Adam Penford announces second Spring Season at Nottingham Playhouse

Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse photo credit Creative by Wren - low res
Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse photo credit Creative by Wren - low res

Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse photo credit Creative by Wren – low res

Nottingham Playhouse has announced Adam Penford’s second season as artistic director, including the return of the hugely popular Wonderland.

Following an exceptionally successful first year in post, Nottingham Playhouse’s artistic director Adam Penford has announced his spring season for 2019, which includes four main stage productions and a refreshed take on the theatre’s approach to working with associate artists.

Nottingham Playhouse’s chief executive Stephanie Sirr said: “We’ve been thrilled with the response to Adam’s fantastic first year as artistic director. A really creative and very ambitious season has truly paid off – we’ve loved audiences’ reactions to the work.

“2019 is already looking like it will have the same high-profile potential and we can’t wait to get started.”

Penford’s hugely ambitious 2018 programme brought some of the UK’s best actors, directors and playwrights to the city and has also provided a platform for Nottingham’s artists and theatre makers. Well received by audiences and theatre critics alike, his debut programme is due to culminate this year with the production of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III, which will also be broadcast across the world through National Theatre Live.

Adam Penford said: “Everyone at the theatre has been delighted with the audience response to our 2018 programme. The reaction to the work has been generous and supportive.

“I’m excited our plans for the first half of next year includes four varied main stage shows; a revival, an adaptation of a family novel, a modern classic and a regional premiere.

“We’re also excited to confirm directors for all four shows too; including the return of Matthew Xia – who directed Shebeen for us earlier this year – and two of the most innovative directors in the industry at the moment; Lisa Blair and Adele Thomas.

“The intention is to build upon some of the ideas we introduced with this year, whilst continuing to explore new approaches.

“I hope to always keep the work fresh and innovative, balancing offering a great night out at the theatre, whilst challenging the artists we collaborate with to be bolder and more inventive, attracting the highest quality theatre-makers.”

In February, Adam’s first production of 2019 is the previously announced return of Wonderland by Beth Steel, a gripping play that takes a 360° look at the events of the 1984-85 miners’ strike.

Following the success of Holes in the 2018 programme, Penford continues his programming of titles aimed at schools and family audiences. Nottingham Playhouse will produce David Almond’s adaption of his own modern classic novel Skellig, which follows the story of a 12-year-old boy – Michael – whose younger sister is born prematurely. With his parents focusing much of their attention on the newborn, Michael is left to explore the new family home and discovers a creature in its crumbling garage; Skellig.

Fresh from her acclaimed revival of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, Lisa Blair is confirmed to direct Skellig, which will look to strike the perfect balance between magic and real life, and take the audience on a visually thrilling journey as the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year story is retold on stage.

Next in the 2019 season will be The Memory of Water; a comedy drama directed by highly acclaimed director and National Theatre, Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe regular, Adele Thomas. The story follows three estranged sisters who return to their childhood home on the eve of their mother’s funeral. Shelagh Stephenson’s Olivier award-winning story is a relatable drama about the complexities of family relationships.

Completing the spring line up is the regional premiere of acclaimed American play One Night in Miami…, which will see the return of director Matthew Xia to the Playhouse. The role of soul singer Sam Cooke will be played by Olivier award winner Matt Henry who won best actor for his performance in Kinky Boots.

Also new for 2019 will be Nottingham Playhouse’s approach to working with associate artists. Three exciting appointments have been made: director Matthew Xia, and playwrights James Graham and Amanda Whittington. To open up access to this important new group, the theatre is also advertising for a passionate and dedicated fourth associate artist to join the cohort.

Adam said: “I am over the moon that James, Amanda and Matthew have agreed to join us. Not only are they three of the most acclaimed theatre practitioners working in UK theatre, both James and Amanda also hail from the region.

“The associate artists bring with them a variety of skills, experiences and interests and will act as a diverse sounding board, ensuring Nottingham Playhouse’s artistic decisions are truly representative.

