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Interview with Amit Lahav, Artistic Director of Gecko: “The role of an artist is to challenge the status quo.”

Amit Lahav

It seems that we are getting better at being honest with each other about our own frailties.

Institute is driven by Geckoʼs desire to explore complexities in human nature; our impulse to care and our complete reliance on one another. We are entering a time in which we are potentially more fractured and disconnected than ever before – when the time comes, will anyone really care? But a Gecko world is never as it first appears…

Gecko have teamed up with mental health charity Suffolk Mind to launch a series of  workshops & participatory opportunities.
I had a phone chat with company director and all round theatrical wizard Amit Lahav recently.
Here is what we discussed:

Amit Lahav

Amit Lahav

Hi Amit! Congratulations on Live from Television Centre – the collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and the BBC – It really highlighted the values of British independent theatre. You’ve had quite a year haven’t you.>
I couldn’t be happier – it was outrageously ambitious and we couldn’t have pushed harder. We explored the extraordinary Gecko language inside TV and film, we went 1,000% with BAC who produced it and went in all guns blazing. It was something that everyone believed in. I think with the BBC wanted us to make something incredibly theatrical – I am genuinely proud and I had to think as a film maker, which was incredibly challenging.

There is a lot of debate around how live screenings of shows have changed theatre; for better or worse. They are increasingly popular with audiences. What do you think their impact on live arts are? 
It’s incredibly important to keep engagement live. We are in a dangerous situation of becoming disconnected in a society that has a hidden loneliness. Don’t get me wrong, there is an enormous benefit having work seen by larger audiences, but the present connection with audiences is something I wouldn’t want to move away from.

Institute is a remarkable production exploring troubled men. 
At the heart of Institute is the question to do with masculinity and culture, in these times people are trying to survive more than it seems. It’s subterranean, on a multitude of levels, the experiences men have on an internal and external level.

Does it feels like more is required of audiences than just talking about the ‘issues’ and how have people responded to the show out on tour?
We have so frequently come across people who have been affected by Institute, who at the end of the production have been unable to move from their seats. They want to talk to us, to someone. Out on tour there is someone from the charity Suffolk Mind as well as a panel discussion with service providers. Uniquely, as well there is someone local to the venues who have proximity to that venue and have used those resources available to them.

Political correctness and art don’t *usually* mix well. Institute feels like a genuinely political piece of theatre, would you agree? 
The role of an artist is to challenge the status quo. All Gecko shows are political. In some way being the bearer of truth, Gecko is an important commodity and in these times even more critical.

What would you say have been the most rewarding moments of getting Institute in front of audiences? 
I think that what I have been learning about mental health has been so extraordinary because it’s shone a mirror about where Institute came from within me, there is something very powerful in that. At one end on the spectrum there is wellness and the other there is not. You can be on that continuum somewhere and that stress can be the crossover. The fragility of being a human being can take you by surprise. You might know someone who is suffering. It’s important to reiterate that there is help out there and it’s good to talk about these things.”
Cheers! 

Nuffield / Southampton / www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk

Performances2 – 5 November at 7.30pm / tickets

Ancillary programme2 November at 9pm – post show panel discussion (free with show ticket)

4 November at 2pm – 5pm – workshop (free with show ticket, registration information will be available on the venue website)

Playhouse / Liverpool / www.everymanplayhouse.com

Performances16 – 19 November at 7.30pm (except for: 5.30pm on 17 November) / tickets

Ancillary programme17 November at 7pm – post show panel discussion (free with show ticket)

17 November at 12pm-3pm – workshop (free with show ticket, registration information will be available on the venue website)

Nuffield Announces Partnership With Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity

To coincide with the world premiere of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox at Nuffield Theatre in Southampton this Christmas, Nuffield have announced today a new partnership with Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, to support seriously ill children and their families, by donating 25% of donations received from their box office appeal during the Christmas season.

Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox

Nuffield is a registered charity and are committed to offering young and disadvantaged people in the Southampton area the opportunity to attend a performance or participate in an activity free of charge.   Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity helps to make life better for seriously ill children in the UK by providing nurses  to support children with serious illnesses, and their families.

