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Oedipus dates announced with new National season

Published 8 July 2008

The dates of the highly anticipated return of Ralph Fiennes to the National Theatre stage in Oedipus have been announced, along with the theatre’s other autumn/winter schedule.

The Juliette Binoche/Akram Khan collaboration in-i, DV8 Physical Theatre’s To Be Straight With You and the transfer of Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce are the season’s new shows, while Katie Mitchell’s Waves and Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters also return.

Oedipus, in which Fiennes stars alongside Clare Higgins and Alan Howard, runs in the Olivier from 8 October, with a press night on 15 October. Directed by Jonathan Kent, Frank McGuinness’s translation of Sophocles’s tragedy sees Fiennes take the title role as the man charged with lifting the curse on Thebes. His relentless interrogation, however, leads to its own savage conclusion.

Fiennes’s co-star from the Oscar-winning film The English Patient, Binoche, takes to the Lyttelton stage from 6 September (press night 18 September) in dance theatre piece in-i. The duet is performed against a design by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor.

Also in the Lyttelton this autumn is physical theatre piece To Be Straight With You, which runs from 29 October to 15 November. This new piece from the award-winning company DV8, uses dance, text, documentary, film and projection to explore themes of tolerance, intolerance, religion and sexuality.

The Pitmen Painters, which opened in the Cottesloe in May, is reprised on the National’s larger Lyttelton stage in the new year. The true tale of miners who find themselves drawn into the world of fine art, begins its second run on the South Bank on 27 January 2009.

Another returning show, Waves, takes to the Cottesloe stage for a short season between 20 August and 9 September. The adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel, which uses both theatre and video to tell its story, is followed in the National’s most intimate space by the transfer of The Walworth Farce.

Walsh’s dark farce with a sinister heart was first staged in 2006 by the Druid Theatre Company. Since then it has been staged at the Edinburgh Festival and in New York. It begins its run at the National on 18 September (press night 24 September).

A Slight Ache, the Pinter piece being performed by Simon Russell Beale and Clare Higgins for nine performances only this summer, is also revived for the autumn when it will be combined with Pinter’s Landscape for seven performances.

The autumn/winter season also includes …Some Trace Of Her, Her Naked Skin and War Horse. Current productions of The Revenger’s Tragedy, Afterlife, Never So Good and Harper Regan all close in August.

Booking for the new productions opens on 23 July.

MA

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