“In 2019 we’ll also be continuing our focus on local artist development through our programme Amplify, which will continue to act as a springboard for East Midlands theatre makers looking to develop their professional careers.”

Nottingham Playhouse announces casting for world premiere Lava on stage next month

Ted Reilly
Ted Reilly

Ted Reilly

  • Full casting for new play from award-winning writer James Fritz announced
  • Lava is Nottingham Playhouse’s first Neville Studio production under Adam Penford’s tenure as artistic director
  • EastEnders star Ted Reilly to take lead role as Vin

NOTTINGHAM Playhouse and Fifth Word has announced the full cast for its first Neville Studio production under the artistic direction of Adam Penford.

Lava, directed by Angharad Jones and written by award-winning playwright James Fritz(Ross & Rachel, Parliament Square), takes a timely look relationships, young people and a world that makes little sense – in a story set during a natural disaster.

Safiyya Ingar

Safiyya Ingar

A small asteroid has hit the capital city. Thousands have been displaced. And in a town far away, a young man called Vin (Ted Reilly) is finding it hard to talk.

The only person who seems to notice is Rachel (Safiyya Ingar), who resolves to find out what’s troubling him and help him find his voice again. But when Rach’s family take in the articulate and charismatic survivor of the asteroid incident, Vin’s silence is no longer her first priority.

Emma Pallant

Emma Pallant

Joining Reilly and Ingar on stage will be Nottingham-born Emma Pallant as Vin’s mum Vicky and Fred Fergus as Rachel’s friend Jamie.

Fifth Word is an associate company at Nottingham Playhouse run by joint artistic directors Laura Ford and Angharad Jones that produces and tours ambitious new plays from the most exciting voices around the UK. Its work focusses on shining a light on unheard stories that entertain, emotionally engage and spark debate in younger audiences.

Fred Fergus

Fred Fergus

Fiona Buffini, associate director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Lava is our fourth collaboration with Fifth Word, reflecting our commitment both to staging excellent new writing and to helping local companies develop.”

Angharad Jones, joint artistic director at Fifth Word and director of Lava, said: “Lava is a really exciting new play from James Fritz that I think will really connect with people. It’s funny, moving and bold and I think particularly right for 2018 when sometimes we struggle to make sense of the world and how we communicate about the difficult things that happen.”

Lava runs from Friday 15 to Saturday 30 June 2018 at Nottingham Playhouse, Neville Studio, with matinees at 2pm and evening performances at 7.45pm.

Nottingham Playhouse

Tickets are priced £15.50 (£14 concessions)

For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit

Full cast biographies:

Ted Reilly – Theatre: Heretic Voices: Dean McBride (Arcola Theatre); Plaques and Tangles; Vera Vera Vera (Royal Court); Things That Make No Sense; The Test; A Bigger Banner (Red Ladder);

TV: EastEnders; Call the Midwife; Casualty (BBC); Hetty Feather (CBBC); Grantchester (ITV);

Safiyya Ingar – Holes (Nottingham Playhouse); The Captive Queen (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse); Box of Delights (Wilton’s Music Hall);

Emma Pallant – A Christmas Carol (Royal Shakespeare Company); William Wordsworth (English Touring Theatre/Theatre by the Lake); The Wind in the Willows (Rose Theatre Kingston);

Fred Fergus – Julius Caesar (The Bridge Theatre); Rebel Angel (Old Operating Theatre Museum, London); One Night Stand (Siberian Lights)


Nottingham Playhouse goes global: National Theatre Live announces The Madness Of George III broadcast

Mark Gatiss as King George in The Madness of King George III
Mark Gatiss as King George in The Madness of King George III

Mark Gatiss as King George in The Madness of King George III

NOTTINGHAM Playhouse will partner with National Theatre Live for the first time to broadcast their new production of The Madness of George III.

The royal-themed drama will be broadcast live from the theatre in Wellington Circus to cinemas across the UK and beyond onTuesday 20 November, reaching tens of thousands of people.

Artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse and director of The Madness of George III Adam Penford said: “This is really exciting news. Nottingham Playhouse has been producing world-class drama for the last seventy years and I’m thrilled that this special production will reach theatre lovers around the globe. It’s the perfect finale to our 2018 season.

“National Theatre Live is the leading broadcaster in its field. It brings iconic productions to a world-wide audience. Their specialist knowledge and creativity will perfectly capture on screen Alan’s modern classic and this cast of exceptional actors at the top of their game.

“I’m honoured that National Theatre Live has chosen Nottingham Playhouse and this production.”

Just half way through his first season as artistic director for Nottingham Playhouse Adam has been making waves in the regional and national theatre scene, receiving five star reviews for his productions of Wonderland and Holes and drawing industry stars such as Olivier award-winners Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough and Rebecca Trehearn to the local theatre.

Emma Keith, head of National Theatre Live said: “We’re over the moon to be working with Nottingham Playhouse on their production of Alan Bennett’s masterpiece The Madness of George III. We’re very excited to be collaborating with this hugely talented creative team and cast to bring this show to a larger audience here in the UK and internationally.

“The main aim of National Theatre Live is to bring the best theatre to those who otherwise might not be able to see it. There’s so much great work taking place across the UK that we want people to be able to access and we’re hoping to do more broadcasts from regional theatres in the near future.’’

Olivier award-winner Mark Gatiss, who will be taking to the stage in the role of King George, said:  “I’m thrilled that, thanks to National Theatre Live, our production of Alan Bennett’s brilliant play will reach so many more people across the UK and the world. We can’t wait for everyone to see this wonderful, funny and touching drama. What, what?”

The Madness of George III runs from Friday 2 November until Saturday 24 November.
Tickets are priced £8.50 – £37.50. Tickets for the live broadcast are expected to be released in the next few months.
For more information visit <>

Box Office Information:
Nottingham Playhouse
Box office 0115 941 9419

Nottingham Playhouse announces casting for Holes featuring soap stars and Playhouse favourites

Chris Ashby

Chris Ashby

  • Award-winning actress Kacey Ainsworth (Little Mo in EastEnders) to play the Warden
  • Playhouse panto favourite John Elkington to play Mr Sir
  • East Midlands-born actor Chris Ashby returns to take lead part of Stanley, following his successful portrayal of Malcom in Wonderland

Following five-star reviews for Wonderland, Adam Penford’s inaugural production as Artistic Director, he and Nottingham Playhouse announced  the full cast of a theatrical version of the multi-award-winning novel Holes by Louis Sachar.

Set in Texas, Stanley Yelnats (Chris Ashby) can’t catch a break. Born into a family cursed with bad luck – thanks to Stanley’s ‘no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather’ – it comes as no surprise when he finds himself accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

Sent to Camp Green Lake (it isn’t green and there is no lake) as punishment, he is made to dig a hole every day – five foot deep, five foot in diameter – in the baked earth to ‘build character’. But the powerful Warden (Kacey Ainsworth) is definitely searching for something.

Will Stanley and his fellow inmates survive the heat and thirst, the deadly yellow-spotted lizards and the Warden’s ambitions? And more importantly, will they discover what they are really digging for before time runs out?

Joining Chris Ashby and Kacey Ainsworth will be Playhouse panto regular John Elkington as Mr Sir.

Showing the Playhouse’s commitment to diversity, Holes has been cast gender-blind, with some of the male inmates being portrayed by female actors.

Taking the role of Stanley’s best friend at Camp Green Lake, Zero, is Pepter Lunkuse. Other inmates at the camp include X-Ray (played by Ammar Duffus), Magnet (played by Safiyya Ingar), Armpit (played by Henry Mettle, marking his debut professional stage performance).

Local actor Elizabeth Twells returns to the Playhouse as ‘Kissing’ Kate Barlow, as well as Stanley’s Mom,MyraSarah and Ms Morengo.

Edward Harrison will play Stanley’s DadMr PendanskiTrout Walker and Elya. Meanwhile Greg Lockett will play Sam and Myra’s father.

