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Nuffield Southampton Theatres announce Spring 2020 Season – Radical Versions Of Much Loved Books

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, today announced the company’s Spring 2020 season.

Highlights of the season include new adaptations of three classic novels including a co-production of H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds created by Rhum and Clay and written with Isley Lynn, a co-production of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights created by Inspector Sands and the critically-acclaimed co-production of Tron Theatre Company and Blood of the Young’s Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) which arrives at NST City as part of its UK tour on 17 March and will be extending its run by a week, running until 4 April 2020. In addition, the company present Heist with its resident dance company, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Sam Hodges, said today “This is a season of radical new versions of much-loved texts with Blood of the Young’s hilarious and moving Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), Rhum & Clay’s thrilling, shape-shifting The War of the Worlds and Inspector Sands’ sensory Wuthering Heights. In each adaptation, these fiercely talented theatre-makers are telling the story from a new perspective, and by doing so, making them funnier, more relevant, and more gripping – exactly what theatre should be.

 It’s also a season about supporting some of the country’s most exciting up-and-coming theatre companies. We’re delighted to be working in partnership to introduce Blood of the Young, an excellent Scottish company, to England, and support Rhum & Clay, Inspector Sands and our resident dance company ZoieLogic all to grow their work to the mid-scale for the very first time.”

In April 2020 NST Campus will be closing in order to undergo a major refurbishment as part of The University of Southampton’s wider renovation of the Highfield Campus. The theatre will continue to present a full programme of produced and touring work at their city centre venue NST City.

NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres co-production with Brighton Festival, HOME Manchester and New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

The War of the Worlds

Created by Rhum and Clay and written with Isley Lynn

Directed by Hamish McDougall and Julian Spooner; Designed by Bethany Wells

 15 – 25 April 2020

Press night: Friday 17 April, 7pm

“No-one would have believed in the early years of the twentieth century that this world was being watched…”

But we did believe. We believed that Martians landed in New Jersey. We believed a water tower was an alien war machine. We believed a man walked on the moon. We believe everything the internet trolls tell us and now the end of the world is being broadcast live…

Inspired by H.G. Wells’ novel and Orson Welles’ classic radio play, this legendary science fiction thriller is playfully reimagined for our era of Fake News and ‘alternative facts’.

Originally commissioned by New Diorama Theatre.

NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Royal & Derngate, China Plate and Inspector Sands co-production in association with Oxford Playhouse production

Emily Brontë’s 

Wuthering Heights

Created by Inspector Sands

Conceived by Lucinka Eisler and Ben Lewis

Written by Ben Lewis

 Directed by Lucinka Eisler

 11 – 23 May 2020

Press night: Thursday 14 May, 7pm

 “We don’t in general take to foreigners here… unless they take to us first”

Does it take a village to raise a monster?

Channelling Emily Brontë’s piercing wit and fierce emotion, Inspector Sands present this classic story of obsessive love and revenge in a thrilling new version for our times.

Expect violence, passion, peril, social awkwardness, high winds, heavy rain, loud music and mud.

NST City

A ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and Nuffield Southampton Theatres co-production. Co-commissioned by Gulbenkian and Pavilion Dance South West

Heist

Directed and Choreographed by Zoie Golding

 31 January – 1 February 2020

 When did you last face your fears?

 An unlikely band of brothers embark on a heist to reclaim what’s important to them. Expect the unexpected in this gripping and suspense-filled journey as the men are forced to confront their fears in a fight to survive.

A new action-packed dance show from Nuffield Southampton Theatre’s resident dance company ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and makers of the smash hit Sleuth.

NST City

Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh present a Tron Theatre Company and Blood of the Young’s production with co-producers Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Leeds Playhouse, Northern Stage and Oxford Playhouse

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

by Isobel McArthur after Jane Austen

 Directed by Paul Brotherton; Designer by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita 

17 March – 4 April 2020

Guest night: Tuesday 17 March, 7pm

A fun new musical take on the original rom-com, Pride & Prejudice. Men, money and microphones will be fought over in this loving and irreverent all-female adaptation of Jane Austen’s unrivalled literary classic.

