Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding Set for Return of National Theatre’s Follies; Additional Season Roster Announced | Playbill

International News Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding Set for Return of National Theatre’s Follies; Additional Season Roster Announced The upcoming season will also feature Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo in Antony & Cleopatra and more.
Alexander Hanson Manuel Harlan

When the acclaimed 2017 production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies returns to the National Theatre next year, Joanna Riding and Alexander Hanson will star as Sally and Ben—the parts played last year by Olivier winners Imelda Staunton and Philip Quast.

Janie Dee Johan Persson

Previews will begin in February 2019 in the Olivier. The cast also includes the previously announced Janie Dee as Phyllis and Peter Forbes as Buddy. Additional casting will be announced at a later date. Dominic Cooke returns to direct the legendary party set on the stage of the Weismann Theatre, which is about to be demolished.

As previously announced, the season in the Olivier will launch September 28 with Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as the famous fated couple. Simon Godwin (Twelfth Night) directs a cast that also includes Fisayo Akinade, Alexander Cobb, Tunji Kasim, Georgia Landers, Nicholas Le Prevost, Tim McMullan, Hannah Morrish, Shazia Nicholls, Gloria Obianyo, Nick Sampson, Katy Stephens, and Sargon Yelda.

David Hare's new play I'm Not Running will be seen in the Lyttelton Theatre October 2–January 31, 2019. Directed by Neil Armfield, the play—exploring the history of a 20-year friendship and its public repercussions—will star Siân Brooke, Alex Hassell, Joshua McGuire, Amaka Okafor, Liza Sadovy, and Brigid Zengeni.


In the Dorfman Theatre, The Prisoner, with text by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, will begin previews September 12 prior to an official opening September 17. Asking questions about justice, guilt, and redemption, the play will feature Hiran Abeysekera, Hervé Goffings, Omar Silva, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, and Donald Sumpter. Brook and Estienne direct. Also in the Dorfman is Stories, a new play by Nina Raine that begins previews October 10. Claudie Blakley will play Anna, a single 39-year-old about to have a baby, with further cast to be announced. Playwright Raine also directs.

Anthony Neilson's The Tell-Tale Heart, based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, will begin previews in the Dorfman December 5. David Carlyle, Imogen Doel, and Tamara Lawrance will star in the production, which concerns a young playwright who rents an attic flat in Brighton, hoping it will break the writer’s block that’s preventing her from following up on her successful debut. Nielson also directs.

Some of the other many productions set to play the National include the return of Nick Stafford's War Horse, Eugène Ionesco's Exit the King in a new version by Patrick Marber, Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin's Hadestown prior to a Broadway bow; Stefano Massini's The Lehman Trilogy, and Laura Wade's Home, I'm Darling.

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