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The new season brochure (October 2015 –  May 2016) is available to download at

Sharon D Clarke plays the title role in August Wilson’s MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, directed by Dominic Cooke

Sarah Kane’s CLEANSED is directed by Katie Mitchell

In the Travelex £15 Tickets season:

Yaël Farber directs LES BLANCS by Lorraine Hansberry


THE SUICIDE by Suhayla El-Bushra, after Erdman, is directed by Nadia Fall

Annie Baker’s Pulitzer-winning THE FLICK is directed by Sam Gold

In the Temporary Theatre:

The Sherman Cymru presents IPHGENIA IN SPLOTT;

Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth’s co-production of THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER;

Islington Community Theatre’s BRAINSTORM returns

The Guardian + National Theatre Debates

National Theatre Live broadcasts Jane Eyre and As You Like It from the NT, Hamlet from the Barbican, the Donmar Warehouse’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and Of Mice and Men from Broadway

LONDON ROAD now available on DVD and digital release

IMAGINE… MY CURIOUS DOCUMENTARY broadcast on BBC One this autumn

Platforms, Lyttelton Lounge, and Clore Learning Centre events, courses and talks


Previews from 26 January, press night 2 February, in repertoire until 18 May

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM by August Wilson will be directed by Dominic Cooke, opening in the Lyttelton Theatre on 2 February. The cast is led by Sharon D Clarke as Ma Rainey, and also includes Clint Dyer, O-T Fagbenle, Tunji Lucas, Lucian Msamati and Giles Terera. The production will be designed by Ultz, with lighting by Charles Balfour, music by Tim Sutton, movement by Coral Messam and sound by Paul Arditti.

Chicago, 1927. In a recording studio on the city’s South Side, a battle of wills is raging.

Ma Rainey, Mother of the Blues, uses every trick in the book to fight her record producers

for control of her music. Hardened by years of ill-treatment and bad deals, she’s determined that ‘Black Bottom’, the song that bears her name, will be recorded her way. But Levee, the band’s swaggering young trumpet player, plans to catapult the band into the jazz age. His ambition puts them all in danger.

Inspired by the real-life Blues legend and infused with her music, August Wilson’s play speaks powerfully of a struggle for self-determination against overwhelming odds.

August Wilson (1945-2005)’s many plays include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences and The Piano Lesson, as well as Jitney and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

Sharon D Clarke won an Olivier Award for her performance in The Amen Corner at the National in 2013; her other NT appearances include Everyman, 50 Years on Stage and Guys and Dolls. Her West End work includes the original cast of We Will Rock You, Porgy and Bess, Ghost, Hairspray, Chicago, The Lion King and Rent; and her extensive TV appearances include Holby City, The Shadow Line and The Singing Detective.

Dominic Cooke is an Associate Director of the NT. His production of Caryl Churchill’s new play Here We Go opens in the Lyttelton in November, and he directed The Comedy of Errors for the National in 2011. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 2007 – 2013, where his productions included Caryl Churchill’s Identical Twins, This is a Chair, Seven Jewish Children and Ding Dong the Wicked; and The Low Road, In the Republic of Happiness, Choir Boy, Chicken Soup with Barley, Clybourne Park, Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever, Wig Out!, Now or Later, The Pain and The Itch and Other People. For the BBC, he has directed the forthcoming The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses; his production of Teddy Ferrara is currently at the Donmar Warehouse.

CLEANSED Dorfman Theatre

Previews from 16 February, press night 23 February, booking until 2 April with further performances to be announced.

The playwright Sarah Kane (1971-99) receives her National Theatre debut with an unflinching new production of CLEANSED directed by Katie Mitchell. It opens on 23 February, with set design by Alex Eales, costumes by Sussie Juhlin-Wallen, lighting by Jack Knowles, movement by Joseph Alford, music by Paul Clark and sound by Melanie Wilson.

Tinker practises the art of atrocity, but even he isn’t immune from the need for love. Existing on the border between beauty and brutality, CLEANSED imagines a world in which language, human relationships and the body itself are pared away to bare bone.

CLEANSED contains graphic scenes of physical and sexual violence.

One of Britain’s most influential playwrights, Sarah Kane’s first play Blasted opened at the Royal Court Theatre in 1995. It was followed by the television screenplay Skin and plays Phaedra’s Love, Cleansed, Crave and 4.48 Psychosis, which was completed shortly before her suicide in 1999 and performed at the Royal Court the following year.

Katie Mitchell’s previous productions at the National Theatre include Women of Troy, Pains of Youth, Waves, Some Trace of Her, A Woman Killed with Kindness, The Cat in the Hat, Beauty and the Beast and Hansel and Gretel.

The Dorfman Partner is Neptune Investment Management.

LES BLANCS Travelex £15 Tickets, Olivier Theatre

Previews from 22 March, press night 30 March, booking until 4 May with further performances to be announced

Yaël Farber directs LES BLANCS by Lorraine Hansberry, opening in the Olivier Theatre on 30 March as the first of the year’s Travelex £15 Tickets plays. The production will be designed by Soutra Gilmour with lighting by Tim Lutkin and movement by Imogen Knight. This will be the first play by Lorraine Hansberry to be produced at the National Theatre, and also Yaël Farber’s first production for the National.