An adaptation like no other, drawing on over two-hundred years of romantic pop history this is Blood of the Young’s unique take on a beloved novel – the hugely acclaimed Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of).

Let the ruthless match-making begin!

YOUTH THEATRE PROGRAMME

Alongside the company’s main season of work Nuffield Southampton Theatres presents a season of work by NST Youth Theatre which provides the opportunity for local young people to work with professional theatre makers.

Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatre present Mayflower 400, a one-off commemorative season of plays, new and old, to mark the 400th year since Southampton’s Mayflower sailed for the New World.

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres production

WITCHES CAN’T BE BURNED

26 – 27 March 2020

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres production

THE CRUCIBLE

7 – 8 August 2020

Listings                                                                                                      Nuffield Southampton Theatres

NST Campus, University Rd, Southampton, SO17 1TR

NST City, Above Bar Street, Guildhall Square, Southampton, SO14 7DU

www.nstheatres.co.uk

Twitter: @nstheatres

Facebook: /nstheatres

Box Office:         023 8067 1771

                             Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm

              Saturday: 10am – 4pm

SEASON AT A GLANCE

Heist

NST City

31 January – 1 February 2020

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

NST City

17 March – 4 April 2020

Guest night: Tuesday 17 March, 7pm

The War of the Worlds

NST City

15 – 25 April 2020

Press night: Friday 17 April, 7pm

Wuthering Heights

NST City

11 – 23 May 2020

Press night: Thursday 14 May, 7pm

 

Nuffield Southampton Theatres announces new Autumn/Winter Season

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST)Samuel Hodges, today announced the full programme for the new Autumn and Winter Season across its two Southampton theatres; NST City and NST Campus.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres is one of the UK’s leading producing theatre companies. Highlights include NST’s own world premiere, a dazzling magical production for Christmas Cinderella The Musical, co-productions of the smash hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors produced with New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Heist a new dance show with Southampton’s ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and Tron Theatre Company and Blood of the Young’s Pride and Prejudice (sort of) produced with The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Northern Stage. NST’s Laboratory Associates will be premieringFledglings and NST’s Youth Theatre will be staging Shakespeare’s classic comedy Twelfth Night.

Top visiting theatre includes Friendsical, a new musical based on the cult comedy FriendsWhat’s in a Name? a comedy starring West End star Summer Strallen, new shows from Wardrobe Ensemble The Last of the Pelican Daughters and Frantic Assembly’s I Think We Are Alone.  NST also continues to host star comedian’s such as John Bishop, Daniel Sloss and Geoff Norcott and children’s theatre favourites The Gruffalo, Dear Zoo and The Tiger That Came to Tea.

The new season at NST also features a major revival of the Pulitzer Prize nominated classic Two Trains Running by August Wilson, the spine chilling thriller Woman in Black, a new musical of the much loved film Amélie starring Strictly Come Dancing’s Danny Mac and Audrey Brisson and the critically acclaimed Fuel, National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse production of Barbershop Chronicles by Inua Ellams.

Sam Hodges, Director at Nuffield Southampton Theatres said,

“This Autumn and Winter season is all about bringing familiar and entertaining titles to Southampton with our trademark boldness. It is a season of incredible work, full of warmth and humour. One Man, Two Guvnors is one of the funniest shows of the last decade and our Pride and Prejudice (sort of) rips up the rule book!   We’re proud to be producing both. Other highlights include three new musicals in Amelie, Friendsical and our world premiere Cinderella The Musical, a heart warming musical family treat perfect for Christmas, as well as the hit playBarber Shop Chronicles by our very own Associate Artist, the poet and playwright Inua Ellams.”