Jane Miles, Chief Executive from Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity is very excited about the launch of the partnership. She says, “The flagship production of Fantastic Mr Fox a brilliant way to celebrate the Roald Dahl centenary. Having the Nuffield support us when they are local to two of our Roald Dahl Nurses in Southampton is truly fantastic. More people in the local community will be able to hear about the amazing work of our nurses.”

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity

Nuffield’s new production, Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox, is family fun at its finest. It opens on 30 November in Southampton, with previews from 22 November, running until 8 January, before touring the UK in 2017.   A juicy tale of greed, pride and the power of friendship, this flagship production for the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations, promises a dahlicious theatrical feast with live music and songs and gloriumptious designs. A wondercrump treat for the whole family!

LISTINGS:

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox

Adapted for the stage by Sam Holcroft

Directed by Maria Aberg, Music by Arthur Darvill

Nuffield and Leicester Curve co-production in association with Lyric Hammersmith

Dates: 22 November 2016 – 8 January 2017

www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk Box office: 023 8067 1771

Twitter: @nuffieldtheatre   Facebook: /nuffieldtheatre

Tickets: £10:00, £16:00, £22:00, £25:00

 

Nuffield announces full cast for new production of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox

Director of Nuffield Theatre Sam Hodges today announces the full cast for its brand new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic Fantastic Mr Fox, a co-production with Curve, in association with Lyric Hammersmith.  Greg Barnett plays Mr Fox, with Richard Atwill (Rat/Bean), Raphael Bushay (Badger/Boggis), Jade Croot (Kit), Sandy Foster (Rabbit), Lillie Flynn (Mrs Fox), Gruffudd Glyn (Mole/Bunce), Kelly Jackson (Mouse), and Edward Hole and Tanya Shields completing the ensemble, alongside actor-musicians, Patrick Burbridge,Anna Fordham and Richie Hart.

The play, adapted by Sam Holcroft, directed by Maria Aberg, and featuring original music from Arthur Darvill, receives its world première at Nuffield Theatre where it opens on 30 November, with previews from 22 November, running until 8 January, before touring the UK in 2017 beginning at Lyric Hammersmith on 25 January.

Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox

“You know as well as I do: no-one outfoxes a fox!”

Boggis, Bunce and Bean, three greedy, smelly, horrid farmers hate the cunning Mr Fox.

Mr Fox is smart, clever and rather fantastic, but he doesn’t realise how determined the farmers are to get revenge. Can he hatch a plan to save his family and friends? Can they outrun the diggers and outsmart the farmers, and can rabbit shut up long enough not to give the game away?

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is family fun at its finest. A juicy tale of greed, pride and the power of friendship, this flagship production for the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations, promises a dahlicious theatrical feast with live music and songs and gloriumptious designs. A wondercrump treat for the whole family!

Sam Holcroft’s most recent play, Rules For Living, premièred at the National Theatre in 2015. She was the Writer-in-Residence at the National Theatre Studio from 2013-14 and was the Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Traverse Theatre in 2009-10. In 2014 she was a recipient of the Windham Campbell Prize for Literature in the Drama category and in 2009 she won the Tom Erhardt Award for up and coming writers. Her other plays include The WardrobeEdgar And AnnabelDancing BearsWhile You LiePinkVanya and Cockroach.  She is currently under commission from the Royal Court Theatre.

Richard Atwill plays Rat and Bean.  His theatre credits include Macbeth, Eugene Ionesco’s Macbett (RSC), God in Ruins (RSC/Soho Theatre), Potted Potter (Broadway), The Changing Room (Royal Court Theatre), The Adventure (Pleasance/Manchester Royal Exchange/Watford Palace Theatre), Unscorched, Captain Oates’ Left Sock, iWitness, Beating Heart Cadaver (Finborough Theatre), The Roman Bath (Arcola/National Theatre, Bulgaria), Beyond The Pale (Southwark Playhouse) and Roots and The Light of Heart (Theatre Cymru).  For television his work includes Shakespeare Live and Horrible Histories; and for film, Risen and Bill.

