National Theatre to transform Olivier auditorium as reopening plans are confirmed

The National Theatre has confirmed that it will reopen its doors to theatre audience on 21st October.

As seen in the picture above, the Olivier auditorium will undergo an extensive remodel into an in-the-round performance space, increasing the capacity of the theatre to almost 500 socially-distanced audience members.

Giles Terera in Death of England: Delroy

As reported last month, Clint Dyer and Roy Williams’ Death of England: Delroy will reopen a new season of work in the Olivier. The one-man play serves as follow-up to Dyer and Williams’ monologue Death of England, which played its full run in the NT’s Dorfman auditorium just before lockdown earlier this year. Death of England: Delroy, based on the unseen character in the original play, explores a Black working-class man searching for truth and confronting his relationship with Great Britain. Co-writer Clint Dyer also directs the piece.

Delroy will be played by Olivier Award-winner Giles Terera, best known for roles on stage in Rosmersholm, Avenue Q, and for his award-winning turn as Aaron Burr in the original West End cast of Hamilton. Death of England: Delroy features set and costume design by Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and ULTZ, lighting design by Jackie Shemesh, and sound design by Pete Malkin and Benjamin Grant.

Tickets go on general sale on 2nd October, with the National Theatre committing over 200 £20 tickets for every performance. Death of England: Delroy begins previews on 21st October.

The second NT production in the Olivier’s in-the-round season will be the pantomime Dick Whittington. Originally presented at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2018, Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd’s new adaption (which has been updated for 2020) promises to celebrate and honour panto’s place in the heart of British theatre, in a year where so many can’t go ahead. Dick Whittington is directed by Ned Bennett (Equus, Pomona) and features set and costume designs by Georgia Lowe and lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun. Denzel Westley-Sanderson serves as Associate Director. Further information, including cast and dates, are still to be announced.

Artistic Director, Rufus Norris said: “We’re both delighted and relieved to be reopening the National Theatre with the Olivier in-the-round season, which will allow us to present live work to as many people as possible while social distancing remains in place. It is dynamically appropriate to begin the season with Death of England: Delroy, an extraordinarily important and timely piece of work by the hugely talented Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, and we are also proud and privileged to be presenting Dick Whittington this Christmas, helmed by the inspirational Jude Christian, Cariad Lloyd and Ned Bennett.”

The reopening of the National Theatre is in compliance with UK Government guidelines. Extra safety measures include: paperless tickets, temperature checks, socially distanced seating, pre-ordered drinks, enhanced cleaning, increased sanitisation stations and the requirement of face coverings to be worn in the building at all times.

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