Tickets start from £10 and are now available from the box office on 023 8067 1771 or online at nstheatres.co.uk

Full Casting Announced for Peter Morgan’s The Audience, a  Nuffield Southampton Theatres Production

left to right Faye Castelow, Paul Kemp, Lizzie Hopley and Sharon Singh
 left to right Faye Castelow, Paul Kemp, Lizzie Hopley and Sharon Singh

left to right Faye Castelow, Paul Kemp, Lizzie Hopley and Sharon Singh

With SS Mendi, a co-production with Isango Ensemble, opening this week at Royal Opera House, Director of Nuffield Southampton TheatresSamuel Hodges, today announced the full cast for a new staging of Peter Morgan’s The AudienceSamuel Hodges directs Lizzie Hopley as Margaret Thatcher and Bobo MacDonald, Paul Kemp as all other Prime Ministers, Sharon Singh as The Equerry and Fay Burwell and Maddie Farmer share the role of Young Elizabeth, joining the previously announced Faye Castelow as Queen Elizabeth II. The production opens on 30 May, with previews from 24 May, and runs until 22 June.

65 Years. 13 Prime Ministers. One Queen.

For 65 years, the Queen has met her Prime Minister every week in an Audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties agree never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses.

What is discussed? What secrets are shared? Does her Majesty have her favourites?

Sometimes intimate, often confessional, occasionally explosive, The Audience imagines the private moments that define a changing Britain. One head of state. Endless heads of government. This play asks where the real power lies.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres Director Samuel Hodges directs an intimate and re-worked production of the smash hit play from Peter Morgan, the writer of the critically acclaimed TV series The Crown and the Oscar award winning film The Queen.

Samuel Hodges, Director of Nuffield Southampton, said today, “This is a play that interrogates where power lies. Is it in the parade of middle aged, almost entirely male prime ministers or the unchanging, unwavering woman they meet with? For that reason I knew I wanted to cast one actor to play all of the male PMs from the start.

 I’m really pleased to have such a strong local presence in the cast with Sharon, who grew up minutes from our new theatre, and both of our young Elizabeths from the local area, one a member of our youth theatre.”

Peter Morgan’s other work for theatre includes Frost/Nixon. His television work includes The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Jury, The Special Relationship, Longford, Colditz, Henry VIII and The Deal; and for film, Rush, 360, Hereafter, State of Play, The Damned United, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland and The Queen.

Faye Castelow plays Queen Elizabeth II. Her theatre credits include The Rover, The Witch of EdmontonThe White DevilThe Roaring Girl (RSC), Man and SupermanAfter the DanceTime and the Conways (National Theatre), NijinskyThe Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), How to be Another Woman (Gate Theatre), Mountain Hotel and The American Clock (Orange Tree Theatre). Her television credits include Pure and Rellik.

Lizzie Hopley plays Margaret Thatcher and Bobo MacDonald. Her theatre credits include The Taming of the Shrew (US tour), Roaring Girls (RSC), Tis Pity She’s a Whore (international tour), Abigail’s PartyTwelfth Night (UK tour) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (Young Vic). For television, her credits include The Long SongLittle Boy BlueLutherCall the Midwife and Randall & Hoprick Deceased II; and for film, Day of the FlowersJane EyreNowhere Boy and Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman.

Paul Kemp plays the Prime Ministers: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, John Major and Harold Wilson. His theatre credits include Imperium (Gielgud Theatre), Richard III (Arcola Theatre), Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), Ghost Stories (Arts Theatre), The Lady in the Van (UK tour), Seven Year TwitchHow to be Happy (Orange Tree Theatre), The Lady form the Sea (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Crucible (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), My Wonderful Day (Stephen Joseph Theatre/59E59, New York/UK tour), Woman in Mind (Stephen Joseph Theatre/Vaudeville Theatre). For television his credits include Maxwell, The Trial of Tony BlairLife on Mars; and for film, When Saturday Comes.

Southampton’s Sharon Singh plays The Equerry. Her theatre credits include Arabian Nights (Hoxton Hall), The Game of Love and Chai (Tara Arts/UK tour), Death of Kings, The Misanthrope (Conservatoire National Supérieur D’art Dramatique), Cyrano de Bergerac (New Vic Theatre), Hamlet (Bussey Building), Titus Andronicus, Othello (UK tour) and Holes (Arcola Theatre); and for television, Vera.

