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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).

For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk <http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk>  <http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk>

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).

Listings:

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

Please visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk for full performance run.

Nottingham Playhouse

Box Office Information:
Nottingham Playhouse
www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
Box office 0115 941 9419

The Watermill Theatre announces Autumn and Winter season for 2019

Kiss Me Kate
  • Paul Hart directs The Watermill’s summer musical Kiss Me, Kate
  • Bill Buckhurst directs Sondheim’s Assassins in a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse
  • Watermill Young Company presents Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Watermill Ensemble presents a fast-paced A Mini Summer Night’s Dream featuring a cast of three
  • Mark Twain’s classic The Prince and the Pauper reimagined in a new version by Chinonyerem Odimba

 The Watermill Theatre today announced its new season for Autumn/Winter 2019.

In keeping with the theatre’s growing reputation for producing theatrically bold and imaginatively staged musicals performed by actor-musicians, the season highlights will include the multi-award-winning classic Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate, as well as a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse of Stephen Sondheim’s whip-smart and insightful Assassins

 Also featuring is work from the Young Company who will be performing Glyn Maxwell’s adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s epic Cyrano de Bergerac and The Watermill Ensemble return with a hilarious, high-octane version of Shakespeare’s Dream in A Mini Summer Night’s Dream which will tour to schools. Finally, the festive season unwraps with a lively adaptation by Chinonyerem Odimba of Mark Twain’s classic story of confused identities, The Prince and The Pauper for all the family.

Paul Hart, Artistic and Executive Director said ‘I am really excited about bringing this season of work to The Watermill.  Our summer musicals have become must-see shows, and I can’t wait to get working on Kiss Me, Kate in The Watermill’s unique and intimate space – Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, egos raging and gun-toting gangsters, what’s not to love?  This brilliant show-within-a-show set up and Cole Porter’s sublime score will be reimagined with actor-musicians. I am also delighted to be co-producing Assassins with Nottingham Playhouse, one of Sondheim’s most pertinent pieces, continuing our long association with the work of Sondheim. It is thrilling to see work from our fantastically committed Young Company and they will be bringing to life a very funny production of Cyrano De Bergerac. Our ever versatile Watermill Ensemble will be showcasing a fast-paced, joyous ‘Mini Summer Night’s Dream’ with three actors playing all the parts. The show will  tour to schools and run at the theatre. Finally, for the festive season we have a real treat for all the family with Chinonyerem Odimba’s new version of Mark Twain’s classic story The Prince and The Pauper.’

Continuing its commitment to making its work accessible to all, The Watermill will offer £10 tickets for 16 to 25s to all main house productions. It will stage its twelfth integrated signed performance during the run of The Prince and the Pauper on 11 and 14 December, as well as a Relaxed Performance on 7 December. There will also be a Relaxed Performance of A Mini Summer Night’s Dream on 7 November and audio described performances for Kiss Me, Kate, Assassins and The Prince and the Pauper.

The Watermill Theatre presents

KISS ME, KATE

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Sam and Bella Spewack

Directed by Paul Hart

Designed by Frankie Bradshaw

Choreography by Naomi Said

Sound designed by Tom Marshall

Thursday 25 July to Saturday 21 September

PRESS NIGHT: MONDAY 29 JULY AT 7.30PM

Onstage romance collides with backstage drama in this musical comedy about the highs and lows of working in theatre.

When ego-centric actor-manager Fred Graham and his fiery ex-wife Lilli Vanessi find themselves starring opposite each other in a musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, sparks begin to fly. Meanwhile in another corner of Ford’s Theatre, Baltimore, Fred’s current flame and rising star Lois Lane attempts to tame her gambler boyfriend only to be thwarted by the arrival of a couple of gangsters who somehow find themselves centre stage!

Despite chaos reigning on and offstage, the show must go on! Will the cast make it to curtain up or will they literally bring the house down?

Showbiz shenanigans together with Cole Porter’s jazz-inflected score form a sparkling tribute to theatre in all its greasepaint and glory.

Kiss Me, Kate’s iconic music and razor-sharp wit are catapulted into the limelight by a cast of actor-musicians performing showstopping numbers including Too Darn Hot, Another Op’nin’ Another Show, Brush Up Your Shakespeare and So in Love.

