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Nuffield Southampton Theatres announces Autumn 2018 season

Nuffield Southampton Theatres - Autumn 2018 season
Samuel Hodges

Samuel Hodges

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, today announced their Autumn 2018 season. In September, some of the UK’s most influential female voices including Wendy Cope, Jenny Éclair, Suhayla El-Bushra, Natalie HaynesShappi Khorsandi and Brona C Titley, come together to write a world première, Women in Power – a musical comedy based on the Greek classic, The Assemblywomen. Directed by NST Associate Director Blanche McIntyre, the production opens on 6 September at NST City and runs until 29 September.

To mark the 100 years since the first women gained the right to vote in the UK, the company have curated The Bungalow Café Festival to commemorate this anniversary with performances from Ruby Wax, a reworking of the story of Medusa created by NST Laboratory Associates and performed by award-winning comedianElf Lyons, and Bullish by Lucy J Skilbeck.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres - Autumn 2018 season

Nuffield Southampton Theatres – Autumn 2018 season

Ahead of a UK tour, Katori Hall’s award-winning The Mountaintop opens in NST City’s Studio, in a co-production with Reading Rep Theatre and Desara Productions, directed by Roy Alexander Weise, winner of the JMK Award 2016.  This production will then visit a network of studio theatres across the UK that has been formed by NST, Reading Rep Theatre and Desara Productions, to enable the work of emerging directors to be seen more widely.

As part of a wider programme of work for children and families, NST sees two world première productions this Christmas – Humbug! The Hedgehog Who Couldn’t Sleep, a funny and uplifting early years show in association with London-based theatre company Dumbshow, and Billionaire Boy, based on the bestselling book by David Walliams. This hilarious new musical features music and lyrics by two of the UK’s most successful pop writers, Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler, who have recently collaborated with NST on the workshop production of Son of Rambow at The Other Palace, marking their debut in writing for the stage.

This season also sees the return of NST’s critically acclaimed, sell-out smash hit The Shadow Factory, and the previously announced co-production with Exeter Northcott Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston of Don Carlos starring Tom Burke.

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, said today: The coming season is populated by household names from Tom Burke and David Walliams to Shappi Khorsandi and Jenny Eclair in our NST productions as well as some of the country’s most original and creative theatre companies, Kneehigh, Frantic Assembly and 1927, underlining our commitment to attracting the highest quality artists to Southampton. 

 “And it’s a season of remembering – 100 years since women won the right to vote, 50 years since the death of Martin Luther King, and I’m particularly proud that for the first time in NST history, we’re bringing one of our productions back due to popular demand! The Shadow Factory will be our one year anniversary celebration at NST City.”

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Oxford Playhouse

The World Première production

WOMEN IN POWER – A MUSICAL COMEDY

Based on The Assemblywomen by Aristophanes

Written by Wendy Cope, Jenny Eclair, Suhayla El-Bushra, Natalie HaynesShappi Khorsandi and Brona C Titley

 Director Blanche McIntyre; Dramaturg Clare Slater

 6– 29 September

Press night: 13 September

NST City

 350 BC. Athens.

 The country is in political turmoil. Recent wars and alliances have left Athenians no option but to take the most extreme action. The most radical: a government of women!

Praxagora masterminds and leads a daring coup d’état, outlining her utopian vision of total equality to her crowd of cross-dressing collaborators. A world where power imbalance is eradicated and with it debt, greed and theft. But this has unintended and hilarious consequences.

A raucous new comedy, and a reimagining of the original, by a team of leading female writers from the world of poetry, broadcasting, theatre and stand up. Combined with an exceptional comic cast and led by NST Associate Blanche McIntyre, Aristophanes’ Women in Power is turned into a celebration of sketches with songs, dance, music and women taking the lead.

Shappi Khorsandi said today: “This is a glorious challenge for me. So excited to be helping bring Aristophanes brilliance into the present day.”

Jenny Eclair added: “I was really chuffed to be invited to contribute to this, I admire everyone involved and sometimes it’s nice to work with a gang.”

THE BUNGALOW CAFÉ FESTIVAL –

A CELEBRATION OF 100 YEARS OF VOTES FOR WOMEN

6 September – 13 October

A festival of theatre, music, dance and film to celebrate 100 years since the first British women won the right to vote.

The Bungalow Café once stood on 157 Above Bar Street, Southampton, opposite where NST City now stands. It was the local home of women’s suffrage before becoming a much-loved music venue. It was destroyed in the Blitz.

 

An NST Laboratory Associates production, A World Première Adaptation

MEDUSA

By Laboratory Creative Associates

Created with Elf Lyons

11 – 13 October

City Studio

 Mythology’s most wronged woman reclaims her name. Medusa, a beautiful young girl, spurns the sexual advances of a god. Furious at being refused, she is transformed into a hideous monster. Mixing horror and humour, Medusa reimagines the myth of the woman with snakes for hair and a gaze that turns men to stone.

A shocking story of rejection, redemption and revenge, performed by award-winning performer and comedian Elf Lyons; Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee (Best Show 2017).

Contains strong language, nudity and adult themes. Age recommendation 14 +

Milk Presents

BULLISH

Written and Directed by Lucy J Skilbeck

20 – 21 September

City Studio

 “I am a bull. I am a bull…ish. I live between worlds. Slip between myths with dexterous leaps. Do I scare you? How about now?” 

Meet Asterion, better known as the terrifying, blood thirsty Minotaur of Ancient Crete. Follow them through one cabaret odyssey, one strapping search for the man they might want to be. Bullish pits ancient mythology against modern gender navigation to furiously disrupt, traverse and rewrite the rulebook. Stepping into the ring with a gender fierce ensemble of hopers and renegades, Bullish is a story about packing, passing, and gambling your way out of the labyrinth.

 

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Reading Rep Theatre and Desara Productions co-production

Originally presented at the Young Vic

THE MOUNTAINTOP

By Katori Hall

Director Roy Alexander Weise; Designer Rajha Shakiry

26 September – 6 October

Press night: Tuesday 2 October

City Studio

 “I am a man, I am just a man.”

An intimate look into the life of Martin Luther King. The Mountaintop chips away at the myth of the great man exposing his fears about his family, country and the ever-looming threat of a violent death.

Set during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement on the night before his death, Katori Hall’s sharp and powerful play confronts the legend and his legacy. Are we really free or do we live in a world of false liberation?

Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night, National Theatre), winner of the JMK Award 2016, directs this revival of the Olivier Award-winning play about King’s last night on earth.

 

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry

A World Première Musical

BILLIONAIRE BOY

Adapted from the book by David Walliams
Adaptor Jon Brittain; Music and Lyrics by Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler

Directed by Luke Sheppard; Designer Gabriella Slade

20 November – 6 January 2019

Press night: 28 November

NST City

Imagine being the wealthiest child in the land!

One-day factory worker Len Spud invents a new loo roll “Bum Fresh – wet on one side, dry on the other.” The wiping-wonder is an instant hit. Len, and his son Joe, become overnight billionaires, turning their lives upside down.

Whilst Mr Spud spends, spends, spends on fast cars, 100-inch TVs, and lavish gifts for his glamorous new girlfriend, Sapphire Diamond, Joe is left to fend for himself.

In the unforgiving world of the school playground, things are about to get more complicated. With his new best friend, Bob, at his side, Joe navigates an assault course of school bullies and dangerously inedible canteen food.  To make matters worse, is the impossibly pretty new girl Lauren all that she appears to be?

But can money really buy happiness? This hilarious new musical is a triumphant treat for the whole family, based on the bestselling book by David Walliams, and presented by the NST team following their award-winning “whisker – licking treat” Fantastic Mr Fox.

Age recommendation 5 +

 

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Dumbshow co-production

A World Première

HUMBUG! THE WHO COULDN’T SLEEP

By Sam Gayton

Director Michael Bryher; Designer Sam Wilde

13 – 30 December

City Studio

 You don’t want to be above ground when winter comes around; every hedgehog knows that.

Deep in the snowy New Forest, Humbug snuggles down to sleep through winter. Suddenly her home comes under threat and she is forced to leave. Venturing out into a winter wonderland for the first time, Humbug goes on an exciting adventure in search of a new home and meets a host of wonderful friends along the way.

