The National Theatre today announces plans to reopen in June, welcoming audiences back to the South Bank for the first time since closing last December.
The Olivier theatre will reopen on 16 June with Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, additional material by Siân Owen, directed by NT Associate Lyndsey Turner. Michael Sheen leads the acting company which includes Susan Brown, Ifan Huw Dafydd, Alan David, Michael Elwyn, Kezrena James, Karl Johnson, Gaynor Morgan Rees, Anthony O'Donnell, Siân Phillips and Cleo Sylvestre.
The Dorfman theatre will reopen on 2 June for the first time since February 2020 with the previously announced co-production with Headlong, After Life written by Jack Thorne and directed by Jeremy Herrin. Based on the film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, with concept by Bunny Christie, Jeremy Herrin and Jack Thorne, After Life is a surreal and powerfully human look at the way we live our lives, asking who you would choose to live with for eternity.
Initial casting includes Olatunji Ayofe, Danielle Henry, Maddie Holliday, Togo Igawa, Anoushka Lucas, Kevin McMonagle, Simon Startin, Luke Thallon, June Watson and Millicent Wong.
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, says: “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for theatre, but I’m delighted to be able to confirm our reopening plans today and to be sharing the news of our first two productions that will reopen the National Theatre in June. In our transformed Olivier theatre, Lyndsey Turner will share her new staging of Dylan Thomas’s masterful Under Milk Wood with Michael Sheen joining the company. We’re also very excited to reopen the Dorfman theatre for the first time since February 2020 with Jack Thorne’s new adaptation of the film After Life, with concept by Bunny Christie, Jeremy Herrin and Jack Thorne. Both shows will play to socially-distanced audiences and we look forward with cautious optimism to welcoming back larger audiences across our theatres soon. Sharing our work online and on television over the last year has enabled us to reach millions of people and continue to keep culture alive, but the magic of live theatre is what we can now begin to look towards: to creating work with our freelance artists and colleagues, to supporting young people’s creativity, and to bringing joy to audiences and communities through imaginative and inspiring live performance.”