The National Theatre’s Shed (photo: Samuel Smith)
The National Theatre's Shed

Shed adds to NT season

Published April 2, 2013

A tale of teenage conscripts, an aural adventure and a children’s Shakespeare adaptation are the latest shows to join the line-up for the National Theatre’s newest space, The Shed.

The red box that has appeared outside the iconic Southbank venue in recent months officially opens next week with the previously announced productions of Table, Bullet Catch and Mission Drift. Joining the season are Bristol Old Vic Young Company’s production of The Grandfathers (9 to 13 July), a collaboration between composer Matthew Herbert and dramaturg/director Ben Power The Hush (17 July to 3 August) and Power’s new version of Romeo And Juliet for audiences aged 8 and older (24 July to 18 August).

Written by Rory Mullarkey, whose London work includes The Threshing Floor at Hampstead theatre and the translation of Remembrance Day at the Royal Court, The Grandfathers was first seen as part of the National Theatre’s Connections – the NT’s scheme that commissions writers to create pieces to be performed specifically by schools and young theatres – in 2012. Fifty years after the end of National Service in the UK, but with teenage conscription still a regular occurrence elsewhere in the world, it follows eight boys from training camp to battlefield.

The Hush looks an enigmatic phenomenon, promising to investigate the emotions and politics of sound with wit and theatrical imagination, while Power’s adaptation of Romeo And Juliet, directed by Bijan Sheibani, promises to use a cast of eight to tell Shakespeare’s famous story in a modern city. Performances of the production will overlap with The Hush and Nadia Fall’s eagerly anticipated Home (7 August to 7 September), which mixes documentary theatre with beatboxing, music and choreography to tell the stories of Londoners who don’t often get heard.

In addition to The Shed, the front of the Southbank venue will feature the return of the National’s hit bar of last year, the Propstore, which will be open seven days a week from 3 May to 28 September, giving patrons a chance to enjoy a drink or a snack alongside props and memorabilia from some of the theatre’s most popular productions.