A brand new funny and uplifting tale of friendship and belonging with original music and charming characters to entertain children and adults alike.

Age recommendation 2 – 5 years

 

ALSO IN THE SEASON

 A Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Exeter Northcott and Rose Theatre Kingston co-production in association with ARA

DON CARLOS

Written by Friedrich Schiller

Translated by Robert David MacDonald

Director: Gadi Roll; Designer: Rosanna Vize

23 October – 3 November

NST City

‘Love is only known by him who hopelessly persists in love’

Don Carlos faces the most profound of dilemmas.

In a cruel twist of fate, his former fiancée and the love of his life, Elizabeth, has recently become his stepmother.  His father and usurper is the tyrannical Philip II.

Abandoned by both man and decree, Don Carlos must fend for himself.

But one man, Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, has never forgotten the childhood act of sacrifice that the Prince made on his behalf. Dreaming of freedom for his people, Rodrigo becomes an unlikely power broker in the King’s duplicitous court.

A double-edged story of loyalty, love and friendship, and the abuses of power and statesmanship, Don Carlos is as resonant today as ever.

Director Gadi Roll brings his trademark dynamic imagery and haunting soundscapes to Schiller’s masterpiece. Starring Tom Burke from BBC’s StrikeWar and Peaceand The Musketeers as Marquis of Posa.

Press night: 15 October at Exeter Northcott

 

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

THE SHADOW FACTORY

by Howard Brenton

Director Samuel Hodges; Designer 59 Productions

30 January – 2 March

NST City

Autumn 1940. The Battle of Britain rages.

Southampton is home to our only hope of victory: the Spitfire.  But when the Luftwaffe drops 2,300 bombs in three devastating raids, the city goes up in flames and the Woolston Supermarine Spitfire factory is destroyed.

Jackie is the third generation of Dimmock at her family-run laundry.  Polly is the first and only draughtswoman in the Spitfire design office.  How will each woman forge her own path in this evolving landscape?

From the ashes, a story of chaos, courage and community spirit emerges.

One of Britain’s greatest living playwrights, Hampshire-born Howard Brenton (Anne Boleyn, Shakespeare’s Globe; Pravda, National Theatre) tells the remarkable and little-known story of how Southampton stepped up when the chips were down.

Critically acclaimed, this sell out smash hit features a stellar cast supported by a 25-strong community company made up of Southampton residents. The Shadow Factory returns to celebrate the first birthday of Southampton’s brand-new theatre NST City. 

Nuffield Southampton Theatres launches new writing programmes

Barney Norris

Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) is launching two new and exciting writing programmes for people with ideas to influence and shape the future of culture in Southampton: NST Writers and Self-Starters.

The new writer’s group, NST Writers, in partnership with the award-winning South West theatre company Up in Arms, will help writers from the South develop their skills for writing or performance.

NST and Up in Arms will together deliver a programme of mentoring, masterclasses and script in hand readings from some of the best new playwrights to help local writers grow their ideas as well as find their writing voice.

The process will culminate in a public showcase, with the aim of finding at least one writer for NST to take forward and commission.

 Barney Norris, Co-Artistic Director at Up in Arms, said: We know from our own experience of finding a voice in the theatre how many of the south west’s stories don’t get told. Setting up this programme in collaboration with NST feels like a great way of drawing out more of the life of this region, which gives up its secrets all too guardedly.”

NST is also looking for people with ideas for new arts events in Southampton to join its Self-Starters programme, providing free training, support and guidance to get their ideas off the ground.

People from all backgrounds and levels of experience are invited to apply to take part in the programme, which will equip them with the skills to plan their own arts events, support other artists in the city and help bring their ideas to fruition.

NST is interested in hearing from people in Southampton about ideas to take place in spaces across the city, such as hosting a musician in someone’s living room or supporting a play reading at a local library, not companies pitching their own shows for NST spaces.

Depending on the idea, NST will also provide cash of up to £1,000 to help overcome some of the financial barriers of putting on events.

 Hannah Bevan, NST Studio Producer, said: “I’m really thrilled that we’ll be partnering with Up in Arms to run the writers group in the region. Their experience and skill will be invaluable and I can’t wait to see who get coming forward to join it. It feels this is the right time as we now focus on the new studio space at NST City which will become a hub of fresh, new and exciting work that has a real dialogue with audiences.

 “Self-Starters is something I’m very passionate about and feel it’s important to find people who want to kick-start their own projects. There are already loads of people working across the city to make it a vibrant place for culture so it’s fantastic we are enabling more people to realise their projects.”

For more information about either programme or to apply, please visit nstheatres.co.uk/about-us/news.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres present the world première of SS Mendi: Dancing The Death Drill

SS MENDI: DANCING THE DEATH DRILL

Nuffield Southampton Theatres present the world première of SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill by critically acclaimed Cape Town-based Isango Ensemble. Part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, the production commemorates an untold tragedy from WW1 that took place off the coast of Southampton. Prior to rehearsals beginning Samuel Hodges, Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres will visit Cape Town where the SS Mendi began its journey. Mark Dornford-May directs the production which opens at Nuffield Southampton Theatres on Wednesday 4 July with previews from Friday 29 June and performances until Saturday 14 July. Dubbed the ‘Black Titanic’, the sinking of SS Mendi was one of the worst maritime disasters in the 20th century in UK waters.

January 1917, 823 South African men board the SS Mendi in Cape Town, volunteers for the British Army bound for the Western Front. Through a tragic twist of fate, Pitso Motaung finds himself aboard.

 Months later, the ship sails off the coast of Southampton. Heavy pre-dawn fog shrouds the impending disaster. The collision comes with such force the SS Mendi sinks in minutes. By the time rescue arrives it is too late for most.

 Paris, 1958. Two men are dead in a restaurant, attacked by the head waiter Pitso Motaung. Dark memories etched in Pitso’s mind are resurfacing decades later to devastating effect.

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges said today, ‘’It’s a real privilege to be working with a company of the calibre of Isango Ensemble on this previously untold story from Southampton’s past. For a story of this magnitude to have been whitewashed from the history books beggars belief and we’re proud to be developing the world premiere, continuing NST’s commitment to telling local stories of national and international significance.’’

 Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, said: We are delighted to be commissioning Isango Ensemble for this powerful work about an untold tragedy. This new production will connect today’s audiences to the lost lives and histories from 100 years ago. SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill is a highlight of our final 14-18 NOW season, in which we continue to engage people in the centenary through the lens of art.”

 Since 2001 Isango Ensemble has toured its productions to Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Singapore, Turkey, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the United States. Productions include The Mysteries – Yiimimangaliso which had two runs in the West End; uCarmen which toured to many of the world’s major festivals; The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo featuring Mozart’s score transposed for an orchestra of marimbas, which won both an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and the Globes de Cristal for Best Opera following a sold-out season at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Venus & Adonis in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe and in 2016 A Man of Good Hope co-produced by Young Vic, Royal Opera, Repons Foundation, BAM and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Films created by the ensemble include uCarmen eKhayelitsha which won the Golden Bear at The Berlin International Film Festival as well as many other Best Feature Awards.

 Fred Khumalo is the author of the novels Bitches Brew, which was a joint winner of the 2006 European Union Literary Award, and Seven Steps to Heaven. His memoir, Touch My Blood, was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize for Non-fiction in 2007, and his most recent book, #ZuptasMustFall and Other Rants, was published in 2016. His short fiction has appeared in various anthologies, literary journals and magazines.

 Mandisi Dyantyis is Associate Director and co-Music Director of Isango Ensemble and has been with the company since 2006. He has been co-Music Director and arranger / composer for all Isango

Ensemble productions since 2006, including The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo), A Christmas Carol (iKrismas Kherol), Venus and AdonisThe Mysteries(Yiimimangaliso), Aesop’s Fables and The

Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Izigwili Ezidlakazelayo). Other credits include musical director and composer for Isango’s Venus & Adonis (Globe to Globe season at Shakespeare’s Globe), adaptor of Bizet’s Carmen and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (USA Tour) and composer and conductor for A Man of Good Hope (Young Vic, New York’s BAM and Hong Kong Arts Festival). In addition, he arranged and directed the music for the films Unogumbe and Breathe(Umphefumlo).

