Nottingham Playhouse Coronavirus Statement – Private Peaceful to move to February 2022

Nottingham Playhouse

Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Due to the ongoing pandemic and lockdown restrictions, Nottingham Playhouse is very sad to announce that performances of Private Peaceful have had to be deferred once again and will now take place 12 – 26 February 2022. We will be in touch with all ticket holders as soon as possible.

 “Theatre is still facing a difficult and troubled future. As a charity, we are relying on the kind support of the general public now more than ever before. We hope to reopen the doors of our auditorium soon and cannot wait to welcome audiences back. However, in the meantime, people can donate to our curtain up appeal and buy tickets for future productions as a way to help keep us producing bold and thrilling theatre and supporting our community and local creatives.”

 Nottingham Playhouse – Noah And The Peacock – Cast announced for innovative live online production


The cast has been announced for Nottingham Playhouse’s innovative live online production of Noah and The Peacock by Jeff JamesKyle Soller who won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez (Young Vic and West End) will play Peacock.  He will be joined by Danusia Samal (Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court, Manchester Royal Exchange) as Peahen, Bradley Foster (National Theatre, Headlong, New Wolsey Theatre) as Ham, Stork, Duck 1 and Rabbit 2 and Patricia Davenport (The Royal Shakespeare Company, Kneehigh ,Birmingham Rep) in other roles.  Jeff James also directs.

Written and created especially for Zoom during the Nottingham Playhouse’s temporary closure due to the pandemic, Noah and the Peacock is a brand new form of live, at-home theatre. Running from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 June over six performances, the show is aimed at primary aged children and their families.

The cast of 4 actors will be performing the play live from their homes whilst watching families are invited to star in the show by dressing up as Noah’s animals and creating sound effects with items found at home.

Noah and the Peacock is a funny and charming tale of hope, friendship and overcoming the odds. The story tells of Peacock and Peahen. Peacock is extremely pompous and all he can talk about is his beautiful feathers. Peahen, on the other hand, is much more modest and longs to make friends with the other animals. When the pair hear news that a huge flood is on the way, Peacock refuses to leave the roost and risk ruining his perfect plumage in the rain. So, with no other choice, Peahen sets off on a journey through the dark forest and along the great blue river. As all the animals must go two-by-two, will Peahen make it onto the ark alone? Can stubborn Peacock change his mind before it’s too late?

Adam Penford, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, said: “We’re so excited to be announcing Noah and the Peacock. Jeff’s play is witty, intelligent and playful. We have moved most of our participation work online during lockdown and commissioned digital work by local theatre-makers, but it felt crucial to develop a full production, specifically created to be experienced online. I’m sure the interactive element will delight audiences. It’s also vital that we continue to offer employment opportunities to freelance actors and creatives during this tough financial climate.”

Writer and director Jeff James’s previous credits include Persuasion (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Stink Foot (The Yard Theatre) as writer-director, and La Musica (Young Vic) and One for the Road and Victoria Station (Young Vic and Print Room) as director.

Noah and the Peacock has an initial run of six performances (19 – 21 June) and tickets cost £9 which gives access to the Zoom link for each household and a show activity pack. There will be a Pay What You Can performance on Sunday 21 June at 10.30am and a BSL interpreted performance on Sunday 21 June at 2.30pm. The show is recommended for children aged 5 – 9 and their grown-ups. Tickets are available online at

 Nottingham Playhouse has a long history of producing work for young people, stretching back to the establishment of Roundabout in the 1970s. The theatre continues to produce work for this age group in the studio theatre.  It also tours work for schools in the region. This Christmas, Nottingham Playhouse is producing Jack and the Beanstalk to be written by Naomi Obeng, a local writer who was commissioned via an open call out.

The outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK has led to show postponements and the halting of many events and classes at the Playhouse. Other content released includes dance tutorials, story-telling, special episodes of its podcast. Videos have been uploaded to Nottingham Playhouse’s YouTube channel, TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

The latest news regarding Nottingham Playhouse and its reaction to Covid-19 can be found at:

Donations to the Curtain Up Appeal can be made via

This production of Noah and the Peacock is sponsored by Nottingham Trent University.



19 -21 June

Fri 19 Jun                     Online       10:30am       £9

Fri 19 Jun                     Online       2:30pm         £9

Sat 20 Jun                    Online       10:30am       £9

Sat 20 Jun                    Online       2:30pm         £9

Sun 21 Jun                  Online       2:30pm         £9

There is an extra pay what you can performance at 10.30am on Sunday 21 June

Press performances: Saturday 20 June 10.30am and 2.30pm

Nottingham Playhouse’s Award-winning production to be streamed online by National Theatre At Home

Mark Gatiss

Today, Nottingham Playhouse announces that its award-winning, sold-out production of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III will be streamed online as part of the next collection of The National Theatre At Home series. Broadcast via the National Theatre’s YouTube Channel, the epic work, which stars Mark Gatiss (Dracula, The League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who)  in the title role, will be aired on Thursday 11 June at 7pm and available free to view on demand until 18 June.

Nottingham Playhouse Artistic Director Adam Penford’s production was filmed from the Nottingham Playhouse stage in 2018 as one of the first works to be broadcast internationally by NT Live from a theatre outside London.  To date it has been seen by over 50,000 people worldwide.

In addition to Gatiss, the Olivier Award Winning cast also includes Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and StaceyUpstairs DownstairsAfter the Dance) and Debra Gillett (Call the Midwife and Doctor Who).   The production won the 2019 Whatsonstage Awards for Best Play Revival and Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Adrian Scarborough.

