A new play by Jack Thorne co-produced with the National Theatre will feature in Jeremy Herrin’s final season as artistic director of Headlong.
The world premiere of After Life, which is adapted by Thorne from the film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, will open at the National’s Dorfman Theatre in January 2021.
After life is directed by Herrin, with design by Bunny Christie.
The season also includes a new production of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tinuke Craig, which will premiere at Leeds Playhouse, which co-produces, on September 5, 2020, followed by a UK tour.
April De Angelis’ short comedy Mrs Noah, which was originally written for Extinction Rebellion in 2019, will be developed by Headlong into a music and theatre video in early 2020, directed by Holly Race Roughan.
Headlong is also presenting a series of short political monologues exploring issues around the EU in partnership with the Guardian.
Europeans: Dramas from a Divided Union, which includes films written by Jonas Jonasson, Alice Zeniter, Lisa McInerney, Jakub Zulczyk, Marius von Mayenburg and Clint Dyer, will premiere as part of the London Short Film Festival on January 16, 2020.
Headlong has also revealed six writers who are under commission for the company. These are James Graham, Chloe Moss, Nathaniel Martello-White, Inua Ellams, Naomi Wallace and Jasmine Lee-Jones.
Additionally, the company has announced six directors who will be mentored by the company as part of the Headlong Origins Scheme; Maria Crocker, Nyasha Gudo, Alix Harris, Fionnuala Kennedy, Maisie Newman and Ellie Taylor.
Further casting has been revealed for the previously announced Faustus: That Damned Woman by Chris Bush. Joining Jodie McNee and Danny Lee Wynter will be Katherine Carlton, Alicia Charles, Emmanuella Cole, Barnaby Power and Tim Samuels.
Herrin said: “I’ll be sad to leave Headlong with its supportive and wise board, [executive director] Alan Stacey and the wonderful team that make the company consistently punch above its weight. I’ve loved the time sharing some magical evenings of theatre up and down the country with the team past and present.
“I’m happy that I leave the company in strong health with an inspired staff, a capable and ambitious board and a range of excellent commissions, making it an appetising opportunity for a talented and visionary new artistic director.”
Season at a glance:
European – Dramas From a Divided Union
January 16, 2020
London Short Film Festival
Faustus: That Damned Woman by Chris Bush
Directed by Caroline Byrne
Touring from January 22 to April 4, 2020
Lyric Hammersmith, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Northern Stage
Jitney by August Wilson
Directed by Tinuke Craig
Opens September 5, 2020
Leeds Playhouse and UK tour
After Life by Jack Thorne
Directed by Jeremy Herrin