 Principal Sponsor, Saica Pack

 

The Watermill Theatre and

Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company present

ASSASSINS

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

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited
Directed by Bill Buckhurst

Musical Supervision and Orchestration by Catherine Jayes

Designed by Simon Kenny

 

Thursday 26 September to Saturday 26 October

PRESS NIGHT: MONDAY 30 SEPTEMBER AT 7.30PM

 ‘Murder is a tawdry little crime. But when a president gets killed… he gets assassinated.’

A man sits in a storeroom on the sixth floor of a Book Depository in Texas 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.

Assassins 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. Clever, funny and thought-provoking, this is a musical about the power of the President, the lure of celebrity and the failure of the American Dream.

This multiple Tony award-winning vaudeville style show is a modern classic. Following the success of A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd, The Watermill returns to Sondheim with a multi-talented cast of actor-musicians.

 The Watermill Young Company presents

CYRANO DE BERGERAC

Adapted by Glyn Maxwell
From the play by Edmond Rostand

Directed by Seamus Allen

Designed by Cory Shipp

This amateur production is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH LTD a Concord Theatricals Company.

Wednesday 30 October to Saturday 2 November

PRESS NIGHT: THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER AT 7.30PM

 ‘Does it seem strange: a hundred cutthroats against one poor poet?’

Cyrano is the greatest swordsman in all of France whose prowess in battle is only equalled by the beauty of his poetry. Fierce with a pen and notorious in combat, the gifted nobleman appears to have it all. If only he could capture the heart of his one true love Roxanne. The Watermill Young Company return with a swashbuckling tale of adventure and romance.

The Sackler Trust, Principal Supporter of The Watermill Young Company

The Watermill Ensemble presents

Shakespeare Unlocked

A MINI SUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
By William Shakespeare
Adapted by Danielle Pearson

Directed by Robert Kirby

Monday 4 to Friday 8 November

PRESS NIGHT: TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER AT 7.30PM

‘If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumbered here. While these visions did appear…’

Three actors unlock Shakespeare’s enchanting play in a fast-paced 75 minute production with live music.

Midsummer’s night. The costume store backstage at a theatre. Things begin to come alive… Sprites, fairies and young lovers collide in Shakespeare’s beguiling comedy of magic and mischief. Over the course of a single night, hearts are broken, vows are made and dreams are chased.

There will be a free post-show Q&A following performances from Tuesday to Friday.

This production will also tour to schools. For more information about the tour call 01635 570927.

The Sackler Trust, Principal Supporter of The Watermill Schools Touring Programme.

 The Watermill Theatre presents

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
By Mark Twain

Adaptation and Lyrics by Chinonyerem Odimba

Music and Lyrics by Tarek Merchant

Directed by Abigail Pickard Price

Thursday 14 November to Saturday 4 January 2020

PRESS PERFORMANCES: SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER AT 2.30pm and 7pm.
A magical, musical tale of dreams, ambition and friendship.

Two young dreamers with very different lives long for change. The Prince is bored of royal life, of endless parties and rules and grown-ups. Most of all, he hates the grown-ups and wishes he had friends his own age to play with. Outside the palace walls in the bustling streets of London, a young girl who loves to play music and dance, dreams of escaping her humble life to perform for the finest people in the city.

When their two worlds collide, the Prince and the Pauper embark on a thrilling adventure beyond their wildest imaginations. Switching places to live each other’s lives, will they ever be the same again?

Suitable for age 4+. We regret that we are unable to admit children under 3 or babes in arms into the auditorium except for the Relaxed Performance.

Principal Sponsor, Horsey Lightly Solicitors

One-off events

The Watermill Theatre and Paines Plough present
COME TO WHERE I’M FROM

Saturday 9 November at 6.30pm
This celebrated nationwide project visits Newbury inviting the finest local playwrights to write and perform mini plays about their home towns.

Since 2010, more than 160 writers from across the UK have returned home to pen plays about the places that shaped them. Together these plays make up a theatrical tapestry of the nation – a playwrights’ guide to Great Britain. At theatres from Bristol to Belfast, Cardiff to Coventry and Nottingham to Newcastle, these plays have been performed by the playwrights themselves, coming home to tell their tale.

Now, Come To Where I’m From visits The Watermill for a special evening of new short plays about Newbury performed by the playwrights themselves on the stage of their home town theatre.

Download the Come To Where I’m From app to listen to plays from around the UK for free. Available from the App Store and Google Play.