An African country teeters on the edge of civil war. A society prepares to drive out its colonial present and claim an independent future. Racial tensions boil over. Tshembe, returned home from England for his father’s funeral, finds himself in the eye of the storm. A family and a nation fall apart under the pressure to determine their own identity as this brave, illuminating and powerful play confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution.

Staged eleven years after A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s final drama is an unknown masterpiece of the American stage and a highly theatrical search for the soul of post-colonial Africa.

Lorraine Hansberry (1930-65) was a playwright, journalist and activist whose work includes The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window and A Raisin in the Sun (1959), for which she won a New York Critics’ Circle Award – the first black playwright and the youngest American to do so.

Yaël Farber’s recent work in the UK includes The Crucible for The Old Vic, Nirbhaya at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival, and Mies Julie at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival and Riverside Studios.

THE SUICIDE Travelex £15 Tickets, Lyttelton Theatre

Previews from 6 April, press night 13 April, booking until 21 May with additional performances to be announced

THE SUICIDE by Suhayla El-Bushra, after Erdman, will open at the Lyttelton Theatre on 13 April as part of the Travelex £15 Tickets season, directed by Nadia Fall and designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting by Paule Constable.

Things are getting tough for Sam. No job, benefits stopped and stuck in a tiny flat with his girlfriend Maya and her mum. The pressure is building. It feels like there might be only one way out. But every ending is a beginning and there are plenty of people keen to capitalise on Sam’s momentous decision. From corrupt local politicians to kids trying to raise the number of views of their online videos, everyone wants a piece of Sam’s demise. It scarcely matters what Sam actually wants. Faced with the promise of immortality, what’s his life worth?

Suhayla El-Bashra takes the satiric masterpiece by Nikolai Erdman (1900-1970) and smashes it into contemporary urban Britain.

Currently Writer in Residence at the NT Studio, Suhayla El-Bushra’s plays include Pigeons at the Royal Court, Cuckoo at the Unicorn,The Kilburn Passion at the Tricycle and Fingertips for Clean Break at Latitude; she was a core writer on the TV series Hollyoaks .

Nadia Fall’s productions for the NT include Our Country’s Good, 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.


THE FLICK Dorfman Theatre

Playing from April 2016; press night to be announced.

Annie Baker’s play THE FLICK arrives at the National Theatre direct from New York, where it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and the Obie Award for Playwriting. The production is directed by Sam Gold, with design by David Zinn, lighting by Jane Cox and sound by Brady Poor. THE FLICK is produced in association with Scott Rudin and is currently playing at the Barrow Street Theatre, New York, having originally been produced by Playwrights Horizons.

In a run-down movie theatre in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35-millimetre film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lacklustre, second-run movies on screen.

With keen insight and a finely-tuned comic eye, THE FLICK is a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.

Annie Baker’s other plays include John (currently running at the Signature Theatre, New York), Circle Mirror Transformation and The Aliens (which jointly won the Obie Award for Best New American Play), and an adaptation of Uncle Vanya. All were directed by Sam Gold, who recently won a Tony Award for his direction of the Broadway musical Fun Home; his other work includes The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses, The Village Bike and Look Back in Anger.

The Dorfman Partner is Neptune Investment Management.



Previews from 27 January, press night 29 January, playing until 20 February.

Suitable for 14 years+

Sherman Cymru presents IPHIGENIA IN SPLOTT by Gary Owen in the Temporary Theatre from 27 January – 20 February, following lauded runs in Cardiff and Edinburgh. It is directed by Rachel O’Riordan, with Sophie Melville recreating her award-winning performance as Effie. The designer is Hayley Grindle, with lighting by Rachel Mortimer and sound by Sam Jones.

Effie’s life spirals through a mess of drink, drugs and drama every night, and a hangover worse than death the next day – till one night gives her the chance to be something more.

IPHIGENIA IN SPLOTT is suitable for 14yrs+. Contains strong language and themes of an adult nature.

For the NT Gary Owen has written The Shadow of a Boy. His other work includes Violence and Son at the Royal Court; Perfect Match and Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian for Watford Palace Theatre, where he is a creative associate; Love Steals Us From Loneliness (National Theatre Wales & Sherman Cymru); Amgen:Broken, A Christmas Carol (Sherman Cymru) and The Drowned World (Paines Plough).

Rachel O’Riordan is the Artistic Director of the Sherman Theatre, where she has directed Romeo and Juliet, Arabian Nights and Sherman Cymru’s co-production with Òran Mór A Play, A Pie and A Pint: Leviathan. Before joining the Sherman, she was Artistic Director at Perth Theatre.

Sherman Cymru is one of three key producing houses in Wales, working in both English and Welsh with a particular remit for the development and presentation of new writing.

The NT’s Partner for New Audiences is Bloomberg Philanthropies.