Samuel Hodges is Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST include The Shadow FactoryDedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, and The Glass Menagerie. Previously he founded the HighTide Festival Theatre in 2007 and was the Artistic Director for five years, during which time he produced over 25 new plays, co-producing with the National Theatre, The Old Vic and the Bush Theatre, amongst others. Between 2012 and 2014, he ran the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End, for whom he curated a late-night programme and a one-off summer season of new work to celebrate the London Olympics.

www.nstheatres.co.uk

@NSTheatres

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Nuffield Southampton Theatre’s Sam Hodges: ‘I want to take work to London but I don’t want to compromise our artistic identity.’

Sam Hodges
Sam Hodges in Rehearsals

Sam Hodges in Rehearsals

NST, Nuffield Southampton Theatres new venue is situated in the heart of the city and has a 450-seat main house alongside a 133-seat studio. The inaugural production at NST City is the world première of the Howard Brenton play The Shadow Factory, which is set in 1940 during the Battle of Britain. The production features state of the art technology and video projections by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions. Exciting times.

Samuel Hodges is the creative and executive Director of NST Theatres. How would he describe the past few months? “It turned out to be a quadruple unknown,” he says. “This is a brand-new piece theatre in a brand-new building, there is also the community chorus amongst the state of the art technology – so we went into the process with so many variables. I’m really pleased with how it has come together – Howard has said it is his love letter to Southampton, the birthplace of the Spitfire aircraft.”

So, how is he dealing with the pressure of launching a brand-new venue? “Right now, there is a genuine sense of anticipation around the opening of this building, which has surprised all of us and exceeded all of our hopes. There is a genuine buzz of curiosity and investment. What’s interesting is not only the number of people but the distance they are travelling. In terms of our ability to be more accessible and more visible and be more open to people across the county,” says Hodges.

The Shadow Factory

The Shadow Factory

By contrast, Hodges is deeply aware of the gamble and pressure of getting a show like The Shadow Factory off the ground, not to mention the involvement of a community chorus. Making theatre with local amateur participants doesn’t diminish the art but gives it new purpose. “It has been glorious and exciting,” he says.

“I’m not going to lie, we were given the building far too late and were given the keys just before we started rehearsing the show. As a director you aren’t always sure of the tone of you work, because you are so close to it. I tend to enjoy design and movement. All previews are a time of balancing things. I do feel like we are doing justice to the story,” says Hodges.

His 2018 season, contains some inspiring projects, including co-productions with Theatr Clwyd and English Touring Theatre, while Hodges directs a workshop musical adaptation of cult film Son of Rambow. “It is an ode to the 1980’s – it’s a sort of modern day Oliver Twist,” he says. “It’s a musical I’ve been working on for three years with songwriter Miranda Cooper. It is a Nuffield Southampton Theatres workshop production in association with The Other Palace, London. Essentially an opportunity to workshop for 3 weeks and have public fairings along the way– it might get off book and be fully realised– it’s about getting feedback and having the space to develop it.”

This is the passion that drives Sam. Is he inspired by successes of other regional theatres like Bristol Old Vic? (which currently has two home-grown shows in town The Grinning Man and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.) “Our audience is incredibly diverse; in terms of age and background and embracing new ideas: they are up for it,” he says. “I want to take work to London but I don’t want to compromise our artistic identity. The reason for taking work into London, generally, is about developing the theatre and the cities brand on a national level – the reason I suppose I’m going slowly in that direction is that I want to make sure that by the time we get there is it isn’t by doing a celebrity-led version of the Important of Being Earnest. I do think Bristol are doing excellent work – it’s about work that lifts a theatre and lifts a city,” says Hodges

 

We talk about the writer/director relationship. I refer to the recent Twitter thread that I started ‘playwrights being told off.’ Does he think playwrights are bullied in the rehearsal room? “No. But I do feel that they can be a very odd and powerless situation for a writer. The sort of unspoken rule of a rehearsal room is that it is the directors room. Howard is an absolute joy: a combination of sage and calm and mischievous. I’d say it is about negotiation. You do worry the writer hates what you are doing – more often they are listening to the rhythm of their own words. I’ll come out of a preview but he’ll just say: ‘That word – needs to go…’ We’ve disagreed on quite a few things but that’s part of the process.”