This family-friendly adventure story includes live music, puppetry from the Resident Puppetry Director on War Horse (Matthew Forbes), and breath-taking scenery. The show is suitable for adults and children aged eight and up.

Adam Penford said: “Holes is an amazing story of friendship and justice. It has a gripping narrative, enchanting characters and real jeopardy. I wanted a family-friendly production that would appeal to both our pantomime and drama audiences.

“The film and novel are extremely popular with both adults and children, which makes Holes a perfect choice.”

Holes runs from Saturday 31 March through to Sunday 22 April 2018.

Tickets are priced £37.50 – £8.50

For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit


Praise for Wonderland

“Unmissable” – British Theatre Guide

“*****” – East Midlands Theatre

“This is a fine start for Adam Penford as the Playhouse’s new Artistic Director,” – Nottingham Post


Full cast biographies:

Chris Ashby – Wonderland (Nottingham Playhouse); Unearthed (Folio Theatre); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre)

Kacey Ainsworth – The Worst Witch (BBC), Call the Midwife (BBC) Granchester (ITV), Casualty (BBC), EastEnders (BBC)

Feed the Beast (Birmingham Rep/ New Wolsey Theatre), Laughton (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Calendar Girls (National Theatre Tour)

John Elkington – The Cherry Orchard, Cinderella and lots of pantos (Nottingham Playhouse); Robin Hood The Arrow of Destiny (York Theatre Royal); Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse/Nuffield Southampton Theatres/Northern Stage)

Pepter Lunkuse – King Lear (Royal Exchange Theatre/Birmingham Rep/Talawa and broadcast on BBC), The Crucible (Royal Exchange Theatre), Twelfth Night (Iris Theatre at St Paul’s Church)

Ammar Duffus – Dolphins & Sharks (Finborough Theatre), The Woman In the Moon (Shakespeare’s Globe) Twelfth Night (National Theatre)

Safiyya Ingar – The Captive Queen (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse); Box of Delights(Wilton’s Music Hall); Growth (UK Tour)

Henry Mettle – Muse of Fire (Shakespeare’s Globe); Not Now Darling; Avenue Q; Pity In History (Drama St Mary’s)

Elizabeth Twells – Harvest (UK Tour); Pot (Ovalhouse Theatre); Darkness, Darkness (Nottingham Playhouse); Pygmalion; The 39 Steps (Vienna͛s English Theatre)

Edward Harrison – Baskerville (Liverpool Playhouse); Constellations (Singapore Rep); Tomcat(Southwark Playhouse)

Greg Lockett – The Boys in the Band (Vaudeville Theatre & Park Theatre), Brave New World (Theatre Royal & Derngate), African Americana (Theatre 503)



Saturday 31 March through to Sunday 22 April 2018

Matinee Saturday 7 AprilSaturday 14 AprilSunday 15 April and Saturday 21 April at 3pm, Tuesday 17,Wednesday 18 AprilThursday 19 April at 1.30pm

Evenings at 7pm

Press night Thursday 5 April at 7pm


Nottingham Playhouse

Box Office Information:

Nottingham Playhouse

Box office 0115 941 9419


Nottingham Playhouse unveils new season- Rebecca Trehearn Stars in Sweet Charity

Rebecca Trehearn
Rebecca Trehearn

Rebecca Trehearn

  • Olivier award-winning actress Rebecca Trehearn cast in Sweet Charity
  • TV and theatre star Martina Laird joins Karl Collins in Nottingham-based play Shebeen
  • James Fritz world premiere is first Neville Studio production under Adam Penford’s tenure
  • Professional development programme launched for East Midlands artist

NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE has unveiled its updated season programme for 2018, under new Artistic Director Adam Penford.
Fresh from the West End, the Playhouse has confirmed that Olivier award-winning actress Rebecca Trehearn will take on the role of Charity in the well-known Broadway musical Sweet Charity – where the cast will be treating audiences to hits such as If My Friends Could See Me Now, Hey Big Spender and The Rhythm of Life.