Previews from 26 February; press night 29 February, playing until 19 March.

THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER, a Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth co-production, written by Jack Thorne and directed by Amit Sharma, plays in the Temporary Theatre from 26 February – 19 March. It is a fully accessible production, integrating captions and audio description at all performances.

Phil and Alice are in love. Phil and Alice are healing wounds. Phil and Alice are desperate to communicate.

Candid, uninhibited and visceral, this is an intimate, tender portrait of loss, hurt and recovery. THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER was winner of the Accessible Theatre Award 2015. It contains strong language and scenes of an adult and sexual nature.

Jack Thorne’s theatre work includes Hope (Royal Court), Let The Right One In (Dundee Rep/Royal Court/West End, NTS) and an adaptation of The Physicists (Donmar Warehouse). His new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open in the West End in 2016. His television work includes Glue, This is England 88 and 86, Skins and Shameless.

Amit Sharma is an Associate Director for Graeae. He co-directed Prometheus Awakes in 2012, marking the first large-scale outdoor production to be artistically led by Deaf and disabled people in the UK. His other work for Graeae includes Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man and Rhinestone Rollers in Sequins and Snowballs (co-directed with Jenny Sealey at Southbank Centre).

Graeae breaks down barriers, challenges preconceptions and places Deaf and disabled artists centre stage. Artistically led by Jenny Sealey MBE, Graeae’s signature characteristic is the compelling creative integration of sign language, audio description and captioning, which engages with both disabled and non-disabled audiences.

The NT’s Partner for New Audiences is Bloomberg Philanthropies.

BRAINSTORM Temporary Theatre

Playing from 29 March – 2 April

Islington Community Theatre, one of the UK’s leading companies making theatre with young people, presents BRAINSTORM by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim and the company, returning to the Temporary Theatre from 29 March – 2 April following a sell-out run in 2015.

A fearless company of teenagers investigate the workings of the adolescent brain. Created with leading cognitive neuroscientist Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and drawing upon the life experiences of the cast, BRAINSTORM is an exploration of the most frustrating, chaotic and exhilarating changes that will ever happen to us.

Islington Community Theatre trains and supports a permanent ensemble of theatre-makers aged 11-19, all of whom are referred by teachers, youth workers or social workers as someone who will benefit from long-term involvement in the programme. Brainstorm was originally presented at Park Theatre and supported by the Wellcome Trust.

The NT’s Partner for New Audiences is Bloomberg Philanthropies.


28, 30 November, 9, 10, 16 December at 8.30pm (90 mins)

The National Theatre and the Guardian come together for a brand new series of current-affairs panel discussions, inspired by plays from the current repertoire and featuring Guardian and Observer journalists. Further guests to be announced (all appear subject to availability), please see the NT website for updates.

The Red Lion: The Future of Football Saturday 28 November

Tackling corruption, globalization and inequality in the struggle for the soul of the beautiful game, football’s biggest issues are explored by a panel including sports writer David Conn; chaired by Evan Davis.

As You Like It: London’s Housing Crisis Monday 30 November

Sky-high prices and short supply; has living in the city become unattainable? With architect Richard Rogers, David Lammy MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Campbell Robb (CEO of Shelter), Jon Gooding (CEO of Dolphin Living) and architecture critic Rowan Moore, chaired by Evan Davis.

Waste: A New Political Age Wednesday 9 December

Is our economic system broken enough to justify electoral protest? Discuss the growing support for political extremes with columnist Owen Jones, American economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey, and chair Evan Davis.

Jane Eyre: The New F Word Thursday 10 December

Feminism has more cultural power than ever – but what does this mean for women’s rights? Appropriation, public platforms and the quest for gender quality, with comedian Bridget Christie and blogger and feminist campaigner June Eric Udorie. The Digital Mirror Wednesday 16 December

Generations are now growing up with technology at their fingertips. How has tech affected the way we record experiences, build relationships, and perceive our own identity? With digital pioneer Martha Lane Fox, film director Beeban Kidron and psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar, chaired by Emily Maitlis.



The full cast for Roger Michell’s production of WASTE by Harley Granville Barker, opening in the Lyttelton on 10 November, is: Christopher Birch, Hubert Burton, Martin Chamberlain, William Chubb, Charles Edwards (as Henry Trebell), Michael Elwyn, Laura Fitzpatrick, Tom Forrister, Andrew Havill, Paul Hickey, Louis Hilyer, Ian Jervis, Fleur Keith, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Gerrard McArthur, Doreen Mantle, Emerald O’Hanrahan, Stephen Rashbrook, Lucy Robinson, Claire Vousden and Olivia Williams.

I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen, with book and lyrics by Joel Horwood and music by Arthur Darvill, opens in the Temporary Theatre on 16 November. Directed by Wils Wilson, the cast is: Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Oliver Birch, Richie Hart, Natalie Klamar, Marek Larwood, Pieter Lawman, Adam Pleeth and Steven Webb.

