National Theatre goes clubbing with launch of new season

Here Lies Love

Get ready to dance as Rufus Norris gets set to take over as artistic director of the National Theatre.

The new season, Nicholas Hytner’s last at the venue, has been announced and it includes the pirate adventure Treasure Island for Christmas and a spot of “immersive theatre” on the new Dorfman stage with the Imelda Marcos musical (who’d have thought?) Here Lies Love.

Rufus Norris dips his toes to direct Behind The Beautiful Forevers by David Hare (based on the book by Katherine Boo) and DV8 Physical Theatre returns with John, a new verbatim dance-theatre work by Lloyd Newson.

3 Winters by Tena Štivičić opens in the Lyttelton, directed by Howard Davies.

Polly Findlay directs Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, adapted by Bryony Lavery, in the Olivier

Behind Beautiful Forevers (opening Nov 18 and starring Meera Syal) is set in India, a country with global ambitions.

But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, full of people with plans of their own.

Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, twelve and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief.

Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate.

Journalist Katherine Boo spent three years in Annawadi recording the lives of its residents. From her uncompromising book, winner of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2012, David Hare has fashioned a tumultuous play on an epic scale.


Here Lies Love (previews from 30 September) is the award-winning New York production of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s musical.

The show traces the astonishing journey of Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines, from her meteoric rise to power to descent into infamy and disgrace.

The new Dorfman Theatre (formerly the Cottesloe) will be transformed into a pulsating club for an immersive theatrical event which combines heart-pounding beats with adrenaline-fuelled choreography and 360-degree staging.

Audiences are advised to dress comfortably and those in the pit performance area will stand and dance with the actors.

John (previews from 30 October) is a new verbatim dance-theatre work by Lloyd Newson, artistic director of DV8 Physical Theatre.

Newson interviewed more than 50 men, asking them frank questions initially about love and sex. One of those men was John.

3 Winters (previews from 26 November). Set against a country in turmoil, 3 WINTERS creates the portrait of an eclectic family, held together by the courage to survive.

Treasure Island (previews from 3 December). Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny will be brought to life on the Olivier stage in a new adaptation by Bryony Lavery, suitable for those aged 10 and over.

Leave a Reply