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John Lithgow to Headline The Magistrate at London's National Theatre; More Plays Announced for Upcoming Season

John Lithgow to Headline The Magistrate at London's National Theatre; More Plays Announced for Upcoming Season
John Lithgow
John Lithgow will star in 'The Magistrate' as part of the National Theatre's forthcoming season.

Tony winner John Lithgow in will star in The Magistrate, directed by Timothy Sheader, at London's National Theatre. The National's upcoming season will also include Alan Bennet’s previously announced new play People, The Effect by Lucy Prebble and more. Performances will take place at the Lyttlelton Theatre, the Cottesloe Theatre and the Olivier Theatre in London.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner, People will star Tony winner Frances de la Tour, Selina Cadell and Linda Bassett, as well as Frances Ashman, Philip Childs, Jack Chissick, Giles Cooper, Andy de la Tour, Peter Egan, Nicholas le Prevost, Jess Murphy, Alastair Parker and Robin Pearce. People is the story of Dorothy, who decides to hold an attic sale. The play is set to begin performances October 31, with an official opening night scheduled for November 7 at the Lyttlelton Theatre.

Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, billed as “two recollections by Alan Bennet,” will begin performances at the Lyttelton Theatre on November 22 and December 5, respectively. Directed by Hytner, the short performances will be staged alongside People. Hymn, a collaboration with composer George Fenton, is a 30-minute series of memoirs with music. Cocktail Sticks, a 60-minute piece, revisits the themes and conversations of Bennett’s memoir A Life Like Other People’s. Alex Jennings is set to play Bennett in both pieces.

The Effect, a new play by Prebble, will be directed by Rupert Goold and star Tom Goodman-Hill, Anastasia Hille, Jonjo O’Neill and Billie Piper. The Effect explores the questions of sanity, neurology and the limits of medicine. Previews begin at the Cottesloe Theatre on November 6, with an official opening night on November 13.

Arthur Wing Pinero’s 1885 classic farce The Magistrate, starring Lithgow and directed by Sheader, begins performances November 14 at the Olivier Theatre. Lithgow will be joined by Nancy Carroll and Joshua McGuire. The Magistrate is the story of Mr. Posket (Lithgow), who becomes caught in one scandalous event after the next after marrying Agatha Farringdon, a widow who hasn’t exactly been truthful with him.

Lucy Kirkwood's Hansel and Gretel, directed by Katie Mitchell and devised by Mitchell and Kirkwood, is based on the classic story by the Grimm Brothers. The production, which is suitable for children age 7 to 10, begins performances December 7 at the Cottesloe Theatre, with an official opening night on December 13. Casting has not yet been announced.

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets will return to the National Theatre for a limited engagement from December 12 through January 10, 2013. Directed and written by Suzanne Andrade and featuring music by Lillian Henley, the show will run at the Lyttelton Theatre. Set in the Bayou, the play is the story of Agnes Eaves and her daughter, who arrive at the Bayou Mansions, a stinking sprawling tenement block, late one night. Does it signal hope in this hopeless place, or has the real horror only just begin? Casting has not yet been announced.

Directed by Marianne Elliott, Simon Stephens' Port will begin previews January 22, 2013, with an official opening night on January 28. Set in Stockport in 1988, Port is the story of a mother who grapples with the difficult decision of whether or not to abandon her children. Casting has not yet been announced.

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