Adam Penford, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, said: “We’ve had lots of requests from our audience asking if we’re able to share Alan’s fabulous play during lockdown. It remains as pertinent as ever in its exploration of mental health, power and political divide. The production became the highest grossing drama in the Playhouse’s seventy year history and I’m delighted more people will be able to experience the work of this highly talented cast and creative team.”

 Whilst the production will be available free of charge, Nottingham Playhouse hopes that viewers will take the opportunity to donate to its Curtain Up Appeal and contribute to the re-opening and future of the theatre. Donations to the Curtain Up Appeal can be made via or via text – text NOTTS 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or text NOTTS 20 to 70085 to donate £20.

The latest news regarding Nottingham Playhouse and its reaction to Covid-19 can be found at:

Nottingham Playhouse goes digital to fight lockdown

Nottingham Playhouse is releasing a series of videos that will help keep communities in the East Midlands engaged with the arts.

The new posts began with the sharing of the Playhouse’s Mass Bolero video. Celebrating the mass participation event from five years ago, it features over 700 local people recreating Torvill and Dean’s iconic ice skating routine in locations across the city Nottingham. It has been seen by over 90,000 people since its initial release in 2014.

A new release features Alex Patterson, the Playhouse choir’s conductor and Nottingham Cathedral’s music director. In it he guides viewers through vocal warm ups and a song tutorial, as the Playhouse Choir is unable to meet for the next fortnight. Members of the public are being invited to send in videos of themselves singing the cheerful song Bring me Sunshine, for the Playhouse to share on social media.

The videos follow the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK, which has led to show postponements and the halting of many events and classes groups at the Playhouse. Other digital arts being released include dance tutorials, story-telling, pantomime exclusive and the re-releasing of its podcast episodes.

Martin Berry, Head of Participation for Nottingham Playhouse, said: “At times of hardship and anxiety, our role in enriching the lives of the communities of Nottingham is especially important.  Here at Nottingham Playhouse, we are using technology, imagination and creativity to make sure we are still here for everyone.

“From dance tutorials, singing videos, activities for children, competitions and more, we will do all we can to remain faithful to our many communities, to be there for our most vulnerable participants and friends, and to play our vital part in Nottingham’s wellbeing.  This is not an easy time for anyone, including the Playhouse, but with support, donations and engagement, we will not only avoid being diminished by this moment in time, but will grow through it and come back stronger than ever.”

 Alex Patterson, conductor of the Nottingham Playhouse choir, added: “The Nottingham Playhouse Choir has been a wonderful chance to engage people with the joy of singing; when people walk through the door they have been able to escape the everyday and just take time to be creative. Despite coronavirus, it’s been great to reach out to people digitally and encourage them to sing in the face of hard times. I can’t wait to hear how people are getting on.”

Videos will be uploaded to Nottingham Playhouses TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Nottingham Playhouse Trust is a registered charity, and relies on support of the public. At this difficult time, online donations are gratefully received.

The latest news regarding Nottingham Playhouse’s reaction to Covid-16 can be found on its website.

Nottingham Playhouse -Autumn 2020 Season Announcement – Mark Gatiss stars as Jacob Marley in his new adaptation of A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Nottingham Playhouse has revealed a brand new set of shows for Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 – including a chilling retelling of a classic ghost story, a Broadway hit making its way to Nottingham, exciting changes to the Playhouse’s quintessential pantomime, and a political juggernaut brought to life.

Main announcements: 

  • Award-winning Mark Gatiss will return to Nottingham Playhouse, to star in his own re-telling of the classic Victorian ghost story A Christmas Carol
  • Nottingham Playhouse to be first regional theatre to produce Broadway smash-hit Choir Boy
  • New writing will tell the story of Labour Party legend Red Ellen.
  • Pantomime Beauty and the Beast will be directed by award-winning Bill Buckhurst
  • Festive show Jack and Beanstalk is set to delight younger families and schools

Mark Gatiss (DraculaThe League of GentlemenDoctor Who) has written a brand-new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – drawing inspiration from the Victorian supernatural world and Dickens’ original spine-tingling ghost story. Gatiss will also star as the ghost of Jacob Marley, who visits mean-spirited Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve with a warning about his greed – sparking three more eerie encounters.

Mark Gatiss said: “A Christmas Carol’ has been absolutely my favourite story since I was, well, tiny. It’s an astonishingly powerful tale of life, love, loss and redemption and remains supremely relevant. But at its heart it is a ghost story and that will be at the core of my new version. A scary, thrilling, joyous adventure to get the blood piping on a freezing winter’s night. A Victorian phantasmagoria!”

A Christmas Carol will also reunite Gatiss with director Adam Penford (HolesAn Enemy of the People), following 2018’s production of The Madness of George III. It will travel to London’s Alexandra Palace with Eleanor Lloyd Productions for the Christmas season after its initial run at Nottingham Playhouse over Halloween and early November.

Then in spring of 2021, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Stratford East will present the work of Oscar-winning Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), in the UK regional premiere of Choir Boy.

Nancy Medina (Two Trains Running) will direct this coming-of-age story that follows pupil Pharus as he tries to settle into life at a prestigious prep school, and strives to become the best choir leader in the school’s history. Exploring issues of class, race and sexuality it’s a poignant piece brought to life with a score of soaring gospel music.

Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive at Nottingham Playhouse, commented: “Our new season embraces Nottingham’s rebellious and pioneering spirit, showcases exceptional new talent and delivers world-class theatre to UK audiences.”

Changes to Nottingham Playhouse’s annual pantomime have also been announced, with the 2020 panto being directed by award-winning Bill Buckhurst. Having directed for 36 magical years, pantomime legend Kenneth Alan Taylor will continue to write the script for Beauty and the Beast. The legendary John Elkington will also return and reprise his role as pantomime dame.

Bill Buckhurst’s previous work includes his phenomenally successful, multi-award winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which began life at Tooting Arts Club, subsequently transferred to the West End and then went on to New York where it received a rapturous reception. In autumn 2018 he won universal acclaim at Nottingham Playhouse for his production of Coleman and Field’s Sweet Charity, which starred Rebecca Trehearn. He returned to the theatre in autumn 2019 to direct Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins (a Nottingham Playhouse / Watermill Theatre production) to 5-star reviews. In spring 2020, Bill will be directing a major West End revival of Sister Act The Musical starring Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Saunders.

Adam Penford, artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “We’re very proud that many children are introduced to the joy of theatre through the Playhouse panto, just like I was aged 5. By coupling Kenneth’s sparkling scripts, with Bill’s incredible vision, and John’s beloved dame, we are creating a pantomime for 2020 which balances tradition with theatrical innovation. Our audiences are going to love it.”

Nottingham City Transport are delighted to renew their sponsorship of Nottingham Playhouse pantomime, and continue their partnership with Nottingham Playhouse for a further three years. The Playhouse plays an important role in providing access to arts and culture to people from all backgrounds and in the next three years they will be working together to improve access further through discounted travel offers.

Joining the line-up for the festive season is Nottingham Playhouse’s annual Neville Studio show, which will be Jack and the Beanstalk. It will re-tell the giant adventure of Jack, who sells his cow in exchange for some magic beans – causing a rather large beanstalk to suddenly grow in his garden. Designed with little ones in mind, it promises to be filled with music, dancing, and the chance for young children – and their grown-ups – to join in the fun. The production will then also tour to primary schools across the East Midlands.

Remarkable new writing will also be making its debut in October 2020 as Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, Northern Stage and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh present Red Ellen by Caroline Bird.

Directed by Wils Wilson (The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, Cockpit), it tells the story of Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson, who among many incredible achievements battled to save Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany, and led 200 workers in the Jarrow crusade – a march from Newcastle, through Nottingham and the Midlands to deliver a petition to reduce unemployment and poverty to London.

The play captures her reckless energy and brings to life her inspiring feats of social justice, in an epic tale of one woman’s mission to create a better world… whilst having affairs with communist spies, government ministers and bumping into the likes of Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway.

Writer Caroline Bird said: “Ellen Wilkinson was described as ‘the mighty atom’ and I have loved, and relished, the challenge of bringing her unbelievably huge and hectic life to the stage.  As the valiant leader of the Jarrow Crusade, it seems fitting that her play would march from theatre to theatre… Newcastle, Nottingham, Edinburgh… I can’t wait to hear what audiences think of her story.”

Returning to Nottingham Playhouse’s Neville Studio in May 2020 is LAVA – a sharply funny and deeply moving story about friendship and human connection. Co-produced by Fifth Word and Nottingham Playhouse, this play about an asteroid hitting the capital city and a boy who can no longer speak is now touring the UK.

Also, between 27 and 29 April 2020, the Playhouse’s main auditorium will be taken over by Connections – the National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival. Youth theatres and theatre groups from across the Midlands will gather to stage new plays written specifically for young people by the most exciting playwrights working today.

Following popular demand the Playhouse’s Classes and Courses are back this spring and summer, with sessions on improvisation, Shakespeare, Public Speaking and ballroom dancing. A new, weekly session at the Playhouse Bar and Kitchen invites budding creatives to socialise and learn new techniques from resident artists as well.

Family Fest is also back – bigger and better than ever before. From 6- 9 April there are more activities than a family could shake a stick at –with music, drama, writing, play dough, and messy play for little ones. And, of course, the famous baby and toddler disco returns. For older children there are also writing classes, creating a play in a day, circus skills and a spot of hat making.

Nottingham Playhouse’s newly announced shows will go on sale to Playhouse Pass members on Monday 3 February 2020, following a launch event held in the Playhouse’s auditorium. Tickets will go on general sale from Monday 17 February 2020.

To book tickets visit, or call the box office on 0115 941 9419. Please email to secure tickets to the season launch event.

Nottingham Playhouse has announced its spring 2020 season


Nottingham Playhouse has announced its spring 2020 season, which includes musical legends, TV stars, gripping new writing, hilarious comedies and a brand-new musical.

New announcements include:
·      TV and theatre star Jenna Russell to bring a musical legend to life in Piaf
·      New play First Touch to tackle the footballing world’s child sex abuse scandal
·      Hilarious, quick-witted comedy Moonlight and Magnolias
·      Tickets now on sale for performances of Oliver Twist – the latest tour from the Ramps on the Moon consortium
·      The creation of new West End musical Identical – based on novel The Parent Trap.

Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Jenna Russell (EastEnders and Sunday in the Park with George) will be taking to the stage in Piaf in May 2020. She will bring to life the sensational, world-renowned Edith Piaf, whose most famous songs include La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien. Pam Gems’ play explores the extraordinary life led by Piaf – from singing in the streets to becoming one of France’s biggest international stars.

