London Road at Olivier Theatre

London Road documents the events of 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women.

Adam Cork’s music uses the melodic speech patterns captured on Alecky Blythe’s recorded interviews with the people of Ipswich to create this extraordinary work.

BEST MUSICAL – Critics’ Circle Award 2011

‘Captivating… A startling, magically original success.’ Evening Standard

‘Genuinely groundbreaking. Something very new for the musical form; raw humanity captured in music.’ Time Out

‘A quietly stunning achievement… The creative daring and needling intelligence of London Road returns the complex texture of human life to musical theatre.’ Sunday Times

Following a sell-out run in the Cottesloe last year, the award-winning production returns, this time to the Olivier Theatre.

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St Matthew Passion at Olivier Theatre South Bank, London

Jonathan Miller’s staging of Bach’s St Matthew Passion will be performed in collaboration with the Southbank Sinfonia.

Bach’s Passion is presented in two parts and retells the dramatic story of the events leading to Christ’s crucifixion. Part one includes the last supper and the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, while part two depicts His trial, crucifixion and burial.

Jonathan Miller strips away all traditional performance conventions of this sacred work: it is sung, in a new English translation by Paul Goodwin, by soloists and a choir – all casually dressed – who interact with the full orchestra of musicians. The result is a production conveying the full power and overwhelming drama of Bach’s final and most revered Passion.

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Emperor and Galilean at Olivier Theatre

Charting the true odyssey of an astonishing man, Julian, as he struggles to find spiritual fulfilment and political pre-eminence, Ibsen’s lost masterpiece sweeps across Greece and the Middle-East from AD 351 covering 12 crucial years in the history of civilisation.

Made Emperor, Julian attempts to abolish Christianity and restore the old gods. But met with fierce resistance, this great free-thinker become s a tyrant more hated than his brutal predecessor Constantius. And in arousing the Christians from their apathy he advances their cause, his life and death altering the course of history in stark opposition to his intent.

Ibsen’s magnificent farewell to epic drama tackles faith head on. A cast of 50 perform this exciting new version, creating a cathedral of sound and ritual.

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Musical Fela will run at Olivier Theatre from 06 Nov 2010

A provocative and wholly unique hybrid of dance, theatre and music, FELA! explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.  Fela is currently booking for performances from 6 November – 4 December, but will run in repertoire at the National’s Olivier Theatre through to late January 2011; new booking dates to be announced in late July.

‘There should be dancing in the streets. There has never been anything like this.’ Ben Brantley, New York Times

‘An ecstatic phenomenon.’ Time Out, New York

‘Radiates joy.’ Entertainment Weekly

‘Top 10 Shows of 2009. It’s a work of total theatre and a party where the power of the people is unleashed with a contagious jiggle.’ Los Angeles Times

Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), FELA! reveals Kuti’s controversial life as an artist and political activist.

Featuring many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones’ visionary staging, FELA! – an original new creation – comes via Broadway to the National Theatre.

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Women Beware Women at Olivier Theatre!

Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton is directed by Marianne Elliot and music by Olly Fox will start its London run from 20 April 2010 until 08 June 2010 at Olivier Theatre.

In the Italian court, where wealth secures power and power serves lust, the lascivious Duke can play wherever he chooses. He catches the eye of another’s exquisite bride, Bianca. Can a glance secure her fate, a bribe appease her husband?

It’s a witty age,
Never were finer snares for women’s honesties
Than are devis’d in these days; no spider’s web
Made of a daintier thread than are now practis’d.

Isabella’s father would marry her off to a rich young idiot, while Hippolito has won her trust and desires her truly. But he’s her uncle. These are her choices. If twice-widowed Livia conspires against her sex to gain a little clout, she’s only fighting to survive.

O the deadly snares
That women set for women, without pity
Either to soul or honour!

Corruption will not go unpunished in Thomas Middleton’s blackly funny, fast and ferocious tragedy.