Wallace Shawn will appear in his own new play, EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE, which opens in the Dorfman Theatre on 24 November, directed by Ian Rickson. The full cast is: Anna Calder-Marshall, Josh Hamilton, Sinead Matthews, Stuart Milligan, Joseph Mydell, Wallace Shawn, Simon Shepherd and Naomi Wirthner.

Caryl Churchill’s new play HERE WE GO, directed by Dominic Cooke and opening in the Lyttelton Theatre on 27 November, has a cast including Susan Engel, Patrick Godfrey, Hazel Holder, Joshua James, Amanda Lawrence, Eleanor Matsuura and Alan Williams., created by Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris, music by Damon Albarn, book and lyrics by Moira Buffini and directed by Rufus Norris, opens in the Olivier Theatre on 10 December. A co-production with Manchester International Festival, the NT cast includes: Simon Anthony, Sam Archer, Carly Bawden, Lois Chimimba, Leon Cooke, Nadine Cox, Hal Fowler, Ivan De Freitas, Anna Francolini, Adrian Grove, Paul Hilton, Joshua Lacey, Daisy Maywood, Enyi Okoronkwo, Lisa Ritchie, Stephanie Rojas, Golda Rosheuvel, Cydney Uffindell-Phillips, Ed Wade and Witney White.



Benedict Cumberbatch plays the title role in HAMLET, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, directed by Lyndsey Turner and broadcast live from the Barbican on 15 October (varying dates internationally).

The hit Broadway production OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck, starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, was filmed on stage in New York last year and will be screened in the UK on 19 November at 7pm.

JANE EYRE, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic, directed by Sally Cookson, devised by the company and based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë, will be broadcast from the Lyttelton Theatre on 8 December.

The Donmar Warehouse production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Christopher Hampton’s stage adaptation of Laclos’ 1782 novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France, will be broadcast from the Donmar Warehouse on 28 January (dates vary internationally). Directed by Josie Rourke, the cast includes Adjoa Andoh, Michelle Dockery, Janet McTeer, Una Stubbs and Dominic West.

Polly Findlay’s production of AS YOU LIKE IT, with Rosalie Craig as Rosalind, will be broadcast live from the Olivier Theatre on 25 February (varying dates internationally).

For venue information and booking details, please visit


LONDON ROAD on DVD and digital release

LONDON ROAD, the feature film adaptation of the critically acclaimed stage production, is now available both as a DVD and as a digital release on iTunes. Reuniting the original award-winning team, with script by Alecky Blythe, music by Adam Cork and directed by Rufus Norris, the film’s ensemble cast includes Olivia Colman, Anita Dobson, Tom Hardy and all the original cast members from the National Theatre runs.

Hailed as a remarkable, ground-breaking work, LONDON ROAD documents the events that shook Suffolk in 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. The residents of London Road had struggled for years with frequent soliciting and kerb-crawling on their street. The film follows the community who found themselves at the epicentre of the tragic events. Using their own words set to an innovative musical score, LONDON ROAD tells a moving story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences. 

A Cuba Pictures / National Theatre production, presented by BBC Films, the British Film Institute and National Theatre in association with Lip Sync and Arts Council England.

Distributed by Picturehouse Entertainment and National Theatre.


The world of autism is explored through the National Theatre’s hit production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on Mark Haddon’s bestselling book, in a new documentary to be broadcast as part of BBC One’s Imagine series this autumn. Meeting many of the people involved in the play from earliest research and rehearsals through to the stage in both London and New York, their interviews are interweaved with moving testimony from families on the challenges they face as they live with autism. Imagine… My Curious Documentary is part of BBC On Stage, a season of programming across the BBC that celebrates all of Britain’s theatre talent, from world-class actors to cutting-edge regional theatre; with filmed theatre productions, specially created performances for television, drama, documentaries, online and radio content.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is on the final leg of its 31-city tour of the UK and Ireland, with forthcoming visits to Dublin, Belfast, Bath, Milton Keynes and a return visit to Salford to end the tour in November. Curious Incident also continues its runs at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and at the Barrymore Theatre in New York. Its official card partner is American Express.

After eight record-breaking years, WAR HORSE will have a final extension to its West End run, with a last performance at the New London Theatre scheduled for 12 March 2016. It will have played over 3,000 performances and been seen by over 2.7 million people in London, and has won 25 awards. A second major UK tour will begin in autumn 2017. A Chineselanguage production is playing in Beijing, moving to Shanghai in November, as part of the NT’s new partnership with the National Theatre of China.

Celebrate War Horse

A series of free platforms will celebrate War Horse’s final six months at the New London Theatre, with further events to be announced for 2016. To book tickets, email [email protected].

Inside the Horse Sat 24 October, 11am

Puppetry Director Jimmy Grimes talks about the development of War Horse from original concept, through workshops to first performances and, with the help of the show’s iconic horses, gives audiences a look inside professional puppeteering.

Meet The Puppeteers Tues 17 November, 9.30pm

A post-show Q and A with Team Joey and Team Topthorn.

