Well 2012 certainly shaping up to be a bumper year for the theatre in the UK, despite the worries of the Olympics taking audiences away. The National Theatre have just launched their plans, and boy are they exciting; new plays from Alan Bennett (the man for whom the phrase national treasure was invented), an adaptation of Mark Haddon's the Curious Incident Of The Dog in the Night-time and a return of the Critics' Circle Best New Musical Award winner, London Road.
The Olivier Theatre will host the 10th Travelex Tickets season, with almost half the seats costing just £12 (the rest being £22 and £32.) The first new production for the 2012 season will open on 30 May, as Polly Findlay directs Antigone. That'll be followed by Nicholas Hynter directing Simon Russell Beale in Timon Of Athens in June and a new adaptation of The Count Of Monte Cristo by Richard Bean (the man behind One Man Two Guvnors) will hit the stage in November. Before all that though, the season will open in May with the transfer of Hytner's production of Collaborators which has had a sell out run in the next door Cottesloe theatre. Talking of transfers Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork'sLondon Road will be revived by Rufus Norris in the Oliver for a short season from July.
Heading into 2012 in the Oliver, the National will celebrate its 50th anniversary with Anthony Sher plaing the title role in The Captain Of Kopenick and Adrian Lester will perform with Rory Kinnear in Othello, directed by National's artistic director Nicholas Hytner.
Heading into the Lyttelton in April will be a limited run of Cillian Murphy's solo performance in Misterman. June will see Julie Walters in The Last Of The Haussmans, July hosts The Doctor's Dilemma by Bernard Shaw and come October Alan Bennett's new play People will open.
Finally in the Cottesloe you'll find Moon On A Rainbow Shawl, Black T-Shirt Collection, a newly cast version of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Detriot, They were last seen at the National with the incredible August Osage Country. In July the Mark Haddon novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog in the Night-time will hit the stage with a cast including Una Stubbs and Luke Treadaway. There'll be a new play from James Graham in September called This House followed by another new play in association with Enron creators Headlong, directed by Rupert Goold and written by Lucy Prebble in November and then Hansel and Gretel will run for 4 to 7 year olds in December
If you're annoyed that you don't live in London then the national will be touring War Horse in atutumn 2012, One Man, Two Guvnors will be hitting the road later this year with Travelling Light and there'll be even more live broadcasts of shows as part of the National Theatre Live scheme.
It seems that the National have once again set the theatre world alight with an eclectic and hugely exciting new season. I can't wait for curtain up.