Piaf is a co-production with Leeds Playhouse and will be directed by Adam Penford (An Enemy of the PeopleThe Madness of George III). Nottingham Playhouse will also transform its auditorium into a Parisian bar, with the opportunity to book cabaret-style seating for performances.

Adam Penford, Artistic Director for Nottingham playhouse, said: “Nottingham Playhouse produced Piaf in the 1980s and I’m thrilled to bringing this lively play back to the theatre. It takes a real star to capture the legend that is Edith Piaf and Jenna Russell is one the UK theatre’s most beguiling actor-singers. She has a unique talent for bringing fragility, spirit and charisma to every role she tackles. Nottingham’s in for a magical night at the theatre.”

In February there will be also be a new production of farcical comedy Moonlight and Magnolias.  When the producer of Gone With The Wind scrapped the script three weeks into filming, he tasked a new director and screenwriter to create a new one.  Hilariously they only had five days to achieve cinematic magic, and this play speculates what happened behind the locked doors of an office with just peanuts and bananas for food.

The play will be directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward (director of Groan Ups in the West End, a new play by the award-winning team behind The Play That Goes Wrong), who previously worked on Nottingham Playhouse’s Shebeen as dramaturg.

Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse, commented: “Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse, said: “With this season we’re proud to showcase the range of fascinating stories that we will bring to life here in Nottingham – from showcasing major new talent to reviving absolute classics.”

After previously announcing it had commissioned new writing from stage and screenwriter Nathaniel Price (Noughts and Crosses, BBC and Tin Star, Sky) Nottingham Playhouse can now confirm First Touch will make its stage debut in June.

It’s 1980 and Clayton James, a 17 year-old Nottingham lad, seems to have the world at his feet after being offered a professional contract at a First Division football club. During an era of racism, hooliganism and Thatcher’s administration, his dual-heritage family are facing an uncertain future and Clayton’s success may hold some relief. However, when his former coach suddenly re-enters his life, Clayton is forced to confront a past he had try to bury.

The summer will also see the world premiere of a ‘twinsational’ new musical, destined for London’s West End. Identical will be co-produced between Nottingham Playhouse and Kenny Wax Ltd (producer of the global phenomenon, Six) and directed by the Olivier and Tony award-winning Sir Trevor Nunn (Les Miserables and Cats).

The summer will also see the world premiere of a ‘Twin-sational’ new musical, destined for London’s West End.

Identical will be co-produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Kenny Wax Ltd (producer of the ‘Goes Wrong‘ shows and the new musical phenomenon SIX) and directed by Olivier and Tony award-winning Sir Trevor Nunn (responsible for some of the greatest hits in the world, including Les Miserables, Starlight Express, Cats and Sunset Boulevard).

Identical is based on the novel The Parent Trap by Erich Kastner, which inspired Disney films featuring Hayley Mills in 1961 and Lindsay Lohan in 1998. It tells the story of twin girls separated at birth, reunited by chance at a summer camp 10 years later. In an attempt to re-join their divorced parents, they decide to exchange identities.

Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, (the multi award-winning writers of the Olivier award-winning National Theatre hit Honk!, who also created a new score for the international smash-hit Cameron Mackintosh/Disney production of Mary Poppins) with a book by Stuart Paterson.

Producer Kenny Wax says: “It’s a wildly ambitious project which will stand or fall on whether we can cast identical twins who the audience cannot tell apart. Without that, there will be no show. So our challenge over the next nine months is to scour the country and leave no stone unturned until we find our Lottie and Lisa.”

Auditions for identical twins will take place in London on Saturday 5 October and in Nottingham on Saturday 26 October. All audition enquiries should be sent to Jo Hawes

William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice will also be brought bang-up-to-date in the first ever co-production between Nottingham Playhouse and Lakeside Arts. The play – directed by Martin Berry – will be transported to the modern-day Goose Fair, delivering a tale of greed, poverty and personal vendetta with no-nonsense Nottingham spirit.
In April, Nottingham Playhouse will welcome a new adaptation of Oliver Twist, as part of the Ramps on the Moon consortium. The play, based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, will be brought to life with creative sign language, audio description and captioning – placing D/deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the heart of the project.

Ramps on the Moon is a consortium of seven major UK theatres plus partner company Graeae. Each year, one of the organisations creates a new large-scale production which champions diversity both on and off stage, most recently Nottingham Playhouse’s production of Our Country’s Good in March 2018. 2020 is the turn of Leeds Playhouse and Oliver Twist will be adapted by award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery and directed by Amy Leach.

Director Amy Leach, said: “Oliver Twist will give an integrated ensemble cast of D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled actors the opportunity to play a brilliantly varied range of characters and showcase a wide range of talents.”

Tickets for Michael Morpurgo’s award-winning Private Peaceful are also on sale, with performances running from March. The new adaptation by Simon Reade, which has been written for an ensemble of actors, follows the Peaceful brothers, Tommo and Charlie, after they both fall for the same girl just as the Great War begins. The production will be directed by Anna Ledwich (Kiss Me, Trafalgar Studios and No One Will Tell Me How to Start A Revolution, Hampstead Theatre).

It has now been announced that Private Peaceful will travel to Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre for performances between Tuesday 21– Saturday 25 April, and Plymouth’s Theatre Royal 28 April – 2 May.

