The Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production of OSLO, a gripping new play by J T Rogers, directed by Bartlett Sher, was awarded ‘Best Play’ at last night’s 2017 Tony Awards ® in New York.
Winner of every ‘Best Play’ award on Broadway this season, this joins the Best Play awards already given by New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle , Drama League, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.
Oslo will have its UK premiere at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre from 5 – 23 September (limited ticket availability) and transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End from 30 September to 30 December 2017 in association with ATG.
In 1993, in front of the world’s press, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands on the lawn of the White House. Few watching would have guessed that the negotiations leading up to this iconic moment started secretly in a castle in the middle of a forest outside Oslo.
Oslo tells the true story of how one young couple, Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul and her husband, social scientist Terje Rød-Larsen planned and orchestrated top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. Featuring dozens of characters and set in locations across the globe, Oslo is both a political thriller and the personal story of a small band of women and men struggling together – and fighting each other – as they seek to change the world. (Mona Juul is currently the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK – the first woman to occupy the role)
NT Director Rufus Norris said: ‘The National Theatre is privileged to have the opportunity to present Lincoln Center Theater’s production of J T Rogers’ extraordinary play, told with passion and humour, about a significant period in our recent political history. We are delighted to be able to share it with our audiences here at the National Theatre on the South Bank, and in the West End.’
Director Bartlett Sher added: ‘Oslo is an exploration of the power of responsible political discourse. As theatre, it brings impossible foes into direct contact with very high stakes. And as a history play, it gave us a chance to explore an important conflict between Israel and Palestine. We can’t imagine a better place to engage in this conversation than the National Theatre.’
Playwright JT Rodgers said: ‘I’m thrilled to return again to the National Theatre, which launched my playwriting career. It’s a privilege to be bringing Oslo to this powerhouse of UK creativity, and direct into London’s West End.’
Oslo is written by J T Rogers and directed by Bartlett Sher, with sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Peter John Still and projections by 59 Productions.
JT Rogers’ previous plays for the National Theatre are: Blood and Gifts, which premiered at the Lyttelton Theatre in 2010 and The Overwhelming, a co-production between the National Theatre and Out of Joint. His other plays include Madagascar (Theatre503 in London and Melbourne Theatre Company) and White People (Off-Broadway; Starry Night Productions). He was one of the authors of the Olivier nominated The Great Game: Afghanistan at the Tricycle Theatre. His plays have been seen across the U.S., and in Canada, Germany and Israel.
Bartlett Sher’s makes his directorial debut for the National Theatre with Oslo. His previous work in the UK includes Women on the verge of a Breakdown at the Playhouse in 2015, Two Boys for the ENO and South Pacific for the Barbican in 2011 and TFANA’s Cymbeline, at the RSC’s The Other Place in 2001. His previous work for Lincoln Center Theater includes: The King and I, Golden Boy, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing!, The Light in the Piazza (Tony nominations); South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle awards; also London, Australia); Blood and Gifts; Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (London). Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway Theatre), The Bridges of Madison County (Schoenfeld). Off-Broadway: Prayer for My Enemy (Playwrights Horizons), Waste (Best Play Obie Award), Don Juan, Pericles (TFANA, BAM). Upcoming productions include Adam Guettel’s new musical Millions and My Fair Lady for LCT.