A new version of Lessing's play, premiered at the Chichester Festival Theatre in May 2003. Subsequent productions in Toronto (2004), Hampstead (2005)


Michael Feast as Nathan in the Chichester Premiere (photograph Clare Park)

Click here to buy the script

Premiered Chichester Festival Theatre, Minerva Theatre May 2003
Director - Steven Pimlott, Design - Anthony Macdonald, Lighting - Hugh Vanstone, Sound - Gregory Clarke
Nathan - Michael Feast, Saladin - Jeffery Kissoon, Templar - Geoffrey Streatfeild, Sittah - Noma Dumezweni, Al-Hafi - Jonathan Cullen, Patriarch - Alfred Burke, Rachel - Kay Curram, Daya - Darlene Johnson, Lay Brother - Steven Beard

Nathan The Wise (1779) is one of those almost forgotten dramatic treasures that emerge into the limelight both rich and shining ... Michael Feast is spellbinding as Nathan, idiosyncratic, intelligent, and blessed with a charm that never cloys.  There is a moving spiritual quality to this performance which extends to the whole production ... I can't recommend this absorbing and affecting production too highly – Charles Spencer Daily Telegraph

This is a deeply moving drama ... Eric Bentley once said that this becomes a bad, 'preachy' play in English translation: not so in Edward Kemp's excellent version - Michael Billington The Guardian

Edward Kemp has produced a lucid, sensitive and witty translation ... Pimlott's confident pacing allows the plays various layers of intrigue to be applied with the beauty and elegance of gold leaf – Rachel Halliburton Evening Standard

Edward Kemp's splendid new translation – Michael Coveney Dail Mail

Edward Kemp's terrific translation balances German gravitas with a comic deftness.  As road maps to peace go, we could do a good deal worse – Ian Shuttleworth Financial Times


Revivals

Soulpepper at Harbourfront Theatre, Toronto June 2004
Director - Tim Albery, Design - Dany Lyne, Lighting – Sharon DiGenova
Cast – William Webster, Cara Pifko, Andrew Moodie, Karen Robinson, Dusan Dukic, Barbara Gordon, Derek Boyes, David Calderisi, Vik Sahay


Hampstead Theatre September 2005
Director - Anthony Clark, Design - Patrick Connellan
Nathan - Michael Pennington, Saladin - Vincent Ebrahim, Templar - Sam Troughton, Al-Hafi/Patriarch - Justin Avoth, Sittah - Shelley King, Rachel - Celia Meiras, Daya - Anna Carteret


Edward Kemp's brilliantly lucid translation ... it cannot fail to move – Michael Billington The Guardian

Fresh and witty prose translation by Edward Kemp
– Paul Taylor Independent


Edward Kemp’s fine translation, which combines Germanic seriousness with a winning English wit, and cuts the sprawling four-and-a-half hour original down to a manageable playing time of less than three hours … it is one of those rare plays where you genuinely want to know what will happen next – Charles Spencer Daily Telegraph