National Theatre artistic director Rufus Norris has announced several new productions for 2016.
They include a new version of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, revivals of plays by Terence Rattigan and Sarah Kane, and new plays from Alexi Kaye Campbell and Suhayla El-Bushra.
The year will open in the Olivier Theatre in January with Yaël Farber’s production of Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry, the first of her plays to be produced at the National.
Farber’s recent productions include The Crucible (Old Vic), Nirbhaya and Mies Julie (Edinburgh Fringe and Riverside Studios).
It’s followed in the Olivier in May by Norris’s production of The Threepenny Opera, which will feature a translation by Simon Stephens (Port, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and star Rory Kinnear (Hamlet, Othello) as Macheath.
Carrie Cracknell also returns to the National in June to direct Terence Rattigan’s modern classic The Deep Blue Sea in the Lyttelton Theatre.
This is preceded in the Lyttelton by The Suicide by Suhayla El-Bushra, which will transpose the 1928 play by Russian Nikolai Erdman to contemporary Britain. It will be directed by Nadia Fall from April.
Meanwhile in the Dorfman Theatre, Sarah Kane’s Cleansed will be revived by Katie Mitchell from February, marking the first production of a Kane play at the National.
Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Flick, directed by Sam Gold, will open at the Dorfman in April. It’s followed from May by Alexi Kaye Campbell’s National Theatre debut with Sunset at the Villa Thalia, which will be directed by Simon Godwin.
Godwin is among Norris’s newly announced associates, alongside sound designer Paul Arditti, director Nadia Fall and actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
Plays in the Temporary Theatre (formerly The Shed) between January and March will include Iphigenia in Splott by Gary Owen, Jack Thorne’s The Solid Life of Sugar Waterand Islington Community Theatre’s Brainstorm.
Elsewhere, casting was announced today for former Royal Court artistic director Dominic Cooke’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson; opening in the Lyttelton Theatre on 2 February, the company will include Sharon D Clarke, O-T Fagbenle, Lucian Msamati and Giles Terera.
And as previously reported, Norris confirmed that the National’s long-running production of War Horse will close at the West End’s New London Theatre on 12 March 2016 after an eight-year run.