The Shed at the National Theatre (photo Phillip Vile)
The Shed at the National Theatre

Romeo And Juliet returns to NT

Published July 1, 2014

Further details have been announced for the National Theatre’s packed autumn/winter season including news that Meera Syal will lead David Hare’s Behind The Beautiful Forevers and Bijan Sheibani’s acclaimed Romeo And Juliet for young audiences will return.

Best known for her television appearances in The Kumars At Number 42 and Goodness Gracious Me, Syal returns to the London stage following recent performances in If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep at the Royal Court and the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Noël Coward Theatre.

The actress will be directed in Behind The Beautiful Forevers, which provides a non-fictional account of life in the slums of Annawadi, by the National Theatre’s incoming Artistic Director Rufus Norris from 10 November.

Suitable for children aged eight to 12-years-old, Sheibani’s hit production of Romeo And Juliet will play a half-term run in the venue’s Temporary Theatre from 29 October to 14 November and see Shakespeare’s most popular love story once again brought to life for a new generation through live song, dancing and a modern urban backdrop.

Today’s press announcement offers further information about the forthcoming Imelda Marcos-biopic musical Here Lies Love, which will open the famous institution’s new Dorfman Theatre. Playing from 30 September (press night 13 October) until 13 January, the immersive musical by Talking Heads’ David Bryrne and DJ Fatboy Slim has revealed it will replicate its unique staging that made the show such a hit in New York.

Described as transforming the Dorfman Theatre into a “pulsating club”, audience members will be able to buy standing tickets in the pit performance area where they will be encouraged to dance along with the actors as the show combines “heart-pounding beats with adrenaline-fuelled choreography and a 360-degree staging”.

Full details of the two productions playing in the Lyttelton Theatre this autumn have also been announced. Acclaimed physical theatre company DV8’s latest work John will play from 30 October (press night 4 November) until 13 January and will be conceived and directed by the innovative company’s Artistic Director Lloyd Newson.

Following political theatre pieces including To Be Straight With You and Can We Talk About This?, John is a new verbatim dance-theatre production that tells the story of one man’s struggle to survive following years of crime and drug use.

Tena Štivičić’s previously announced 3 Winters will play in repertoire with the show in the Lyttelton from 26 November (press night 3 December). Directed by Howard Davies, the Croatian playwright’s drama has revealed it will centre on the Kos family against a backdrop of a country in turmoil.

As they argue, adapt, and fall in and out of love, world after world is erected and torn down around them. The one constant is the ivy-clad house in Zagreb, witness to four increasingly educated and independent generations of women. But when the family assemble for Lucia’s wedding, Alisa learns that her nouveau-riche brother-in-law has bought the once nationalised house. For the bride this is progress, for her sister it’s a shady act of greed. For their principled parents, finally, it’s one battle too many.

Rounding off the season will be Polly Findlay’s previously announced family festive offering Treasure Island from 3 December (press night 10 December). Suitable for children aged 10 and older, young actress Patsy Ferran will follow her West End debut in Blithe Spirit earlier this year by leading the cast in Bryony Lavery’s take on the classic tale as Jim, an inn-keeper’s granddaughter who heads off on a dangerous voyage where she meets an old sailor with a mysterious seachest.

Alongside this busy line-up of shows, the National Theatre will also reveal the first phase of its radical transformation, NT Future. Alongside the new Dorfman Theatre, audiences will be able to enjoy new riverside dining and theatregoers of all ages will be able to learn more about every aspect of theatre-making from playwriting to puppet making in the Clore Learning Centre, which opens in October 2014.

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