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A new season of talks and events at the National Theatre

Macbeth - Photograph by Jack Davison
Macbeth – Photograph by Jack Davison

Talks and events at the National Theatre start this year with The Jungle – exploring the issues on 6th January. The talk will explore the issues raised in the play as well as the refugee situation more widely with panel members from Good Chance Theatre directors Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy, Nico Stevens (COO, Help Refugees) and Lord Dubs (who sponsored an amendment to the Immigration Act which allows unaccompanied refugee children to settle in the UK).

Performing Equality will follow on 7th Feb marking the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act which gave all men and some women the vote for the first time. Samira Ahmed will chair this panel discussion.

Talks and events relating to Network will begin with actors Michelle Dockery and Douglas Henshall on 2nd February, who will reflect on the challenges and rewards of performing the roles of Diana Christensen and Max Schumacher.

In a new workshop designed to explore investigative and responsive dramatic writing, join us to write your own response to Network. Attendees will watch a performance of Network and then take part in a playwriting workshop. After being given five days to write a play extract they will then spend the day hearing them read aloud by NT actors.

Continuing the NT’s National Debate series is a debate on the influence of the media on 22 March. A panel will discuss what can be done to reduce the impact of fake news, and ensure reporting is unbiased; leaving consumers, voters and viewers to form their own opinions.

On 1st February you can join director James Macdonald and designer Chloe Lamford as they reflect on the new production of John.

Amadeus related events include a talk with actors Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati, who will discuss performing the roles of Mozart and Salieri on 15 March. You can also join two NT dressers as they explain their processes and demonstrate some of the costume changes in Amadeus at The Art of the Dresser on 8 February. On 22 January director Michael Longhurst will be discussing the facts and fiction in Shaffer’s play with writer and broadcaster Gavin Plumley. Salieri Explored with David Owen Norris and Southbank Sinfonia on 23 April will see pianist, composer and broadcaster David Owen Norris explore Salieri’s taste in music, with demonstrations from Southbank Sinfonia.

Writer Dennis Kelly (who also wrote Matilda The Musical) will speak about his latest production, Pinocchio on 16 February.

Director Indhu Rubasingham and writer Francis Turnly will reflect on their new production of The Great Wave on 26th March, and designer Tom Piper will explain how the show came together, from the initial design concept through to the set and costumes that can be seen on stage in the production, on 28th March. This includes the opportunity to see the model of the set, and step on to the Dorfman stage to see it up close.

Writer Natasha Gordon and director Roy Alexander Weise discuss their production of Nine Night on 10th May and panel discussion Culture after Windrush will explores issues of race, immigration and culture on 17th May.

Related to Absolute Hell, a half-day session British Theatre after the Blitz will uncover the surprisingly varied theatre that emerged in post-war Britain, exploring theatre censorship, political drama, and playwrights.

An afternoon of talks exploring Macbeth and Shakespeare in performance on 30th April includes a talk with Macbeth actors Anne-Marie Duff and Rory Kinnear, Performing Shakespeare with Abigail Rokison-Woodall and Simon Russell Beale, who will discuss the perks, pitfalls and practicalities of bringing Shakespeare’s plays off the page and finally a talk with Rufus Norris about his new production. There also will be a free archive handling session in the Olivier foyer from 2.30 – 6pm, which can be accessed between talks, with the chance to get hands-on with a range of materials from previous Shakespeare productions at the NT.

To book for any of these events please visit the NT website

The Jungle – exploring the issues Sat 6 January, 11.30am, Cottesloe Room, £7/£5
Performing Equality: Vote 100 and the arts, Wed 7 February, 5pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5
Michelle Dockery and Douglas Henshall on Network Fri 2 February, 3pm, Lyttelton Theatre, £7/£5
Write your own response to Network Sat 3 March 10.30am – 1pm and Sat 10 March 11am – 5pm Cottesloe Room, £120 students and concessions £80)
National Debate: The influence of the media, Thurs 22 March, 5.30pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5
Dennis Kelly on Pinocchio, Fri 16 February, 5.30pm, Lyttelton Theatre, £7/£5
Chloe Lamford and James Macdonald on John Thurs 1 February, 5.30pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5
Amadeus fact or fiction?, Mon 22 January, 6pm, Olivier Theatre, £7/£5
Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati on Mozart and Salieri Thurs 15 March, 3pm, Olivier Theatre, £7/£5
The Art of the Dresser, Thurs 8 February, 6pm, Cottesloe Room, £7/£5
Salieri Explored with David Owen Norris and Southbank Sinfonia Mon 23 April, 6pm, Olivier Theatre, £7/£5
Indhu Rubasingham and Francis Turnly Mon 26 March, 6pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5
Designing The Great Wave with Tom Piper Wed 28 March, 5.30pm, Duffield Studio, £7/£5
Natasha Gordon and Roy Alexander Weise on Nine Night Thurs 10 May, 6pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5
Culture after Windrush Thurs 17 May, 5.45pm, Dorfman Theatre, £7/£5
Absolute Hell – British Theatre after the Blitz Tues 15 May, 2pm Cottesloe Room, £30/£20/students £7.50
Macbeth talks Mon 30 April, 3pm, Olivier Theatre, £15 – £5



  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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