Entertainment & Arts

Rhys Ifans cast in one-man Occupy show at National Theatre

Rhys Ifans
Image caption Ifans was nominated for a Bafta award for Notting Hill

Notting Hill star Rhys Ifans will play a homeless man who accidentally ends up at the centre of a political protest in a one-man show at the National Theatre.

Based on a true story, Protest Song is a "funny and savage monologue" which explores the reality of the Occupy movement.

Written by Tim Price, it will run from 16 December to 11 January.

A new play from Constellations creator Nick Payne is also included in the National Theatre's autumn line-up.

The as-yet-unnamed play, co-written by Carrie Cracknell, whose recent work includes A Doll's House at the Young Vic, is described as a blistering journey through the minefield of contemporary gender politics.

It will be staged in mid January at the Shed.

Anniversary celebrations

From Morning to Midnight by George Kaiser is revisited in an adaptation by Dennis Kelly at the Lyttelton Theatre.

Tony Award nominee Adam Godley, seen as Raymond Babbitt in the 2008 West End production of Rain Man opposite Josh Hartnett, will play the lead role.

Directed by Melly Still, it explores the tragedy of an ordinary man who steps outside his ordinary life and destroys himself over the course of one day.

Kelly's previous credits include The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas at the Royal Court and Matilda The Musical for the RSC.

He has also written for the successful TV drama's Spooks and Utopia.

Bafta-nominated Welsh actor Ifans, who played Hugh Grant's flatmate in Notting Hill, has previously appeared in Under Milk Wood at the National and played drug dealer Howard Marks in the film adaption of Mr Nice.

Protest Song, directed by Polly Findlay, will see him play the role of Danny, who sleeps rough on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral and wakes one morning to find protesters from the Occupy movement setting up camp.

The National Theatre will mark its 50th anniversary with a series of performances, screenings and exhibitions in the autumn.

A two-part BBC documentary, telling the story of the theatre from the appointment of Laurence Olivier as its first director to its move to its new home on the South Bank, will be broadcast in October.

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