What you see below is our preview of Man and Superman, giving background information. To read our review of George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman click here.
Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw
If you're familiar with George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, or the terrific musical adaptation My Fair Lady, then you'll know this playwright delivers his comedy with a healthy dose of philosophical thought. This four-act drama, written in 1903, is no exception, with the relationship between a revolutionary idealist and powerful seductress at its heart. This choice for the National Theatre Lyttleton stage in February signals one of the major classic productions of 2015.
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman summary
When beautiful heiress Ann decides to marry and domesticate fiercely radical and eligibly rich bachelor Jack Tanner, the romantic comedy takes on strands of philosophical debate. Fearful of this cosy fate, Tanner escapes to Spain, where Bernard Shaw's story shifts to the satanic underworld and becomes an otherworldly exploration of heaven and hell, questioning the fundamental nature of how we live. And when Tanner emerges form this dream debate, Ann is there waiting...
Famous face on stage: Ralph Fiennes National Theatre 2015
A star-studded team is being assembled to bring Man and Superman to life. Ralph Fiennes will take the lead role of John Tanner, 'political firebrand and confirmed bachelor'. He has proven himself as one of the UK's most versatile actors, bringing that piercing gaze and clipped tone to film (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Harry Potter) and countless TV shows (you may have seen him pop up recently in Rev!). But here is a rare opportunity to catch him in the flesh. Critics agreed that he played Prospero with great subtlety and humanism in Trevor Nunn's 2010 Tempest. And the character of Tanner should give him another chance to prove his intelligence and star-quality.
Simon Godwin, National Theatre director
We are also particularly looking forward to seeing what director Simon Godwin will do with this text. The Man and Superman monologue is infamous for its complexity, particularly during a supernatural sequence in Act 3, where Don Juan meets the Devil in hell, each played by the male and female protagonists of the main plot. This gives Shaw a chance to deepen the philosophical debate, but also proves such a challenge to stage successfully that the scene is very often cut. It would be characteristically brave of Godwin to stage the full work. He is a rising star of UK theatre, having won the Evening Standard emerging director award in 2012 following a string of hits at the Royal Court and the National.
Jonathan Goddard, dancer and choreographer
Adding to this talented team is Jonathan Goddard, a dancer and choreographer formerly of Rambert, now tracing new and innovating paths in dance with the New Movement Collective and other projects. His star rose after becoming the first contemporary dancer to win the Critics Circle National Dance award in 2007 - the year after Carlos Acosta. Work as 'Movement Director' in theatre is a new string to his bow, and will surely bring particular coherence to the play.
Man and Superman Tickets: National Theatre day tickets and returns
As we predicted the show is a sellout, but here's how to get day tickets for Man and Superman: each day from 9:30am (12 noon on Sundays) a batch of £15 day tickets will be available at the theatre in person. It's limited to two per person and be warned, queues can start fairly early. Once all the day tickets have sold, there' a small amount of £5 standing tickets, which can be booked in person or over the phone and are, again, limited to two per customer.
|What||Man and Superman, National Theatre|
South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
17 Feb 15 – 14 May 15, 7:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the National Theatre|