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

Chris Ashby

Chris Ashby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets are priced £37.50 – £8.50

For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit


Praise for Wonderland

“Unmissable” – British Theatre Guide

“*****” – East Midlands Theatre

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


Full cast biographies:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Saturday 31 March through to Sunday 22 April 2018

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

Evenings at 7pm

Press night Thursday 5 April at 7pm


Nottingham Playhouse

Box Office Information:

Nottingham Playhouse

Box office 0115 941 9419


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

Rebecca Trehearn
Rebecca Trehearn

Rebecca Trehearn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wonderland Rehearsals – Photo credit Darren Bell

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Mr Adam Penford


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London based performers: Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 October.

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

See you in Nottingham! 🙂

The end.

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

Tony Campion drama Wreck premieres at Nottingham Playhouse – September 2017



An easy-going Nottingham lad boards a train, fresh from visiting his girlfriend. His world is flipped upside down when the train never completes its journey.
As first impressions derail and his stories of what happened veer off course, can we trust him to lead us to the truth? Can we trust ourselves to see it?

Wreck is an edge-of-your-seat, fast-paced drama about a young man suddenly thrust into the most desperate of circumstances.

Written by Leicester poet Toby Campion, winner of the 2015 Fifth Word Most Promising Playwright Award, this emotionally raw thriller will challenge your perceptions of our world and the stories behind the headlines.

Making her directorial debut at Nottingham Playhouse, Alexandra Moxon, Director of Wreck, said: “I am delighted to be back in my home town Nottingham after a year away training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. I feel incredibly fortunate to be welcomed back to Nottingham Playhouse to direct my first piece of work, since completing my MA in Directing, and I am very much looking forward to returning to the Playhouse.”

Playwright, Toby Campion said: “I am hugely honoured to have received the Fifth Word Theatre award for Most Promising Playwright and I am very excited that Wreck is being put on at Nottingham Playhouse. Wreck was the first play I ever wrote. The idea came to me when I was travelling by train back from Edinburgh, where I was living at the time, to Leicester, where I grew up. The play deals with grief, suspicion and fear through the story of one young man who is caught up in a situation beyond his control, in which he becomes more and more embroiled. I hope to take the audience on a journey, one which is as gripping and unpredictable for them as it is for our protagonist who narrates it.”

Neville Studio
Wednesday 20 September – Saturday 30 September
Evenings 8pm
Matinees 2pm
Press Night Thursday 21 September 7pm
0115 941 9419

Alexandra Moxon
Since graduating from her degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Warwick, Alex spent several years at Nottingham Playhouse, working extensively in participation and outreach. Whilst there, she wrote and produced a series of pantomimes that toured to a local care home for those with dementia and became project manager on Wave, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, for young people with learning disabilities and autism. Alex also assisted with the coordination of the Introduction to Directing course at Nottingham Playhouse as funded by the Regional Theatre Young Directors’ Scheme. Alex has recently completed an MA in Drama Directing at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Alex’s credits include: The Duchess of Malfi(Nottingham Playhouse), The Snow Queen (Bristol Old Vic), Our Town (Circomedia) and Under Milk Wood (West Country Tour) as Assistant Director and, as Director, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School) and Sex with a Stranger (Directors’ Cut Season, Bristol).

Toby Campion
Described by BBC Sunday Politics as “the voice of a generation”, Toby Campion is the current UK National Poetry Slam Champion. Raised in the Midlands, Toby performs his poetry internationally and his unapologetic words and wit have captured audiences at iconic UK venues, from the Royal Albert Hall to Glastonbury festival. Director of UniSlam and UK representative for a number of international literature events, Toby’s debut collection will be published in October with Burning Eye Books.

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 through its doors annually and has an additional footfall of 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. Its production of The Kite Runner has had two West End’s transfers, at both the Wyndham’s and Playhouse Theatres and will embark on a UK tour in 2017.
Fifth Word is an associate company at Nottingham Playhouse and is run by joint artistic directors Laura Ford and Angharad Jones. They produce and tour ambitious new plays from the most exciting voices around the UK. Fifth Word’s most recent productions include: All The Little Lights by Jane Upton (UK tour, 2016), Bones by Jane Upton (Edinburgh festival, 2011, UK tour, 2012), and Amateur Girl by Amanda Whittington (UK tour 2014).


