Nadia Fall will direct Timberlake Wertenbaker’s OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 26 August as part of the Travelex £15 Tickets season. The cast will include: Jonathan Coote, Matthew Cottle, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Caoilfhionn Dunne, Peter Forbes, Jason Hughes (as Ralph Clark), Ellie James, Shalisha James-Davis, Paul Kaye, Ashley McGuire, Graeme McKnight, Jodie McNee, David Mara, Tadhg Murphy, Cyril Nri, Debra Penny and Lee Ross. The production will be designed by Peter McKintosh, with lighting by Neil Austin, music composed by Cerys Matthews, choreography by Arthur Pita and sound by Carolyn Downing and fight direction by Kate Waters.
Observed by a lone, mystified Aboriginal Australian, the first convict ship arrives in Botany Bay in 1788, crammed with England’s outcasts. Colony discipline in this vast and alien land is brutal. Three proposed public hangings incite an argument: how best to keep the criminals in line, the noose or a more civilised form of entertainment?
The ambitious Second Lieutenant Ralph Clark steps forward with a play. But as the mostly illiterate cast rehearses, and a sense of common purpose begins to take hold, the young officer’s own transformation is as marked and poignant as that of his prisoners.
A profoundly humane piece of theatre, steeped in suffering yet charged with hope, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Olivier Award-winning OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD celebrates the redemptive power of art.
Timberlake Wertenbaker is the writer and translator of over 40 plays, including The Grace of Mary Traverse, The Love of the Nightingale, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, The Break of Day, After Darwin and The Ant and the Cicada.
Nadia Fall’s productions for the NT include Dara, Home, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Chewing Gum Dreams and Hymn; her other work includes Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Disgraced (Bush Theatre), and Alan Ayckbourn’s Way Upstream at Chichester.
Cerys Matthews make her debut as a composer for the stage; she is a singer, songwriter, author and broadcaster. Her Sunday morning BBC 6 Music radio show, which she programmes and hosts, has the largest listenership of any single digital radio show in the UK. She is The One Show’s cultural reporter and writes and presents radio and television documentaries on subjects as diverse as Cuba, early classical composers, shark fishing and early female blues players. A collector of songs for over thirty years, Cerys has a weekly column in the The Guardian newspaper, and her sing-along book, ‘Hook, Line and Singer’, published by Penguin, became a Sunday Times bestseller. She is the author of two children’s books, ‘Tales from the Deep’ and ‘Gelert, A Man’s Best Friend’. Her ballet “Tir “, a collaboration with Ballet Cymru , is currently touring the UK.
Thanks to its partnership with Travelex, this year the National Theatre is once again offering over 100,000 tickets at just £15 for four productions (Everyman, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, The Beaux’ Stratagem and Our Country’s Good), with the rest at £25 and £35.
OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD Travelex £15 Tickets, Olivier Theatre
Previews from 19 August, press night 26 August, in repertoire until 17 October 2015.