Arriving in Nottingham in March is Poet in da Corner by Debris Stevenson – one of Nottingham Playhouse’s former associate artists. It tells the story of how a young girl’s life is changed after she is given Dizzee Rascal’s ground-breaking album Boy in da Corner. This dynamic production combines music, dance, spoken word – and features grime MC Jammz and SS Vyper. Poet in da Corner will be directed by Ola Ince, is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and the Royal Court Theatre, supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, in association with Nottingham Playhouse and Leicester Curve.
Continuing Nottingham Playhouse’s link to emerging artists, Amplify Festival will take February by storm – with a line-up of fresh new work from some of the region’s most exciting new artists. The festival is produced by Amplify – Nottingham Playhouse’s Artist Development Programme, and will include a programme of workshops led by the industry’s most-prominent practitioners.
Holes will also return to Nottingham Playhouse in February. Based on the award-winning novel and the Hollywood blockbuster, the production was hailed as “a fast-paced and inventive family show” by The Stage when it was first produced by the Playhouse back in spring 2018. It now returns as part of a UK tour that will tell the story of Stanley Yelnats, who is cursed with bad luck and sent to a labour camp for a crime he didn’t commit.

A new term of Nottingham Playhouse’s Classes and Courses will start after a successful debut this year. Eleven classes, led by industry professionals, will take place between February and April. The quirky and unique sessions range from song writing, stage fighting, prosthetic makeup and ballroom music.
Nottingham Playhouse Spring 2020 shows will go on sale to Playhouse Pass members
 < Monday 23 September 2019, following a launch event held in the Playhouse’s auditorium. Tickets will go on general sale from Monday 7 October 2019.

To book tickets visit <, or call the box office on 0115 941 9419.

Nottingham Playhouse / The Watermill Theatre – Assassins – Casting announced


“Murder is a tawdry little crime. But when a president gets killed, when Julius Caesar got killed… he gets assassinated.”

A man sits in a storeroom on the sixth floor of a Book Depository in Texas in 1963, waiting for John F Kennedy’s motorcade to pass below. He rests his finger on the trigger, ready to join a line of men and women who have shot their way into the history books.

Full casting has been announced for The Watermill Theatre’s / Nottingham Playhouse forthcoming co-production of Assassins.

Stephen Sondheim’s multi-Tony award-winning razor-sharp musical is a satirical and stylish look at why individuals reach for a gun when they feel their voice can’t be heard. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, writers Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, bend the rules of time and space, taking us on a roller coaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and inspire each other to perform harrowing acts.  Assassins is a musical about the power of the President, the lure of celebrity and the failure of the American Dream.

The show is directed by Bill Buckhurst, whose previous work includes his phenomenally successful multi-award winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which began life at Tooting Arts Club, subsequently transferred to the West End and then went on to New York where it received a rapturous reception.  Last autumn he won universal acclaim at Nottingham Playhouse for his production of Coleman and Field’s Sweet Charity, which starred Rebecca Trehearn, who herself is currently starring in Kiss Me, Kate at The Watermill Theatre. In 2016 Buckhurst received rave reviews for his production of Rufus Norris’s Sleeping Beauty at The Watermill Theatre.

Assassins will star Alex Mugnaioni (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – West End/tour, Twelfth Night and The Taming of The Shrew – Shakespeare’s Globe) as John Wilkes Booth, Peter Dukes (Brief Encounter – West End / Kneehigh, She Loves Me – Menier Chocolate Factory) as Leon Czolgosz,  Evelyn Hoskins (Cruel Intentions – Bill Kenwright / Edinburgh Fringe, Mayfly – Orange Tree Theatre) as Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme and Jack Quarton (Wonderland – Nottingham Playhouse, Great Expectations – Derby Theatre) as John Hinckley. Also starring are Ned Rudkins-Stow (Robin Hood – Watermill Theatre, Twelfth Night – Wilton’s Music Hall as Lee Harvey Oswald, Joey Hickman (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Southwark Playhouse, A Midsummer Nights Dream – Watermill Theatre) as The Proprietor and Phoebe Fildes (A Woman of No Importance – West End, A Little Night Music – The Watermill Theatre) as Emma Goldman.  Eddie Elliott  (Spamilton – Menier Chocolate Factory, Motown the Musical – West End) is cast as Charles Guiteau,  Lillie Flynn (Twelfth Night – Wilton’s Music Hall, Sunny Afternoon – West End) as the Balladeer, Sara Poyzer(Billy Elliot – West End, Mama Mia –  West End) as Sara Jane Moore, Steve Simmonds (Tommy – New Wolsey / Ramps on the Moon, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui – West End / Chichester Festival Theatre) as Samuel Byck and Zheng Xi Yong (Miss Saigon – UK & International Tour) as Giuseppe Zangara. The ensemble will be made up of Grace LancasterMatthew James Hinchliffe and Simon Oskarsson.

