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The Shed (National Theatre) - July and August 2013

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

UNTIL February 2014, The Shed is a temporary venue in front of the National Theatre, providing a third stage during the Cottesloe’s closure for the NT Future redevelopment. It has 225 seats at £12 and £20. The programme for July and August includes:

The Grandfathers – July 9 to July 13.

A Bristol Old Vic Young Company production, The Grandfathers by Rory Mullarkey was first seen in NT Connections 2012.

Fifty years ago, National Service ended in the UK, but elsewhere in the world teenagers are still regularly conscripted into the armed forces. The Grandfathers follows eight boys from training camp to the battlefields of an unknown war.

Rory Mullarkey’s plays include Cannibals (Royal Exchange), The Threshing Floor (Hampstead Theatre) and Remembrance Day, translated from the original play by Aleksejs Ščerbaks (Royal Court Theatre).

All tickets for The Grandfathers are £12.

The Hush – July 17 to August 3.

Created by Matthew Herbert and Ben Power, with original music and sound scores by Matthew Herbert, The Hush is a unique aural adventure commissioned especially for The Shed.

A creak, a shuffle, a footstep. A whisper, a breath, a memory. Investigating the emotions and politics of sound with wit and theatrical imagination, The Hush promises that the truth is out there, if only we listen hard enough…

Matthew Herbert is a composer, DJ and electronic musician who uses everyday items to create electronic music. His previous work includes albums Herbert Complete, One Pig, Around The House and Scale as well as producing for artists such as Björk, REM and Serge Gainsbourg. He runs music label Accidental Records.

Ben Power is an Associate Director of the National Theatre, where his dramaturgy includes The Effect, This House, Timon of Athens, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Antigone, Double Feature and Earthquakes in London, and an adaptation of Ibsen’s Emperor and Galilean. His new version of Romeo and Juliet for young audiences premieres at The Shed in July.

The Hush is performed by Tobias Menzies (The History Boys, National Theatre, The Recruiting Officer, Donmar Warehouse, The Children’s Hour, Comedy Theatre) and Susannah Wise (The Holy Rosenbergs, Sanctuary, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, National Theatre, A Doll’s House, Young Vic).

Home – August 7 to September 7.

Created and directed by Nadia Fall, with a team of musicians and actors including Michaela Coel, Kadiff Kirwan, Grace Savage, Shakka and Toby Wharton, Home will be designed by Ruth Sutcliffe, with choreography by Jack Murphy, music by Tom Green and Shakka Philip, and sound by Mike Walker.

Documentary theatre meets beatboxing, R&B and exhilarating choreography to tell the stories of the Londoners who don’t get heard. Verbatim material gathered through interviews combines with original and existing music to give voice to the dispossessed: all coming from a different place, all sharing a need for Home.

Nadia Fall’s work as a director at the National Theatre includes Hymn and The Doctor’s Dilemma. She is Artistic Director of Naach Theatre Company, where her productions include The Maids (Lyric, Hammersmith and Mac Birmingham); Miss Julie (Oval House Theatre); and a site-specific production of Wild Turkey in Old Street.

Romeo and Juliet in a version for young audiences (suitable for families with children aged 8 years and over) – July 24 to August 18.

Ben Power’s version of Romeo and Juliet for young audiences, directed by Bijan Sheibani, will tour London schools in the summer term supported by an extensive education programme and visit Derry-Londonderry for the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations, before being performed at The Shed.

A modern city. A deadly feud. And a pair of star-crossed lovers. Set against a vibrant urban backdrop, bursting full of excitement, colour, dancing and live song, a company of eight recreate the most famous love story of all time. A swift, contemporary celebration of Shakespeare’s much loved drama, it brings Romeo and Juliet to life for a new generation.

The cast includes Esh Alladi, Ashley Chin, Natalie Dew, Tendayi Jembere, Bunmi Mojekwu and Archana Ramaswamy. The production will be designed by Becs Andrews, with choreography by Aline David, music by Soumik Datta, sound by Mike Winship and lighting by Paul Knott.

Also in The Shed:

This year, Connections (July 3 to July 8) will also take place in The Shed as well as the Olivier Theatre.

Each year, the National Theatre commissions ten writers to create new plays for performance by schools and young theatres all over the country. This year the writers are Howard Brenton, Jim Cartwright, Lucinda Coxon, Ryan Craig, Stacey Gregg, Jonathan Harvey, Lenny Henry, Jemma Kennedy, Morna Pearson and Anya Reiss.

Over the past months these plays have premiered across the UK by 222 companies in 23 leading regional theatres. Ten companies will be selected to bring their productions to the National Theatre in July.

New Views

New Views is the National Theatre’s playwriting programme for 15-19 year olds, encouraging them to use theatre as a means of examining contemporary society. Hundreds of students from across the world have worked with some of the UK’s finest writers and submitted their own 30 minute plays into competition, with the winner having their work staged by the National Theatre with a professional cast. The winning play will be announced on June 3.

Performances: The Shed, July 11 and 12 at 6pm; Houses of Parliament, July 15.

Nine other shortlisted plays will have professional readings in the National Theatre Foyers from July 8 to July 12 and July 16 to July 19 at 12.45pm.