The National Theatre today announced Toby Stephens in the role of social-scientist Terje Rød-Larsen, with Lydia Leonard as his wife, diplomat Mona Juul and Peter Polycarpou plays Ahmed Qurie, the former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. The Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production of OSLO begins performances at the National Theatre on 5 September (press nights 15, 16, 18 September) and later transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre (2 October – 30 December 2017).
This gripping new play by J T Rogers, directed by Bartlett Sher, was awarded ‘Best Play’ at the 2017 Tony Awards ® and was winner of every ‘Best Play’ award on Broadway this season including those given by New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle , Drama League, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.
In 1993, in front of the world’s press, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands on the lawn of the White House. Few watching would have guessed that the negotiations leading up to this iconic moment started secretly in a castle in the middle of a forest outside Oslo.
Oslo tells the true story of how one young Norwegian couple Mona Juul (Lydia Leonard) and her husband, Terje Rød-Larsen (Toby Stephens) planned and orchestrated top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. Featuring dozens of characters and set in locations across the globe, Oslo is both a political thriller and the personal story of a small band of women and men struggling together – and fighting each other – as they seek to change the world. (Mona Juul is currently the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK – the first woman to occupy the role).
Toby Stephens has recently completed filming Lost in Space for Netflix – playing the leading role of John Robinson. The series is due for launch in 2018. Previous stage work includes Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre and Gielgud Theatre), Danton’s Death (NT), The Real Thing (Old Vic), A Doll’s House (Donmar Warehouse), Betrayal (Donmar Warehouse), Japes (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), A Streetcar Named Desire (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), The Country Wife (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Wallenstein (RSC), Unfinished Business (RSC), Tamburlaine (RSC), The Pilate Workshop (RSC), Hamlet – title role (RSC), Measure for Measure (RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Coriolanus – title role (RSC), All’s Well That Ends Well (RSC), Antony and Cleopatra (RSC), Britannicus (Almeida), Phèdre (Almeida and Brooklyn Academy Of Music)), Tartuffe (Playhouse), and Ring Round the Moon (Lincoln Center). Recent film work includes 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, The Journey and Hunter Killer (due for release.) Other film work includes: The Machine, Believe, All Things To All Men, Severance, The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey, Die Another Day, Possession, The Announcement, Onegin, Photographing Fairies, Sunset Heights, Cousin Bette, The Great Gatsby, Twelfth Night and Orlando. TV work includes: Black Sails, And Then There Were None, Vexed, Robin Hood , Wired, The Wild West, Jane Eyre, The Best Man, The Queen’s Sister, Cambridge Spies, Perfect Strangers, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Lydia Leonard appeared in Time and the Conways at the National. Her previous stage work includes Wolf Hall / Bring Up the Bodies for which she was nominated for a TONY award and Hecuba (RSC), Let There Be Love (Tricycle); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic), Love’s Labour’s Lost on national tour and Onassis and Frost/Nixon in the West End. Her television appearances include Life in Squares, River, Lucan, Ambassadors, Da Vinci’s Demons, Whitechapel, Law & Order, Spooks, Casualty 1909, The 39 Steps, Ashes to Ashes, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley, Casualty 1907, The Line of Beauty, Jericho, Rome, Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders. On film she has appeared in The Fifth Estate, The Big Picture, The Shocate, Born of War, Archipelago and True True Lie.
Peter Polycarpou takes the role Ahmed Qurie, the former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. Peter’s previous work at the NT includes The Magistrate, Oklahoma! (also West End) and Metropolis Kabarett, He was in the original company of Les Misérables (RSC) and Miss Saigon (West End) he most recently appeared in Working at Southwark Playhouse.
The cast also includes Geraldine Alexander, Philip Arditti, Thomas Arnold, Nabil Elouahabi , Paul Herzberg. Karoline Gable, Anthony Shuster, Daniel Stewart and Howard Ward. Further casting will be announced.
Oslo is written by J T Rogers and directed by Bartlett Sher, with sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Peter John Still and projections by 59 Productions.
JT Rogers’ previous plays for the National Theatre are: Blood and Gifts, which premiered at the Lyttelton Theatre in 2010 and The Overwhelming, a co-production between the National Theatre and Out of Joint. His other plays include Madagascar (Theatre503 in London and Melbourne Theatre Company) and White People (Off-Broadway; Starry Night Productions). He was one of the authors of the Olivier nominated The Great Game: Afghanistan at the Tricycle Theatre. His plays have been seen across the U.S., and in Canada, Germany and Israel.
Bartlett Sher’s makes his directorial debut for the National Theatre with Oslo. His previous work in the UK includes Women on the verge of a Breakdown at the Playhouse in 2015, Two Boys for the ENO and South Pacific for the Barbican in 2011 and TFANA’s Cymbeline, at the RSC’s The Other Place in 2001. His previous work for Lincoln Center Theater includes: The King and I, Golden Boy, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing!, The Light in the Piazza (Tony nominations); South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle awards; also London, Australia); Blood and Gifts; Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (London). Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway Theatre), The Bridges of Madison County (Schoenfeld). Off-Broadway: Prayer for My Enemy (Playwrights Horizons), Waste (Best Play Obie Award), Don Juan, Pericles (TFANA, BAM). Upcoming productions include Adam Guettel’s new musical Millions and My Fair Lady for LCT.
OSLO Listings Information
National Theatre, Upper Ground, London SE1 9PX
Dates: 5 – 26 September 2017
Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday at 2.00pm
There will be a Platform event with Mona Juul, Mona Juul and the Oslo Accords in the Lyttleton Theatre on 15 September at 6pm.
Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton St, London SW1Y 4DN
Dates: 2 October – 30 December 2017