Fiennes returns to the National to topline George Bernard Shaw’s epic “Man And Superman,” helmed by Simon Godwin in the Lyttelton Theater. Hytner himself will direct the as-yet-untitled Stoppard play, a “chamber piece” that is part of the opening three-play season in the NT’s new Dorfman Theater, formerly the venue’s Cottesloe Theater.
Also joining “The James Plays,” Rona Munro’s previously announced trilogy of preems about the fifteenth-century Scottish Kings James I, II and III — a co-production with the National Theater of Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival — are Hare’s adaptation of “Behind The Beautiful Forevers,” Katherine Boo’s National Book Award-winning depiction of a hidden world in Mumbai. Helmed by incoming a.d. Rufus Norris in the 1,129-seat Olivier, the NT’s largest auditorium, it will form part of the 12th successive season sponsored by Travelex for which 100,000 tickets, almost half the capacity, are sold for £15 ($25.)
Bryony Lavery’s new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island,” helmed by Polly Findlay, will be the NT’s family show in the extended Christmas slot where transatlantic hit “War Horse” was first presented. Lavery’s play is one of eight written by women on the NT’s 14-play slate: Work by other female scribes include Marianne Elliott’s world preem production of “Rules for Living” by rising star Sam Holcroft, recent recipient of the $150,000 Windham Campbell Prizel; “Hotel” by Polly Stenham; and a so-far-untitled new play by Croatian-born Tena Stivicic.
Prior to the run of the Stoppard piece, Hytner will direct the world preem of a new play by Richard Bean, renewing his collaboration with the comedy scribe whose “One Man, Two Guvnors” was an international hit. Other season highlights include Helen McCrory starring in the title role of Eurpides’ “Medea,” in a production helmed by Carrie Cracknell (whose staging of “A Doll’s House” recently won raves in a U.S. run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music).
The U.K. legit powerhouse’s reach continues to grow nationwide with more people in the U.K. seeing its production outside London than at its home on the South Bank. Between September 2013 and December 2015, NT productions will spend 133 weeks on the road. The National’s total UK audience for 2013-14 will be 2.67 million, including 374,000 on tour and 698,000 via cinema screens.