Dark comedy August: Osage County, which won five awards at the 2008 Tonys, is staged by the American Steppenwolf Theatre Company at the National’s Lyttelton theatre.

August: Osage County follows the Weston family, which reunites unexpectedly in Oklahoma following the disappearance of their father. On coming together, their home explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Tracy Letts’s new play unflinchingly and uproariously exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family.

Among the Tony Awards won by August: Osage County were Best New Play, Best Performance By A Leading Actress In A Play, Best Performance By A Featured Actress In A Play and Best Direction Of A Play. The latter was won by Anna D Shapiro, who also directs the production at the National Lyttelton.

Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, founded in 1976, has an international reputation built through its commitment to ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, director and playwrights. Prior to August: Osage County, its last production to be staged at the National Theatre was The Grapes Of Wrath in 1989.

Playwright Letts’s other plays include Man From Nebraska, Bug, Superior Donuts and Killer Joe, which was staged in London at the Bush theatre and Vaudeville theatre.

Writing about the Broadway production of August: Osage County, the New York Times described the play as: “The most exciting new American play Broadway has seen for years.”

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