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National Theatre goes alfresco

Published 31 May 2012

This summer, the National Theatre is making its way outdoors with National Theatre Inside Out, a season packed full of entertainment, exhibitions and workshops on its riverside squares and terraces from 1 June to 9 September.

From 2 June, there will be a pop-up workshop with a host of activities on offer, giving audiences the chance to experience what it is like to work on an NT production. Experiences include the chance to learn physical comedy skills and the art of puppetry from the National’s hit productions One Man, Two Guvnors and War Horse.

As part of the alfresco season, two specially commissioned shows will be performed in secret rooftop locations. The performance duo Made In China will present its funny, moving parable of disconnection and consumerism Get Stuff Break Free from 25 June to 4 July, followed by interactive theatre specialists non zero one with you’ll see me [sailing in antarctica], an exploration of the way we look and see from 6 to 15 July.

From 10 to 26 June, four European cities will be crammed into the National Theatre’s foyer for Me And My Shadow, a virtual experience featuring 3D motion capture, interactive life-size projections and immersive soundscapes.

The arrival of the world in London will be celebrated on 27 July, as the Olympics kick off in the capital. The National Theatre will ring the giant bell from its Olivier Award-winning production of Frankenstein, inviting others to come along, bell in hand, from 7:45 and contribute to Work No.1197, a piece by Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed, who hopes to have all the bells in the country ringing as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes.

For young audiences, Bryony Lavery’s funny and touching new play about Shakespeare’s children will play as part of the World Shakespeare Festival from 22 to 25 August.

The National Theatre will also open up two free exhibitions showcasing the work involved in creating the shows we go to see. Staging War Horse (18 June to 9 September) offers an insight into the designs, costume, models and puppets used in the popular World War I-set show, while The Making Of Timon (17 July to 9 September) gives visitors an insight into how the National’s new production was made.

This plethora of new entertainment and activity joins the National’s annual Watch This Space Festival, which welcomes circus performers, street entertainers and musicians from around the world to Theatre Square during the summer.

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