2009 Travelex £10 season. A tale of Bethnal Green and four waves of immigration between the 17th century and today, England People Very Nice is directed by National Director Nicholas Hytner.

Colman’s TV credits include comedy series Peep Show, Green Wing, That Mitchell And Webb Look and Look Around You. She is joined in the cast by Sacha Dhawan who previously appeared in the National Theatre production of The History Boys, reprising his role for the film adaptation.

England People Very Nice is followed in the Olivier theatre by Wole Soyinka’s Death And The King’s Horseman (previews 1 Apr, press 8 Apr). In Soyinka’s play, the Yoruba custom that the king’s horseman should commit ritual suicide to accompany his master to the spirit world is less than easy in a British colony.

Spring in the Lyttelton theatre is led by Burnt By The Sun (previews 24 Feb, press 3 Mar), a tale of sexual jealousy, retribution and political backstabbing played out in a post-Revolution Russia at the beginning of Stalin’s Great Terror. The cast of the Howard Davies-directed production is led by Ciarán Hinds and Rory Kinnear. Hinds, star of films including Road To Perdition, Calendar Girls, There Will Be Blood and In Bruges, previously appeared at the National in Patrick Marber’s Closer. Kinnear, who won the 2008 Best Performance in a Supporting Role Laurence Olivier Award for The Man Of Mode, has National Theatre credits including Philistines, Southwark Fair and, most recently, The Revenger’s Tragedy.

JB Priestly’s Time And The Conways (previews 28 Apr, press 5 May), which also runs in the Lyttelton, marks Rupert Goold’s National Theatre debut. The lauded director seems to be one of the busiest in the West End with Six Characters In Search Of An Author, No Man’s Land and Oliver! all opening this autumn. Priestly’s play follows the Conways who, following the end of the Great War, look forward to a fine future. Through Priestly’s manipulation of time, the audience discovers the truth of their fate and where the seeds of their downfall were planted.

Hare’s Berlin, a 55 minute meditation on the German capital, also plays in the Lyttelton on selected dates during February and March to mark 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The National’s smallest space, the Cottesloe theatre, plays home to the James Macdonald-directed production of Dido, Queen Of Carthage (previews 17 Mar, press 24 Mar), Christopher Marlowe’s tale of Greek tragedy which was written while he was an undergraduate.
Away from the South Bank, site specific piece Stovepipe, a HighTide production in association with the Bush theatre, runs in a secret Shepherd’s Bush location between 3 March and 26 April. The new play by Adam Brace dramatises former journalist Brace’s tour of Amman.

The previously announced National Theatre productions of Gethsemane, Mrs Affleck, August: Osage County, The Pitmen Painters, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and War Horse also play at the South Bank venue next spring.



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