 LISTINGS INFORMATION

The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, Newbury RG20 8AE

Tickets: Online: www.watermill.org.uk
Box Office: 01635 46044

Booking opens on Tuesday 23 April at 10am.
Friends of The Watermill Priority Booking opens Friday 12 April at 10am.

KISS ME, KATE

Dates: Thursday 25 July to Saturday 21 September

Press Night: Monday 29 July, 7.30pm
Times: 
Evening performances at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinées at 2.30pm. Final performances on Saturday 21 September at 1.30pm and 6.30pm.
Audio Described performance on Saturday 17 August at 2.30pm, Touch Tour at 1pm.

Ticket prices: Monday evenings and Thursday matinées: £22 and £18.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday evenings and Saturday matinées: £31, £28, £20.

Friday and Saturday evenings: £33, £30, £22.

ASSASSINS

Dates: Thursday 26 September to Saturday 26 October

Press Night: Monday 30 September, 7.30pm
Times: Evening performances at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinées at 2.30pm. Final performances on Saturday 26 October at 1.30pm and 6.30pm. Audio Described performance on Saturday 26 October at 1.30pm, Touch Tour at 12 noon.

Ticket prices: Monday evenings and Thursday matinées: £22 and £16.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday evenings and Saturday matinées: £31, £28, £16.

Friday and Saturday evenings: £33, £30, £19.

 

CYRANO DE BERGERAC

Dates: Wednesday 30 October to Saturday 2 November

Press Night: Thursday 31 October, 7.30pm.

Times: Wednesday to Friday evening performances at 7.30pm, Saturday at 6.30pm.

Ticket prices: £12 and £11.50, concessions £7 and £6.50.

A MINI SUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

Dates: Monday 4 to Friday 8 November

Press Night: Tuesday 5 November, 7.30pm

Times: Evening performances at 7.30pm. Wednesday and Thursday matinées at 2.30pm. There will be a Relaxed Performance on Thursday 7 November at 2.30pm.

Ticket prices: Monday to Friday evenings: £14 and £13. Wednesday and Thursday matinées: £8 and £7.50.

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER

Dates: Thursday 14 November to Saturday 4 January. Performance times vary so please go to www.watermill.org.uk

Press Night: Saturday 16 November, 2.30pm and 7pm

Accessible performances:
BSL integrated performances on Wednesday 11 December at 2.30pm and Saturday 14 December at 2.30pm.
Audio Described performance on Saturday 21 December at 2.30pm, Touch Tour at 1pm.
Relaxed Performance on Saturday 7 December at 2.30pm. Tickets for the Relaxed Performance are £20 and £18.
Ticket prices: From Thursday 14 November to Thursday 12 December £23, £17, £12.
From Saturday 14 December to Saturday 4 January £25, £18, £13.
Schools’ tickets are £9. Please call the box office to book on 01635 46044.

 

COME TO WHERE I’M FROM

Date: Saturday 9 November 
Time: 
6.30pm

Ticket prices: £12 and £8.

Nottingham Playhouse creates digital production on Brexit

SOVEREIGNTY

A NEW digital production, inspired by the challenges and uncertainty over Brexit, has been created by Nottingham Playhouse’s recently appointed creative associate Ben Norris.

Produced by the award-winning theatre, the new film-poem named Sovereignty captures Brexit issues and frustrations faced by the nation, from the writer’s point of view.

The piece, which was shaped as part of Nottingham Playhouse’s remit for supporting new writing and creative work, was written and performed by local playwright, poet and actor Ben, who started his career at Nottingham Playhouse’s youth theatre, and is now a two-time national poetry slam champion.

Ben said: “My issue is both with the mess we’re currently in, and how we ended up here in the first place. But I wanted to write something that took aim not at anyone who voted a certain way, on either side of the leave-remain divide, but rather the individuals and institutions responsible.

“Domestic policy making has had to essentially halt for the last two years to make room for the giant octopus that is Brexit; we are hemorrhaging money in order to try and make a fantasy a reality, all the while being told it’s in the national interest.

“Those who ask serious questions of Brexit are often accused of being unpatriotic. Yet I find that deeply insulting. I love this country, and that’s why I don’t want to see it run into the ground.”

Fraser Youngson, digital producer at Nottingham Playhouse, worked with Ben to help bring the idea to life and was responsible for the production and direction of the piece.

Fraser said: “It’s been great working in partnership with Ben on such a timely piece of work. Nottingham Playhouse has allowed us the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of work to help spark a conversation about the state of our country and I’m looking forward to seeing the general public’s response.