 Mark Dornford-May is co-founder and Artistic Director of Isango Ensemble and has worked in South Africa with members of the company since 2000. He has directed all of Isango’s stage productions including The Mysteries – Yiimimangaliso, The Snow Queen, Der Silbersee, The Beggars Opera – Ibali Loo Tsotsi, Carmen, The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo, A Christmas Carol – iKrismas Kherol, Aesop’s Fables, La Boheme – Abanxaxhi, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – Izigwili Ezidlakazelayo, Venus and Adonis; and the films he has directed are uCarmen eKhayelitsha, Son of Man, Unogumbe – Noye’s and Breathe – Umphefumlo.

 Gbolahan Obisesan is Genesis Fellow of the Young Vic Theatre and is under commission to Eclipse Theatre Company. Previous credits include How Nigeria Became: A Story, And A Spear That Didn’t Work (Unicorn Theatre), We Are Proud To Present… (Bush Theatre), Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic / Edinburgh Festival) and Mad About The Boy (Edinburgh Festival and UK tour). He was one of the six writers and the only British writer on Rufus Norris’ Feast, commissioned by the Royal Court and The Young Vic for their World Stages London which was produced at The Young Vic, he also directed four plays as part of The Bush Theatre’s epic 66 BOOKS project which ran at the Bush and Westminster Abbey. Other directing credits include SUS (Young Vic and UK tour – Jerwood Award for directing) and he was Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio and resident director for the Fela! (National Theatre). Associate Director credits include The Way of The World, and Julius Caesar (RSC).

 SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Repons Foundation and Nuffield Southampton Theatres, with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

 @NSTheatres

www.nstheatres.co.uk

 

SS Mendi Dancing the Death Drill                                                                                                             Listings

NST City, Above Bar, Southampton SO14 7DU   

29 June – 14 July

Press night: 4 July

Panel Discussion: 11 July, 5.30pm
Audio Described: 14 July, 2.30pm

Box Office: 023 8067 1771 / www.nstheatres.co.uk

Monday – Friday10am – 6pm

Saturday: 10am – 4pm

Nuffield Southampton Theatres launches new £10 ticket scheme 

Nuffield Southampton Theatres
Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) have announced a new day-ticket scheme offering local theatre lovers the opportunity to snap up £10 tickets for NST productions when they book in person from the box office on the day of the performance.

The new £10 day-ticket scheme will come into effect immediately and will apply to all of NST’s forthcoming productions. A Streetcar Named Desire, SS Mendi Dancing the Death DrillWomen In Power, and Don Carlos at the new theatre, NST City and David Walliams’s Billionaire Boy at the original theatre NST Campus. The new £10 ticket will work in parallel with NST’s dynamic pricing policy which maximises revenue when demand is high.  NST guarantee that 10% of tickets will be available at £10 on NST productions.

Sam Hodges, Director at Nuffield Southampton Theatres, said:

“Having accessible prices to our work is essential. The £10 ticket is the cornerstone of our dynamic pricing policy. By being flexible with the upper limit of our ticket prices, we are able to generate enough income to make a commitment to releasing £10 tickets every single day of performance. Of course we want people to buy in advance and take advantage of our Season Savers. But we also think it’s really important that if you’re not able to plan ahead, or have only just heard about us or a production, that you have the right to affordable tickets’.

NST introduced dynamic pricing in 2016 along with several other theatres across the country. Dynamic pricing means that ticket prices may rise incrementally when demand is high, but £10 tickets will always remain at the same price.

Ten thousand people saw NST’s production The Shadow Factory by Howard Brenton which opened its brand new city centre theatre, NST City, in February 2018.  893 £10 tickets and a further 1,272 £15 tickets were sold.  12 tickets were sold at the top dynamic price.

To book tickets visit nstheatres.co.uk or call 023 80 671771

LISTINGS INFORMATION:

 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Theatr Clwyd and English Touring Theatre co-production supported by a grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust

By Tennessee Williams

Directed by Chelsea Walker

Design by Georgia Lowe

Dates: 5-16 June 2018 at NST City

Tickets: Starting from £10. Book early for the best prices.

 

SS MENDI DANCING THE DEATH DRILL

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production and Isango Ensemble co-production, co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Repons Foundation, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Hackney Empire

Adapted by Gbolohan Obisesan with Isango Ensemble

Based on the book by Fred Khumalo

Directed by Mark Dornford-May

Dates: 29 June-14 July 2018 at NST City

Tickets: Starting from £10. Book early for the best prices.

 

WOMEN IN POWER

 

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

Based on the book by Aristophanes

Created by an Assembly of Women

Directed by Blanche McIntyre

Dates: 8-29 September at NST City

Tickets: Starting from £10. Book early for the best prices.

 

DON CARLOS

 

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Exeter Northcott and Rose Theatre Kingston co-production

By Friedrich Schiller

Directed by Gadi Roll

Translated by Robert David MacDonald

Dates: 23 October-3 November 2018 at NST City

Tickets: Starting from £10. Book early for the best prices.

BILLIONAIRE BOY

 

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

Book by David Walliams

Directed by Luke Sheppard

Dates: 19 November 2018-6 January 2019 at NST Campus

Tickets: Starting from £10. Book early for the best prices.

 

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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

Harriet Walter and Craig David announced as new patrons for Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Craig David
Harriet Walter

Harriet Walter

Ahead of the opening of their new venue – NST city, Nuffield Southampton Theatres today announces that Harriet Walter and Craig David will join the theatre as patrons, working alongside Samantha BondLaura CarmichaelTom Hiddleston and Celia Imrie. They also join the recently announced new associates, Inua Ellams and Drew McOnie adding to the breadth of ambassadors for the theatre.

As patrons of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Walter and David will support and champion the upcoming season of work as well as the launch of the brand-new theatre. 

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, commented, ‘’As we prepare to open our brand-new venue – NST City, I am absolutely delighted that Harriet Walter and Craig David will be joining Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, Tom Hiddleston and Celia Imrie as patrons of Nuffield Southampton Theatres. They both bring extensive and diverse experience from across the arts making them the perfect pairing to join our team. We have an exciting year ahead of us, so I’m thrilled to welcome Harriet and David’s support ahead of our upcoming season that marks a big leap forward for NST and for the cultural landscape of Southampton.’’

 In addition, NST has also launched the new Founding Friends membership scheme. This gives theatre lovers the rare opportunity to take part in a pivotal moment in NST’s history, enjoying a host of exciting events and benefits. Benefits include a naming inscription on the new donor wall at NST City, bespoke tours of NST City, complimentary tickets, invitations to NST press nights and post-show parties with the cast and opportunities to attend read-throughs, technical and dress rehearsals. For more information on getting involved, please visit: www.nstheatres.co.uk/support-us or call 023 8031 5500 x 517.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres Announces 2018 Season including inaugural programming for their brand new venue – NST City

Samuel Hodges
Samuel Hodges

Samuel Hodges

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, today announced their new season for 2018. This announcement also marks the opening of the brand new NST City, NST’s newly built theatre in Southampton’s city centre. Their 2018 season of work will be spread across both the new venue and their original home, NST Campus.

The season is comprised of four world premières: Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory, which launches the new season in NST City; SS Mendi Dancing the Death Drill, adapted from the book by Fred Khumalo and part of 14-18 NOW the UK’s arts programme for the WW1 centenary; a new version of Aristophanes’ comedy Women in Power; and a new musical adaptation of David WalliamsBillionaire Boy.

A bold new revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic, A Streetcar Named Desire, is the second production staged in the new venue. Directed by 2017 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award winner Chelsea Walker, this co-production with Theatr Clwyd and English Touring Theatre opens at NST on 23 March before heading out on a major UK tour.

This is followed by SS Mendi Dancing the Death, adapted by Gbolahan Obisesan and created with the Capetown-based Isango Ensemble, commemorating an untold tragedy from WW1, that took place off the coast of Southampton. The play opens on 29 June, in a co-production with Hackney Empire and co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW. This will be followed by the second Now-Here festival, which this year focuses on historical whitewashing.