Raphael Bushay plays Badger and Boggis.  He graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2014. His credits include Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

Greg Barnett plays Mr Fox.  His theatre credits include This Little Life of Mine and Therèse Raquin (Park Theatre), These Trees Are Made of Blood (Southwark Playhouse), Making a Scene (National Theatre), The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal Bath), Swallows and Amazons (Vaudeville Theatre and UK tour), Spend Spend Spend (Watermill and UK tour), Zorro (Garrick Theatre), Peter Pan (Birmingham Rep), Twelfth Night(Royal and Derngate) and Sweeney Todd (UK tour). His work for television includes Fleabag and Undercover; and for film, Hot Property, Bonobo and The Road to Nirvana.

Jade Croot plays Kit.  Her theatre credits include Doctor Faustus (RSC and Barbican). Her film work includes The Machine.

Lillie Flynn plays Mrs Fox.  Her theatre credits include Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre, Hampstead Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre), Love Story (Duchess Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre),Quadrophenia (UK tour), The Spirit of Broadway (China tour) and The War Of The Worlds (UK tour).

Sandy Foster plays Rabbit.  Her theatre credits include Days of SignificanceOppenheimerA Shoemaker’s Holiday (RSC), Desire Under the Elms (Lyric Hammersmith), Much Ado About Nothing (Manchester Royal Exchange), A Streetcar Named Desire (Curve) and Twelfth Night (Filter Theatre).  Her television work includesThe Dumping GroundThe Kerry and Lu Show and Call the Midwife; and for film, Mr Turner, ToshiMuse of Fireand What You Will.

Gruffudd Glyn plays Mole and Bunce.  His theatre credits include Three Sisters (Young Vic), American TradeThe Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, The Grain Store, Julius Caesar, Young People’s Hamlet (RSC), Brave New World (Royal and Derngate and UK tour) and After the End (Sherman Theatre).  His television work includes Dr WhoPoldark, StellaGwaith/Cartref, Hinterland/Y Gwyll; and for film, The MartianThe Theory of Everything and Thor: The Dark World.

Kelly Jackson plays Mouse. Her theatre credits include Sweet Charity (Millennium Performing Arts), RENT(The Obie Theatre), Wildlife (Bloomsbury Theatre) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Paul Holman Associates, The Broadway Theatre).

Maria Aberg directs.  Her directing work includes, for the RSC Dr Faustus (also Barbican), The White Devil, As You Like It, King John, The Gods Weep, Days of SignificanceHotel (National Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Chairs (Theatre Royal Bath) and Alaska (Royal Court). She has also directed at Hampstead Theatre and Trafalgar Studios.  Forthcoming directing projects include The Great Gatsby (Royal & Derngate and Birmingham Rep) and The Winter’s Tale (Romateatern, Sweden).

Arthur Darvill is an actor and composer, best-known for his regular appearances as Rory in BBC TV’s Doctor Who and as Rev. Paul Coates on ITV’s Broadchurch. Darvill’s most recent theatre work as composer includes I Want My Hat Back (National Theatre), I Heart Peterborough (Eastern Angles), The Bacchae (English Touring Theatre), It’s About Time (Nabokov/Latitude), and Jack and The Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith). He won the Musical Theatre Matters Award for Been So Long (Young Vic/English Touring Theatre).

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THE MOST POPULAR LONDON SHOWS 

Fantastic Mr Fox                                                                                                 Listings