“I’m really excited to work on more thought-provoking digital productions and to continue working with Nottingham Playhouse’s exceptional talent on a daily basis.”

Adam Penford, artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Nottingham Playhouse is delighted with the work we commissioned from Ben and Fraser. They both felt passionately about generating a response to the current political situation and a digital poem felt like an immediate art form which could reach a wide audience.

“Their collaboration has produced a dynamic poem that is bold, witty and engaging. We hope viewers will find it entertaining and thought-provoking, whatever their political standpoint.”

For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk

Nottingham Playhouse announces Autumn Season – Alex Kingston stars in An Enemy Of The People, new production of Sondheim’s Assassins and much much more!

AUTUMN SEASON 2019
  • Film, TV and theatre star Alex Kingston confirmed to play the lead in specially-adapted Rebecca Lenkiewicz version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People
  • New production of Assassins confirmed for Autumn 2019
  • World premiere of LIT by Sophie Ellerby
  • Casting for Memory of Water announced
  • Details of Adam Penford’s production of Coram Boy revealed
  • Emerging BAME playwright Nathaniel Price under commission for a new Nottingham-based drama

NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE has unveiled its 2019 Autumn season, including a specially-adapted version of An Enemy of the People starring Alex Kingston.In the new 2019 Autumn brochure, the Playhouse has also revealed another new production for the theatre Assassins, as well as announcing a world premiere for the Neville Studio LIT and its epic community project Coram Boy, to take place at Nottingham’s Albert Hall.

Celebrated for 12 years in renowned US drama series ER, award-winning actress, TV and film star Alex Kingston will take on the lead of Dr Stockmann in An Enemy of the People in September. The timely and gripping play about fake news, whistle-blowers and the corruption of power is set in contemporary Norway where Dr Stockmann discovers the town’s famous spa waters are poisoned.

British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz, has specially adapted An Enemy of the People for Nottingham Playhouse. Lenkiewicz is also an esteemed screenwriter whose credits include co-writing the Oscar winning Ida, and Colette which starred Keira Knightley.

Adam Penford, artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse, said:
“I am thrilled that An Enemy of the People is our headline drama this Autumn, following on from the major success of The Madness of George III in November. It’s a play I’ve had my eye on for a few years as the themes it explores feel so current; it’s hard to believe Ibsen wrote it 130 years ago.

“Alex Kingston is a tremendous actor with a powerful stage presence and global profile. I was delighted by how passionately she felt about both the play and the character and was excited about coming to Nottingham. Likewise, Rebecca Lenkiewicz is one of the most renowned British playwrights and her new incisive adaptation brings the play bang up-to-date so it has the freshness and mass appeal of a contemporary thriller.

“An Enemy of the People is one of the greatest dramas ever written and audiences will be gripped by its dramatic narrative and the mirror it holds up to our society.”

Speaking about her role in An Enemy of the People, Alex Kingston said:
“I am really excited about participating in the 2019 season at Nottingham Playhouse. The lead main character was written for a man and has always been played by a man; in this version it is being adapted to allow me to play this role.

“The piece is really timely – there are a lot of shadows within the play that echo what we are going through right now – the Flint water scandal in Michigan, the vilification of Hillary Clinton, the general state of democracy and post Brexit Britain – there are a lot of themes that will resonate for the audience in this play.”

The award-winning theatre, which recently won Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2019, has also confirmed the world premiere of LIT – a co-production with HighTide, directed by Stef O’Driscoll and the debut play of local writer Sophie Ellerby. Taking place in the Neville Studio in late September and October, the play will explore the turbulent teenage years of a girl looking for love in all the wrong places.

The Autumn will also see Nottingham Playhouse and The Watermill Theatre produce Stephen Sondheim’s multiple Tony Award-winning musical Assassins in November.
Bill Buckhurst will return to the Playhouse following universal acclaim for his direction of 2018’s Sweet Charity, to direct the clever, funny and thought-provoking musical about the power of the President, lure of celebrity and the failure of the American dream.

The latest announcement also includes casting for heart-breaking drama The Memory of Water, taking place in May.
The comedy drama directed by highly acclaimed director and National Theatre, Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe regular Adele Thomas 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.

Cuckoo and EastEnders actress Juliet Cowan will be taking on the role of Teresa, along-side EastEnders actor Nicholas Bailey who will be playing Mike. People Like Us and Love and Marriage actor Stewart Wright has also been confirmed to play Frank.

