National Theatre to reopen

London theatre news: Thursday 17 September 2020

National Theatre - New writing

The National's Olivier Theatre gets remodelled to stage a season of performances in-the-round from 21 October.
Death of England: Delroy at the National Theatre

Image courtesy National Theatre

Death Of England: Delroy, a new play written by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams will lead the return of live performance to the National Theatre on the South Bank.

Reopening for the first time since March, the National is to remodel its Olivier Theatre to present performances in the round for socially distanced audiences.

Audience capacity in the Olivier will be reduced to almost 500 but there will be 200 tickets available at £20 for every performance.

Tickets will be on public sale from 2 October.

Drawing of remodelled Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre

Drawing of remodelled Olivier Theatre

Death of England: Delroy follows on from Death of England that was performed by Rafe Spall and closed just before lockdown.

This new work explores a Black working-class man searching for truth and confronting his relationship with Great Britain.

Set and costume designers are Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and ULTZ, with lighting design by Jackie Shemesh, sound design by Pete Malkin and Benjamin Grant.

Find our full listing information for Death of England: Delroy here.


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And there's more upcoming in this NT 'Olivier in-the-round season' with the second production to be Dick Whittington, in a version by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd, originally commissioned by the Lyric Hammersmith.

First staged in 2018 and now updated for 2020, Dick Whittington will be directed by Ned Bennett and will open at the National in December (exact dates and further details to be announced).

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said ...

"We're both delighted and relieved to be reopening the National Theatre with the Olivier in-the-round season, which will allow us to present live work to as many people as possible while social distancing remains in place.

It is dynamically appropriate to begin the season with DEATH OF ENGLAND: DELROY, an extraordinarily important and timely piece of work by the hugely talented Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, and we are also proud and privileged to be presenting DICK WHITTINGTON this Christmas, helmed by the inspirational Jude Christian, Cariad Lloyd and Ned Bennett.

Pantomime is an essential part of the living fabric of our nation, and it is devastating that so many theatres across the country have had no choice but to postpone their pantos this year because of the unprecedented financial impact of Coronavirus.

We'll do all we can to keep the flame alive: brilliant theatre artists will serve up a slice of joy to families on the South Bank, and we'll be asking everyone to support their local theatres by booking ahead for their 2021 pantomimes.

Of course, we hope that it will be possible for theatres to perform safely to fuller audiences long before then."

Following the government's guidelines, the National will have social distancing measures in place for the upcoming performances including staggered arrival times, paperless tickets, pre-ordered drinks, enhanced cleaning, and sanitisation stations throughout the theatre.

As with other venues which have been reopening recently, tickets will be available as single tickets, pairs, or in threes or fours so you can see shows with others from your social bubble.

Check here for more information about these social distancing measures and your visit.

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