The Shadow Factory stars Anita Dobson (aka Angie, of EastEnders) wife of rock guitarist Brian May as leading lady. How was it sitting next to a living legend in for the first preview? “Extremely surreal,” he says, laughing. “It’s a different level of legend isn’t it? He was pretty laid back and I think he enjoyed himself. He definitely gave Anita feedback – you always know when your actors have had their other halves in. Brian was the first person to buy a drink from our bar, which was pretty special.”

Craig David was recently announced as a patron of NST, a role that will see him championing the theatre’s work. Why him? “Craig David is Southampton born and bred,” he says when I bring this up. “We are trying to build a local network of support. We are expanding our programme of theatre to include music, amongst other things, within artistic the programme out patrons are figureheads but ideally, they are individuals through which younger audiences can come through the doors and share an affinity with. I must admit I did get a load of text messages after the announcement: Craig David – exclamation mark, exclamation mark, heart emoji. Craig joins our other patron Harriet Walter, I’ve always been a huge fan of Harriett’s and she lives just outside of the city,” says Hodges.

There is a still a challenge ahead, though, as he says “It’s not always about saying what you want – it’s about delivering what we said we would. One of our main focuses and priorities has been putting together a team that works for what we want to achieve. Which I think we have done. I feel immensely proud of all of our staff.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAILER OF THE SHADOW FACTORY

The Shadow Factory runs at the NST City, Southampton from 16 February to 3 March.

Box Office 023 8067 1771

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Interview – Director Abbey Wright on leading a 50-strong community company, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, Director led productions and more.

Abbey Wright – Director.

Would you be interested in interviewing the director Abbey Wright ?” they said.

“Yes that would be very nice,” I said.

The director in question is Abbey Wright who is currently in technical rehearsals for a new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes Of Wrath.
Wright was Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse for 18 months from 2008-09, during which time she worked with such notable directors as Michael Grandage, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Herrin, Peter Gill, Sean Holmes, Jamie Lloyd and John Tiffany.
(‘FYI’ Abbey is currently Associate Director at the Nuffield.)
Oh and The Grapes of Wrath opens at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus next week with opening night on 14 March and runs until 25 March. The production then tours each of the co-producing venues throughout 2017, apparently.
So, what is it all about, how is it working with a 50-strong community company and what are her thoughts on Director led productions? Well…

*Q&A*

Hi Abbey! How are The Grapes of Wrath rehearsals going?
Hi Carl! I am loving this project. It’s a wonderful company, a great team and an awe-inspiring piece to be working on.

How did you get into this Directing lark?
I directed a youth theatre first in Worcestershire where I am from. Then I trained as an actor. Then assisted at the Donmar and the National Theatre. Then just started to put plays on that interested me and kept going.

Steinbeck isn’t for wimps. ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ could make for a heavy night out, what can audiences expect from your production?
Yes, well, I can’t pretend it is light. But you can expect a moving story which speaks deeply to our world today; great ensemble acting from a top company; fantastic live music composed by Matt Regan; a contemporary or perhaps I should say mythic treatment of the story; a community company and brilliant design from Laura Hopkins and Nigel Edwards. Steinbeck is exploring a migration, dispossession and fragmentation but he is also making the case for love, family, connection, and the nurturing of the human spirit.

Would you agree that one of the biggest themes of the play is the way that solidarity, not politics or religion, see us through dark times?
Yes, sort of. I think that Steinbeck has the idea that there is ‘one big soul that everybody is a part of’. I think that idea works on lots of levels; spiritually, politically, socially. It is the unification of those levels that makes the politics of the play becomes ‘holy’ which is one of the great strengths and beauties of The Grapes of Wrath.

How have you integrated The Grapes of Wrath 50-strong community company made of up local residents (That sounds fun) into the production?
That’s a good question because we have just spent the day doing that! Mainly they will play the people who are staying at the 3 camps the Joads travel through in the second half. And it’s very exciting having that number of people onstage.

What are your thoughts on Director led theatre productions?
I don’t tend to categorise theatre shows in that way – more that I might see something and like it whether it was a ‘high-concept piece’ or a really simple piece. I guess I’m interested in something feeling live and I tend to be interested in theatre that explores fantasy? or the surreal? But that’s just a personal thing.