Nottingham Playhouse also announced it has commissioned a new drama for its theatre from stage and screenwriter Nathaniel Price. Set in the early 1980s Nottingham, the drama centres on the lives of a dual heritage family. Nathaniel is currently writing episodes for a major new adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses (Mammoth Screen/BBC) and Tin Star II starring Tim Roth (Kudos/Sky).

Coram Boy, led by Adam Penford, has also been announced as the theatre’s most ambitious community project yet, which will be taking centre stage at the Albert Hall in August.
Up to 100 amateur performers will form the production’s acting and choral ensemble working alongside a cast of professional actors.

The epic adventure play, based on the award-winning novel by Jamila Gavin, features twists and danger and is about the strength of love between a parent and child.
To apply to take part in Coram Boy and to book into an audition workshop complete the online application form by Sunday 17 March at www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/participation/community/coram-boy-community-company/

Participants will need to commit to weekly evening rehearsals from week commencing 6 May – 20 July, as well as evening technical and dress rehearsals running from 22 July – 6 August and the performances from 7 – 10 August.

Nottingham Playhouse Autumn shows will go on sale to Playhouse Pass members on Wednesday 6 March and will go on general sale on Friday 15 March.

For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk

Box Office Information:
Nottingham Playhouse
www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
Box office 0115 941 9419

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 return of the ‘unmissable’ drama Wonderland

Wonderland - Feb 2018 P © Nottingham Playhouse (23) - low res
Wonderland - Feb 2018 P © Nottingham Playhouse (23) - low res

Wonderland – Feb 2018 P © Nottingham Playhouse (23) – low res

FOLLOWING rave reviews from critics and audiences Nottingham Playhouse has revealed that Wonderland will be returning to the theatre as part of the 2019 season, prior to a run at Northern Stage in Newcastle.

Ahead of the full Spring 2019 season announcement on 15 October, Nottingham Playhouse has confirmed that the play based on the miners’ strike in Nottingham will be returning to the venue for a second leg in February (Friday 8 – Saturday 23), before heading to Northern Stage in Newcastle from Wednesday 27 February through to Saturday 9 March.

Written by the daughter of a Nottinghamshire miner Beth Steel, Wonderland was the first in a string of highly successful shows for Adam Penford’s debut season as artistic director at the Playhouse and its set designer Morgan Large has since been nominated for a UK Theatre Award for his ambitious Wonderland set design.

Adam said: “We had an overwhelming response to Wonderland earlier this year, with standing ovations every night, and audiences have constantly been calling for its return. I’m thrilled we’ve been able to make that happen and also to take the production to Newcastle, another city where I’m sure it will resonate just as strongly.

“The story produced a passionate response in audiences, both tears and laughter, irrespective of whether they lived through that period in our history or are just learning about it. Beth’s play is a masterwork, full of gritty dialogue, larger-than-life characters, plus songs and movement – it’s great to be giving further life to a local writer’s work.”

Matt Runham, Northern Stage senior producer said: “Building on the recent success of co-productions East is East andNoises Off, we’re excited to be working with Nottingham Playhouse again to bring Wonderland to Newcastle as part of our Spring 2019 season.

“People in the North East know only too well how the pit closures affected local communities so we think this gripping story of the events leading up to the miner’s strike will resonate with our audience.

“Designer Morgan Large’s stunning set design was widely praised by critics, so we’re not surprised to hear it has just been nominated for Best Design at the UK Theatre Awards and we can’t wait to see Wonderland on our main stage.”

Set in Nottinghamshire in 1983, Wonderland follows two 16-year-olds as they wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by a veteran miner, they descend into the brotherhood, banter, searing heat and liquid blue light of Welbeck Colliery.

Meanwhile in London, an American CEO known as The Butcher is brought in to reform King Coal. Pits close and a strike is called.

A Tory MP tussles with his leader’s hard line ideology, whilst an eccentric dandy is sent undercover to break up the strike. Cracks appear on all sides as the embattled miners are torn apart trying to protect their livelihoods and families. Nothing will be the same again.

For more information visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk

Listings:

Nottingham Playhouse

Friday 8 – Saturday 23 February

Press night at Nottingham Playhouse is Tuesday 12 February

Tickets are priced £37.50 – £8.50

 

Northern Stage, Newcastle

Wednesday 27 February – Saturday 9 March

Press night at Northern Stage is Wednesday 27 February

Tickets from £10

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Theatre Diary: Sweet Charity, SIX The Musical, Abigail’s Party & Eugenius!

