It is one of a slew of productions announced for 2016 by artistic director Rufus Norris at a press conference held Sept. 17 at the National Theatre. He will direct a new version of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera in the Olivier Theatre in May, as part of the Travelex £15 season. It will be presented in a new translation by Simon Stephens and star Rory Kinnear as Macheath.
Yaël Farber, who previously directed The Crucible at the Old Vic and Mies Julie at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival and London's Riverside Studios, will direct Lorraine Hansberry's Les Blancs, opening in the Olivier in March, also as part of the annual Travelex £15 tickets season.
The previously announced revival of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (which originally received its U.K. premiere at the National in 1989) will open in the Littleton Theatre Feb. 2, with Dominic Cooke directing a cast that includes Sharon D Clarke, O–T Fagbenle, Lucian Msamati and Giles Terera.
The Suicide, by Suhayla El-Bushra, after the play by Erdman but re-located to contemporary Britain, will be directed by Nadia Fall in the Lyttelton Theatre from April; El-Bushra is currently Writer in Residence at the NT Studio, and has been a core writer on TV's "Hollyoaks." Carrie Cracknell returns to the NT to direct Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea in the Lyttelton Theatre from June, and Howard Davies is to direct Sean O'Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, also in the Lyttelton, from July.
Sarah Kane's Cleansed will be directed by Katie Mitchell in the Dorfman from February, and playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell makes his National Theatre debut with a new play, Sunset at the Villa Thalia, which will be directed by Simon Godwin in the Dorfman Theatre from May.
In the National's Temporary Theatre, Sherman Cymru's production of Gary Owen's Iphigenia in Splott will run Jan. 27-Feb. 20. Directed by Rachel O’Riordan, it features Sophie Melville as Effie. Also in the Temporary Theatre, Graeae Theatre Company's co-production with Theatre Royal, Plymouth of The Solid Life of Sugar Water by Jack Thorne, seen on the Edinburgh Fringe, will run Feb. 26-March 19. Islington Community Theatre's Brainstorm by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim and the company, which enjoyed a sell-out run earlier this year, will return to the Temporary Theatre in March.
It was also announced that a series of panel debates and discussions on current themes and issues, inspired by productions from the National Theatre repertoire and presented in association with the Guardian, will run in the Lyttelton from November. Chaired by Evan Davis and Emily Maitlis, the topics will include The Red Lion and the future of football, As You Like It and living in the city, Waste and the new political age, Jane Eyre and feminism, and wonder.land and the digital world.
The National Theatre Connections Festival will celebrate its 21st anniversary next year, and will celebrate by doubling the number of young people involved. 500 youth theatre companies involving 10,000 young people from every corner of the U.K., working with 40 major regional theatres, will perform 12 plays drawn from the 150 works written by leading playwrights for young people since the festival began, including Simon Armitage, James Graham, Katori Hall, Jackie Kay, Bryony Lavery and Patrick Marber. The season is supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
Also announced is the appointment of four new Associates, who help to shape the artistic direction and policy of the NT: sound designer Paul Arditti, directors Nadia Fall and Simon Godwin, and actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith will join the existing Associate Directors Paule Constable, Dominic Cooke, Marianne Elliott, Tom Morris and Lyndsey Turner.
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 Oct. 22. To book tickets then and for further details, visit nationaltheatre.org.uk.