How important is it for Theatre’s to manage a balance between revivals and new work?
I think it’s important because it’s great to see as wide a range of stuff as possible.

Why are women still underrepresented at every level of the industry– and what needs to change?
Well, I think there are more women who are working as directors now. I am aware of a fair few. I think that men were in charge of things for thousands of years and women weren’t and that takes a long time to change culturally and psychologically. And that maybe we are still more comfortable with men in charge in some ways because it conforms to something traditional and we have to think twice before putting a woman in charge. Also, I think that we maybe just struggle with seeing people in charge who don’t exhibit traditional qualities of leadership. I hope and feel this is changing and am excited to see what this does.

Do you believe that honesty is always the best policy?
Yes. I mean, no.

Is there anything that you’d like to add?
All done.

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

Arthur Darvill on Fantastic Mr Fox: “It’s a perfect family show for all ages. I hope audiences take away melodies that they can sing on their way home.”

Fantastic Mr Fox is adapted by Sam Holcroft, directed by Maria Aberg, and featuring original music from Arthur Darvill, had its world première at Nuffield Theatre last night and will be running until 8 January, before touring the UK in 2017 beginning at Lyric Hammersmith on 25 January.

Arthur Darvill

Arthur Darvill

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

Here he answers some questions about the show. Let’s have a read shall we. Why not.

How did you first become involved with this stage production, and what made you want to come on board?
Maria (Aberg) the director called me and said would you like to write some music for Fantastic Mr Fox, I said absolutely!  She then said, it opens in November and this was in June, so it has been a fairly swift process but I am very glad she asked me.

Do you think Road Dahl’s writing is something that translates easily to the stage?
I don’t think anything translates easily to stage but I think his stories are so rich and full of brilliant well defined characters that it is a real joy to see these characters, especially those from Fantastic Mr Fox jump out of the book.

How does it feel to create music for something as well known and universally loved as a Road Dahl story?
It has been a real privilege to write music for this. It is a pinch yourself moment. When re reading the book I thought I love this book but I don’t know if I can do this, which I think is a good reaction to have.  Throughout the writing process, it has been about honouring what Dahl wrote and making sure the music tells the story in the best we can tell it.

Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox. Click on the image to book your tickets

Were you a fan of the book ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ growing up?
I am a massive Roald Dahl fan. He was basically my introduction to reading . I remember reading Fox  in my cabin bed that I had growing up in Birmingham. I read it in one go, in one night and just absolutely loved it. It had a drastic impact on the way my world was shaped. Dahl made the most disgusting things in life seem like the most joyous. He also had a great sense of justice, which can only be a good thing.

Tell us about your process for composing the music?
I don’t know if I have a process. I had a clear idea in my head what I wanted it to sound like but that kind of changed and thankfully a lot of the pressure was removed when I was working with the team on the lyrics. They knew exactly what needed to happen and have write with such a good sense of humour.

What did you want to capture about the story and its characters in the music?
There are a definite group of characters In Fantastic Mr Fox; humans and animals. I wanted to give them both a very different sound to start with and as the story develops, these sounds slightly cross over depending on what is happening. The farmers have a dirty earthly English sound and the animals are freer. Mr Fox is arrogant at times and Mouse sings about cheese, which is very sweet.

What do you hope audiences take away from the show?
It’s a perfect family show for all ages.  I hope audiences take away melodies that they can sing on their way home. This show is so much fun and the right people get their comeuppance. It is not black and white. You will go home discussing the moral content of the story whilst laughing at the jokes.

Whats your favourite song in the show and why?
I can’t choose one song. I’m very pleased with how the Farmers song (Foxy Feeling) has turned out but they are all good.

Audiences will recognise you from your acting roles in Broadchurch and Doctor Who, but they might not realise that you are also an established composer. Is juggling both careers a challenge?
It is a challenge but a joyous challenge. I couldn’t just do one or the other, I have to do both. I have a fun job and I would never complain about it.

What’s coming up next for you?
I am currently in Legends of Tomorrow and will hopefully write some more music.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR FANTASTIC MR FOX