It’s a popular misconception, and one frequently held by opportunists, that low quality, no-redeeming-features musicals are easy to palm off on theatre fans. See: Heathers / The Band.

Far from being guaranteed to rock your world, EUGENIUS! is guaranteed to bore you rigid. It is with deep regret that I inform you this sci-fi super hero show is not a good musical in any world.

There are moments you feel the show wants to get out of first gear; when the bizarre dancing fish people appear. Aaron Renfree’s choreography is perfectly satisfactory. Oh, and he was an S Club Junior as well.

This production has been tottering around London for 2 years now – originally staged as a concert at the London Palladium in 2016. But it is 2018 and Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins’ 80’s inspired show is back at The Other Palace. It has very few redeeming features, aside from Rob Houchen. He plays the lead role of Eugene well.

Most of the music doesn’t work, but it scores a palpable hit with ‘Comic Book Kind Of Love’. Every other line, every other character, seems mechanical. It just doesn’t know what it is or who it is for. I also take issue with the grossly stereotype homosexual character – played by Scott Paige. It’s just not funny to have an effeminate individual just for their gayness. Basic.

The Warwick Davies produced musical starts off being far better than you might have expected, ends up being far worse than you could ever have feared. Sadly, it swerves anything meaningful and hurls itself into a sort of risible parody of a parody affair with basic gender stereotypes, a ropey design and misguided sexual politics, which is a bit disappointing but, well, it’s 2018 isn’t it. Avoid.

Life in prison for Warwick and the other two, please.

At Nottingham Playhouse, Rebecca Trehearn demonstrates how Sweet Charity should be done. Everything glides by like a dream.

As Charity Hope Valentine Rebecca Trehearn enters like a ditzy lioness in Bill Buckhurst’s triumphant revival of the 1966 Broadway hit – the first musical produced by the Playhouse in over a decade. Everyone is in most assured hands with choreographer Alistair David, master of clever choreography that animates everything. Sizzling stuff.

SWEET CHARITY

SWEET CHARITY

Things soar with a dazzling interpretation of Big Spender and Buckhurst brings his particular gifts to the show: nimble direction, razzle-dazzle, pinpoint characterisation. Yes, it goes on a bit, at nearly three hours long. Nonetheless, an evening of many enchanting charms with a winning vitality.

Another year, another revival of Abigail’s Party. Douglas Rintoul’s treacle slow production both stages and stays faithful to Mike Leigh’s acidic comedy about 1970s social norms at Queen’s Theatre, HornchurchMelanie Gutteridge is beautifully contained as the ghastly host Beverley, though. Her delivery of: “Laurence, Angela likes Demis Roussos. Tony likes Demis Roussos, I like Demis Roussos, and Sue would like to hear Demis Roussos: so please, d’you think we could have Demis Roussos on?” brought a wide smile to my face. Brilliant.

There are plenty of quietly enjoyable moments. But everything lacks depth that would give it savour. The design helps; Lee Newby’s smartly 70’s kitch work frames the action acutely.

But this is a safe evening: a retrieval rather than a rediscovery, it adds nothing new. The greatness of Leigh’s play lies in its unspoken wish that aggressive suburban consumerism might itself one day have the courage to confront reality.

A new British musical that’s as brilliant as it is absolutely daft, Six The Musical has made the last few years of Arts Theatre, London worth all the hassle.

Managing to be an inspiring piece about female empowerment without being trite and generally shit, SIX The Musical enjoyed a sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe this year and arrives in town evolved with a real buzz.

Cheers all round for a resounding bunch of queens. A royal affair, sassy performances and a show-making all-female crew stir in tinselly costumes. This concert-style show about the six wives of Henry VIII is a real joy.

SIX

SIX

Yes, the message here is probably as substantial as Girl Power once was / is, but this is stompy musical theatre perfection nonetheless. There’s a strong sense of ‘imperial phase Little Mix’ in this musical, which is to say it’s close to pop musical perfection. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Eugenius! is at The Other Palace until 21 October.

Sweet Charity is at Nottingham Playhouse until 22 September.

Abigail’s Party is at Queens Theatre Hornchurch until 22 September, then touring. 

SIXthe Musical is at Arts Theatre, London until 1 December.

 

 

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 www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk

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)