Women in Power, inspired by the Aristophanes comedy, Assemblywomen, will feature music, dance, poetry and stand-up comedy, written by a company of leading female voices. NST Associate, Blanche McIntyre returns to NST for the fifth time to direct the production opening on 8 September.

 Tom Burke stars in a co-production of Don Carlos with Exeter Northcott and Rose Theatre Kingston. Friedrich Schiller’s masterpiece, translated by Robert David MacDonald opens on 16 October at Exeter Northcott, 23 October at NST City and 6 November at Rose Theatre Kingston. Gadi Roll directs.

Finally, NST have commissioned the first ever stage adaptation of David Walliams’ bestseller Billionaire Boy. Luke Sheppard (In The Heights, Adrian Mole) directs the production which opens on 19 November. Miranda Cooper, one of the UK’s most successful pop writers of all time, will write the music.

In addition, May brings a workshop musical adaptation of hit cult film, Son of Rambow, directed by Hodges, featuring an original 80s pop soundtrack by Cooper and book by Richard Marsh. This runs at London’s The Other Palace.

NST will also be expanding its core programme to introduce music, film, dance and circus, as well as continuing and expanding its comedy and spoken word strands. To underpin this expansion, NST is excited to announce two new associates to join its existing roster, rising dance star Drew McOnie, will join as Dance Associate and Nigerian poet Inua Ellams joins as Poetry and Spoken Word Associate.

NST will launch a new pop-up music collective, The Space Between Collective, to accompany leading rock and pop acts from around the country. The opening Space Between concert will feature the rock group Band of Skulls.  NST City will also host Blueprint, a new festival of jazz and The Gateway Sessions, regular monthly music events showcasing the very best of local musical talent across multiple genres. Full line-ups will be announced every month.

A brand new dance programme will see the world-renowned Hofesh Shechter Company perform in Southampton for the first time, alongside Sleuth, a new show by NST’s new resident dance company, ZoieLogic.

The nascent film programme will feature an event cinema strand, including NT Live screenings, and a new season of Best of Bollywood, with entries voted for in a regional competition.

Finally, NST are proud to open a new studio theatre as part of NST City, which will feature the very best studio scale theatre from all over the country two of which, Palmyra and Noisy Holiday, were supported through NST’s artist development programme, Laboratory.

NST are also delighted to announce a new partnership with Digital Theatre +, which will feature the creation of new digital content and documentary, educational workshops and screenings, and a commitment to pool resources in order to innovate in the field of digital storytelling.

NST will continue to build and grow its artist development programme, Laboratory, providing local and national opportunities through scratch performances, research and development support and the Laboratory Associates scheme now going into its third year, which uniquely attaches a director, producer and full design team to the theatre in order to create peer-to-peer relationships.

Following the appointment of Annelie Powell as Head of Casting, NST will look to establish a pool of local professional actors and will be running auditions for actors who currently live in the post code areas of SO, PO and BH. NST will also be interested to hear from professional actors who are originally from the area but no longer live locally. Full detail will be available on our website in mid December.

 Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, said today ‘’2018 is an exciting year for the theatre as we open Southampton’s brand new city-centre theatre, NST City, a second venue to build on the success of NST Campus. I am very proud of our inaugural season that features four world premieres, international collaborations, both new talent and household names, untold local stories of national significance, and a brand new programme of studio theatre, music, comedy, film, circus and dance across our two venues.

This season marks a seismic step change for NST and for the city of Southampton’s cultural life. It is a season which champions new work, in the knowledge that theatre can respond most urgently to the world we live in today. A season which looks back to ancient Greece, to 16th century Spain, to both World Wars, and even to 1980s Reading in order to talk about what’s important today. It asks questions about historical whitewashing, about consent, about community, and about faith. It’s going to be a big year.”

 

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

THE SHADOW FACTORY

Written by Howard Brenton

Directed by Samuel Hodges

7 February – 3 March 2018

Press Night: 15 February 2018

Autumn 1940. The Battle of Britain rages in the skies. Southampton is home to our only hope of victory, the Spitfire. But when the Luftwaffe drops 2,300 bombs in three devastating raids, the city goes up in flames and the Woolston Supermarine Spitfire factory is destroyed.

Jackie is the third generation of Dimmock at her family-run laundry. Polly is the first and only draughtswoman in the Spitfire design office. How will each woman forge her own path in this evolving landscape?

From the ashes, a story of chaos, courage and community spirit emerges.

One of Britain’s greatest living playwrights, Hampshire-born Howard Brenton, tells the remarkable and little known story of how Southampton stepped up when the chips were down.

This spectacular world première will open Southampton’s brand-new theatre, NST City, conceived by NST’s director Samuel Hodges and 59 Productions, the Tony Award-winning artists behind the video design of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Howard Brenton has written over 50 plays. His most recent credits include Paul (National Theatre), In Extremis (Shakespeare’s Globe and tour retitled Eternal Love), Never So Good (National Theatre), Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare’s Globe, plus revival and tour, winner of the Whatsonstage Best Play Award and UK Theatre Awards Best Touring Production), 55 Days (Hampstead Theatre), #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei (Hampstead Theatre), The Guffin (one act play, NT Connections), Drawing The Line (Hampstead Theatre), Doctor Scroggy’s War (Shakespeare’s Globe), Ransomed (one act play, Salisbury Playhouse), Lawrence After Arabia (Hampstead Theatre) and The Blinding Light (Jermyn Street Theatre). Versions of classics include The Life of Galileo and Danton’s Death (National Theatre) and Goethe’s Faust (RSC). Other adaptations include The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Liverpool Everyman and Chichester Festival Theatre) and Dances Of Death (Gate Theatre). His version of Strindberg’s Miss Julie is playing at The Theatre By The Lake, Keswick and will come to The Jermyn Street Theatre in November. For television, he wrote 13 episodes of the first four series of the BBC Television Drama Spooks (winner of the BAFTA Best Television Drama Series 2003).

Samuel Hodges is Director and CEO of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST include Dedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, following The Glass Menagerie in 2015. 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.

 

NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Theatr Clwyd and English Touring Theatre co-production

Supported by a grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

by Tennessee Williams
Directed by 2017 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Winner Chelsea Walker

 23 – 31 March & 5 – 16 June

Press night: 28 March

 “Every man is a king.” Stanley is no exception.

Until one summer, when his sister-in-law Blanche comes to stay.

Anxious, seductive and fiercely clever, Blanche is just about keeping it together.

But her arrival threatens Stanley’s entire way of life.

As the summer heats up, and the games turn savage, a burning desire threatens to tear their world apart.

A bold new revival of Tennessee Williams’ timeless classic, this is a raging portrayal of what it means to be an outsider, in a society where we’re all desperate to belong.

After the run at Nuffield Southampton Theatres, A Streetcar Named Desire goes on tour to Theatre by the Lake, Malvern Theatres, Bristol Old Vic, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Oxford Playhouse and Theatr Clywd before returning to Southampton.

Supported by a grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust.

 Tennessee Williams (1911 – 1983) was one of the greatest American playwrights. His principal works include A Streetcar Named Desire (Pulitzer Prize), The Glass Menagerie (New York Critics’ Circle Award), The Rose Tattoo (Tony Award for Best Play), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Pulitzer Prize), Suddenly Last Summer, Sweet Bird of Youth, Orpheus Descending and The Night of the Iguana (New York Critics’ Circle Award).

