National Theatre to reopen with remodelled Olivier

The National Theatre’s Olivier, the largest of its three auditoriums, is being reshaped to accommodate bigger audiences when it reopens next month.

The new in-the-round design will allow audiences of up to 500 to be seated within social distancing rules, almost half the Olivier's usual seating capacity.

The National Theatre reopens on October 21 for the first time since March with a one-character play, Death of England: Delroy by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, starring Giles Terera. It will be the first production in the new form Olivier, and the circular configuration will also allow the National to present a pantomime which many theatres across the country will not be able to.

“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” said the National’s director, Rufus Norris. “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.

“Pantomime is an essential part of the living fabric of our nation, and it is devastating that so many theatres across the country have had no choice but to postpone their pantos this year because of the unprecedented financial impact of coronavirus. We’ll do all we can to keep the flame alive: brilliant theatre artists will serve up a slice of joy to families on the South Bank, and we’ll be asking everyone to support their local theatres by booking ahead for their 2021 pantomimes. Of course, we hope that it will be possible for theatres to perform safely to fuller audiences long before then.’"





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