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National Theatre - October 2012 to February 2013

The World of Interiors © October 2007. Photography: Katya de Grunwald. Styling: Maud Hewlings.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE NATIONAL Theatre has announced its programme for the coming months and as well as Pinero’s The Magistrate with John Lithgow in the title role, it includes Lucy Prebble’s new play The Effect, Simon Stephens’ Port, Katie Mitchell’s staging of Hansel and Gretel and the return of The Animals and Children Took to the Streets.

However, the new season kicks off with People, a new play by Alan Bennett, which opens in the Lyttelton Theatre on November 7 (previews from October 31) before continuing in repertoire.

A sale? Why not? Release all your wonderful treasures onto the open market and they are there for everyone to enjoy. It’s a kind of emancipation, a setting them free to range the world… a saleroom here, an exhibition there; art, Lady Stacpoole, is a rover.”

People spoil things; there are so many of them and the last thing one wants is them traipsing through one’s house. But with the park a jungle and a bath on the billiard table, what is one to do? Dorothy wonders if an attic sale could be a solution.

Nicholas Hytner directs a cast led by Frances de la Tour, Selina Cadell and Linda Bassett, who are joined by Frances Ashman, Ellie Burrow, Philip Childs, Jack Chissick, Giles Cooper, Carole Dance, Andy de la Tour, Peter Egan, Miles Jupp, Barbara Kirby, Nicholas le Prevost, Jess Murphy, Alastair Parker, Robin Pearce and Alexander Warner.

Frances de la Tour won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress for her role as Mrs Lintott in the National Theatre production of The History Boys on Broadway. She has also appeared at the National in The Habit of Art, Les Parents Terribles and Saint Joan. Her credits elsewhere include Boeing Boeing, Dance of Death, Three Tall Women, When She Danced and A Moon for the Misbegotten (West End) and Cleopatra (RSC).

Selina Cadell’s many stage appearances include The Habit of Art on tour and Stanley for the National; The Cherry Orchard (Bridge Project, Old Vic/BAM) and Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night (Donmar Warehouse/BAM). Her recent TV credits include Upstairs Downstairs and Doc Martin.

Linda Bassett’s recent theatre work includes Love and Information, In Basildon and Wastwater (Royal Court), The Winter’s Tale and Pericles (RSC) and Phaedra (Donmar Warehouse). Her extensive screen credits include Lark Rise to Candleford, Sense and Sensibility, The Reader, Calendar Girls and East is East.

Since he became Director of the National Theatre in April 2003, Nicholas Hytner has directed Henry V, His Dark Materials, The History Boys, Stuff Happens, Henry IV, Southwark Fair, The Alchemist, The Man of Mode, The Rose Tattoo (with Stephen Pimlott), Rafta, Rafta… , Much Ado About Nothing, Major Barbara, England People Very Nice, Phèdre, The Habit of Art, London Assurance, Hamlet, Collaborators, Travelling Light, One Man, Two Guvnors and Timon of Athens.

People is Alan Bennett’s sixth play for the National Theatre, the others being The Habit of Art, The History Boys, The Madness of George III, The Wind in the Willows and Single Spies.

People is designed by Bob Crowley, with lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Rich Walsh.