Michael Morpurgo on War Horse Thurs 10 December, 7.30pm  

The celebrated author of the original novel makes an appearance in War Horse, and stays at the New London Theatre for a post show Q&A



An eclectic programme of talks, discussions and interviews, offering the chance to learn more about the National’s work and the arts in general.

6pm (45 mins), £4/£3 unless stated; BS = Platform followed by book signing

Geraldine McEwan Remembered Fri 30 October, 6pm, Dorfman

Actors Delena Kidd and Alan Rickman, and former theatre critic Michael Ratcliffe, join Richard Digby Day to celebrate the life and career of the much-loved actress, whose work ranged from Feydeau and Brecht to award-winning performances in The Rivals and The Way of the World at the NT and The Barchester Chronicles on TV.

As You Like It on Screen Wed 4 November, 6pm, Temporary BS

Daniel Rosenthal, author of 100 Shakespeare Films, looks at the enduring appeal of Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy, using clips from film and TV adaptations of the play. 

Charlotte and Jane Fri 13 November, 5.30pm, Lyttelton BS

Charlotte Bronte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force in her family, and in Jane Eyre she created a new kind of independent heroine. Her biographer Claire Harman and journalist Lucy Mangan explore two modern Victorian women with Kate Mosse.

Ian Rickson and Wallace Shawn on Evening at the Talk House

Wed 25 November, 6.30pm, Dorfman

The director and writer/actor discuss the play.

Dominic Cooke on Here We Go Mon 30 November, 5.30pm, Lyttelton

The director talks to Fiona Mountford about Caryl Churchill’s new play.

Marianne Elliott and Ben Power on Husbands & Sons

Thu 3 December, 5.30pm, Dorfman

Ben Power discusses his adaptation of DH Lawrence’s trilogy with the director Marianne Elliott.

The Jocelyn Herbert Lecture: Sian Thomas – Lions and Nightingales

Fri 11 December, 6.30pm, Dorfman

While working on Tony Harrison’s play The Kaisers of Carnuntum, designed by Jocelyn Herbert, actor Sian Thomas had unique access to the creative process and relationship between this poet/director and designer. She talks about this and her friendship with Herbert.

An Evening with Private Eye Mon 14 December, 5.45pm (1hr), Lyttelton BS

The annual treat for fans of the satirical magazine, as Editor Ian Hislop looks back on the past year with regular guests Craig Brown, Harry Enfield, Lewis Macleod, Jan Ravens and John Sessions.

The Theatre Quiz Tue 22 December, 5.30pm, Lyttelton

A reinvented quiz, with new rounds and unexpected challenges, but the competition is a fierce as ever. With Emma Freud.

Roger Michell on Waste Mon 4 January, 6pm, Lyttelton

Roger Michell discusses his new production of Harley Granville Barker’s play.

Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris on Tue 5 January, 6pm, Olivier

The playwright and director talk about the new musical version of Lewis Carroll’s book.

Polly Findlay on As You Like It Fri 8 January, 6pm, Olivier

The director discusses her production of Shakespeare’s play.

Lawrence and Work Wed 13 January, 5.30pm, Dorfman

Alongside the production of Husbands & Sons, an investigation into the labour market in the early 20th century, the opportunities open to both men and women, and how Lawrence’s own experience of work influenced his characters and writing. Guests include Andrew Harrison, Director of the DH Lawrence Research Centre at the University of Nottingham.

Harley Granville Barker’s Agnes Colander Thu 14 January, 2.30pm (90mins),

Lyttelton £5/£4

A rehearsed reading of an unpublished and unperformed three-act play, written between The Marrying of Ann Leete and The Voysey Inheritance, recently re-discovered by Colin Chambers; directed by Laurence Boswell, with members of the NT Company. With permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Harley Granville Barker.

Anne-Marie Duff on Husbands & Sons Mon 18 January, 3pm (1hr), Dorfman £5/£4

The actor reflects on the challenges and rewards of playing Lizzie Holroyd in Husbands & Sons.

Visions of Alice in Wonderland Fri 29 January, 6pm, Olivier BS

In its 150th anniversary year, the story of Alice and her adventures remains relevant and yet of its time. Guests including author Gillian Beer and Grahame Baker-Smith, illustrator of the Royal Mail’s Alice in Wonderland anniversary stamps, reflect on the many visual interpretations of the character through the years.

On Iphigenia in Splott Thu 4 February, post-show (30mins), Temporary Theatre, Free

Director Rachel O’Riordan and playwright Gary Owen talk about the play, and its journey from Cardiff. Free but booking is required.

Talking As You Like It: Rosalind and Celia Mon 8 February, 3pm (1hr), Olivier £5/£4

Rosalie Craig and Patsy Ferran, playing Rosalind and Celia, discuss the roles and the production of As You Like It.

Dominic Cooke on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Thu 11 February, 6pm, Lyttelton

The director talks about his new production of August Wilson’s play.

Shakespeare Retold with Howard Jacobson Mon 15 February, 6pm, Olivier BS

The Booker-Prize winning author discusses Shylock is My Name, his new version of The Merchant of Venice, in which he asks what it means to be a father, a Jew, and a merciful human being in the modern world.