Tom Dale
Tom Dale Company

Tom Dale Company

Critically acclaimed Nottingham-based contemporary dance company becomes National Portfolio Organisation
“Consistently engaging, handsomely designed, imagination-triggering piece.” **** Donald Hutera, The Times, on ‘Digitopia’

TOM DALE COMPANY, one of the UK’s leading contemporary dance companies, has been awarded NPO (National Portfolio Organisation) status by Arts Council England for 2018-2022.  Tom Dale Company’s critically acclaimed work combines choreography, electronic music and digital media to create bold, absorbing performances for all ages.   Seen widely in the UK and abroad to ever increasing audiences, TDC’s work, which ranges from intimate, immersive performances to large-scale site specific works, is regularly performed in theatres, art galleries, music festivals and even shopping centres.

Tom Dale

Tom Dale

Says Artistic Director Tom Dale (left):  “I’m absolutely delighted that we have been awarded NPO status for the next four years.  It’s really exciting that the Arts Council are investing in our work, helping us to take Tom Dale Company to the next level of creating world-class work for global audiences.  The funding means we can extend our team of dancers, musicians, digital media artists and designers to create even more innovative performances here and abroad. We can also further develop our participation programme, Urban Explorers, across Nottinghamshire and beyond. I believe we’ll be able to expand the boundaries of audience expectations and inspire the next generation of creative talent.”

Tom Dale trained at Trinity Laban where he won the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography.  He danced with leading choreographers and companies including Mathew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures before creating his own work and forming Tom Dale Company where he could pursue his artistic vision of creating projects that interrogate art in motion and have a particular synergy with digital arts and electronic music.

As well as creating all TDC’s work to date, including critically acclaimed pieces Rise, I Infinite, Refugees of the Lost Heart and Digitopia, Tom has created A New Chimera for Fertile Ground, Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red with Sinfonia Viva, Subterrania part of (In the Dust) for 2Faced Dance Company, Dance Please produced by TPO/Crying Out Loud/Theatre Is, Urban Explorers, the collaborative work for young artists and I am a believer for artist Reza Aramesh.

Tom Dale Company’s Urban Explorers is at Nottingham Playhouse on 5th July, 7.30pm.  Choreographed by Tom Dale, working with TDC dancers, Urban Explorers showcases the talent of dancers aged 13- 19, from youth dance groups across Nottinghamshire: The Black Thunder & TOL Collaboration Group, Reverse Flow, Backfoot Forward, JME Dance Company, electronic musician Jimmy Power, Dawn House Special School and Mansfield Pride.

The company’s next touring production, a double bill Step Sonic/Subterrania will premiere in the Midlands in March 2018.

 Leading comedian, Sara Pascoe adapts Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice  for Nottingham Playhouse and York Theatre Royal Stages

Sara Pascoe
Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

The most famous love story our country has ever produced, yet the women don’t work, the servants don’t speak, and who cares how filthy rich Mr Darcy is when he is so arrogant and RUDE? Georgian England was a world where men had property whilst women had smelling salts and piano lessons. Lucky them. Elizabeth Bennet is witty and clever, has terrible manners and muddy shoes. But with no independence, is her ending actually happy? Or have we been distracted by Colin Firth and frilly shirts?  If you’ve always heard people saying “Austen is so funny” and you never got it – you will now!

In a brand new comic adaptation by stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe, with an original score from Emmy the Great and directed by Susannah Tresilian (Director of Posh at Nottingham Playhouse in 2015), prepare yourself for a playful, truthful and occasionally disrespectful take on this brilliant novel.

Susannah Tresilian said: “It is a dream come true to be asked to direct a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, one of history’s greatest love stories.  I’m interested in taking a fresh look at it, whilst staying loyal to the original. I’m so pleased to be working with two other Austenites, the brilliant Sara Pascoe and Emmy the Great, to create an authentic Pride and Prejudice for a modern audience – combining, one might say, a 21st century sense with a 19th century sensibility..”

