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3 Winters - National Theatre (Lyttelton)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

3 WINTERS, a new play by Tena Štivičić, directed by Howard Davies, will open in the National’s Lyttelton Theatre on December 3, 2014 (previews from November 26) before continuing in repertoire.

From the remnants of monarchy to Communism, democracy, war and the EU: Croatia 1945–2011. Set against a country in turmoil, 3 Winters creates the portrait of an eclectic family, held together by the courage to survive.

The Kos family argue, adapt, and fall in and out of love. World after world is erected and torn down around them. The one constant is the ivy-clad house in Zagreb, built by aristocrats, partitioned, owned by all, owned by a few; witness to four increasingly educated and independent generations of women.

But when the family assemble for Lucia’s wedding, Alisa learns that her nouveau-riche brother-in-law has bought the once nationalized house. For the bride this is progress, for her sister it’s a shady act of greed. For their principled parents, finally, it’s one battle too many.

Tena Štivičić is a Croatian-born playwright who lives in London. Her previous work includes Invisible (New Wolsey Theatre), Seven Days in Zagreb, part of the European Theatre Convention project on tour throughout Europe, and Fragile! (Arcola Theatre, adapted for BBC Radio 4). She developed her play Fireflies, which premiered at the ZKM Theatre in Zagreb, at the National Theatre Studio.

Howard Davies is an Associate Director at the National Theatre, where his productions include The Silver Tassie, Children of the Sun, The Last of the Haussmans, The Cherry Orchard, Blood and Gifts, The White Guard (Evening Standard Award for Best Director), Burnt by the Sun, Gethsemane, Her Naked Skin, Never So Good, Philistines, The Life of Galileo and Mourning Becomes Electra.

His recent productions also include Howard Brenton’s Drawing the Line and 55 Days at Hampstead Theatre.

3 Winters will be designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting design by James Farncombe, fight direction by Terry King, music by Dominic Muldowney, sound design by Mike Walker and projection design by Jon Driscoll. The cast includes Siobhan Finneran.

Also in the Lyttelton: Nicholas Hytner’s production of Richard Bean’s Great Britain, an anarchic satire about the press, the police and the political establishment, starring Billie Piper (until August 23, 2014).