National Theatre Banking On Alan Bennett Double Bill To Follow History Boys

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National Theatre bosses are hoping for another West End hit after announcing Alan Bennett's double bill Hymn/Cocktail Sticks will have a 12-week run at the Duchess Theatre.

The plays, starring Alex Jennings as the award-winning playwright, opened at the theatre on London's South Bank last year and will move to the Duchess in March.

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The National has a track record of producing West End hits with Bennett's The History Boys moving from there to Broadway, the West End and eventually to the big screen in a film version starring James Corden and Richard Griffiths.

The theatre has also scored hits with War Horse, recently filmed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as One Man, Two Guvnors which again starred Corden and was a huge hit in New York.

Its last annual report showed record yearly takings of £80 million and revealed One Man, Two Guvnors had become the most successful National Theatre Live play to date, seen by 54,000 people in cinemas, while the stage version of War Horse has been seen by 2.4 million people worldwide.