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National Theatre announces 2017/18 world premieres

Published January 27, 2017

The National Theatre have announced a series of world premieres and ground-breaking adaptations in 2017/18, including performances from Bryan Cranston in his UK stage debut, Anne-Marie Duff and Rory Kinnear.

At a press conference this morning, plans for the South Bank venue were laid out for the next two years, with higlights including Ivo van Hove following his acclaimed Hedda Gabler with the world premiere of Network starring Bryan Cranston, Anne-Marie Duff returning to the National Theatre in Common, and then later alongside Rory Kinnear in Macbeth in 2018 (directed by Rufus Norris), and Harry Potter And The Cursed Child director John Tiffany announced to direct the world premiere of Pinocchio.

New productions announced in the Olivier Theatre include Saint George And The Dragon, an epic new folk play telling of a knight who became a myth, and a country in need of a story. The world premiere is to be directed by National Theatre Associate Lyndsey Turner, opening in October 2017.

The institution’s largest theatre will also host Rufus Norris’ Macbeth, with Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy starring Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff and opening in Spring 2018 (broadcast to cinemas by NT Live in 2018), and the return of Michael Longhurst’s sell-out production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, with Lucian Msamati and Adam Gillen reprising their roles from January 2018.

In the Lyttelton Theatre, Lee Hall’s new adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Network, by Paddy Chayefsky, is to be directed by Ivo van Hove, with the cast including Tony Award-winner Bryan Cranston (All the Way, Breaking Bad and Trumbo, for which he was nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA) in the role of Howard Beale. The show is set to open in November 2017.

The theatre will then host the world premiere of Pinocchio from December 2017; John Tiffany directs the show penned by Dennis Kelly, with songs and score from the Walt Disney film by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J. Smith newly adapted by Martin Lowe and design and puppet co-design by Bob Crowley, presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions.

The Dorfman Theatre will host The Majority: following the acclaimed run of Bullet Catch in The Shed, Rob Drummond returns to the National with a new one-man show about democracy, directed by David Overend and opening in August 2017. The world premiere of David Eldridge’s new play Beginning is set to follow in October 2017; directed by Polly Findlay, in the early hours of the morning, in the aftermath of a party in north London, two people meet – and nothing will ever be the same for them again.

In early 2018, Annie Baker returns to the Dorfman Theatre with her new play John in its European premiere, following the overwhelming success of her The Flick in 2016. The cast includes Georgia Engel.

National Theatre Live announced a season of ten new broadcasts to the UK and 55 countries across the globe, including Amadeus (2 February), Saint Joan (16 February), Hedda Gabler (9 March), Twelfth Night (6 April), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (20 April), Peter Pan (10 June), Salomé (22 June), Angels In America (Part One on 20 July, Part Two on 27 July) and Yerma (31 August).

It was also announced that the Denise Gough will reprise her Olivier Award-winning role in Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places And Things as it transfers to St Ann’s Warehouse in New York, centring on an actress whose life has spun recklessly out of control because of her addiction to drink and drugs. The show will also begin a major UK tour between September and November with a new cast, playing in Manchester, Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Liverpool.

Finally, it was announced that the number of Entry Pass tickets for young people under-25-year-olds will double in 2017, furthering the National Theatre’s ongoing commitment to offering low-price tickets.