London's National Theatre has announced a slate of new productions and casting, as well as confirming that Rufus Norris, currently serving as the theatre's director, will step down in 2025 after 10 years of leading the South Bank venue.
The National Theatre is home to three stages including the Olivier, Lyttelton, and Dorfman Theatres. Scheduled for the Olivier are Tim Price's new play Nye starring Michael Sheen in February 2024, and Shakespeare's Coriolanus, the latter directed by Lyndsey Turner and starring David Oyelowo for late 2024.
To be mounted in the Lyttelton this year will be Alexander Zeldin's The Confessions in October, and Alice Birch's adaptation of Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba in November. In 2024, the theatre will be home to Kin from physical theatre company Gecko and Amit Lahav in January, Dodie Smith's Dear Octopus in February, and the world premiere of London Tide, an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend by Ben Power with original songs by Power and PJ Harvey in April.
At the Dorfman, Death of England: Closing Time will be staged as the final, standalone chapter of the Death of England series in September, 2023. The world premiere of Infinite Life will transfer from New York City's Atlantic Theater Company in November. Beth Steel's Till the Stars Come Down will kick off 2024 in January at the Dorfman, followed by Sarah Gordon's Underdog: The Other Other Brontë in March, and then Katori Hall's The Hot Wing King in July.
In the West End, Jack Thorne's The Motive and the Cue will transfer to the Noël Coward Theatre for a run December 9-March 23, 2024. The co-production of Standing at the Sky's Edge will play the Gillian Lynne Theatre beginning February 8, 2024.
As director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris established the New Work department in 2016. Productions staged during his tenure have frequently transferred to the West End and Broadway, including People, Places & Things, Nine Night, Angels in America, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Lehman Trilogy, and The Crucible. Of those that crossed the pond to New York, they have earned 14 Tony Awards. Under his leadership, National Theater launched National Theatre at Home and the National Theatre Collection for schools and public libraries while continuing to grow National Theatre Live. Additional initiatives have been created to increase accessibility and diversity, community engagement, and environmental sustainability.
Norris said in a statement, "It has been and remains the greatest privilege of my career to lead the National Theatre. For the past eight years, I have had the honor of shaping the programme of extraordinary work that sparks imagination, brings people together, and illustrates the vital role theatre can play in all our lives. The daily highlight has been to work with the peerless theatre-makers who work here, together with the incredible range of freelance artists upon whom the present and the future of the art form relies. I am enormously proud to be part of the diverse, thriving, creative hub the National Theatre is today and am fully committed to steering the course over the next two years. From the work on our stages, to the audiences all around the U.K. and beyond that engage with us on tour, in cinemas, in schools, and at home, the NT entertains and inspires people through our creativity, expertise, and unique reach. The magic of the National Theatre is that there is nowhere else like it; to have been a small part in its illustrious history, particularly through the challenges of the last few years, is a true honor."
Recruitment for Norris' successor will begin immediately with an appointment expected at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.