Michelle Terry joins NT’s 2016 season

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Michelle Terry and Danny Sapani will return to the National Theatre next year, starring in Sarah Kane’s Cleansed and Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs respectively.

Olivier Award winner Terry, whose credits at the acclaimed South Bank venue include The Comedy Of Errors and London Assurance, will appear opposite a cast including Graham Butler and Matthew Tennyson in Katie Mitchell’s production of Cleansed from 16 February in the Dorfman Theatre.

Former The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time star Butler was recently seen in Shakespeare’s Globe’s summer hits Nell Gwynn and Richard II, while Tennyson appeared at another of the capital’s alfresco venues, the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, in The Seagull.

The cast of Cleansed, which imagines a world in which language, human relationships and the body are pared away to bare bone, is completed by I Want My Hat Back’s Natalie Klamar, Peter Hobday (The Boy Who Never Grew Up, Lyric Hammersmith) and Tom Mothersdale (The Cherry Orchard, Young Vic).

Sapani returns to the National Theatre’s stage following his 2014 performance in Medea to appear in Yaël Farber’s production of Les Blancs from 22 March in the Olivier Theatre.

A regular at the venue, having also appeared in Home, Moon On A Rainbow Shawl, The Overwhelming and His Dark Materials, Sapani will be joined in Hansberry’s powerful drama by Siân Phillips and James Fleet.

Last seen at the NT in People, Phillips returns to the London stage following her performance in the 2014 West End production of The Importance Of Being Earnest, while The Vicar Of Dibley and Father Ted’s Fleet makes his first major London stage appearance since 2011’s The Heretic at the Royal Court.

The trio is joined by current Hapgood star Gary Beadle, Anna Madeley (The Crucible, The Old Vic), Clive Francis (The Gathered Leaves, Park Theatre), Elliot Cowan (An Ideal Husband, West End) and RSC regular Tunji Kasim.

Sheila Atim, Louis Mahoney, Roger Jean Nsengiyumva, Tumo Reetsang and Karren Winchester complete the cast.

The A Raisin In The Sun playwright’s final work, Les Blancs is set in an African country teetering on the edge of civil war and charts the story of Tshembe. Returning home from England for his father’s funeral, Tshembe finds himself in the eye of the storm as a family and a nation fall apart under the pressure to determine their own identity.

Les Blancs and Cleansed contribute to an exciting new year for the National Theatre, which will also see Lucian Msamati and Sharon D Clarke appear in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.