play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel


This show has now closed, please visit our London Shows page for a full list of current productions.

About the Show Less...

An epic new play set in the dark and magical landscape of a world facing an imminent end. Read More >

The National Theatre’s 13 is a world premiere by Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett.

Morning in London, autumn 2011. Across the city, people wake up from an identical, terrifying dream. At the same moment, a young man named John returns home after years away to find economic gloom, ineffective protest and a Prime Minister about to declare war.

But John has a vision for the future and his ideas inspire an increasing number of followers. With conflict looming in the Middle-East, their protest takes them to the centre of the city, to the heart of government, where coincidences, omens and visions collide with political reality.

From the writer of Earthquakes In London and the award-winning Cock, comes an epic new play. Set in a dark and magical landscape of singing pensioners, fanatical atheists and imminent apocalypse, it depicts a London both familiar and strange, a London staring into the void. In a year which has seen governments fall and hundreds of thousands take to the streets, 13 explores the meaning of personal responsibility, the hold that the past has over the future and the nature of belief itself.

13 is directed by Thea Sharrock. Sharrock directed last year’s Olivier Award-winning After The Dance at the National Theatre. Her other credits include Cause Célèbre at the Old Vic theatre and The Misanthrope in the West End.

For more about 13 at the National Theatre read the First Night Feature.


Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 18/10/2011

Opening Night: 25/10/2011

Closing Night: 08/01/2012

Running time: 2h45

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

Cast & Creative


Matthew Barker, Nick Blakeley, Katie Brayben, Natasha Broomfield, Kirsty Bushell, Martin Chamberlain, Grace Cooper Milton, Davood Ghadami, Trystan Gravelle, Jadie-Rose Hobson, Adam James, Geraldine James, Sioned Jones, Barbara Kirby, Esther McAuley, Genevieve O'Reilly, Lara Rossi, Helen Ryan, Nick Sidi, Zara Tempest-Walters, Danny Webb, John Webber, Shane Zaza


Director - Thea Sharrock

Designer - Tom Scutt

Lighting Designer - Mark Henderson

Sound - Ian Dickinson

Author - Mike Bartlett

Music By - Adrian Johnston

Unlike film, theatre doesn't have an official age classification organisation. That means all age recommendations are subjective and should be treated as guidelines unless otherwise stated. With this in mind, we ask you to use your judgement in regards to a show’s suitability prior to purchase. However, we are more than happy to help you make a decision. Please email to find out more about your chosen show.