Sex, politics & comedy As You Like It at National Theatre this winter

As You Like It

The winter season for the National Theatre has been announced today with Shakespeare’s comedy of love and change, As You Like It, making a return to the venue after an absence of more than 30 years.

There is also a new adaptation of DH Lawrence’s Husbands & Sons, Harley Granville Barker’s controversial political drama Waste, new work by Wallace Shawn and Caryl Churchill and the arrival of Damon Albarn’s wonder.land.

Opening in November in the Olivier As You Like It sees Rosalind Craig star alongside Mark Benton and Philip Arditti.

With her father the Duke banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden.

Released from convention, Rosalind disguises herself as a boy, embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.

The cast also includes Rosa Leon Annor, Paul Chahidi, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Patsy Ferran, Patrick Godfrey, Gemma Lawrence, Ken Nwosu, Ekow Quartey and Alan Williams.

Husbands and Sons

Anne-Marie Duff returns to the NT’s Dorfman Theatre this October in Ben Power’s adaptation of Husbands & Sons in a co-production with the Royal Exchange.

Directed by Marianne Elliott, Husbands & Sons interweaves three of D H Lawrence’s greatest dramas (The Daughter-in-Law, A Collier’s Friday Night and The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd), and plays them simultaneously.

Describing the world he came from Lawrence evokes a now-vanished world of manual labour and working class pride.

On the cracked border of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire stands the village of Eastwood.

The women of the village, wives and mothers, struggle to hold their families together in the shadow of the great Brinsley pit.

The production will play in Manchester from February.

Cast: Joe Armstrong, Matthew Barker, John Biggins, Cassie Bradley, Louise Brealey, Susan Brown, Julia Ford, Johnny Gibbon, Tala Gouveia, Lloyd Hutchinson, Philip McGinley, Martin Marquez, Katherine Pearce, Josie Walker and Sue Wallace.

Waste

Charles Edwards (This House) is back in parliament leading Harley Granville Barker’s Waste, opening in the Lyttelton in November.

Famously banned by the censors in 1907, Harley Granville Barker’s controversial masterpiece gathers a large ensemble to expose a cut-throat, cynical world of sex, sleaze and suicide among the political elite of Edwardian England.

Backstage at a hung parliament, visionary Independent Henry Trebell is co-opted by the Tories to push through a controversial Bill.

Pursuing his cause with missionary zeal, he’s barely distracted by his brief affair with a married woman until she suffers a lethal backstreet abortion.

Threatened by public scandal, the Establishment closes ranks and coolly seals the fate of an idealistic man.

In November Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, opens at the Dorfman and Caryl Churchill’s short play, Here We Go, plays in the Lyttelton.

wonder.land, a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, with music by Damon Albarn and book and lyrics by Moira Buffini, opens in the Olivier Theatre in December.