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National Youth Theatre's Second W/E Season

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THIS autumn, the National Youth Theatre is returning to the West End’s Ambassadors Theatre with three productions: Macbeth, set just before the First World War; a new version of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful; and SELFIE, a radical retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The plays will run in rep from September 17 to November 28, 2014.

William Shakespeare Macbeth, here abridged and directed by Ed Hughes, runs from September 19 to November 26.

Hughes’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s darkest tale of paranoia and ambition is set within an unstable Europe in the lead up to the First World War, and will take audiences behind enemy lines as a tormented Macbeth’s severe intentions lead to dire consequences.

As empires rise and fall, this new take on a Shakespearean classic will ‘echo present day divisions to thrilling effect’.

Simon Reade’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, directed by Paul Hart, runs from September 23 to November 28.

A compelling love story and touching account of the First World War, Private Peaceful follows young soldier Private Tommo Peaceful looking back over his life as a young boy: growing up in rural Devon, falling in love with his childhood friend Molly and the cruel injustices of war that brought him to the battle fields.

Private Peaceful is a poignant tale that explores love, loss, war and courage, leading to a dramatic and heart-breaking conclusion.

SELFIE, a new commission from award-winning playwright Peter Morris (Age of Consent), inspired by Oscar Wilde’s iconic tale of deception, youth, and vanity, runs from September 17 to November 26.

This new staging brings literature’s most conceited anti-hero back to contemporary theatrical life in decadent style; to an age of self-obsession and advancing technology, where everyone is capable of becoming an artist of his or her own life.

In this scandalous tale, told as never before, Dorian is plagued by self-doubt and vanity and must choose between artifice and reality.

For more information or to book, visit