Joan Bakewell Mon 29 February, 6.30pm, Dorfman BS

Stop the Clocks is the distinguished broadcaster’s thoughtful and spirited new book, a collection of musings on her life and times – from the smaller skills of how to darn and make a bed with hospital corners, to bigger lessons of politics, lovers and betrayal; of the present, and of what she will leave behind.

Katie Mitchell on Cleansed Wed 2 March, 6pm, Dorfman

Katie Mitchell talks to Dan Rebellato about her new production of Sarah Kane’s play.

Poems That Make Grown Women Cry  Fri 4 March, 6pm, Olivier BS

As a sequel to their ‘Grown Men’ version of 2014, Anthony and Ben Holden introduce a selection of poems which haunt and move a throng of eminent women, who explain their choices before reading the poems themselves. Guests include Kate Mosse and Edna O’Brien.

Ben Miller Mon 7 March, 6.30pm, Dorfman BS

Discover the fascinating and cutting-edge science behind the greatest question of all: is there life beyond Earth? The actor, comedian and science writer takes us on a fantastic voyage of discovery in his new accessible and entertaining guide, The Aliens are Coming!.

On The Solid Life of Sugar Water Thu 10 March, post-show (30mins),

Temporary Theatre, Free

Graeae Associate Director Amit Sharma and playwright Jack Thorne talk about the production. Free but booking is required.

Waste and Scandal Mon 14 March, 6pm, Lyttelton BS

Medical historian Richard Barnett and novelist Frances Osborne explore medical, political and sexual scandals of the Edwardian era, how differently they affected men and women of all classes, and modern parallels.

On Brainstorm Thu 31 March, post-show (30mins), Temporary Theatre, Free

Neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore joins directors Ned Glasier and Emily Lim to talk about the production and the science behind it. Free but booking is required.

Suhayla El-Bushra and Nadia Fall on The Suicide Thu 21 April, 6pm, Lyttelton

The playwright and the director discuss this new version of Nikolai Erdman’s play.

Celebrating Shakespeare Fri 22 April

A day of talks, debates and events marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Further details to be announced.


Informal and lively post-show discussions bringing together people from the production with people from the real world of the play.

Clore Learning Centre /Cottesloe Room; £4/£3 includes wine and soft drinks

Evening at the Talk House Fri 27 November


The Clore Learning Centre is a dedicated centre at the heart of the NT for people of all ages to get involved in theatre and learn about every aspect of theatre-making, often direct from the artists and staff of the National Theatre. There are new courses and events for adults; regular workshops for families; and new programmes for schools and young people: all designed to inspire participants with the skills of our backstage production departments and the work on our stages.

For Adults:

An eclectic programme for everyone from the first-timer to the expert. Develop a deeper understanding of the NT repertoire, or try your hand at a practical aspect of theatre-making. 

Black Plays Series 31 Oct – 5 Dec, 10.30am – 12.45pm

This six-week series explores a diverse collection of plays from dramatists of African and Caribbean heritage. Combining performances, clips of past productions and lively discussion, each session examines a topic – from teenagers and revolutions to sport and traditional rituals.

Introduction to Model-Making for Theatre 2 – 30 Nov, 10.30am – 5pm

Theatre designers use a 3-D model of the set to communicate their vision and help turn their designs into reality. Learn some of the practical techniques for model-making in this five-week course.

Film screening: Women in Love Wed 4 November, 6.30pm

Ken Russell’s screen adaptation of D H Lawrence’s novel explores the nature of commitment and love. Starring Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson and Jennie Linden, the film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Writing, and Glenda Jackson won for Best Actress. Free, booking required

In Depth: The Theatre of D H Lawrence    Thu 5 November, 10.30am – 4.30pm

An exploration of D H Lawrence’s plays with readings, talks and panel discussions.

In Context: Censorship in British Theatre            Fri 20 November, 2 – 5pm

Until 1968 the Lord Chamberlain’s Office censored all new plays and those considered unsuitable were refused a licence. A look at some well-loved plays initially thought too offensive by the censors.

Talk: Designing Tue 8 December, 3.30 – 5pm

Meet the designers responsible for creating the world of Rae Smith (set design), Katrina Lindsay (costume design) and Lysander Ashton of 59 Productions (projections) talk about their inspiration and the process of collaboration.

In Context: The Virtual World on Stage                 Fri 15 Jan, 2 – 4.30pm

An exploration of the innovative ways playwrights, directors and designers have depicted a virtual realm on stage.

In Context: As You Like It                                        Mon 8 Feb, 2 – 5pm

An in-depth introduction to As You Like It led by Dr. Abigail Rokison (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham) with members of the company.

Sarah Kane Explored: Staging the Unstageable Fri 11 March, 10.30am-3.30pm

Through talks, discussions and performed extracts, this event will explore how theatre-makers have overcome challenges to bring Sarah Kane’s plays to the stage and how audiences have responded to them.