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Assassins is based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jr
Original orchestrations by Michael Starobin
Playwrights Horizons Inc., New York City, produced Assassins off-Broadway in 1990
First Broadway production, 2004, Roundabout Theatre Company, Todd Haimes, Artistic Director
Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited

Director Bill Buckhurst
Designer Simon Kenny
Musical Supervisor and Arrangements Catherine Jayes
Associate Director and Choreographer Georgina Lamb
Lighting Designer Ben Ormerod,
Sound Designer Chris Full

The Watermill Theatre,
Bagnor, Newbury RG20 8AE
Tickets: Online:
Box Office: 01635 46044
Thursday 26 September – Saturday 26 October
Press Night: Monday 30 September 7.30pm
Times: Evening performances at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.
Ticket prices:  £33.00 – £16.00 (ticket prices vary per performance)

Nottingham Playhouse,
Wellington Circus, Nottingham, NG1 5AF
Tickets: Online
Box Office: 01159 419419
Dates: Wednesday 30 October – Saturday 16 November
Press Night: Thursday 31 October 7.00pm
Times: Evening performances at 7.30pm,
Matinees – Thursday 7 November – 1.30pm, Saturday 9 & 16 – 2.30pm.
Ticket prices:  £45.00 – £8.50 (ticket prices vary per performance)

Coram Boy – August 7 -10 – Nottingham Playhouse stages biggest ever live production

Coram Boy

Nottingham Playhouse is taking over the city’s esteemed Albert Hall with a company of over 100 local performers and creatives in its biggest-ever live community production.

Based on the award-winning novel by Jamila Gavin, Coram Boy tells the tale of Aaron and his best friend Toby. Both are wards of Thomas Coram’s famous Foundling Hospital, which took in children whose mothers were unable to care for them during the eighteenth century. However, as the story unravels the boys uncover the dark underbelly of Georgian society, and the gruesome truth behind the infamous ‘Coram men’ who pretended to work for the hospital.

The play will be directed by Adam Penford, following his successes with both Wonderland and The Madness of George III – starring Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough. It also continues Nottingham Playhouse’s long-standing tradition for making ground-breaking theatre with – and for – local people.

In March 2019, over 300 people applied to be part of Coram Boy. Applicants ranged from ages 12 to 80, and from a diverse range of occupations including nurses, care workers and bus drivers. They came from far and wide across Nottinghamshire, and for many, it is their first time acting or singing in a production. The journey of both cast and choir members has been followed through the Playhouse’s regular video posts

George Frideric Handel conducted annual performances of The Messiah to raise vital funds for the Foundling Hospital, and his music is central to the plot of the play. Internationally acclaimed organist John Keys will perform on the Albert Hall’s famous grade 2 listed Binns Organ alongside a string quartet, accompanying the community choir in Coram Boy’s soaring vocal score.

Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Coram Boy is our most ambitious and exciting community project to date. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to be involved and had to make some tough decisions during the audition process. The cast reflects the diversity of our region with participants of all different ages and backgrounds. It’s been so much fun watching them bond and work together to create this complex and moving production. Their work ethic and enthusiasm has infected the whole organisation.”

Martin Berry, Head of Participation at Nottingham Playhouse, added: “A huge project like Coram Boy underlines how talented and creative our city is. The company has developed and thrived throughout the project, and the end result promises to be incredible.”

280 years ago Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital – London’s first home for babies whose mothers were unable to care for them themselves. Mothers left a token which could be used to identify their child if they returned to reclaim them. Over the centuries, more than 25,000 children’s lives were saved. Today, the children’s charity Coram continues to offer direct, practical help and emotional support to vulnerable children, young people, and their families.

Nottingham Playhouse was named Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2019. Nottingham Playhouse has been one of the United Kingdom’s leading producing theatres since its foundation in 1948. It welcomes over 130,000 ticket buyers annually and an additional 170,000 visitors to participation events and to Anish Kapoor’s stunning Sky Mirror. It creates productions large and small, from timeless classics and enthralling family shows to adventurous new commissions, often touring work nationally and internationally.

In spring 2018 under Artistic Director Adam Penford, the Playhouse produced two world premieres, Shebeen and Lava, and one regional premiere,Wonderland, all to great critical acclaim. September 2018 saw the highly praised production of Sweet Charity, the Playhouse’s first musical in over 10 years. In November 2018, The Madness of George III became the Playhouse’s highest ever selling drama. The production was also broadcast by NT Live to over 2,500 venues in nearly 70 different countries, and won two WhatsOnStage Awards 2019 for Best Play Revival and Best Supporting Actor in a Play (Adrian Scarborough).

Based on the novel by Jamila Gavin
Adapted by Helen Edmundson
Director Adam Penford
Designer Kevin Jenkins
Lighting Designer Will Welch
Sound Designer Adam P McCready
Musical Director Alex Patterson
Choreographer Emma Lewis-Jones
Organist John Keys
String Quartet Helix Ensemble
Associate Director Jack Quarton

Albert Hall Conference Centre
North Circus Street

Performance dates
Wednesday 7 August- Saturday 10 August

Performance times
Evenings – 7pm
Matinee (Sat 10) 2.30pm (signed)

£22.50 – £10

Box Office
01159419419 <>

Nottingham Playhouse unveils new shows and updates for its Autumn/Winter Season

Alex Kingston as Dr Stockmann in An Enemy of the People - Photo by Tristram Kenton (c) Nottingham Playhouse - low res[1]
  • Neville Studio Christmas show confirmed as Pinocchio 
  • Amplify19 festival to return in autumn
  • Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful announced as the spring 2020 family show
  • Casting updates for An Enemy of the People, Lit, Assassins and Coram Boy
  • Holes to return to the Playhouse as part of a national tour

NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE has unveiled the latest updates for its autumn/winter season, including the announcement of Pinocchio as the Neville Studio Christmas show. A firm family favourite, Pinocchio will be this season’s festive treat for smaller children. The classic story of a puppet who is magically brought to life, Pinocchio is a production full of fun and mischief, following a young boy and his pet cricket on a journey of discovery into the unknown. With plenty of laughter, music and chances to join in, Pinocchio is the perfect Christmas show for younger children.

