U.K.’s National Theatre to Reopen With ‘Under Milk Wood,’ ‘After Life’

London’s National Theatre is set to reopen two of its three venues in June after all U.K. indoor entertainment venues were forced to close in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“After Life,” based on the film by Koreeda Hirokazu and written by Jack Thorne from a concept by Bunny Christie, Jeremy Herrin and Jack Thorne, will reopen the Dorfman theater on June 2, a co-production with theater company Headlong. The cast includes Olatunji Ayofe, Danielle Henry, Maddie Holliday, Togo Igawa, Anoushka Lucas, Kevin McMonagle, Simon Startin, Luke Thallon, June Watson and Millicent Wong.

“Under Milk Wood” by Dylan Thomas will be staged in the Olivier theater from June 16. It is directed by Lyndsey Turner, with additional material by Siân Owen, and the cast includes Michael Sheen, Karl Johnson and Siân Phillips.

The Olivier theater will have a capacity of approximately 500, less than half of its full capacity of 1,150, while the Dorfman capacity will be 120, just above a quarter of its full 450 capacity.

Plans to reopen the 890-capacity Lyttelton theater have not been announced yet.

Both productions will run until July 14, with socially-distanced seating for the entire run of the productions. Tickets go on sale to the public on April 30.

“Both shows will play to socially-distanced audiences and we look forward with cautious optimism to welcoming back larger audiences across our theaters soon,” said Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre.

“Sharing our work online and on television over the last year has enabled us to reach millions of people and continue to keep culture alive, but the magic of live theater is what we can now begin to look towards: to creating work with our freelance artists and colleagues, to supporting young people’s creativity, and to bringing joy to audiences and communities through imaginative and inspiring live performance.”

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