Film screening: My Dinner with Andre Tue 15 March, 5pm

Louis Malle’s captivating film, co-written by Shawn and Gregory, captures a conversation between actor and playwright Wallace Shawn and theatre director Andre Gregory at a Manhattan restaurant. Free, booking required

In Context: Katie Mitchell Sat 19 March, 10am – 1pm

This event explores and celebrates Katie Mitchell’s work at the National Theatre including landmark productions Waves, Women of Troy, Some Trace of Her and Attempts on her Life.

For Families:

Family workshops are designed for children aged 6–12 and adults to enjoy together.  Discover the skills and secrets behind productions at the National Theatre; have a go at designing a costume or making a prop; or meet some of the team who work behind the scenes to bring NT productions to life.

The Comedy of Errors Explored Sat 24 October, Tues 27 – Sat 31 October,

11am – 1pm

Discover who’s who and what’s what in The Comedy of Errors. Take part in a playful pre-show workshop and get into the spirit of Shakespeare’s hilarious farce.

The Comedy of Errors: Slapstick and Clowning Sat 24 October, Tues 27 – Sat 31

October 1.30 – 3pm

Play the fool with your family, stage a funny fight and find out how the comic moments in The Comedy of Errors were created. With Sophie Russell (Physical Comedy Director on the production).

Design and Make: I Want My Hat Back       Sat 7 November 11am – 1pm, 2.30 – 4.30pm

Become a theatre designer for the day. Using Jon Klassen’s illustrations for I Want My Hat Back as inspiration, design a set and make a model for a scene from the play.

For Young People (16-21-year-olds):

An exciting mix of Q&As, short courses, skills workshops, talks and events.

Introduction to Playwriting Course 26 – 28 October, 10 – 5pm

Want to learn how to create characters, story, dialogue and develop your own ideas? This three-day course, led by Evan Placey, will equip you with the tools to start writing for the stage.

Special Effects Make-up Course 5, 12, 19 & 26 November, 5 – 8pm

Learn the basics of creating make-up effects like cuts, bruises and burns using every-day items.

Stage Management Course 27 Oct, 3, 10 & 17 November, 5 – 8pm

Work with professional stage managers and find out about the huge variety of jobs done by a Stage Management team.

How to…Work in Costume and Wardrobe Q&A  Mon 5 October 5 – 6.30pm
The Costume and Running Wardrobe Department look after the show once the play is on stage, from cleaning and repairing to quick changes backstage. Put your questions to the Wardrobe Supervisors and Dressers

How to… Design a Set Q&A Wed 8 October 6 – 7.30pm
How do you turn a stage into a forest? Or a pirate ship? Theatre designer Lizzie Clachan talks about how she designs a production, from the first ideas to the final stages.

How to…be a Lighting Designer Q&A  Fri 23 October 5 – 7pm
Put your questions to Lighting designer Prema Mehta, as she introduces the basics of lighting and talks about how it contributes to the Director’s vision for a production.

For Secondary Schools and Colleges:

National Theatre: On Demand in Schools makes three acclaimed, NT productions available free in every secondary school classroom in the UK. Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating the roles of Frankenstein and the Creature; and Nicholas Hytner’s productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with Rory Kinnear, and Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, are free to stream on demand in the classroom for the next three years. Comprehensive learning resources support each play, and the recordings are chaptered so teachers can find key scenes or show the full production over a number of lessons. The project is delivered in partnership with Frog Education Ltd, and supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

Creative Choices Friday 4 December

An insight into the range of career opportunities backstage and off-stage – from costume and props to marketing and front of house. Suitable for KS4+. Free event for London state schools.

Shakespeare Student Conference Tuesday 26 January, Olivier Theatre

A series of onstage talks and masterclasses exploring Shakespeare’s comedies for KS4 and KS5 students, with members of the As You Like It company and creative team and academic speakers.

Technical Theatre Masterclasses

An insight into professional practice for Technical Theatre and Production Arts students with leading technicians, artists and designers.

Paule Constable Lighting Masterclass Monday 1 February

Next Stage Days: a chance for students bring a piece of work in progress to the NT and get specialist input on voice and movement from NT staff and artists.

Workshops, designed to support drama and theatre studies at KS3, KS4 and post-16, are available on acting, directing or design and can focus on any production in the current NT repertoire.

Archive Learning Days: free sessions exploring key NT productions and genres.

King Lear                     Thursday 12 November and Tuesday 1 March

Greek Theatre            Thursday 4 February

Verbatim Theatre        Monday 16 November

Drama Teacher Conference                                    Thursday 18 and Friday 19 February

Two days of inspiring professional development for teachers during February half term. Exploring theatre practice through workshops, talks and masterclasses with a variety of theatre-makers, including NT artists and staff.

For Primary Schools:

Make Theatre Days

An active and exciting introduction to theatre-making and the backstage world of the National Theatre for Years 4 – 6

I Want My Hat Back

A creative learning programme for Nursery and Primary Schools combining CPD for teachers and classroom resources with tickets to a performance of I Want My Hat Back.

The Comedy of Errors

An in-depth creative learning programme for Primary Schools with a focus on literacy for Years 4 – 6 accompanies the production.

