Olivier Theatre, National
(10mins) Follow signs for exits to the South Bank. This should lead you to an underground pedestrian passage called ‘Sutton Walk’ that emerges at the South Bank. Turn right and walk along the river Thames until you see the National Theat
Danton’s Death is famous for many reasons; as a glorious and significant tragedy of the French Revolution; as one of the great works of a young German playwright; and as a piece of work that would take almost a century to be staged. So to call it an important piece of theatre is an understatement; it is certainly amongst the greats when it comes to political tragedies, effortlessly portraying real events during a time of great turbulence in France, when the guillotine regularly dripped with blood and men became gripped with the idea of power.
The show is set to appear on the Olivier stage of the National Theatre this summer with Michael Grandage taking on the duties of director and Howard Brenton delivering a new version of Georg Büchner’s classic script.
The story follows the period of the French Revolution in 1794 between the first and the second terrors as the revolutionary figure Georges Danton begins to regret one of his most famous creations – the Revolutionary Tribunal. His main concern is the blood on his hands as a result of the many people who have been sent to their death innocent or not and whilst he attempts to put a stop to the proceedings, his political rival stands in his way. The highly motivated Robespierre is a man who ultimately decides the outcome of Danton’s life, sentencing him and anyone who opposes him to the guillotine.
Georg Büchner was a young man when he penned Danton’s Death and was also young when he died in 1837 at the age of 23. Many regard him as one of the great German writers and his work also included the likes of Leonce and Lena and Woyzeck. But he was a contentious figure during his time and his reputation as a revolutionary would force him to seek cover from the police. Having penned Danton’s Death in 1835, it would not be performed until 1902.
But this version of the story has been written by the renowned English playwright Howard Brenton, who has been behind a wide range of plays since the late 1960s. 2010 also sees his production Anne Boleyn appear at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, whilst his Never So Good appeared at the Lyttelton National Theatre in 2008.
Danton’s Death appears at the Olivier National Theatre from Thursday 22nd July 2010 (previews from Thursday 15th July 2010) to Sunday 22nd August 2010.
|Booking From:||Thursday, 15th July 2010|
|Booking Until:||Thursday, 14th October 2010|
|Matinees:||Various dates 2pm and 2.30pm|
|Evenings:||Various dates 7.30pm|
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