Sara Pascoe said: “I am massively excited to be adapting the book for the stage and demonstrating Austen’s courage and wit to a new generation of theatre- goers. I hope our fresh and funny version will make existing Pride and Prejudice fans fall in love with the characters all over again.”

Emmy the Great said: “It’s a privilege to be working alongside Susannah and Sara on this show. Pride and Prejudice is a book that I have come back to often in my life, and through this experience and Sara’s words I am getting to know it with a new intimacy. The humour of the original text, and this adaptation, makes working on the score extremely fun. I hope I can do it justice.”

Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe is an actress, writer and one of the most accomplished comedians in the country. She has an impressive array of TV credits including the BAFTA nominated Twenty Twelve (BBC2), W1A (BBC2), Campus (C4), The Thick of It (BBC2) and Being Human(BBC3). As a stand up, Sara has guest starred on Live at the Apollo (BBC), Taskmaster (Dave Channel) and performed a headline show for the Live from the BBC TV series. Sara is a regular guest on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order series and can frequently be seen on panel shows such as QI and Have I Got News For You (both for the BBC). Sara has enjoyed great success with her previous solo live shows, with sell-out Edinburgh fringe runs and an Edinburgh Comedy Award-nomination in 2015 for ‘Sara Pascoe vs History’. Sara subsequently toured the latter show across Australia and New Zealand, including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Sara’s debut book “Animal” was released in May 2016 (published by Faber & Faber) to widespread critical acclaim – and she has recently completed an extended sell-out UK stand-up tour of the same title. Sara is currently writing her 2nd book, a radio series for BBC radio 4 and will take her new solo live show, LadsLadsLads to the 2017 Edinburgh Festival.

Susannah Tresilian’s work focusses on political and social theatre to inspire change. In 2014 she founded Ariadne, an organisation which works with women who make theatre in conflict-affected areas. As Artistic Director of Envision Theatre (2002-9) she worked from the UK and Italy (where she lived for three years) specialising in the dissemination and exploration of international collaborations. She now works freelance often in collaboration with the European Theatre Convention and Nottingham Playhouse. She co-founded ‘Echo Viva’ a multi-national, multi-disciplinary arts festival in Italy, and ‘Palaver: Theatre and Language’ at the Contact Theatre in Manchester. She was shortlisted for the National Theatre’s Leverhulme Bursary for Emerging Theatre Director 2010.

Emmy the Great is a musician and culture writer. Born in Hong Kong, she divides her time between New York and London. Alongside her studio albums, Emmy has written original music for Starlee Kine’s Mystery Show Podcast and Mia Lidofsky’s upcoming series Strangers. She’s campaigned for Wateraid, mentored for Strummerville and given music workshops in HM Holloway Women’s Prison as part of Billy Bragg’s Jail Guitar Doors charity.

Adapted by Sara Pascoe
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by Susannah Tresilian
Designed by Carla Goodman
Music by Emmy the Great
Lighting by Mark Howland
Sound by Drew Baumoh


Nottingham Playhouse

Friday 15 – Saturday 30 September

Evenings 7.45pm

Matinees Saturday 23 September 2.30pm, Thursday 28 September 1.30pm

Press Night Tuesday 19 September 7pm 

York Theatre Royal

Wednesday 4 – Saturday 14 October

Evenings 7.30pm

Matinees Saturdays 7 and 14 October 2.30pm, Thursdays 5 and 12 October 2pm

Press Night Wednesday 4 October 7.30pm


Nottingham Playhouse

Box office 0115 941 9419

York Theatre Royal

Box office 01904 623568


Nottingham Playhouse landmark Autumn/Winter Season kicks off with comedian Sarah Pascoe’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

Nottingham Playhouse Autumn/Winter Season
Nottingham Playhouse Autumn/Winter Season