Nuffield Theatre, University Road, Southampton SO17 1TR

www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk

Box office: 023 8067 1771

Twitter: @nuffieldtheatre

Facebook: nuffieldtheatre

www.fantasticmrfoxlive.com 

Twitter: @ MrFox_Live #FantasticMrFox  

Facebook: FantasticMrFoxLive

Performances:
22/11/16 7:00PM

23/11/16 10:30AM

24/11/16 10:30AM

25/11/16 10:30AM

26/11/16 2:00PM

26/11/16 7:00PM

27/11/16 2:00PM

29/11/16 7:00PM

30/11/16 7:00PM

01/12/16 10:30AM

01/12/16 5:30PM

02/12/16 10:30AM

02/12/16 5:30PM

03/12/16 2:00PM

03/12/16 7:00PM

06/12/16 10:30AM

07/12/16 10:30AM

07/12/16 5:30PM

08/12/16 10:30AM

09/12/16 10:30AM

09/12/16 5:30PM

10/12/16 2:00PM

10/12/16 7:00PM

13/12/16 10:30AM

14/12/16 10:30AM

15/12/16 10:30AM

16/12/16 10:30AM

16/12/16 5:30PM

17/12/16 2:00PM

17/12/16 7:00PM

18/12/16 2:00PM

20/12/16 2:00PM

20/12/16 7:00PM

21/12/16 10:30AM

21/12/16 3:00PM

21/12/16 7:00PM

22/12/16 2:00PM

22/12/16 7:00PM

23/12/16 10:30AM

23/12/16 3:00PM

23/12/16 7:00PM

24/12/16 10:30AM

24/12/16 3:00PM

26/12/16 2:00PM

27/12/16 2:00PM

27/12/16 7:00PM

28/12/16 2:00PM

28/12/16 7:00PM

29/12/16 2:00PM

29/12/16 7:00PM

30/12/16 2:00PM

30/12/16 7:00PM

31/12/16 2:00PM

02/01/17 2:00PM

03/01/17 5:30PM

05/01/17 10:30AM

06/01/17 10:30AM

06/01/17 7:00PM

07/01/17 2:00PM

07/01/17 7:00PM

08/01/17 2:00PM
Tickets:

£10:00, £16:00, £22:00, £25:00

 

TOUR DATES

Lyric Hammersmith

Wednesday 25 January – Sunday 19 February

Box Office: 020 8741 6850

www.lyric.co.uk

New Theatre, Cardiff

Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 February

Box Office: 029 2087 8889

www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Tuesday 28 February – Sunday 5 March

Box Office: 01322 220000

www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

Milton Keynes Theatre

Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 March

Box Office: 0844 871 7652

www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

 Curve, Leicester

Monday 3 – Sunday 9 April

Box Office: 0116 242 3595

www.curveonline.co.uk

Oxford Playhouse 

Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 April

Box Office: 01865 305305

www.oxfordplayhouse.com

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 April

Box Office: 024 7655 3055
www.belgrade.co.uk

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 May

Box Office: 0141 249 6000

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

Monday 15 – Saturday 20 May

Box Office: 0131 529 6000

www.edtheatres.com

Glasgow Theatre Royal

Monday 22 – Saturday 27 May

Box Office: 0844 871 7647

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

Theatre Royal Bath

Tuesday 30 May – Saturday 2 June

Box Office: 01225 448844

www.theatreroyal.org.uk

Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe

Monday 5 – Saturday 10 June

Box Office: 01494 552 000

www.wycombeswan.co.uk

Theatre Royal Plymouth

Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 June

Box Office: 01752 267222

www.theatreroyal.com

Norwich Theatre Royal

Wednesday 21 – Saturday 24 June

Box Office: 01603 63 00 00

www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Bradford Alhambra Theatre

Tuesday 27 June – Sunday 2 July

Box Office: 01274 432000

www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

The Lowry, Salford Quays

Wednesday 5 – Saturday 9 July

Box Office: 0843 208 6000

www.thelowry.com

Award-winning author Helen Macdonald headlines autumn series of Writers in Conversation

Helen Macdonald

The highly popular Writers in Conversation series returns to the University of Southampton with Costa Book of the Year winner Helen Macdonald headlining the autumn programme.

Helen Macdonald

Helen Macdonald

The author of the bestselling H is for Hawk comes to the main stage of the Nuffield Theatre on Monday, 5 December. The book, a touching memoir of the year Helen spent training a goshawk named Mabel in the wake of her father’s death, won both the Costa award and The Samuel Johnson Prize in 2014. Helen is a writer, poet, illustrator, historian, naturalist and professional falconer. Throughout her career, Helen has worked as a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge and assisted with the management of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia and bred hunting falcons for Arab royalty.

“Helen’s book is an astonishing mix of science and memoir, fact and emotion, told with a poet’s ear for language, and a storyteller’s sense of drama,” says Carole Burns, Associate Professor and Head of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, who hosts the series.  “H Is for Hawk has become a modern classic, and I can’t wait to hear her read and talk about how this book came to be.”