The award-winning theatre has also confirmed the return of Amplify19 festival in October after the success of the inaugural Amplify festival last year. The festival’s highlights include one-man fantasy adventure tale BOAR from creative associate Lewis Doherty, and trade a production that follows three women through a mix of fresh rhythm and raucous humour as they come to terms with the transactions that define them.

With a wide range of workshops, shows and work in progress pieces on offer throughout the week, Amplify19 aims to support and showcase up and coming artists from the East Midlands.

Next year’s family show has also been revealed as Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful. This premiere of Simon Reade’s new adaptation brings to life the moving, vivid and relatable story of Tommo, a country boy fighting a war he doesn’t understand for people he cannot respect. Having endured a tough rural childhood with his brother Charlie, we join 18-year-old Private Tommo Peaceful in the trenches as he tells us his remarkable story on what may be his last night on earth.

A tale of courage, devotion and sibling rivalry, the award-winning novel has quickly become a classic story for children and young adults since its publication in 2003. Private Peaceful will take to the stage next year and feature as Nottingham Playhouse’s spring 2020 family show.

The latest season announcement also includes casting for Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s special adaption of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People.

The headline drama, which stars award-winning actress, TV and film star Alex Kingston, is a gripping production set in contemporary Norway where the waters of a town’s famous spa are mysteriously poisoned.

Olivier Award-nominee and TV regular Malcom Sinclair has been cast as Peter Mattsson, the mayor of the Norwegian town and Dr Stockmann’s brother.
Donna Banya has been confirmed to play Petra, Dr Stockmann’s daughter and Imogen Daines is to play Ulrika Hovstad, editor of the town’s local paper. Karl Haynes, last seen at the Playhouse in Wonderland earlier this year, will also be joining them on stage as Captain Horster, Dr Stockmann’s friend and ally.  Returning to Nottingham Playhouse, Richard Evans – who previously appeared in the international tour of The Burial at Thebes – will take the role of Morten Kiil and Deka Walmsley will be playing Christopher Stockmann after appearing in Wonderland last year. East Midlands actor Tim Samuels has been confirmed to play Aslaksen, while also rehearsing to star in Playhouse production Coram Boy.

The theatre has also announced that Danish composer Frans Bak – who is well known for writing the score for both the original and American remake of TV series The Killing (Forbrydelsen) and the BBC’s Doctor Foster – will be composing the music for An Enemy of the People.

Coram Boy  Helen Edmundson’s adaptation of the book by Jamila Gavin – is Nottingham Playhouse’s most ambitious community project to date, and has also had some new additions to the cast. Jack Quarton returns to Nottingham after starring in Wonderland to play Thomas Ledbury, as well as being associate director for the production, which will involve nearly 100 members of the public.

Alongside Jack, Tim Samuels will be taking on the role of Otis Gardinera child snatching criminal who tricks young women into handing over their babies.
Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Thanks to record-breaking audiences last year we are able to create another season that mixes new writing with new versions of exciting classics, musicals and dramas. We have some terrific opportunities for children and young people to engage with the theatre and a brand new programme of classes and courses.   We are ever-grateful to our funders and sponsors who, along with our brilliant audiences, help to make all of this possible.”

Cast updates have also been announced for Sophie Ellerby’s LIT – a production about the turbulent teenage years of a girl from Nottingham. Running in the Playhouse’s Neville Studio, LIT gives a humorous account of the trials and tribulations of a young girl looking for love.
Nottingham actress and Television Workshop alumni, Eve Austin, who appeared in Inside No 9, is set to take the lead as Bex; a vibrant, fearless teenager with a lot of boredom to quell.  Eve will be joined by Tiger Cohen-Towell who plays Ruth, Bex’s shy, contemplative friend, along with Maxine Finch who takes the role as Bex’s new foster mum, Sylvia.

Jim Pope has been cast in the role of Ruth’s Dad Mark and Kieran Hardcastle has been confirmed to play Lee, the charming yet foul-mouthed older brother of a boy at Bex’s school.

Casting announcements have also been released for modern classic Assassins. Created by legendary musical theatre writer Stephen Sondheim, the multiple Tony award-winning vaudeville-style show is a satirical and stylish look at why individuals reach for a gun when they feel their voice can’t be heard.

Award-winning director Bill Buckhurst returns following universal acclaim for Sweet Charity with another multi-talented cast.

Alex Mugnaioni will be playing John Wilkes Booth, while Peter Dukes takes the role of Leon Czolgosz. Evelyn Hoskins has been cast as Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, along with Wonderland’s Jack Quarton who will be taking the stage as John Hinckley.

Ned Rudkins-Stow will be playing Lee Harvey Oswald, Joey Hickman will be playing The Proprietor and Phoebe Fildes will be playing Emma Goldman. The ensemble will be made up of Grace Lancaster, Matthew James Hinchliffe and Simon Oskarsson.