Chelsea Walker directs A Streetcar Named Desire as the winner of the 2017 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award. She directed the first major revival of Low Level Panic by Clare McIntyre at the Orange Tree earlier this year. Her previous directing credits include P’yongyang by In-Sook Chappell and Chicken Dust by Ben Weatherill (Finborough Theatre), Klippies by Jess Sian (Southwark Playhouse) and Lean by Isley Lynn (Tristan Bates). She has also assistant directed on Wild by Mike Bartlett (Hampstead Theatre), Routes by Rachel de-lahay (Royal Court) and The Little Mermaid, adapted by Joel Horwood (Bristol Old Vic). She was a runner up in the JMK Young Directors’ Award 2016, is a director on the Old Vic 12, and is a script reader for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Royal Theatrical Support Trust

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) operates an annual award scheme for up-and-coming theatre directors, the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Scheme. The Scheme provides a rare opportunity for an up-and-coming director who succeeds in a competitive process to direct a fully-funded production of a play as part of a main season of productions at a British regional theatre. The RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Scheme is designed for the benefit of directors who have already built up a track record of professional directing experience and who are ready for the opportunity provided by the Scheme to progress to directing a production in the main house, or a comparably high-profile auditorium, of a regional theatre.

The Scheme involves a collaboration between the RTST and a regional theatre selected by the RTST. The RTST makes a significant grant to the participating regional theatre to be applied towards the costs of the Award winner’s production. It is a condition of the grant that the regional theatre facilitates the implementation of the Scheme and the realisation of that production.

This year, the RTST ran the Scheme with Nuffield Southampton Theatres.  At the end of a rigorous competitive process, Chelsea Walker was selected as the winner of the 2017 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award by a highly distinguished panel of panel of theatre professionals comprising Sam Hodges (Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Howard Brenton, Tamara Harvey (Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd), Patricia Hodge, Stephanie Street, Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre) and Danny Lee Wynter.  Walker won the opportunity to direct A Streetcar Named Desire.  The RTST is making a significant grant to Nuffield Southampton Theatres towards the production costs.

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres workshop production in association with The Other Palace

SON OF RAMBOW THE MUSICAL

Book by Richard Marsh

Music by Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler; Lyrics by Miranda Cooper and Richard Marsh

Adapted from the film by Garth Jennings, Nick Goldsmith and Paramount Pictures

Directed by Samuel Hodges

22 May – 2 June

At The Other Palace, London

 Son of Rambow is a work in progress production working with feedback from the audience each day.

Winter 1982. Two boys are about to form an unlikely friendship.

 Will Proudfoot is a member of the Plymouth Brethren, forbidden from watching TV or films. Lee Carter is the wild child, school trouble-maker. When Lee blows Will’s mind with a pirate copy of Rambo: First Blood, this unlikely pair collaborate on a homemade sequel.

Their movie changes the lives of all around them. Will’s recently-widowed mum, Sarah, begins to question her faith as family friend Joshua confesses his love for her. Lee’s brother Barry fights for the love of his girlfriend Tina, who must choose between Barry, University or the French exchange sexpot, Didier.

Based on the cult hit film, Son of Rambow is a heart-warming and hilarious story about two boys with a big video camera and even bigger ambitions. Set to an original 80s pop soundtrack from two of the UK’s most successful pop writers, Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler.

Nick Coler is a British songwriter. His credits alongside Miranda Cooper include 35 top 10 hits for acts such as Girls Aloud, The Sugababes, Gabriella Cilmi, Alesha Dixon and numerous other artists. In addition, he co-wrote a song with Alastair Lloyd Webber for Starlight Express as well as numerous films and TV shows including Wayne’s World where he wrote Feed my Frankenstein. He has also been nominated three times for an Ivor Novello Award and has won producer of the year.

Miranda Cooper is a British songwriter. Her credits alongside Nick Coler include writing for Girls Aloud and the Sugababes, Alesha Dixon, Gabriella Cilmi, and Kylie Minogue. Cooper’s songs have spent more years on the UK chart than any other female songwriter in history, and she has penned four number one hits – Round Round, Sound of the Underground, Hole in the Head and The Promise.

 Richard Marsh is a writer and performer. His one-man play Skittles was commissioned for Radio 4 as Love & Sweets, and won Best Scripted Comedy in the BBC Audio Drama Awards. Dirty Great Love Story won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Fringe before transferring to Bristol Old Vic, Soho Theatre and 59E59 Theatres, NYC, and most recently to the Arts Theatre. Wingman played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe before touring the UK and to LA, and is in development for TV. He wrote the Radio 4 poetry comedy series Cardboard Heart and his poetry can currently be heard in the national tour of Tango Moderno. He is a former London poetry slam champion and was a member of Theatre503’s 503/5 writers group.

 

NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Isango Ensemble, Repons Foundation and Hackney Empire

co-production

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary

The world première of

SS MENDI DANCING THE DEATH DRILL

by Gbolahan Obisesan with Isango Ensemble

Adapted from the book by Fred Khumalo

Directed by Mark Dornford-May

29 June – 14 July

Press night: 4 July

Most had never seen the sea, many couldn’t swim, few returned.

 January 1917, 823 South African men board the SS Mendi in Cape Town, volunteers for the British Army bound for the Western Front. Through a tragic twist of fate, Pitso Motaung finds himself aboard.

Months later, the ship sails off the coast of Southampton. Heavy pre-dawn fog shrouds the impending disaster. The collision comes with such force the SS Mendi sinks in minutes. By the time rescue arrives it is too late for most.

Paris, 1958. Two men are dead in a restaurant, attacked by the head waiter Pitso Motaung. Dark memories etched in Pitso’s mind are resurfacing decades later to devastating effect.

Dubbed the ‘Black Titanic’, the sinking of SS Mendi was one of the worst maritime disasters in the 20th century in UK waters. Yet, a startling story of hope and courage emerges. Brought to life, with live music by the critically acclaimed Cape Town based Isango Ensemble and part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s Cultural Programme for the First World War Centenary.

Since 2001 Isango Ensemble has toured its productions to Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Singapore, Turkey, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the United States. Productions include The Mysteries – Yiimimangaliso which had two runs in the West End; uCarmen which toured to many of the world’s major festivals; The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo featuring Mozart’s score transposed for an orchestra of marimbas, which won both an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and the Globes de Cristal for Best Opera following a sold-out season at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Venus & Adonis in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe and in 2016 A Man of Good Hope co-produced by Young Vic, Royal Opera, Repons Foundation, BAM and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Films created by the ensemble include uCarmen eKhayelitsha which won the Golden Bear at The Berlin International Film Festival as well as many other Best Feature Awards.

Gbolahan Obisesan is Genesis Fellow of the Young Vic Theatre and is under commission to Eclipse Theatre Company. Previous credits include How Nigeria Became: A Story, And A Spear That Didn’t Work (Unicorn Theatre), We Are Proud To Present… (Bush Theatre), Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic / Edinburgh Festival) and Mad About The Boy (Edinburgh Festival and UK tour). He was one of the six writers and the only British writer on Rufus Norris’ Feast, commissioned by the Royal Court and The Young Vic for their World Stages London which was produced at The Young Vic, he also directed four plays as part of The Bush Theatre’s epic 66 BOOKS project which ran at the Bush and Westminster Abbey. Other directing credits include SUS (Young Vic and UK tour – Jerwood Award for directing) and he was Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio and resident director for the Fela! (National Theatre). Associate Director credits include The Way of The World, and Julius Caesar (RSC).

Fred Khumalo is the author of the novels Bitches Brew, which was a joint winner of the 2006 European Union Literary Award, and Seven Steps to Heaven. His memoir, Touch My Blood, was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize for Non-fiction in 2007, and his most recent book, #ZuptasMustFall and Other Rants, was published in 2016. His short fiction has appeared in various anthologies, literary journals and magazines.

Mark Dornford-May is co-founder and Artistic Director of Isango Ensemble and has worked in South Africa with members of the company since 2000. He has directed all of Isango’s stage productions including The Mysteries – Yiimimangaliso, The Snow Queen, Der Silbersee, The Beggars Opera – Ibali Loo Tsotsi, Carmen, The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo, A Christmas Carol – iKrismas Kherol, Aesop’s Fables, La Boheme – Abanxaxhi, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – Izigwili Ezidlakazelayo, Venus and Adonis; and the films he has directed are uCarmen eKhayelitsha, Son of Man, Unogumbe – Noye’s and Breathe – Umphefumlo.

