Slumdog Millionaire director returninng to theatre

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is to return to the theatre, after being "distracted by film-making" for 15 years, to stage a new adaptation of Frankenstein, it was announced today.


Sir Nicholas Hytner, the newly knighted director of the National Theatre, revealed that Boyle will make his debut at the respected venue directing Nick Dear's play, based on the novel by Mary Shelley.

Boyle, who was the toast of the Oscars last year for his film Slumdog Millionaire, will direct the play later this year.

Sir Nicholas said: "Danny first talked about this eight years ago and it has taken him eight years. He said he was coming back to the theatre after being distracted by 15 years of film-making."

Dear's adaptation of the celebrated gothic novel is "entirely new" and Sir Nicholas revealed that the Slumdog and Trainspotting director plans to make a "large-scale and theatrically and visually ambitious stage production".

Boyle began his career at London's Royal Court and at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Sir Nicholas said: "Danny is very much the person he appears to be when accepting awards and he is very exciting and inspiring to talk to.

"He is as comfortable here in the theatre as he is holding his camera in the slums of Mumbai.

"He has a very particular take on the material by Shelley, but it will be exciting to see what has been altered by what he has discovered about himself through 15 years of film-making.

"He has been an acquaintance of mine since he started at the RSC and he wasn't a big-scale director 15 years ago."

Boyle's production of Frankenstein is to be part of the National Theatre's second season for 2010, beginning in the autumn, to coincide with the new season of NT Live which will be shown in cinemas throughout the country.

There are also plans for NT Live to be screened in cinemas in the US as well.

Other highlights of the National Theatre's plans for 2010 include Sir Peter Hall directing his daughter, Rebecca Hall, in Twelfth Night, to celebrate his 80th birthday.

Sir Nicholas said: "Peter Hall is, apart from being one of the important directors in this country - I've always felt my generation wouldn't be here without Peter - he's a great Shakespearean.

"He told me one of the thing he wanted to do is Twelfth Night with Rebecca as Viola, and I suggested he ask her."

Sir Nicholas hailed the return of the Travelex 10 Ticket Season for the eighth year which he said had helped introduce many people to the National Theatre for the first time.

He himself will direct Hamlet, with Rory Kinnear in the title role and Clare Higgins as Gertrude, as the final play in the Travelex 10 season, opening in September, following a UK tour which starts in February.

The National's Cottesloe Theatre will house a new play by Mike Bartlett, Earthquakes In London, directed by Rupert Goold. The play's core theme is that of many of the productions to be staged in 2010, reflecting the worries caused by global warming and rapidly developing technology.

Speaking about the recession, Sir Nicholas said he was not worried about arts funding cutbacks.

But he added that however much money the Government provided through the Arts Council, it would take a "millennium" to pay the arts what had been provided to Britain's banks following the financial crisis.

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