The National Theatre and Fane Productions have announced a series of events across August and September as the Lyttelton stage becomes the arena for a diverse range of contemporary voices in conversation.
Featuring established authors and the launches of anticipated new publications, the series offers fresh perspectives on contemporary issues – as well as opportunities for audiences to engage in Q&As and to meet the authors in post-event signings at the National Theatre Bookshop.
In August, former doctor, author and comedian Adam Kay, whose book This is Going to Hurt, has sold over a million copies, will be in conversation with comedian Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) as they discuss their shared passion for the NHS.
Beloved culinary icons Nigella Lawson and Yotam Ottolenghi will be exploring food and identity in a discussion chaired by writer Bee Wilson.
British-Turkish writer and activist Elif Shafak, the most widely-read female author in Turkey, will begin the series shortly after the publication of her new novel in June, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, a highly anticipated return following her highly praised bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love and most recently, Three Daughters of Eve.
Mae Martin, author of Can Everyone Please Just Calm Down: A 21st Century Guide to Sexuality, will be in conversation with Deborah Frances-White, author, comedian and creator of celebrated podcast and book, The Guilty Feminist.
Following on in September, Stacey Dooley will speak with Fiona Campbell, Controller of BBC Three, about her work as an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker and the evolution of her career as a reporter in an ever-changing media landscape.
Candice Carty-Williams, a rising star of the London literary scene, will then take to the stage following the recent release of her Sunday Times bestselling novel Queenie.
Matt Haig, celebrated author of Reasons to Stay Alive and Notes on a Nervous Planet will take the audience on a journey through the modern world, offering a closer look at the challenges posed by our ever changing technological landscape and his advice on how best to navigate it.
Edna O’Brien, author of more than twenty works of fiction, will launch her new novel, Girl, her first since 2015’s multiple award-winning The Little Red Chairs.
Fatima Bhutto, author of bestselling memoir Songs of Blood and Sword and most recently The Runaways, discusses radicalism and our current global political climate in a debate and discussion with Gary Younge, The Guardian’s editor-at-large and author of, most recently, Another Day in the Death of America.
The series culminates in the already announced launch event of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, her highly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, which will also be broadcast live to over 1,200 cinemas around the world on the date of its publication (www.margaretatwoodlive.com).
Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris said: “We’re greatly looking forward to welcoming such an inspirational roster of writers to the National Theatre this summer. The Authors on Stage events will provide a platform for them to explore a huge breadth of topics. As with the plays on our stages, we hope that audiences will be entertained, challenged and inspired by what they have to say.”
Managing Director of Fane Productions Alex Fane added: “At Fane Productions we aim to take inspirational and diverse voices to the widest audience possible. Working alongside the National Theatre to create this series has been a unique opportunity to showcase some of the most celebrated and relevant authors of our era at one of the nation’s most iconic venues.”
Tickets will be available via the National Theatre website with member booking from Monday 3 June, and public on sale at 10am on Friday 7 June.
12 Aug, 7.30pm Elif Shafak
13 Aug, 7.30pm Adam Kay & Rob Delaney
14 Aug, 7.30pm Mae Martin & Deborah Frances-White
15 Aug, 7.30pm Nigella Lawson & Yotam Ottolenghi
5 Sep, 7.30pm Edna O’Brien
7 Sep, 1pm Stacey Dooley & Fiona Campbell
7 Sep, 4pm Candice Carty-Williams
7 Sep, 8pm Matt Haig
9 Sep, 7.30pm Fatima Bhutto & Gary Younge
10 Sep, 7.30pm Margaret Atwood
Photo credit: Luke Fontana