About ICON


The National Theatre's International Contemporary Stage Programme is a major launch. ICON takes place at the National Theatre every other year having replaced the Contemporary Stage Festival, and strives to look to the future focusing on both exciting new pieces and new takes on classics, always with the National Theatre as co-producer.

The National Theatre’s International Contemporary Stage Programme, ICON, presents some of the world’s most innovative and outstanding contemporary stage art and future classics, showcasing innovation on stage, influential companies and producers and surprising visual experiences. All set within a tradition of theatre, image and music, ICON is a feast for art lovers of all kinds.


Every ten years a new name enters the canon. In the 70s Elizabeth LeCompte and The Wooster Group entered the scene, and they visit the National Theatre autumn 2011 to show why they are still so influential when they interpret Tennesse Williams’ Vieux Carrè. Romeo Castellucci made his name in the 90s and only three weeks after its first premiere in Renne, he honoured Oslo with his guest performance, The Minister’s Black Veil, which was performed to raving reviews. Gisèle Vienne is one of the most influential names of the noughties. This is How You Will Disappear is not only beautiful and packed full of action, it is also an amazing concert in its own right.  Other ICON-performances; Musikfabrik/Harry Partch Delusion of the fury, Young@heart/No Theatre End of the road, Mabou Mines Lucia's chapters of coming forth by day, Oskaras Koršunovas Teater / VILNIUS CITY THEATER Miranda.

ICON is curated in association with Sven Åge Birkeland, director at BIT Teatergarasjon, which was recently listed by The Guardian as one of the most innovative stages in the world, alongside the Hebbel Theatre in Berlin, PS122 in New York and Frascati in Amsterdam.