Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his Uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans his revenge.
Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal. Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale.
Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends.
The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
National Theatre Live will broadcast the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, with Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse (film), BBC's The Hollow Crown) in the title role and Mark Gatiss (Season's Greetings at the National Theatre, BBC's Sherlock) as Menenius, directed by the Donmar's Artistic Director Josie Rourke. When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But he has enemies at home too. Famine threatens the city, the citizens’ hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people.
Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan feature in David Hare’s Skylight, directed by Stephen Daldry, broadcast live from London’s West End by National Theatre Live.
Following a sell-out run at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Olivier and Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman, The Cripple of Inishmaan, In Bruges) returns to the West End with Matthew Dunster’s award-winning production of his deeply funny new play Hangmen, broadcast live to cinemas by National Theatre Live. In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry (David Morrissey – The Walking Dead, State of Play) is something of a local celebrity. But what's the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they've abolished hanging? Amongst the cub reporters and pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, his old assistant Syd (Andy Nyman – Peaky Blinders, Death at a Funeral) and the peculiar Mooney (Johnny Flynn – Clouds of Sils Maria) lurk with very different motives for their visit.
National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.
For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace – a meeting like no other in British public life – it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. The Audience breaks this contract of silence – and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional – sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive.
Academy Award nominee and Tony Award-winner John Lithgow (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek, 3rd Rock from the Sun) takes the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s uproarious Victorian farce, directed by Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You and Into the Woods, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London). In a similar vein to the National Theatre’s smash-hit classic comedies, She Stoops to Conquer and London Assurance, The Magistrate is sure to have audiences doubled up with laughter. When amiable magistrate Posket (John Lithgow) marries Agatha (Olivier Award-winner Nancy Carroll, After the Dance), little does he realise she’s dropped five years from her age – and her son’s. When her deception looks set to be revealed, it sparks a series of hilarious indignities and outrageous mishaps.
The National Theatre presents a major new production of William Shakespeare’s celebrated play about the destructive power of jealousy. Othello, newly married to Desdemona – who is half his age – is appointed leader of a major military operation. Iago, passed over for promotion by Othello in favour of the young Cassio, persuades Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. Olivier Award-winning actor Adrian Lester (Henry V at the National Theatre, BBC’s Hustle) takes the title role. Playing opposite him as the duplicitous Iago is fellow Olivier Award-winner Rory Kinnear (The Last of the Haussmans, James Bond: Skyfall), who is reunited with director Nicholas Hytner (Timon of Athens, One Man, Two Guvnors) following their acclaimed collaboration on the National Theatre’s recent production of Hamlet.
Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke (The Comedy of Errors).
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world – and he’s determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately, with God.
An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing. Simon Russell Beale, whose recent appearances at the National include Timon of Athens and Collaborators, takes the title role in Shakespeare’s tragedy.
Golden Globe® winner and Academy Award® nominee James Franco (127 Hours, Milk) and Tony Award® nominee Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) star in the hit Broadway production Of Mice And Men, filmed on stage by National Theatre Live. This landmark revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck's play is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship. Of Mice and Men is directed by Tony Award®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circles award winner Anna D. Shapiro (Broadway’s August: Osage County) and features Leighton Meester (Country Strong, Gossip Girl) and Tony Award® winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer). The production was nominated for two Tony Awards®, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Chris O'Dowd.
How had a twenty-two-year-old pretentious layabout made a discovery that would elude every other cinematic pioneer for years to come? In a remote village in Eastern Europe, around 1900, the young Motl Mendl is entranced by the flickering silent images on his father's cinematograph. Bankrolled by Jacob, the ebullient local timber merchant, and inspired by Anna, the girl sent to help him make moving pictures of their village, he stumbles on a revolutionary way of story-telling. Forty years on, Motl - now a famed American film director - looks back on his early life and confronts the cost of fulfilling his dreams. I know it was in the picture. I made the picture and now the cow's getting paid and I'm not! Following Vincent in Brixton and The Reporter, Nicholas Wright's new play is a funny and fascinating tribute to the Eastern European immigrants who became major players in Hollywood's golden age.
One summer's evening, two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst's stately house nearby. As the pair become increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the return home of two sinister younger men.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the National Theatre of Great Britain presents National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage, bringing together the best British actors for a unique evening of unforgettable performances, broadcast live from London to cinemas around the world.
Terrible things breed in broken hearts. Medea is a wife and a mother. For the sake of her husband, Jason, she’s left her home and borne two sons in exile. But when he abandons his family for a new life, Medea faces banishment and separation from her children. Cornered, she begs for one day’s grace. It’s time enough. She exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear.
America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. This new staging of Tony Kushner’s multi-award winning two-part play, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, is directed by Olivier and Tony award winning director Marianne Elliott, and will be broadcast live from the National Theatre on 20 July 2017.