Renowned actress and TV star Martina Laird, best known as Comfort Jones in Casualty and as DC Angie Rice inEastEnders will be taking the role of Pearl in St-Ann’s-based play Shebeen. Martina has taken on several Shakespeare roles in the past two years at The Globe, and was in the acclaimed all-female Shakespeares produced at the Donmar that transferred to New York. Martina will be performing along-side Nottingham-born actor Karl Collins, who will be taking a short break from playing Louis Loveday in Hollyoaks for the role of George.

Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse Adam Penford said: “This is a really exciting year for the Playhouse. From new shows, written by award-winning writers, to investing in the development of local talent we’re taking more risks and sharing local stories, as well as presenting work that looks at the world through a wider lens.

“It’s the first time in several years that we have lead produced a musical and I’m thrilled Rebecca has agreed to play the role as Charity, I’ve been a big fan for a long time.”

Rebecca Trehearn is well known on the musical circuit and last year won an Olivier Award for her performance inShow Boat in the West End.

“We’ve also revealed that Martina Laird is joining Karl Collins in Shebeen, our play set during the 1950s in St Ann’s,” added Adam.

Shebeen is written by Nottingham author Mufaro Makubiko, and recently won the 2017 Alfred Fagon award for best new play. It shines a light on a community under siege and the sacrifices made for love.”

Further details of the first Neville Studio production under Adam’s tenure as Artistic Director have also been revealed. Lava by award-winning writer James Fritz, co-produced with Associate Artists Fifth Word, follows the story of Vin and Rachel who survive an asteroid hit on a capital city, in a timely play about grief, masculinity and the power of expression. Lava will run in the Neville Studio from 14 to 30 June and will be directed by Angharad Jones.

Professional artist development programme – Amplify – also launches in-line with the new season, which aims to recognise the talent within the region and has been created to act as a hub for local artists, who are committed to developing their career in the theatre industry.
Adam continued: “Supporting local artists is a fundamental part of Nottingham Playhouse’s work and we are dedicated to providing opportunities for homegrown talent in all areas of our artistic programme.”

For a copy of the new season programme and to book tickets visit,

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Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, Adam Penford: ‘Gender balance is fascinating.’

Nottingham Playhouse’s new artistic director – he started full time last November–  Adam Penford likes his colourful socks. What socks is he wearing today? “Purple pink and yellow; not unlike my Christmas socks,” he laughs.

But where did he purchase those festive socks on display in a recent rehearsal photo? “They were from Marks and Spencer’s,” he laughs louder.


Wonderland Rehearsals – Photo credit Darren Bell

We are talking ahead of the first run through of Nottingham-born playwright Beth Steel’s 2014 play, Wonderland. Her dad worked at Welbeck Colliery as a miner. It is a story set in the pits in 1983 during Thatcher’s government. “The lads are ready to get on stage,” he says. “It’s a complicated show… There are over thirty scenes. We are rehearsing in the former Barton’s Bus Garage because the set is so epic we couldn’t find a space big enough in the city centre to accommodate us,” Penford says.

Which makes Wonderland all the more welcome. It is representing the vital modern history of the local community on stage with compassion. His first show at Nottingham Playhouse includes actor Chris Ashby who previously played the lead The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and was cast through the Playhouse open auditions. “It was something that we consciously set out to do when casting the play,” Penford says. “I’m fortunate to have such a brilliant all-male ensemble, they have a real camaraderie on stage and off stage. Just over half of the cast are from the local region; two are from the North East, and Joshua Glenister who was a member of Nottingham Playhouse Youth Theatre. Most of the company have truly personal connections to the coal mine.”


Adam is a modest fellow. I ask him how he is getting on in his new role. “It’s interesting: there is no school,” he explains. “There are obviously a lot of similarities to being a freelance theatre director that come with the job, but it isn’t the same. You take comfort from the fact that previous artistic directors have all had to learn on the job. There is a massive support network of artistic directors that ring each other up for advice or guidance – not many people know about – that’s been really useful.”

