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the Independent Guide to London Theatres presents:

Olivier Theatre

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Past shows

Past shows at the Olivier Theatre

London Road

London RoadLondon Road documents the events of 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. Adam Cork's music uses the melodic speech patterns captured on Alecky Blythe's recorded interviews with the people of Ipswich to create this extraordinary work.

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Timon of Athens

Timon of AthensWealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts, ostentatious host, Timon of Athens showers gifts and hospitality on the city's elite. He vastly outspends his resources but, finding his coffers empty, reassures his loyal steward that all will be well.

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The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte CristoTimothy Sheader, Artistic Director of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, makes his National Theatre debut directing Richard Bean's new adaptation.

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She Stoops to Conquer

She Stoops to Conquer One of the great, generous-hearted and ingenious comedies of the English language, Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer offers a celebration of chaos, courtship and the dysfunctional family.

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The Comedy Of Errors

The Comedy Of Errors Shakespeare's furiously paced comedy will be staged in a contemporary world and stars Lenny Henry.

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Thirteen Set in a dark and magical landscape of singing pensioners, fanatical atheists and imminent apocalypse, 13 depicts a London both familiar and strange, a London staring into the void.

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St Matthew Passion

St Matthew Passion Bach's Passion is presented in two parts and retells the dramatic story of the events leading to Christ's crucifixion. Part one includes the last supper and the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, while part two depicts His trial, crucifixion and burial.

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The Kitchen

The Kitchen Arnold Wesker's extraordinary play premiered at the Royal Court in 1959 and has since been performed in over 30 countries. The Kitchen puts the workplace centre stage in a blackly funny and furious examination of life lived at breakneck speed, when work threatens to define who we are.

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Emperor and Galilean

Emperor and GalileanCharting the true odyssey of an astonishing man, Julian, as he struggles to find spiritual fulfilment and political pre-eminence, Ibsen's lost masterpiece sweeps across Greece and the Middle-East from AD 351 covering 12 crucial years in the history of civilisation.

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The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry OrchardSet at the very start of the twentieth century, Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, captures a poignant moment in Russia's history as the country rolls inexorably towards 1917.

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Frankenstein - National TheatreFrankenstein's bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.

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Hamlet - National TheatreReturning to court to find his father murdered and his mother married to the murderer, Prince Hamlet determines to avenge his father's apparent murder, with devastating consequences for his family and the kingdom. Rory Kinnear plays Hamlet.

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Danton's Death

Danton's Death1794: the French Revolution reaches its climax. After a series of bloody purges the life-loving, volatile Danton is tormented by his part in the killing. His political rival, the driven, ascetic Robespierre, decides Danton's fate. A titanic struggle begins. Once friends who wanted to change the world, now one stands for compromise the other for ideological purity as the guillotine awaits.

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Welcome To Thebes

Welcome To ThebesSet in the present day, but inspired by ancient myth, Moira Buffini's Welcome to Thebes offers a passionate exploration of an encounter between the world's richest and the world's poorest countries set in the aftermath of a brutal war.

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Fela at the Olivier TheatreA provocative and wholly unique hybrid of dance, theatre and music, FELA! explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), FELA! reveals Kuti's controversial life as an artist and political activist.

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Women Beware Women

Women Beware WomenIn the Italian court, where wealth secures power and power serves lust, the lascivious Duke can play wherever he chooses. He catches the eye of another's exquisite bride, Bianca. Can a glance secure her fate, a bribe appease her husband?

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London Assurance

London Assurance PosterDion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens, wrote the brilliantly funny London Assurance in 1841 and thereby created - in Sir Harcourt and Lady Spanker - two of the great comic roles of the English stage, played at the NT by Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw.

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Nation PosterFollowing His Dark Materials, Coram Boy and War Horse, the National stages Mark Ravenhill's exhilarating adaptation of Terry Pratchett's latest witty and challenging adventure story.

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Every Good Boy Deserves A Favour

Every Good Boy Deserves A FavourEvery Good Boy Deserves Favour by Tom Stoppard, with music by Andre Previn, was inspired by a meeting with Russian exile Viktor Fainberg and based in part at least on the experiences of another Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky.

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Mother Courage and Her Children

Mother Courage and Her ChildrenTony Kushner's inventive and vigorous translation of Bertolt Brecht's uncompromising masterpiece, Mother Courage And Her Children.

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