Playmakers: Emil and the Detectives

A new project combining a cross-curricular creative learning programme, teacher training in theatre-making plus a specially adapted version of Emil and the Detectives for schools to create their own productions.

Lyttelton Lounge

The Lyttelton Lounge is a place to explore the NT’s past and present, where visitors can browse exclusive digital content from the NT Archive, including interviews, prompt scripts and early recordings; and see related exhibitions of props, costumes and other objects from past and present productions. Situated on the Lyttelton Circle level, the Lounge is free and open all day.

Revolution in Design: Jocelyn Herbert

A new exhibition on the archive of the celebrated stage designer Jocelyn Herbert (1917 – 2003) is now open, running until 22 November and returning in early January. Herbert designed her first production in 1957, when post-war audiences were hungry for politically engaged and emotionally charged plays and theatre was experiencing radical change. Jocelyn Herbert was at the centre of this revolution; her collaborations with some of the best playwrights and directors of the late 20th century put design at the centre of storytelling on stage.

This exhibition features set, costume and mask designs, examining the process behind Herbert’s ideas through her sketchbooks and correspondence with directors and writers including Lyndsay Anderson, Peter Hall and Tony Harrison, amplified by digital content exclusively available online in the Lyttelton Lounge.

Linbury Prize for Stage Design

30 November – 4 January

The Linbury Prize for Stage Design, founded by Lady Anya Sainsbury in 1987 as a springboard for recent graduates from theatre design courses around the UK, offers 12 graduating designers an opportunity to win a professional commission. It gives applicants an unparalleled opportunity to work with professional arts companies and to collaborate with writers, directors and technical teams at a crucial stage in their careers. Previous winners include some of the most important stage designers working today, including Tim Hatley, Anthony Ward and Vicki Mortimer.

The exhibition will showcase the work of the twelve finalists, who have worked with four production companies: The Royal Court, The Lyric Theatre Belfast, Nuffield Theatre Southampton and The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh. Four of the twelve finalists will win a commission to realise their designs with the participating companies, and one designer is awarded the overall winner’s title. On the judging panel this year are renowned designers Sophie Jump, Tom Piper and Tom Scutt.

The Linbury Prize for Stage Design is sponsored by the Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

The Lyttelton Lounge is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

6 October 2015

Booking information:

Public booking for Les Blancs, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,The Suicide, Cleansed, Iphigenia in Splott, The Solid Life of Sugar Water and Brainstorm will open on 22 October. Booking dates for The Flick are to be announced.

Book tickets online at Box Office: 020 7452 3000

Twitter: @nationaltheatre #NTnewseason


YouTube: NationalTheatre


The National Theatre would appreciate an acknowledgement in the body of the text and/or as a separate footnote following editorial copy.

The National Theatre is supported using public funding by

Arts Council England.

Travelex £15 Tickets sponsored by

The National Theatre is working in partnership with American Express

NT Future is supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The National Theatre’s partner for new audiences is Bloomberg Philanthropies

The National Theatre’s partner for connectivity is Cisco

The National Theatre’s photographic images partner is Corbis

The National Theatre’s UK touring hotel partner is Intercontinental Hotels Group

The National Theatre is a J.P. Morgan Partner

The Dorfman Partner is Neptune Investment Management

A National Theatre IT partner is Nimble Storage

The National Theatre’s pouring partner is Nyetimber

The National Theatre’s partner for Lighting and Energy is Philips

The official hotel partner of the National Theatre is Radisson Blu Edwardian

National Theatre Live’s 4K Technology Partner is Sony Digital Cinema

The National Theatre wishes to acknowledge its partner National Angels Limited

THE NATIONAL’S REPERTOIRE as of 6 October 2015






Olivier Theatre

26 August

Mary Parker


Dorfman Theatre

1 September

Martin Shippen /

Clióna Roberts


Temporary Theatre

14 September

Martin Shippen


Lyttelton Theatre

17 September

Susie Newbery


Temporary Theatre

From 21 October

Mary Parker


Dorfman Theatre

27 October

Martin Shippen


Olivier Theatre

3 November

Mary Parker


Lyttelton Theatre

10 November

Susie Newbery


Temporary Theatre

16 November

Martin Shippen


Dorfman Theatre

24 November

Mary Parker


Lyttelton Theatre

27 November

Mary Parker


Lyttelton Theatre

From 28 November

Martin Shippen


Olivier Theatre

2 December

Susie Newbery


Temporary Theatre

29 January

Susie Newbery


Lyttelton Theatre

2 February

Mary Parker


Dorfman Theatre

23 February

Martin Shippen


Temporary Theatre

29 February

Susie Newbery


Temporary Theatre

From 29 March

Susie Newbery


Olivier Theatre

30 March

Susie Newbery


Lyttelton Theatre

13 April

Mary Parker


Dorfman Theatre


Martin Shippen


New London Theatre

Nada Zakula


Gielgud Theatre

UK tour

Nada Zakula


Malika Isles


Martin Shippen

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