What are his key priorities going forward? “Audience development, in terms of numbers and diversifying audiences,” he adds. “I’m hoping by programming work by artists like Mufaro Makubika a play set during the 1958 race riots in Nottingham in a historically working-class area of inner city Nottingham and set against the race riots will engage new and hard to reach audiences.”

In the era of Time’s Up and #MeToo, which strives for better treatment for all, especially women, Penford is aiming for a 50/50 gender split. “Gender balance is fascinating,” he begins. “It is something that I am certainly very sensitive to and aware of when I begin programming. We will be doing gender-blind casting for the next show that I’m directing; Holes which is a stage adaptation of Louis Sachar’s novel and I am delighted that we have Kindertransport by Diane Samuels and Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker which boast a fully integrated cast and creative team of disabled and non-disabled practitioners and is a co-production with Ramps on the Moon. So, it feels like a varied season featuring inclusive work by three female playwrights in my first season.”

How will he cater to his audience’s wide-ranging tastes? “You can’t please everybody. I knew that I wanted to do a musical in my first season,” Penford says. Regional theatre is facing colossal local authority cuts which make it harder to take artistic risks. But Penford isn’t going to let that limit his ambitions. “We hadn’t produced a lead produced a musical at Nottingham Playhouse for 18 years, I knew it needed to be a well-known title. We are a 750-seater venue and that it is a substantial amount of tickets to sell.”

“The fact that Sweet Charity has a female protagonist was appealing to me. It felt natural to offer Bill Buckhurst – the genius behind the pie and mash shop Sweeney Todd the opportunity to direct. I’m also really excited that Alistair David will choreograph and we are about to announce further casting for the role of Charity soon.”

Who is playing Charity? “I can’t say,” he says, laughing.

Come on give me a scoop, I say. “Ok… She is amazing,” he says.

Wonderland runs from Friday 9 February 2018 through to Saturday 24 February 2018.


Wonderland – Adam Penford announces full casting for Playhouse Artistic Director debut

Adam Penford
Adam Penford

Adam Penford

Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company has confirmed full cast of Adam Penford’s first show as Artistic Director, Wonderland – including local actors Chris Ashby who previously played the lead in the National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and was cast through the Playhouse open auditions, and Joshua Glenister who was a member of Nottingham Playhouse Youth Theatre.

Set in 1983 Nottinghamshire, Wonderland sees two 16-year-olds, Malcolm (played by Chris Ashby) and Jimmy(played by Joshua Glenister) wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by veteran miner Colonel (played by Deka Walmsley), they descend into the brotherhood, banter, searing heat and liquid blue light of Welbeck Colliery.

Meanwhile in London, an American CEO Ian MacGregor (played by Robin Bowerman) is brought in to reform King Coal. Pits close and a strike is called.

Taking the stage in this all-male cast as The Times reporter David Hart will be Jamie Beamish, while Nicholas Khan – well-known to the Playhouse for his role in The Kite Runner – will play pit manager Tisley and transport secretary Nicholas Ridley. Holding roles as pitmen in the story will be Tony Bell as Bobbo, and Jack Quarton asFanny.

TV stars Harry Hepple and Matthew Cottle have been previously confirmed to play pitman Spud and real-life politician Peter Walker in the Nottingham-based show.

Wonderland is a regional premiere directed by Nottingham-born Adam Penford and is written by the daughter of Nottingham miner, Beth Steel.

Adam said: “I’m really excited to be announcing the full cast of my first production as Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse and thrilled that the cast includes so many local actors, including those we met during our open auditions for local talent in October. Nurturing home grown talent is really important to the Playhouse.

“Wonderland is really fitting for my return to the city. It’s set in Nottingham and by a local playwright, Beth Steel, whose dad worked at Welbeck Colliery. The play was really well received when it was first produced in London and I’m delighted to be bringing it home for its regional premiere.

“Wonderland is really special. It’s incredibly funny and moving, with great characters, and looks at the strike in a fresh way. The set design is hugely ambitious and there are movement sequences and live music; it’s going to be a visual treat!”

