Provocateur Katie Mitchell directs the world premiere of Martin Crimp's When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other. Cate Blanchett makes her National Theatre debut and long-awaited return to the London stage to star alongside Stephen Dillane.
The play will be staged in the Dorfman Theatre – the smallest of all the National Theatre's spaces. It's the most appropriate setting for the show, producers insist, and the intimacy is part of what attracted Blanchett to the role. But it also means that ticket demand will far exceed supply, so to ensure fair access, booking will take place through a ballot opening on 22 November at 12pm and approximately 10,000 tickets will be avilable across the run.
It's the kind of a-list casting that will pull in new audiences while still exciting seasoned theatre-goers, as Blanchett occupies that rare space between stage and screen.
She's a double Olivier-winning film-star, with a global fanbase thanks to roles spanning the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings franchise to Carol and Blue Jasmine. But she's also one of the most visionary talents in contemporary theatre. As co-artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company she gained a reputation for cutting-edge productions. Her last turn on the London stage, in 2012's Big and Small at the Barbican, was hailed by critics as 'a ray of light', and 'one of the most dazzling uninhibited performances I've ever seen'.
Blanchett, who was rumoured to be starring in Ivo van Hove's upcoming adaptation of All About Eve on the West End, will instead come to Waterloo. She will be joined by Katie Mitchell's regular collaborator stage and screen actor Stephen Dillane (Faith Healer, Donmar Warehouse; The Coast of Utopia, National Theatre).
Debut at the National Theatre: Cate Blanchett stars in When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other. Photo by Stephen Chee
The new play by Martin Crimp is a contemporary and timely take on a classic book from 1740. When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other: Twelve Variations on Samuel Richardson's Pamela, as the full title goes, expands upon the themes of virtue and seduction in the epistolary novel.
The play will 'explore the messy, often violent nature of desire, and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play.' Five characters, drawn from Richardson's text, embark upon a troubling game of sexual submission and self-possession. It's a provocative, potent starting point for Katie Mitchell's typically extreme and naturalistic directing style.
Mitchell returns to the National Theatre after 2016's searing sellout revival of Cleansed. 'It's great to be working with Martin again on this powerful new text and to continue my special collaboration with Stephen Dillane,' she says of the project. 'At the same time I'm delighted to welcome Cate Blanchett to the National, and look forward to developing a new working relationship with this extraordinary actor.'
Tickets for When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other will be available through a ballot, opening on 22 November at 12 noon until 12 noon on Thursday 29 November.
When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other day tickets: On the day of the performance, a limited number of cheap Day Tickets will be available in person from 9.30am. But we predict queues starting in the early hours.
|What||When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, National Theatre|
|Where||National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
16 Jan 19 – 02 Mar 19, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£15 - £65|
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|