This collaboration is the latest chapter in the enduring creative partnership between the British playwright and Australian director.
Adelaide Festival Joint Artistic Director Neil Armfield is to direct the premiere of David Hare’s latest play I’m Not Running at the National Theatre in London next year. Frequent collaborators, Hare first raised the possibility of Armfield’s involvement after seeing his acclaimed production of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne in June of this year.
“I was thrilled to accept. It’s one of his best plays – smart, passionate, absolutely contemporary and funny”, Armfield said. “It has David Hare’s great themes – politics, belief and the Labour Party of Great Britain. It asks the crucial question ‘what makes a good politician today’?”
“Neil has been one of the senior figures of Australian theatre for the last 30 years and we’re delighted to finally have him here directing his first NT production”, said National Theatre Director Rufus Norris. “He has a long and very good relationship with David Hare so it is great to see them reunited on this project”.
Armfield first met Hare during the 1982 Adelaide Festival when the playwright was commissioned to write A Map of the World and Armfield was directing the premiere of Patrick White’s Signal Driver. Armfield has directed the Australian premieres of five of Hare’s works: Teeth ‘N’ Smiles for Nimrod in 1981, and for Belvoir The Judas Kiss in 1999 with Bille Brown as Oscar Wilde, My Zinc Bed in 2002, Stuff Happens in 2005 and Gethsemane in 2009. Their most recent international collaboration was a revival of The Judas Kiss at London’s Hampstead Theatre in 2012 with Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde. The production was also seen at The Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End in 2013 and at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in New York in 2016.
I’m Not Running will be Armfield’s first premiere for the National Theatre, although English audiences will be familiar with his work – his celebrated Belvoir/Black Swan production of Cloudstreet played in The Olivier at the National in 2001.