Wonderland runs from Friday 9 February 2018 through to Saturday 24 February 2018.

Tickets are priced £37.50 – £8.50

For more information visit
Full cast biographies:

Chris Ashby – Unearthed (Folio Theatre); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre); Tom’s Midnight Garden (Birmingham Stage Company

Joshua Glenister – The Living Room Trilogy Workshop (Arts Theatre); A Single Act (Liverpool Playhouse); All Shook Up (Unity Theatre)

Deka Walmsley – Cockpit (Royal Lyceum Theatre); Fatherland (Frantic Assembly/Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Billy Elliot (West End)

Robin Bowerman – Noises Off; The Ashes; Of Mice and Men; Vertigo; Amy’s View (Nottingham Playhouse); Shiv (Leicester Curve); Inside Out of Mind (Meeting Ground Theatre Company)

Jamie Beamish – TV: Derry Girls (Channel 4); Will (TNT); London Irish (Company Pictures/Channel 4); The Borgias (Showtime); Judge John Deed (BBC)Sacrifice at Easter; The Last Beauty Spot; The Tempest (Corcadorca); The Beaux Stratagem; England People Very Nice; A Slight Ache (National Theatre); Othello; The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Merchant of Venice (Almeida Theatre)

Nicholas Khan – Our Town (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); A Tale of Two Cities (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The Kite Runner (West End/UK tour/Nottingham Playhouse); Love N Stuff (Theatre Royal Stratford East)

Tony Bell – Karagula (Soho Theatre); The Damned United; Don Quixote (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Shakespeare in Love (Noël Coward Theatre/Sonia Friedman Productions)

Jack Quarton – Great Expectations; Alice in Wonderland (Derby Theatre); Aladdin (Key Theatre, Peterborough); Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Pants on Fire Theatre Company)

Matthew Cottle – TV: The Windsors (Channel 4); Murder on the Blackpool Express (Tiger Apect); Citizen Khan; Doctors; Pramface; Holby City; Sex, The City and Me; EastEnders; Down to Earth; Get Well Soon; Casualty (BBC).

Theatre: How the Other Half Lives (Theatre Royal, Haymarket/Duke of York’s/Tour); Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory); Our Country’s Good; A Small Family Business; The Habit of Art (National Theatre).

Harry Hepple – TV: Boy Meets Girl; Holby City; Hustle; Doctors; Inspector George Gently (BBC), Misfits (E4).

Theatre: Into the Woods (Menier Chocolate Factory); The Saints (Nuffield Southampton Theatres); A Taste of Honey; Burnt by the Sun (National Theatre)


Nottingham Playhouse

Friday 9 February 2018 – Saturday 24 February 2018

Matinee Thursday 15 February at 1.30pm and Saturday 24 February at 2.30pm

Evenings: 7.30pm

Press night Tuesday 13 February at 7pm

Pre-show Talk Monday 12 February 6.15-7pm

A History of Nottinghamshire’s Mines with guest speaker Bob Bradley, a retired mining surveyor from Nottinghamshire who now runs Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum.


Box Office Information:

Nottingham Playhouse

Box office 0115 941 9419

Nottingham Playhouse, Adam Penford: A first season. Some details.

Mr Adam Penford


Nottingham Playhouse has announced Adam Penford’s first season as Artistic Director, including multi-award winning drama The Madness of George III starring Mark Gatiss. Fancy that!

Nottingham Playhouse’s Chief Executive Stephanie Sirr said; “This season marks the launch of a new era for Nottingham Playhouse – we’re very pleased to welcome Adam and tremendously excited by the wonderful season he has put together.”

Adam’s return to his home town of Nottingham follows an incredibly successful career directing for some of the UK’s most exciting theatres including the National Theatre, The Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, Watermill Theatre, and Found111.

In his new role, Adam has revealed a total of eight brand new productions for the Playhouse’s main stage, as well as announcing a new production for the Neville Studio and a series of initiatives to support artist development and new writing. The 2018 programme also has a strong focus on accessibility.