SS Mendi Dancing the Death Drill is co-commissioned by 1418NOW: WW1 Centenary Arts Commissions, Repons Foundation, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Hackney Empire, with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

 

NST City

Now-Here: Hidden Histories

Supported by Black History Month South

10 – 12 July

An annual festival of performance, exhibitions, storytelling, music, workshops and lunch time talks. Now-Here returns to explore the themes from NST’s production of SS Mendi, a story hidden for decades underplaying the contribution the Commonwealth countries made to the First World War.

Hidden stories of race, the whitewashing of history, those forgotten and celebrating the reclamation of identity and people’s true place in history.

 

NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

WOMEN IN POWER

Created by an Assembly of Women

Based on Assemblywomen by Aristophanes

Directed by Blanche McIntyre

8 – 29 September

Press night: 13 September

350 BC. Athens.

The country is in political turmoil. Recent wars and alliances have left Athenians no option but to take the most extreme action. The most radical… a government of women.

Praxagora masterminds and leads a daring coup d’etat, outlining her utopian vision of total equality to her crowd of cross-dressing collaborators. A world where power imbalance is eradicated and with it, debt, greed, theft, and…also marriage, love and consent. Oh, and camping.

NST Associate Blanche McIntyre returns to Southampton to direct this raucous comedy with songs, dance, music and women taking the lead.

Blanche McIntyre directs. Previous credits for Nuffield Southampton Theatres include Noises Off, Tonight at 8.30 and The Nutcracker.

Other theatre credits include The Norman Conquests (Chichester Festival Theatre), Titus Andronicus and The Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), Welcome Home Captain Fox! (Donmar Warehouse), The Oresteia (HOME Manchester), As You Like It and The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe), Arcadia (Ambassador Theatre Group), The Seagull (Headlong), Accolade (St James Theatre), Repentance/Behind the Lines (Bush Theatre), Ciphers (Out of Joint), The Birthday Party (Manchester Royal Exchange), Foxfinder, Accolade and Moliere or The League of Hypocrites (Finborough Theatre), Liar Liar (Unicorn Theatre), The Only True History of Lizzie Finn and Open Heart Surgery (Southwark Playhouse), The Seven Year Itch (Salisbury Playhouse), When Did You Last See My Mother? (Trafalgar Studios); and for film as a writer, The Hippopotamus.

 

NST City

An Exeter Northcott, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston co-production

DON CARLOS

Written by Friedrich Schiller

Translated by Robert David MacDonald

 Directed by Gadi Roll

 23 October – 3 November

‘Love is only known by him who hopelessly persists in love.’

Don Carlos faces the most profound of dilemmas.

In a cruel twist of fate, his former fiancé and the love of his life, Elizabeth, has recently become his stepmother. His father and usurper is the tyrannical Philip II.

Abandoned by both man and decree, Don Carlos must fend for himself.

But one man, Rodrigo Marquis of Posa, has never forgotten the childhood act of sacrifice that the Prince made on his behalf. Dreaming of freedom for his people, Rodrigo becomes an unlikely power broker in the King’s duplicitous court.

A double edged story of loyalty, love and friendship, and the abuses of power and statesmanship, Don Carlos is as resonant today as it was at the time.

Starring Tom Burke, Israeli theatre director Gadi Roll brings his trademark dynamic imagery and haunting soundscapes to Schiller’s masterpiece.

Press night: 15 October at Exeter Northcott

Friedrich Schiller’s (1759 – 1805) principal works for the stage include The Robbers, Intrigue and Love, The Wallenstein Trilogy, Mary Stuart and William Tell.

Robert David MacDonald (1929-2004) was a playwright, translator and director. He was co-director of the Citizens’ Theatre Company, Glasgow and wrote fifteen plays for the company including Dracula, Camille, De Sade Show, Chinchilla, No Orchids for Miss Blandish, Summit Conference, A Waste of Time, Don Juan, Webster, Anna Karenina, and Conundrum. As a translator he translated/adapted over seventy operas and plays from ten different languages, including such operas as, The Threepenny Opera (Glasgow/ENO North), Tamerlano, Flight from The Harem, The Barber of Seville, Aida (WNOC), Marschner’s Vampire!, Cosi Fan Tutti (Hintlesham); and plays, Figaro, Orpheus, The Human Voice, Conversation at Night, Achterloo, Shadow of Angels, The Balcony, The Blacks, The Screens, The Government Inspector, Tasso, Faust I & II, Brand, Hedda Gabler, Maskerade, The House of Bernada Alba, School for Wives, DonJuan, Enrico Four, Phedra, Mary Stuart, The Seagull, Round The World in Eighty Days, Lulu and Clavigo.

Tom Burke plays Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa. His theatre work includes The Deep Blue Sea, The Doctor’s Dilemma (National Theatre), Reasons to be Happy (Hampstead Theatre), Reasons to be Pretty, Macbeth (Almeida Theatre), Design for Living (The Old Vic), for the Donmar Warehouse, Creditors (also New York, winner of the Ian Charleson Award) and The Cut, and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe). His television work includes Strike, The Musketeers, War and Peace, Utopia, The Hour and Great Expectations; and for film, The Libertine, The Enlightenment, The Collectors, Donkey Punch, Telstar, Chéri, An Enemy to Die For, Cleanskin, Only God Forgives, The Invisible Woman and The Hooligan Factory.

Gadi Roll has directed over sixty productions for the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Teatr Polski, Wroclaw, American Repertory Theatre Boston, Stari Teatr Krakow, Habima National Theatre, Cameri and Beit-Lessin Theatres Tel Aviv, Jerusalem Khan Theatre, Haifa Theatre and Beer-Sheva Theatre, Israel. Credits include Iphigenia at Aulis, The House of Bernarda Alba, Les Parents Terrible, Don Juan Comes Back from the War, Pains of Youth, Romeo and Juliet, The Duchess of Malfi, Measure for Measure, ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore, The Robbers, Don Carlos, Spring Awakening, Waiting for Godot, 1913, The Park, Quei Oust, A View from the Bridge, The Lady from the Sea, No End of Blame, Amadeus and Saved.

 

NST Campus

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

The World Première of

BILLIONAIRE BOY

Adapted from the book by David Walliams
Music and Lyrics by Miranda Cooper

Directed by Luke Sheppard

19 November – 6 January 2019

Press night: 28 November

Imagine being the wealthiest child in the land!

One-day factory worker Len Spud invents a new loo roll “Bum Fresh – wet on one side, dry on the other.” The wiping-wonder is an instant hit. Len, and his son Joe, become overnight billionaires, turning their lives upside down.

Whilst Mr Spud spends, spends, spends on fast cars, 100-inch TVs, and lavish gifts for his glamorous new girlfriend, Sapphire Diamond, Joe is left to fend for himself.

In the unforgiving world of the school playground, things are about to get more complicated. With his new best friend, Bob, at his side, Joe navigates an assault course of school bullies and dangerously inedible canteen food.  To make matters worse, is the impossibly pretty new girl Lauren all that she appears to be?

But can money really buy happiness? This hilarious new musical adaptation is a triumphant treat for the whole family, based on the bestselling book by David Walliams, and presented by the NST team following their award-winning “whisker – licking treat” Fantastic Mr Fox.

David Walliams is a global phenomenon in the world of children’s literature with worldwide sales of over 19.5 million books in more than 53 languages. He is the first children’s author to spend 100 weeks in the number one position in the UK children’s book charts, beating his nearest rivals by over 20 weeks. Three of his books have been awarded Children’s Book of the Year at the National Book Awards. Additionally, The Boy in the Dress, Ratburger, Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny have all been adapted for TV. As well as being a bestselling children’s author, David is one of Britain’s most popular writers and comic actors. Along with Matt Lucas, he created the BAFTA award-winning Little Britain which also played to over 1 million people on tour across the UK, Ireland and Australia. He starred in the Agatha Christie TV series Partners in Crime and as Frankie Howerd in the biopic Rather You Than Me. He is also a judge on one of the biggest shows on TV, Britain’s Got Talent.

Miranda Cooper is a British songwriter. Her credits alongside Nick Coler include writing for Girls Aloud and the Sugababes, Alesha Dixon, Gabriella Cilmi, and Kylie Minogue. Cooper’s songs have spent more years on the UK chart than any other female songwriter in history, and she has penned four number one hits – Round Round, Sound of the Underground, Hole in the Head and The Promise.