Sin tastes, at the first draught,
like wormwood water
But, drunk again, ’tis nectar ever after.

Book Tickets for Women Beware Women at Olivier Theatre!

London Assurance by Dion Boucicault

London Assurance by Dion Boucicault is opening at Olivier Theatre London from 02 March 2010 until 02 June 2010.

Sir Harcourt Courtly is lured away from the epicentre of fashionable London by the promise of a rich and beautiful bride, Grace, several decades his junior. Arriving at Oak Hall, Gloucestershire, he marvels at this rural Venus until her charms are eclipsed by her hearty cousin, the foxhunting Lady Gay Spanker. Meanwhile his disguised son turns up in flight from his creditors and falls head over heels for Grace. When Lady Spanker discovers the young couple, she needs little prompting from the visiting chancer Dazzle to lead Sir Harcourt astray.

I am about to present society with a second Lady Courtly: young – blushing eighteen; lovely – I have her portrait; rich – I have her banker’s account. An heiress and a Venus!

Dion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens, wrote the brilliantly funny London Assurance in 1841 and thereby created – in Sir Harcourt and Lady Spanker – two of the great comic roles of the English stage, played at the NT by Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw.

Give me the trumpet neigh, the spotted pack just catching scent. What a chorus in their yelp! The view-halloo, blent with a peal of free and fearless mirth! That’s our old English music – match it where you can. 

Cast credits:

Max Harkaway
– Mark Addy

Mr Adolphus Spanker
– Richard Briers

Richard Dazzle
– Matt Cross

Servant – Fiona Drummond

– Mark Extance

Martin – Richard Frame

Mr Soloman Isaacs – Junix Inocian

Mark Meddle –
Tony Jayawardena

James –
Simon Markey

Servant – Laura Matthews

Servant – Prasanna Puwanarajah

Charles Courtly – Paul Ready

Sir Harcourt Courtly –
Simon Russell Beale

– Nick Sampson

– Maggie Service

Lady Gay Spanker –
Fiona Shaw

Grace Harkaway – Michelle Terry

Doctor –
David Whitworth

Production credits:

Director – Nicholas Hytner

Designer –
Mark Thompson

Lighting Designer –
Neil Austin

Music –
Rachel Portman

Choreographer –
Scarlett Mackmin

Sound Designer –
John Leonard

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Mother Courage and Her Children at Olivier Theatre South Bank

Mother Courage, one of the most astonishing stage creations of the twentieth century, drags her cart across the battlefields, profiteering from a war that destroys her children, one by one

It isn’t easy, starting a war, but nothing worthwhile is easy. And once you’re in, you’re hooked like a gambler, you can’t afford to walk away from the crapshoot once you’re deep into it.

Fiona Shaw returns to the National to take the title role in Tony Kushner’s inventive and vigorous translation of Bertolt Brecht’s uncompromising masterpiece. New live music by Duke Special and his band infuses this wildfire production from the team whose many international credits include Happy Days and Medea.

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Terry Pratchett’s Nation will open at Olivier Theatre

A parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers thrown together by a tsunami that has destroyed Mau’s village and left Daphne shipwrecked on his South Pacific island, thousands of miles from home. One wears next to nothing, the other a long white dress; neither speaks the other’s language; somehow they must learn to survive. As starving refugees gather, Daphne delivers a baby, milks a pig, brews beer and does battle with a mutineer. Mau fights cannibal Raiders, discovers the world is round and questions the reality of his tribe’s fiercely patriarchal gods. Together they come of age, overseen by a foul-mouthed parrot, as they discard old doctrine to forge a new Nation.

Oh I think you think I want to eat you but – no no no – I am offering you afternoon tea – over there – in one hour. 

Following His Dark Materials, Coram Boy and War Horse, the National stages Mark Ravenhill’s exhilarating adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s latest witty and challenging adventure story.

Book Tickets for Nation at Olivier Theatre