Tony Kushner's Angels in America is a landmark of modern theatre. The 1993 play won Pulitzer, Tony and Drama Desk awards, was adapted into an equally successful HBO mini-series, and has transcended the realm of fiction to challenge broader perceptions of homosexuality.
Now director Marianne Elliott will bring Angels in America to the National Theatre's Lyttleton stage, with a 24-carat cast led by Andrew Garfield (Spider-Man films), Broadway legend Nathan Lane, Denise Gough (People, Places, Things, N.T and West End), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time film) and Russell Tovey (Being Human, BBC).
Angels in America: Denise Gough. Photo by Jason Bell
Composed of two plays – Millennium Approaches and Perestroika – Angels in America is a mighty, meaty, genre-busting exploration of the 1980s AIDS crisis. It follows a straight and a gay couple through addiction, faith and diagnosis to desperate illness, all the while maintaining a disquieting clarity and sharp, steady humour.
Subtitled 'A Gay Fantasia on National Themes', Angels in America is an epic call to arms, but it's also an intimate domestic drama with four people at the crux. The political potency and 'big issue' never override the humanity.
As if it wasn't momentous enough to have a National Theatre revival of Angels in America, Andrew Garfield and his fellow stars will be sure to ignite ticket sales and spark long queues down the South Bank.
Angels in America: Nathan Lane. Photo by Jason Bell
In terms of form, content, themes and length, this is not easy, nap-in-the-back-and-have-a-laugh theatre. The two plays (three hours 30 minutes each) will be staged on consecutive nights and then back to back on selected days. It's unlikely that the prospect of a seven-hour theatre marathon will deter people; with its formidable reputation and superlatively talented creative team, Angels in America at the National Theatre really does promise to be, as artistic director Rufus Norris predicted, 'one of the hottest tickets of the year'.
|What||Angels in America, National Theatre|
South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
11 Apr 17 – 19 Aug 17, Performance times vary, including two-play days
|Price||£15 - £65|
|Website||Click here to book via the National Theatre|