Nottingham Playhouse Autumn/Winter Season

On the main stage
Nottingham Playhouse’s Autumn/Winter season of work on its main stage begins with the return of the critically acclaimed The Kite Runner, straight from two West End runs. First produced by Nottingham Playhouse and the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse in 2013, The Kite Runner returns to its Nottingham home before embarking on a UK tour.
In September, director Susannah Tresilian returns to Nottingham Playhouse having directed Laura Wade’s Posh at the theatre in 2015. Pride and Prejudice, a co-production with York Theatre Royal is a brand new comic-adaptation by stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe with an original score from Emmy the Great.
In October, Nottingham Playhouse presents the classic All My Sons, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Arthur Miller. Directed by Nottingham Playhouse Associate Director Fiona Buffini, All My Sons is a family drama that explores the dark side of the American Dream and asks what it means to be American. It has never been more relevant.
This Autumn, Giles Croft steps down after 18 years as Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse.  In November his last production will be Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.  Chekhov’s last and greatest play, The Cherry Orchard tells the story of a family on the edge of ruin and a country on the brink of revolution.  By turns tragic and funny, this new version by Olivier Award-winner Simon Stephens (A Doll’s House, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), is both dynamic and profound.
Ending the year will be Kenneth Alan Taylor’s much-loved pantomime, Cinderella. A dashing prince is hosting a ball and Cinderella would give anything to go, but her stepmother and sisters have other plans. Can Cinderella escape their clutches and, with the help of her Fairy Godmother and best friend Buttons, find true love? Expect sumptuous costumes, magnificent scenery and a coachload of hilarity, slapstick, song and dance.


Brand new shows announced for the Neville Studio
Nottingham Playhouse’s Neville Studio also has a season of exciting and innovative productions.
In September Wreck, written by Leicester performance poet Toby Campion, winner of the 2015 Fifth Word Playwriting Award, will be directed by Alex Moxon in her directorial debut. An easy-going Nottingham lad boards a train, fresh from visiting his girlfriend. His world is flipped upside down when the train never completes its journey. Wreck is an edge-of-your-seat, fast-paced drama about a young man suddenly thrust into the most desperate of circumstances. This emotionally raw thriller challenges the perceptions of our world and the stories behind the headlines.

Playground is Nottingham Playhouse’s new performance festival for artists, makers and theatre companies based in Nottinghamshire, running from 2 -7 October 2017. Showcasing work from some of the most exciting new artists and companies in region, all performances will be hosted in the Neville Studio.  Confirmed so far are Major Labia’s Vulva La Revolution, Zoo Indigo’s Celluloid Soulsand La Pelle’s Factory, (in association with LittleMighty and In Good Company), The Black Cat.
For younger children and families, Nottingham Playhouse’s alternative Christmas show to panto, will be Town Mouse and Country Mouse. Town Mouse loves the city’s breakneck speed and all the gifts people leave him, and there is never a dull moment! But Country Mouse prefers the slow life – caution is his middle name. But when a cat arrives on the scene to gobble them both up, can both mice learn to love each other’s differences and triumph over adversity? Lovingly adapted by Robin Kingsland (2016’s The Princess and The Frog),  Town Mouse and Country Mouse is jammed full of music, fun and plenty of chances to join in.

Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse said: “This season we have all sorts of wonderful long term plans coming to fruition – new plays,  new programmes of activity and new creative teams working at Nottingham Playhouse.  It’s a very exciting and eclectic mix.”


The Kite Runner

Directed by Giles Croft

31 August to 9 September 2017

Press Night Friday 1 September at 7pm

Pride and Prejudice

Directed by Susannah Tresilian

15 September to 30 September 2017

Press Night Tuesday 19 September at 7pm


Directed by Alex Moxon

20 September to 30th September

Press Night Thursday 21 September at 7pm

All My Sons

Directed by Fiona Buffini

06 October to 21 October 2017

Press Night Thursday 10 October at 7pm

The Cherry Orchard

Directed by Giles Croft

03 November to 18 November 2017

Press Night Tuesday 7 November at 7pm


Directed by Kenneth Alan Taylor

1st December to 20th January

Press Night Saturday 2 December at 7.30pm

Town Mouse and Country Mouse

Directed by Fiona Buffini

13th December to 6th January

Press Performance Thursday 14th December at 1.15pm