Also appearing in the Studio Theatre and rounding out the autumn schedule is novelist, critic and journalist Philip Hensher on 7 November. Philip was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’. His books are about a wide variety of subjects, often against a background of historical change including The Northern Clemency, shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. In 2015 he edited both volumes of The Penguin Book of the British Short Story, parts 1 and 2.

Writers in Conversation features some of today’s best fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers and playwrights reading from their work and talking about their writing lifestyle. The talks are hosted by Carole Burns, a former journalist who still writes for The Washington Post She is also a fiction writer, whose collection, The Missing Woman and Other Stories, won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award last year from Ploughshares.

“Reading stories is a part of our education that we most often bring with us into our adult lives – whether by reading the latest Costa Prize winner, or taking a thriller to the beach,” says Carole. “I hope this series gives people a chance to deepen that interest, by hearing writers read their own work, and asking them questions about their art. “Nuffield provides a wonderful setting for this event, lending the readings a salon-like feel,” she continued. “They’re casual and engaging, and writers seem to love Writers in Conversation as well.”

All Writers in Conversation events in the autumn series start at 19:30. Tickets for Philip Hensher are £5.00 each with tickets for Helen Macdonald priced at £12.00 each.

Tickets are available by telephoning (023) 8067 1771 or online at nuffieldtheatre.co.uk

SPYMONKEY’s The Complete Deaths, adapted and directed by Tim Crouch comes to Southampton

SPYMONKEY'S The Complete Death

Spymonkey presents The Complete Deaths, adapted and directed by Tim Crouch at Nuffield Theatre from 11 – 15 OCTOBER 2016        

Following their critically acclaimed Oedipussy, the UK’s leading physical comedy company Spymonkey returns to Nuffield Theatre Southampton, 11-15 October, with The Complete Deaths; a sublimely funny tribute to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

SPYMONKEY'S The Complete Death

SPYMONKEY’S The Complete Death

 ★★★★★ “Deathly fun… The Complete Deaths is unadulterated theatrical playfulness.”

A Younger Theatre

★★★★ “Poignant and hilarious – a fabulous bloodbath” The Observer

★★★★ “Brilliantly ridiculous – Inspired pairing of Spymonkey and Tim Crouch” The Stage

Spymonkey perform all 74 onstage deaths in the works of William Shakespeare (75 if you count the black ill-favoured fly killed in Titus Andronicus) – sometimes lingeringly, sometimes messily, sometimes movingly, sometimes musically, and always hysterically. They range from the Roman suicides in Julius Caesar to the death fall of Prince Arthur in King John; from the carnage at the end of Hamlet to snakes in a basket in Antony & Cleopatra; from Pyramus and Thisbe to young Macduff. There are countless stabbings, plenty of severed heads, some poisonings, two mobbings and a smothering. Enorbarbus just sits in a ditch and dies from grief. And then there’s the pie that Titus serves the Queen of the Goths.

 “Seeing how the four clowns each have a different approach to the material is interesting: it is reflective of the way that people have different connections to death and different approaches to Shakespeare.” Erica Whyman, Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company.

 Performed by Spymonkey and adapted and directed by Tim Crouch (I, Malvolio, An Oak Tree, Adler & Gibb), this new show scales the peaks of sublime poetry, and plumbs the depths of darkest depravity.

Tickets are available from the Box Office 023 8067 1771 or online at nuffieldtheatre.co.uk.

LISTINGS INFORMATION:

The Complete Deaths

Adapted and directed by Tim Crouch

Dates: 11 – 15 OCTOBER 2016

Tickets: £10.00, £16.00, £20.00, £25.00

Suitable for ages 14+

 

Guest Blog – Beth Iredale’s ‘Dedication’ sketch review

Sketch Review - Dedication

Beth Iredale took part in the original Young Critics project at Theatre Royal Winchester in 2015. Her drawings are a very impressive critical response in the world of online noise.

We went to watch  ‘Dedication directed by Sam Hodges earlier this week at The Nuffield in Southampton.

To say Beth is a promising critical voice would be a gross understatement. Okay great.

