Plays

In our full season of main stage plays, staged readings, National Theatre Live screenings and other programming, you’ll leap into a unique adventure every time you walk through our doors. Read on to discover all of the exciting things we have in store for you.

“Word is out that Amphibian always delivers.” – Mark Lowry, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

National Theatre Live
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2PM and 7PM

Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee James Franco (127 HoursMilk) and Tony Award nominee Chris O’Dowd (BridesmaidsGirls) star in the hit Broadway production Of Mice And Men, filmed on stage by National Theatre Live. This landmark revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck's play is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship.

Of Mice and Men is directed by Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circles award winner Anna D. Shapiro (Broadway’s August: Osage County) and features Leighton Meester (Country StrongGossip Girl) and Tony Award® winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer). The production was nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Chris O'Dowd.

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Staged Reading
Sunday, January 25, 2015 to Monday, January 26, 2015

January 25, 2PM | January 26, 7PM

In this funny and moving solo play Bob Donovan, Hollywood screenwriter, wrestles with life’s big questions including miraculous births, the nature of art, near death experiences, ghosts, UFOs, the creation of the universe, and, finally, the meaning of life.

“A polished and mature piece…very funny and touching monologues chronicling the life of screenwriter Bob Donovan.” Austin American Statesman

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2PM and 7PM

Internationally renowned DV8 Physical Theatre bring their powerful new production to the National Theatre. DV8 Physical Theatre has produced 18 highly acclaimed dance-theatre works and four films for television, which have garnered over 50 national and international awards. The company’s new production, JOHN, authentically depicts real-life stories, combining movement and spoken word to create an intense and moving theatrical experience.  Lloyd Newson, DV8’s Artistic Director, interviewed more than 50 men asking them frank questions, initially about love and sex. One of those men was John. What emerged was a story that is both extraordinary and touching. Years of crime, drug use and struggling to survive lead John on a search in which his life converges with others, in an unexpected place, unknown by most.  Don’t miss this eagerly anticipated new production, broadcast live from the National Theatre.

Warning: JOHN contains adult themes, strong language and nudity. Suitable for 18 yrs+.

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Main Stage
Thursday, February 26, 2015 to Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thursdays - Saturdays, 8PM | Sundays, 2PM

In this “quietly powerful” play that “crackles with bright wit and intelligence” Pulitzer-winner Donald Margulies gives us the poignant story of Sarah and James, a photojournalist and foreign correspondent whose relationship centers on telling the toughest stories from around the world. After a roadside bombing abroad nearly takes Sarah’s life, James decides that they’ve risked enough and asks her to stay in New York, where he hopes to nurture her and their declining relationship back to health. Caught between James’s loving appeals and her ambition to continue reporting, Sarah faces the life-altering decision between settling down or risking everything for her career.

“The heart of Time Stands Still resides in the gently evolving relationship between Sarah and James, which develops troubling new ripples in each scene.” – The New York Times

“Insightful writing, the work is smart, stylish, timely and layered with an intriguing seriousness that inspires discussion after the curtain comes down.” – Associated Press

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 to Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 11, 2PM and 7PM | March 14, 1PM

Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life in a thrilling new stage adaptation by Bryony Lavery, broadcast live from the National Theatre.

It’s a dark, stormy night. The stars are out. Jim, the inn-keeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor’s feet sits a huge sea chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in – and her dangerous voyage begins.

This family friendly broadcast is suitable for ages 10 or older.

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Staged Reading
Sunday, April 12, 2015 to Monday, April 13, 2015

April 12, 2PM | April 13, 7PM

What if the show you came to see is not the show you need to see? When a working mother escapes to the sanctuary of the theatre and encounters a play she desperately doesn’t want to see, she manipulates the show – and the audience – and leads them reluctantly, undependably, humorously into her own very private story. Through a synthesis of myth, magic, and real world, Not Medea is a fierce slap-down about love, lust, parenthood, and forgiveness.

“Gregory’s writing is thoughtful and intellectually arresting.” – L.A. Weekly

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2PM and 7PM

Don’t miss a stellar cast led by Mark Strong (The Imitation Game; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) in the Young Vic’s ‘magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold’ production of A View from the Bridge – the Evening Standard, Guardian and Independent’s top theatre pick of 2014.

The great Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in this dark and passionate tale. In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie’s jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret – one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal.

The visionary Ivo van Hove directs this stunning production of Miller’s tragic masterpiece, broadcast from London’s West End by National Theatre Live.

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Main Stage
Thursday, May 7, 2015 to Sunday, May 31, 2015

Thursdays - Saturdays, 8PM | Sundays, 2PM

Joe loves apple pie, Rush Limbaugh, the 4th of July and his wife, Jane. He is blue-collar, corn-fed, made in the USA and proud, but when his uninsured wife is diagnosed with cancer, his patriotic feelings and passion for the ethos of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are turned upside down. A surprisingly tender love story, Mercy Killers is an unblinking look at healthcare in America.