“Ultimately, the Playhouse belongs to the community and our audiences. They own it. That’s what we have to honour and that’s what makes it such an exciting place,” said Adam.

Not only is 2018 my first year, it’s also the Playhouse’s 70th anniversary, an important milestone for us all and a great opportunity to take risks and produce shows that open up the theatre to new audiences.

“I think many people come to the theatre because it offers them a window onto the world, or for escapism, or to expand their horizons and challenge their ideas. So alongside local stories we’ll also be presenting work that looks at the world through a wider lens.”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SEASON GUIDE Nottingham Playhouse 2018 Season Announcement – FINAL

In February, Penford’s first production as Artistic Director is Wonderland by Beth Steel, a gripping play that takes a 360° look at the events of the 1984-85 miners’ strike.

Featuring creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good, a co-production with UK Theatre Award 2017 nominated initiative Ramps on the Moon, follows in March.

Based on his own award-winning novel, Louis Sachar’s family show Holes provides a quirky adventure for Easter. Completing the Spring line up is the world premiere of Shebeen – a new play by Nottingham writer Mufaro Makubika and directed by Matthew Xia – that sees a forbidden party in 1958 St. Ann’s, under threat from the police.

The Autumn will see an ultra-stylish new production of the hit Broadway musical Sweet Charity, directed by Bill Buckhurst and featuring choreography by Alistair David. This is followed by Diane Samuels’Kindertransport, telling the poignant story of a child refugee sent to England in the months leading up to World War II.

The culmination of the Autumn’s main stage programme will be Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III starring Olivier award-winner Mark Gatiss (SherlockThe League of GentlemenDoctor WhoWolf Hall).

Commenting on the production, Mark Gatiss said: “It’s a wonderful play with an epic feel and yet Alan Bennett makes it into a rather touching domestic drama too.

“For me, working with Adam was a major part of why I was attracted to the production. I hope people have a great time. It’s a very funny play and deeply moving, I’m thrilled to be doing it.”

Adam’s first year is rounded off with a panto: Kenneth Alan Taylor’s Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

The Playhouse is also developing a new intergenerational project Being Old, directed by Fiona Buffini that will culminate in a film screening in the Neville Studio.

Adam has also announced the first Neville Studio production under his tenure as Artistic Director: Lava by James Fritz, co-produced with Associate Artists Fifth Word.

Fiona Buffini, Associate Director, said: “Lava is our fourth collaboration with Fifth Word, reflecting our commitment both to staging excellent new writing and to helping local companies develop.”

The commitment to new writing is complemented with a reinvigorated artist development programme calledAmplify that is designed to provide a pathway of opportunity to assist artists through their career. The programme includes advice surgeries, workshops, feedback on performances, as well as development time, Scratch Nights and the annual Playground Festival in the Neville Studio, alongside the Playhouse’s Associate Artists scheme.

Fiona continued: “The Neville Studio provides a home to great theatre, dance and performance that is produced both locally and nationally. It provides a space for artists to develop their work, and for local people of all ages to take part in a wide range of creative activities.”

As well as announcing new productions and the Amplify artist development programme, Adam is also on the hunt for homegrown acting talent.

He said: “We’re immensely proud that Nottinghamshire has produced and is home to a huge number of talented actors. As we begin a fresh chapter, we’re looking to expand our casting pool for future projects by meeting a host of local talent.”

General auditions are open to performers who have trained or worked professionally. Applicants must be over 18, either born, raised or currently living in Nottinghamshire and available on the following dates:

London based performers: Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 October.

To apply, send CV and headshot or Spotlight link for the attention of Vicky Richardson, Casting Director to [email protected] by: Tuesday 3 October.

See you in Nottingham! 🙂

The end.

Attention: you can read my chat with Mr Penford from last year HERE


FIRST LOOK: Rehearsals for COMMITTE…(A NEW MUSICAL) at the Donmar Warehouse

Adam Penford