You can check out an article she wrote (Exeunt) as well as her sketch reviews here  >> Edinburgh Festival Sketchbook .

Talking about the illustrations done for Dedication, Beth says: “These drawings are a visual expression of the play. This show is built around such passionate design, it seems only right to showcase it. Alex Lowde is on top form. The  illustrations are captioned with quotes from the show. “I’d rather use them to allude to the content instead of describing it” she says.

Sketch review by Beth Iredale of the play  Dedication at Nuffield Theatre in the gallery below:

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SKETCH REVIEW – DEDICATION

You can follow Beth Iredale at:
Twitter @_BethLawless
Instagram _Bethlawless

You can also read my Sam Hodges interview here. Well done everyone.

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Sam Hodges: “New work doesn’t always succeed – but it is critical as it’s the way that theatre has to respond in a fresh way to what is happening today.”

Samuel Hodges

Sam Hodges founded HighTide Festival Theatre in 2006. Fast forward to 2014 Sam Hodges took over as the artistic and executive director of the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.

In 2016, Nuffield is at an exciting time of transition. Under the leadership of Sam Hodges it has been reinvigorated as a producing theatre company for Southampton and last year won The Stage award for Best Regional Theatre. He himself has just been nominated Best Director at UK Theatre Awards.

Later this year Nuffield will open a second venue in Studio 144 – Southampton’s new £25M city centre arts venue. Champagne all round!

Dedication is a new play that tells the story of Shakespeare and the 3rd Earl of Southampton. What exactly did happen between them? A powder keg of sex, power and politics in Elizabethan England.

On the eve of press night he discusses life lessons, Southampton as a cultural hub and bringing Shakespeare magic to the stage…

Samuel Hodges

Sam Hodges

Hello Sam, first things first: can you tell us all about Studio 144
Studio 144 will be a stunning new venue at the heart of Southampton’s thriving cultural quarter. It will be our new home and  will include a flexible 447 seat main house theatre, a 135 seat studio, screening facilities, rehearsal and workshop spaces, a café bar and bistro.
This new venue will transform Nuffield’s ability to show new and exciting high quality professional work from local, national and international artists, built on the foundations of our commitment to extensive and accessible artist development and community engagement. It will also allow us to develop our programme to include dance, film and music.  As you can imagine this is a very exciting time for us, but also a great challenge.
We’re going to be running two venues, the new city centre venue at Studio 144 and our existing theatre on the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus so we are working hard to make sure that our programme can offer something for everyone. We want our audiences to feel at home in both our buildings and we have big ambitions as to how we want to achieve that.

Dedication

Dedication. Click on the image to book your tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can audiences expect from DEDICATION
A political thriller about what might have been. Sword fights, Elizabethan dancing, and a complete transformation of the auditorium into a space as you’ve never seen it before. We’re ‘casting’ the audience as the jury in a trial in which Shakespeare is being interrogated about his links to Southampton. It’s part love story, part adventure, part thriller.

Do you prefer the high level strategy director stuff or hands on stripped to the waist rehearsal room directing stuff? 
I love design – and am very much aesthetic led so I love those conversations about how the overall vision will look. But as a former actor, I do enjoy the process of developing the piece in the room as well – there’s nothing that beats an actor’s instincts and viewpoint as you shape a new play.

DEDICATION is an ambitious project. What have been the biggest challenges getting this off the ground? 
Probably the transformation of the auditorium and scale and intricacy of the set. There are literally loads of moving parts – and combined with the challenge of developing a new play, which relies entirely on an audience to truly test, we’ve had our hands full.

It would appear that audiences in Southampton are spoilt for choice for a good night out (The Mayflower, Nuffield, Stage Door) is this the case?
Completely the case although I think happily each venue offers quite a different flavour to Southampton. The Mayflower is obviously synonymous with big touring musicals, which it does very well, and it has started to do a bit of dance more recently. The Stage Door taps into that late-night cabaret feel – I’m a particular fan of their adult pantomime at Christmas! And then our focus is on drama and comedy – so something for everyone.

