The National Theatre has announced casting for three world premieres – Pinocchio, Saint George And The Dragon, and Beginning – and plans for current sell-out show Barber Shop Chronicles to return later this year.
Coming to the stage for the first time in an adaptation by Martin Lowe, Dennis Kelly’s Pinocchio will be directed by Harry Potter And The Cursed Child director John Tiffany, and will feature unforgettable music and songs from the Walt Disney film including I’ve Got No Strings, Give A Little Whistle and When You Wish Upon A Star in dazzling new arrangements.
Joe Idris-Roberts will star as the titular aspiring puppet and “boy”, and will be joined by Audrey Brisson (Jiminy Cricket), Annette McLaughlin (Blue Lady), David Langham (The Fox), David Kirkbride (Coachman), Dawn Sievewright (Lampy) and Chris Jarman (Stromboli). The company is completed by Stuart Angell, Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge, Stephanie Bron, James Charlton, Rebecca Jayne-Davies, Sarah Kameela Impey, Anabel Kutay, Michael Lin, Jack North, Clemmie Sveaas, Michael Taibi, Scarlet Wilderink and Jack Wolfe.
Pinocchio will preview from 1 December, opening on 13 December and playing until 7 April in the Lyttelton Theatre. Half-price tickets for under-18s are available for all performances (excluding £15 tickets). Additional family tickets for the run will be released in a ballot closer to the performance dates.
Beforehand, however, John Heffernan will lead the cast of Rory Mullarkey’s new play Saint George And The Dragon in the Olivier Theatre, in a cast also including Paul Brennen, Richard Goulding, Tamzin Griffin, Conor Neaves, Amaka Okafor, Daniel Ryan and Grace Saif.
A village. A dragon. A damsel in distress. Into the story walks George: wandering knight, freedom fighter, enemy of tyrants the world over. One epic battle later and a nation is born. As the village grows into a town, and the town into a city, the myth of Saint George, which once brought a people together, threatens to divide them. Saint George And The Dragon plays from 4 October – 2 December.
Meanwhile, in the Dorfman Theatre, Inua Ellams’ smash-hit play about stories from barber shops across the world, currently playing in repertoire until 8 July, will return to the same theatre in November (casting to be confirmed).
The dynamic play journeys from a barber shop in London, to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.
This succeeds the run of David Eldridge’s new play Beginning, which sees Polly Findlay direct Justine Mitchell (as Laura) and Sam Troughton (Danny), the last two standing at a raucous party in Laura’s flat.
Tender and funny, the play promises an intimate look at the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance, and previews from 5 October, continuing in repertoire until 14 November.
The announcements follow recent casting news for forthcoming Olivier Theatre musical Follies, the unveiling of the Queer Theatre event series, and the announcement that the Tony Award-winning play Oslo will open in the Lyttelton Theatre this autumn.