Luke Sheppard directs. His credits include The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 ¾ The Musical (Menier Chocolate Factory), Working, Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse), Jersey Boys (international tour), Murder for Two, Oliver! (Watermill Newbury), In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse and King Cross Theatre – winner of 3 Olivier Awards), Peter and the Starcatcher (Theatre Royal Northampton), Night Must Fall (Salisbury Playhouse), Stig of the Dump (Arts Theatre), The History Boys (South Hill Park), 101 Dalmatians (Castle Theatre) and Soho Cinders (Arts Ed). As Associate Director, Sheppard has worked on Singin’ in the Rain (Palace Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre) and Matilda (RSC) and as Assistant Director on Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

 

YOUTH THEATRE PROGRAMME:

NST Youth Theatre provides the opportunity for young people to work with professional theatre makers as part of NST’s main house programme. This season’s productions include:

Love and Information

By Caryl Churchill

Directed by Max Lindsay

NST City

18 -20 January
Dungeness
by Chris Thompson

NST City

5-7 April

 Much Ado about Nothing

By William Shakespeare

NST City

19-21 July

VISITING PRODUCTIONS:

Visiting productions include the award-winning musical Teddy, presented by Sarah Loader for Snapdragon Productions in association with The Watermill Theatre, and directed by Eleanor Rhode, opening on 26 February; Gecko’s production of The Wedding by Amit Lahav opening on 6 March; Birdsong Productions Ltd in association with Original Theatre’s production of Sebastian Faulks’ hit Birdsong; and a Lyric Hammersmith and Filter Theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Direct from the Edinburgh Fringe comes the Wardrobe Ensemble, Royal & Derngate Northampton and Shoreditch Town Hall co-production – Education Education Education as well as Ockham Razor Production’s circus piece Tipping Point.

 Studio productions include an ARC Stockton Production of Instructions For Border Crossing written and performed by Daniel Bye; Your Best Guess written and performed by Chris Thorpe – a Mala Voadora and Chris Thorpe production in association with ARC Stockton; The Believers Are But Brothers written by Javaad Alipoor; John Osborne’s Circled in the Radio Times; Quarter Life Crisis written and performed by Yolanda Mercy; and Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas’s Palmyra, developed with support from Croquis_BCN (Barcelona), Bristol Ferment, MAYK, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Ovalhouse and HOME.

NST City will also stage two dance productions, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre’s production of Sleuth and Clowns / New Creation by Hofesh Shechter. NST Campus will also stage two family productions, the Curve and Rose Theatre Kingston co-production of George’s Marvellous Medicine and an MEI Theatrical and Polka Theatre production, Sarah and Duck. In addition, music acts performed in the theatre will include Band of Skulls with The Space Between Collective, The Gateway Sessions, showcasing the very best of local music talent and Blueprint a new festival of jazz.

 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

The Shadow Factory

NST City

7 February – 3 March

Press night: 15 February

 

A Streetcar Named Desire

NST City

23 – 31 March & 5 – 16 June

Press night: 28 March

 

SS Mendi, Dancing the Death Drill

NST City

29 June – 14 July

Press night: 4 July

 

Son of Rambow The Musical

Workshop at The Other Palace, London

22 May – 2 June

 

Women in Power

NST City

8 – 29 September

Press night: 13 September

 

Don Carlos

NST City

23 October – 3 November

Press night: 15 October at Exeter Northcott

 

Billionaire Boy

NST Campus

19 November – 6 January 2019

Press night: 28 November

 

 

Tom Burke leads the company of Don Carlos as the centrepiece of Exeter Northcott Theatre’s 50th anniversary season

Tom Burke
Tom Burke

Tom Burke

Artistic and Executive Director of Exeter Northcott Theatre Paul Jepson today announced a major new revival of Schiller’s Don Carlos with Tom Burke leading the company as Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa. Gadi Roll’s production is presented in a co-production with Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston. The production is the centrepiece of the Exeter Northcott’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The production opens in Exeter on 16 October, with previews from 11 October and runs until 20 October 2018 ahead of performances in Southampton and Kingston. The production reunites Burke and Roll following their previous collaboration on Don Juan Comes Back From the War at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.

Don Carlos, son and heir to the tyrannical Philip II, is desperately in love with his stepmother, Elizabeth, to whom he was once betrothed. To resolve his all-consuming passion, Carlos enlists the help of his closest friend. Enter Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, who dreams of freedom for his people and becomes an unlikely power broker in the King’s duplicitous court.

Written just two years before the French Revolution, Schiller’s Don Carlos engages with themes of justice, equality, freedom of expression and conscience, religious bigotry and state persecution and is as relevant today as ever.

Paul Jepson said today, “I first met Tom when I directed him at RADA, and it’s wonderful to reunite for our major new revival of Schiller’s masterpiece Don Carlos in a co-production with Nuffield Theatres Southampton and Rose Theatre Kingston.  It is an incredibly resonant play given the intolerance in the contemporary world. Gadi’s production is at the heart of our 50th anniversary season, and forms a major part of our produced programme.”

Tom Burke commented, “Don Carlos is a play that speaks for today – it’s themes as relevant now as when Schiller wrote it. Gadi Roll and I are thrilled to open the production with Paul and the team at the Northcott ahead of performances in Southampton and Kingston.”

Friedrich Schiller’s (1759 – 1805) principal works for the stage include The Robbers, Intrigue and Love, The Wallenstein Trilogy, Mary Stuart and William Tell.

Robert David MacDonald (1929-2004) was a playwright, translator and director. He was co-director of the Citizens’ Theatre Company, Glasgow and wrote fifteen plays for the company including DraculaCamilleDe Sade ShowChinchillaNo Orchids For Miss BlandishSummit ConferenceA Waste Of TimeDon JuanWebsterAnna Karenina, and Conundrum. As a translator he translated/adapted over seventy operas and plays from ten different languages, including such operas as, The Threepenny Opera (Glasgow/ENO North), TamerlanoFlight From The HaremThe Barber Of SevilleAida (WNOC), Marschner’s Vampire!, Cosi Fan Tutti(Hintlesham); and plays, FigaroOrpheusThe Human VoiceConversation At NightAchterlooShadow Of AngelsThe BalconyThe BlacksThe ScreensThe Government Inspector, TassoFaust I & IIBrandHedda GablerMaskeradeThe House Of Bernada AlbaSchool For WivesDon JuanEnrico FourPhedraMary StuartThe SeagullAround The World In Eighty Days, Lulu and Clavigo.

Tom Burke plays Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa. His theatre work includes The Deep Blue Sea, The Doctor’s Dilemma (National Theatre), Reasons to be Happy(Hampstead Theatre), Reasons to be Pretty, Macbeth (Almeida Theatre), Design for Living (The Old Vic), for the Donmar Warehouse, Creditors (also New York, winner of the Ian Charleson Award) and The Cut, and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe). His television work includes Strike, The Musketeers, War and Peace, Utopia, The Hour and Great Expectations; and for film, The Libertine, The Enlightenment, The Collectors, Donkey Punch, Telstar, Chéri, An Enemy to Die For, Cleanskin, Only God Forgives, The Invisible Woman and The Hooligan Factory.

Gadi Roll has directed over sixty productions for the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Teatr Polski, Wroclaw, American Repertory Theatre Boston, Stari Teatr Krakow, Habima National Theatre, Cameri and Beit-Lessin Theatres Tel Aviv, Jerusalem Khan Theatre, Haifa Theatre and Beer-Sheva Theatre, Israel. Credits includeIphigenia at AulisThe House of Bernarda AlbaLes Parents TerribleDon Juan Comes Back From the WarPains of YouthRomeo and JulietThe Duchess of MalfiMeasure for Measure‘Tis a Pity She’s a WhoreThe RobbersDon CarlosSpring AwakeningWaiting For Godot1913The ParkQuei OustA View from the BridgeThe Lady from the SeaNo End of BlameAmadeus and Saved.