Finally, Nottingham Playhouse has announced the return of its critically acclaimed production of Louis Sachar’s Holes.
Based on the multi award-winning novel and Hollywood blockbuster, Holes is an off-beat comedy adventure perfect for children aged eight and up. Back by popular demand in February 2020, Nottingham Playhouse’s Holes has a short run as part of a major national tour.
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Box office 0115 941 9419

Matt Henry and Christopher Colquhoun lead the cast of Matthew Xia’s production of One Night In Miami…

One Night in Miami
  • Olivier award winner and The Voice UK finalist Matt Henry to play Sam Cooke
  • Acclaimed TV and theatre actor Christopher Colquhoun to play Malcolm X
  • Return of Matthew Xia, director of Nottingham Playhouse’s 2018 acclaimed production Shebeen

NOTTINGHAM Playhouse has announced full casting for its regional premiere of Kemp Power’s award-winning play One Night in Miami…

A fictional account based on true events, One Night in Miami… focuses on four friends, all on the cusp of becoming legends: newly crowned heavyweight champion Cassius Clay (Conor Glean), activist Malcolm X (Christopher Colquhoun) American football star turned actor Jim Brown (Miles Yekinni) and soul singer Sam Cooke (Matt Henry).

Set in 1964 in the midst of the civil rights movement, the men celebrate Clay’s title win in a Miami hotel room. Kemp Powers’ tough-talking drama speculates what might have taken place in that room that night, as the black icons tease each other, have passionate arguments on race and power, and share their dreams of a better life for all.

Completing the cast, Oseloka Obi and Nottingham actor Andre Squire play members of the Nation of Islam’s security troop, protecting the four men against the realities of the world outside the motel room.

Directing the play will be Matthew Xia; one of the UK’s most exciting theatre directors, known for his innovative and thought-provoking productions including Blue/Orange at the Young Vic, Into the Woods and Frankenstein at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. This will be Matthew’s return to Nottingham Playhouse following the critically-acclaimed Shebeen.

Matthew said: “One Night in Miami… lets us into that historic room where we get to see these icons as friends, and allies in the civil rights movement. It explores the responsibilities that come with being a successful Black man in 1964 America – and how these conversations resonate today.
“The evening is full of laughter, bonhomie between brothers, and a fair bit of tension as they work out what the next steps are for the movement and how best to lift an entire people!
“Audiences can also expect amazing music from the era, including Sam Cooke’s anthemic A Change is Gonna Come.”
After the success of award-winning play Shebeen in the 2018 programme, artistic director Adam Penford has continued his programming of politically charged productions that address societal issues of race and class.

Adam said: “I am delighted that Nottingham Playhouse has been chosen to present the UK regional premiere of this astonishing play, which has been acclaimed by audiences across the globe.
“This fictionalised account of four black icons in the 1960s, set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, has a huge amount to say about contemporary society. Kemp’s incredible writing is hilarious, heart wrenching and compelling.
“The art deco inspired set design is beautiful and Matthew Xia has assembled a first-rate cast; I guarantee that Matt Henry singing Sam Cooke’s music will be an unforgettable experience.”
One Night in Miami… runs at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 7 through to Saturday 22 June 2019. Tickets are priced £37.50 – £8.50.

Following the run in Nottingham, the production will tour to Bristol Old Vic (25 to 29 June) and HOME Manchester (2-5 July).

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One Night in Miami… received its theatrical stage premiere in the UK at the Donmar Warehouse on Tuesday 11 October 2016.

Full cast biographies:

Conor Glean – Mother Courage and Her Children (Manchester Royal Exchange); Queens of The Coal Age (Manchester Royal Exchange); Scuttlers (Manchester Royal Exchange); Advent Avenue (Contact Theatre)

Christopher Colquhoun – Macbeth, Three Sisters, Snake in the Fridge, The Way of the World (Royal Exchange); The Lion King (Disney Theatrical Productions); Romeo and Juliet (USA Tour); Saint Joan (National Theatre); Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare Globe); Silent Witness, Casualty, Fleabag, Belonging (BBC); Midsomer Murders (Bentley Productions); Law and Order, Flowers (Kudos Productions); iBOY (WIGWAM Films); Oh Happy Day (Firebrand Films).

Miles Yekinni – Front Line (Shakespeare’s Globe); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Lyceum Theatre); War Horse (New London Theatre); Baddies: The Musical (Unicorn Theatre); Ben Hur (Reading Rep Theatre at the Hexagon Theatre); Doctors (BBC); Krypton (Syfy); The Reluctant Landlord (Sky One); Play the Game (Familia Films).

Matt Henry – The Two Noble Kinsmen, Front Line (Shakespeare’s Globe); Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre); Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre and National Tour); Saturday Night Fever (UK Tour); Miss Saigon (UK Tour); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); The Voice Series 2 (BBC); The Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures); Gulliver’s Travels (Fox); One Day (Focus Features).

Oseloka Obi – The Son (Kiln Theatre); To Kill A Mockingbird, Macbeth (National Youth Theatre); Victoria’s Knickers (Soho Theatre); Timbuktu (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Edward II (Greenwich Theatre); We Raise Our Hands in the Sanctuary (Albany Theatre); SUS (Bristol Bierkeller); The Rotten Orchard (Bristol Old Vic).

Andre Squire – The Grapes of Wrath (Nuffield Theatre); The Refugee Boy (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Our Style is Legendary (Nottingham Playhouse); Doctors, Gold Diggers (BBC); Jamie Johnson (CBBC); Freefall (Warp Films); The Vice (Carlton TV); Gormint (Amazon Prime); Innocent Candy (Clock Tower Films).


Friday 7 through to Saturday 22 June 2019.
Matinees: 1:30pm, 2:30pm
Evenings: 7:00pm, 7:30pm

Please visit for full performance run.

Nottingham Playhouse

Box Office Information:
Nottingham Playhouse
Box office 0115 941 9419