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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

National Theatre announces programming for 2023 – West End Best Friend

Photo credit: Leo Friedman
The National Theatre have announced three new productions for 2023, along with the revival of the critically acclaimed The Father and the Assassin.
Josie Rourke directs a striking revival of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa in the Olivier theatre opening in April. Set during harvest time in County Donegal, 1936, outside the village of Ballybeg, the five Mundy sisters battle poverty to raise seven-year-old Michael and care for their Uncle Jack. During the Festival of Lughnasa, Pagan and Christian meet and collide. The sisters fight, love, dance, yearn and survive. The cast features Siobhán McSweeney (Derry Girls), Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Ted) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Translations), with Louisa Harland, Bláithín Mac Gabhann, Justine Mitchell and Alison Oliver. 
Opening in the Dorfman theatre in April is a new play by Deborah Bruce, Dixon and Daughters, a co-production with Clean Break, the groundbreaking company producing theatre with and about women affected by the criminal justice system. Mary has just been released from prison. She wants to come home and forget all about it, but Briana has other ideas. Over a tumultuous two days a family is forced to confront not just their past but themselves. Because even if you refuse to hear the truth, the truth doesn’t go away. Róisin McBrinn returns to Clean Break, where she was formerly Joint Artistic Director, to direct this powerful story of family and forgiveness. The cast includes Alison Fitzjohn, Yazmin Kayani, Andrea Lowe, Posy Sterling and Liz White.
Sam Mendes directs The Motive and the Cue, a startling new play by Jack Thorne inspired by the making of Burton and Gielgud’s Hamlet, opening in the Lyttelton theatre in May. Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel. This fierce and funny new play offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity. The cast includes Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Taylor, with Allan Corduner, Ryan Ellsworth, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Michael Walters and Laurence Ubong Williams.
Finally, Anupama Chandrasekhar’s acclaimed play The Father and the Assassin returns to the Olivier theatre in September 2023. This gripping play traces the life of Nathuram Godse, journalist, nationalist – the man who murdered Gandhi, from a devout follower of Gandhi through to his radicalisation and their final tragic encounter, directed by Indhu Rubasingham, with Paul Bazely returning to play Gandhi. 
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