London’s National Theatre has filled out its calendar through the rest of 2021 and beyond, adding the Sleeping Beauty-inspired musical Hex, Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind, and a 25th anniversary revival of Ayub Khan Din's East Is East to its slate. The theatre also confirmed its plans for a number of productions affected by the pandemic, including the previously announced The Normal Heart and planned 2019-2020 productions of Paradise and Rockets and Blue Lights.
After the Olivier reopens June 16 with the Michael Sheen-led Under Milk Wood, Kae Tempest’s Paradise begins August 4. The new version of Sophocles' Philoctetes is directed by Ian Rickson with an all-female cast led by Lesley Sharp. Next, Liz Carr and Luke Norris join Ben Daniels, Daniel Monks, and Danny Lee Wynter in Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. Performances begin in September (exact date to be announced) in a Fictionhouse co-production directed by Dominic Cooke.
In December, National Theatre Director Rufus Norris helms Hex, a new musical from the fairy’s point of view in Sleeping Beauty. The show features a book by Tanya Ronder with music by Jim Fortune and lyrics by Norris. Set and costume designer Katrina Lindsay joins the production having worked with Norris in 2002 on a different adaptation of the fairy tale.
Finally, a new play by former NT writer-in-residence Anupama Chandrasekhar, The Father and the Assassin, premieres at the Olivier in early 2022. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, the play tells the story of how Nathuram Godse was radicalized through the fight for Indian independence, from being a devout follower of Gandhi to becoming the spiritual leader’s assassin in 1948.
Following Jack Thorne’s After Life, which reopened the Dorfman Theatre June 2, Miranda Cromwell directs Winsome Pinnock’s play Rockets and Blue Lights. The Royal Exchange Theatre co-production, which was forced to close after three previews in March 2020, begins August 25. Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind then arrives at the Dorfman in December, just a few weeks after the play is scheduled to open on Broadway, with Tanya Moodie starring and Nancy Medina directing.
The Lyttelton reopens in October with Birmingham Rep’s production of Ayub Khan Din’s East Is East, directed by Iqbal Khan. In November, Moira Buffini’s black comedy Manor opens nearly 18 months after it was first scheduled to do so. Fiona Buffini directs with Nancy Carroll starring.
Emma Rice’s previously announced staging of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights will then open at the Lyttleton in February 2022. A co-production with Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic, and York Theatre Royal, the show will go on tour following its run in London. In April, Emlyn Williams' semi-autobiographical drama The Corn is Green gets its first London revival for 35 years with a new production by director Dominic Cooke. Nicola Walker will play Miss Moffat with Iwan Davies as Morgan Evans.
Finally, Alecky Blythe’s Our Generation will open at the Minerva in February 2022. The work follows the lives of 12 young people from across the U.K., using verbatim material captured over the past five years, a la Blythe's London Road. Chichester Festival Theatre Artistic Director Daniel Evans directs the co-production.