“In our ever-present day of political discourse, finger-pointing, and profitable racket over healthcare, Milligan manages to strip down the arguments by humanizing them to a frustrating but immensely profound degree. A blistering one-man drama.” Manhattan Digest

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2PM and 7PM

Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo spent three years in Annawadi recording the lives of its residents. From her uncompromising book, winner of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2012, David Hare has fashioned a tumultuous play on an epic scale.

India is surging with global ambition. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, full of people with plans of their own. Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, twelve and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate.

But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum-dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighborhood.

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2PM and 7PM

Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a brain science institute, is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness? This is ‘the hard problem’ which puts Hilary at odds with her colleagues who include her first mentor Spike, her boss Leo and the billionaire founder of the institute, Jerry. Is the day coming when the computer and the fMRI scanner will answer all the questions psychology can ask? Meanwhile Hilary needs a miracle, and she is prepared to pray for one.

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2PM and 7PM

Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes (The English PatientSchindler’s ListOedipus at the National Theatre) plays Jack Tanner in this exhilarating reinvention of Shaw’s witty, provocative classic. A romantic comedy, an epic fairytale, a fiery philosophical debate, Man and Superman asks fundamental questions about how we live.

Jack Tanner, celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to the alluring heiress, Ann. But she takes it in her assured stride and, despite the love of a poet, she decides to marry and tame this dazzling revolutionary. Tanner, appalled by the whiff of domesticity, is tipped off by his chauffeur and flees to Spain, where he is captured by bandits and meets The Devil. An extraordinary dream-debate, heaven versus hell, ensues. Following in hot pursuit, Ann is there when Tanner awakes, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.

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Main Stage
Thursday, July 9, 2015 to Sunday, August 2, 2015

Thursdays - Saturdays, 8PM | Sundays, 2PM

Alonso Quixano’s fascination with medieval romance novels devolves into delusion when the small-town man rechristens himself Don Quixote de la Mancha—a chivalrous knight bent on battling wicked and protecting all who are good. With his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza and their faithful steed Donkey Jorge, Don Quixote sets off on an epic adventure. This new adaptation of the classic novel is a celebration of imagination and proves that a little craziness isn’t such a bad thing.  

Withers’s writing is “absolutely delightful… sharp and clever.” - The New York Times

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2PM and 7PM

BAFTA winner and Academy Award® nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) takes the title role in this dynamic new production of one of English drama’s oldest plays, directed by the National Theatre’s new Director Rufus Norris (BrokenLondon Road).

Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defense. But Death is close behind, and time is running out.

One of the great primal, spiritual myths, Everyman asks whether it is only in death that we can understand our lives. A cornerstone of English drama since the 15th century, it now explodes onto the stage in a startling production with words by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and movement by Javier De Frutos.

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Main Stage
Thursday, October 29, 2015 to Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thursdays - Saturdays, 8PM | Sundays, 2PM

Just weeks before he will take his own life, legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud invites the young, rising Oxford Don C.S. Lewis to his home in London. On the day England enters World War Two, Freud and Lewis clash about love, sex, the existence of God, and the meaning of life. Freud’s Last Session is a deeply touching play filled with humor and exploring the minds, hearts and souls of two brilliant men addressing the greatest questions of all time.  

“It’s a sharp, lively discourse, and audience members searching for engaging debate will be pleased… Mark St. Germain’s script is astute, and the humor is plentiful.” – The New York Times

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Staged Reading
Sunday, December 6, 2015 to Monday, December 7, 2015

December 6, 2PM | December 7, 7PM

After suffering a major artistic disappointment in Milan, Leonardo Da Vinci renounces art and instead works briefly as a military engineer for the ruthless leader of the Papal armies (and illegitimate son of the Pope) Cesare Borgia. But after his time with Borgia, he returns to art and creates his masterpiece, the Mona Lisa. Daedalus is a fictionalized account of the time in Leonardo’s life when he was struggling with the question of his identity, and with the responsibility that creators bear to and for their creations.

“Davalos has fun playing with the elevated language from a lofty long-ago and bringing it down to earth with humorous catch phrases and cultural allusions that a modern audience can embrace as its own.” – L.A. Times

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National Theatre Live
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 to Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 9 and 16, 2PM and 7PM | December 12 and 19, 1PM

Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Frankenstein at the National Theatre) takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy.

Directed by Lyndsey Turner (Posh, Chimerica) and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, National Theatre Live will broadcast this eagerly awaited production live to cinemas.

As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralyzed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.

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