I noted with interest that you recently celebrated being Director at The Nuffield for three years. How would you describe your tenure? 
Extremely busy but very satisfying. I feel like we’ve achieved what we set out to do in this time which was to make Nuffield one of the national players, in terms of producing work. We have just announced our second London transfer in as many years, a UK national  commercial tour and we’ve been Regional Theatre of the Year,  – all big steps for the theatre. One of the most fulfilling parts of the job has been building a brilliant team around me – which makes the day-to-day a real pleasure. And having got to this point, the next three years are obviously going to be very focused on the new venue, which we feel ready for.

What is your favourite theatre in London? 
The Young Vic Theatre. It’s my kind of theatre. It mixes a strong European aesthetic with great British storytelling – a blend of what makes both traditions so unique. Yerma was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned in the past 12 months?
To make sure I do enough living outside of work to ensure that my work has something to be inspired by.

Is there anything that you’d like to add? 
The reason I commissioned this play is that I believe passionately in creating new work that aims to support Southampton in ‘telling its own story’. New work doesn’t always succeed – but it is critical as it’s the way that theatre has to respond in a fresh way to what is happening today. I’m not interested in just mounting a period historical piece – it’s only worth looking back to see what it says about today. I hope that Dedication can be Southampton’s contribution, not only to Shakespeare400, but to the wider catalogue of Shakespearean work. On a larger scale, though, I hope it also asks questions about the way that we mould history to our shape – that we think of it as a fixed point, whereas in fact it is only what is written down that lasts.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUT TICKETS FOR DEDICATION

Checkout the production images of Dedication

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Nuffield Theatre’s Samuel Hodges Nominated Best Director UK Theatre Awards

Samuel Hodges

Samuel Hodges, Director of Nuffield Theatre, has been nominated for Best Director at the 2016 UK Theatre Awards for his directorial debut of Glass Menagerie. This is the third consecutive UK Theatre nomination for Nuffield, who won Best Regional Theatre of the Year 2014 and Best Design for their production of The Hudsucker Proxy in 2015.

Samuel Hodges, Director at Nuffield said,

“It’s a real honour to be nominated for the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Best Director. The Glass Menagerie was my directorial debut at Nuffield so it is particularly pleasing to recognised with this nomination. 

Glass Menagerie

A still from Samuel Hodge’s second production-Dedication

This third nomination comes at a really exciting and pivotal moment for Nuffield as we expand to take on a new city centre venue in 2017 and have just announced our first national UK tour”

The nomination for Best Director coincides with Samuel Hodges’ second production, Dedicationwhich premieres at Nuffield this month (9 September – 8 October). This world premiere written by Nick Dear, explores the mysterious relationship between William Shakespeare and the 3rd Earl of Southampton.  Tom McKay plays Shakespeare and Tom Rhys-Harries plays Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, in this gripping new thriller.

Nuffield have also announced this month a major national and international tour of their production of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox and their new 2017 co- production of Pygmalion.

Fantastic Mr Fox premieres at Nuffield this Christmas (22 November 16 – 8 January 2017), it then embarks on a major national and international tour in 2017.

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Click on the image to book your tickets now!

Pygmalion, a Nuffield co-production with Headlong and West Yorkshire Playhouse and directed by Sam Pritchard, will come to Nuffield in Spring 2017. Written by George Bernard Shaw over one hundred years ago, this radical new version explores one of the most celebrated comedies of the 20th Century.

Tickets for Dedication and Fantastic Mr Fox are now available from the Box Office 023 8067 1771 or online at www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk

LISTINGS

NUFFIELD PRODUCTIONS

Dedication – Shakespeare and Southampton 

Written by Nick Dear

Directed by Samuel Hodges

A Nuffield production

Dates: 9 September – 8 October 2015

Tickets: £18.00 & £25.00

 Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox

Adapted for the stage by Sam Holcroft

Directed by Maria Aberg

Music by Arthur Darvill

Lyrics by Darren Clark, Arthur Darvill, Sam Holcroft and Al Muriel

A Nuffield and Leicester Curve co-production in association with Lyric Hammersmith

Dates: 22 November 2016 – 8 January 2017

Tickets: £10.00, £16.00, £20.00 & £25.00  Suitable for ages 5+