Exeter Northcott Theatre

11 – 20 October 2018

Press night: 16 October

www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

Box Office: 01392 726363

Nuffield Southampton Theatres

23 October – 3 November

www.nstheatres.co.uk

Box Office: 023 8067 1771

Rose Theatre Kingston

6 – 17 November

www.rosetheatrekingston.org

Box Office: 020 8174 0090

Southampton’s new theatre opens with the world première of Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, today announced the inaugural production at NST City – the world première of Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory . Hodges’ production opens on 15 February, with previews from 7 February, and runs until 3 March. Further programming for the opening season at NST City will be announced shortly.

Autumn 1940. The Battle of Britain rages in the skies. Southampton is home to our only hope of victory: the Spitfire. But when the Luftwaffe drops 2,300 bombs in three devastating raids, the city goes up in flames and the Woolston Supermarine Spitfire factory is destroyed.  From the ashes, a story of chaos, courage and community spirit emerges.

This spectacular world premiere will open Southampton’s brand-new theatre, NST City, conceived by NST’s director Samuel Hodges and 59 Productions, the Tony Award-winning artists behind the video design of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Director Samuel Hodges said today, “I first heard about this story months after starting this job and was immediately struck by its significance. Not just for what it says about Southampton’s past, but as an example of what the future can be. We famously live in a particularly segregated country right now – and our political leaders do nothing to reassure us that cohesion and empathy will be at the forefront.

“This story is both epic in its power and impact, but also incredibly human – it’s about individuals coming together, overcoming personal bias and mistrust, to achieve something great on their own terms.

“Working with Howard, who has proven himself time and time again to be the master of this style, is an honour and a great statement of intent for this new theatre at the heart of Southampton’s fast-rising cultural quarter.”

Howard Brenton commented, “The creation of the shadow factories is an inspiring story from a frightening time, something for Southampton to celebrate.

“We may be uncertain about what is going to happen in the next few years.  But our present anxiety pales beside the dire straits the townspeople found themselves in during the September of 1940.  Their lives were torn apart – German bombing raids above, on the ground their work places requisitioned by the ruthless Ministry of Aircraft Production.

“But people responded with a mixture of courage, bloody-mindedness, anger and humour.  They made sacrifices, improvised – and six weeks after the big factory’s destruction Spitfires were being made in small places all over the town.

“I’ve written characters across the generations, with scenes in Government bunkers, the town and partying on the Common as bombs fall.  It was an extraordinary display of common determination.   If chaos returns to Britain, we should remember its example.”

Alongside the production, the company will mount The Shadow Factory Exhibition, giving audiences the opportunity to step into the stories behind The Shadow Factory in an installation featuring the visually stunning moving set designed by 59 Productions.

NST City is part of Studio 144, Southampton’s new £28M city centre arts venue situated in the heart of the city centre. This new venue will include a flexible 450 seat main house theatre, a 135 seat studio, screening facilities, rehearsal, workshop spaces and bar and restaurant managed by Southampton ‘s 2017 Business of the Year winner, Mettricks. NST City will transform NST’s ability to show high quality professional work from local, national and international artists and allow the programme to include dance, film and music.  The bar and restaurant, Tyrrell’s, will be themed on the 1950s former department store Tyrrell & Green which occupied the same site. NST will run the new city centre venue alongside its existing theatre on the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus.

Howard Brenton has written over 50 plays. His most recent credits include Paul (National Theatre), In Extremis(Shakespeare’s Globe and tour retitled Eternal Love), Never So Good (National Theatre), Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare’s Globe, plus revival and tour, winner of the Whatsonstage Best Play Award and UK Theatre Awards Best Touring Production), 55 Days (Hampstead Theatre), #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei (Hampstead Theatre), The Guffin (one act play, NT Connections), Drawing The Line (Hampstead Theatre), Doctor Scroggy’s War (Shakespeare’s Globe), Ransomed(one act play, Salisbury Playhouse), Lawrence After Arabia (Hampstead Theatre) and The Blinding Light (Jermyn Street Theatre). Versions of classics include The Life of Galileo and Danton’s Death (National Theatre) and Goethe’s Faust(RSC). Other adaptations include The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Liverpool Everyman and Chichester Festival Theatre) and Dances Of Death (Gate Theatre). His version of Strindberg’s Miss Julie is playing at The Theatre By The Lake, Keswick and will come to The Jermyn Street Theatre in November. For television, he wrote 13 episodes of the first four series of the BBC Television Drama Spooks (winner of the BAFTA Best Television Drama Series 2003).

Samuel Hodges is Director and CEO of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST includesDedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, following The Glass Menagerie in 2015. 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.

59 Productions is the multi award-winning company of artists behind the video design of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and War Horse, the design and creative direction of the record-breaking David Bowie isexhibition, and video design of Christopher Wheeldon’s celebrated stage adaptation of An American in Paris (Tony Award in 2015). Led by directors Leo Warner, Mark Grimmer, Lysander Ashton and Richard Slaney, 59 Productions are world-leading specialists in design for stage and live events. They are the go-to team for generating creative and technical ideas to realise ambitious artistic projects across a range of disciplines: from architectural projection mapping to exhibition design, VR experiences to events, theatrical design to technical consultancy. In 2017, 59 Productions began producing its own theatrical work, opening its first full scale production, Paul Auster’s City of Glass (HOME, Manchester, Lyric, Hammersmith).  Current and upcoming projects also include, Oslo (Lincoln Center & National Theatre), The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Santa Fe Opera), Marnie (The Met Opera & ENO), Reflections (a four-day projection-mapping event to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao) and A Perfect Harmony (specially-commissioned as the centrepiece of the weekend-long celebrations for the re-opening of Washington’s Freer|Sackler museums in October 2017).

Studio 144, Southampton’s ambitious new venue for theatre, visual art and film brings two world-class arts organisations – Nuffield Southampton Theatres and John Hansard Gallery, part of the University of Southampton – into the heart of the city centre for the first time, together with media and film specialists City Eye.

#ShadowFactory

@NSTheatres

www.nstheatres.co.uk

 The Shadow Factory                                                                                                                                       Listings

Studio 144, Above Bar, Southampton SO14 7DU

Box Office: 023 8067 1771 / ww.nstheatres.co.uk

Monday – Friday10am – 6pm

Saturday10am – 4pm

THE SHADOW FACTORY EXHIBITION 

16 Feb -2 Mar 11am -4pm (excluding matinee performance days and Sundays)

Step into the stories behind The Shadow Factory in this installation featuring the visually stunning moving set designed by 59 Productions, the Tony Award-winning design team behind the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. FREE

ABOUT NUFFIELD SOUTHAMPTON THEATRES:

Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) is one of the UK’s leading professional theatre companies.  The Company is led by Samuel Hodges, supported by a team of associates: directors Blanche McIntyre, Natalie Abrahami, Michael Longhurst designer Tom Scutt and playwright Adam Brace, and develops and produces work with some of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic regional theatres.  NST won ‘Regional Theatre of the Year’ at The Stage Awards 2015 & Best Design UK Theatre 2015 (The Hudsucker Proxy).

Nuffield Southampton Theatres is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and a registered charity, receiving additional core funding from the University of Southampton, Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council.

ABOUT WOOLSTON SUPERMARINE:

In 1940, with the nation’s future hanging in the balance, men and women toiled 17 and 18 hours a day in Southampton to produce desperately needed Spitfire fighters. In September the Supermarine factory at Woolston was heavily bombed. Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Aircraft Production, immediately ordered a complete dispersal of the entire Supermarine works with many local garages and large store premises being requisitioned to help continue production.

Today Southampton City College’s Marine Skills Centre occupies most of the former Woolston Supermarine Works.

ABOUT STUDIO 144:

Studio 144 is led by Southampton City Council and has been supported by Arts Council England through their National Lottery-funded Capital programme, alongside the University of Southampton and Southampton Cultural Development Trust.  The project was born of the partners’ belief in the power of the arts to transform people, places and communities, and an understanding that cultural infrastructure capital is an important part of this.

The opening of Studio 144 is a high-profile addition to Southampton’s cultural scene and will be a keystone in the city’s tourism offer. The arts venue will employ around 100 staff, have a joint annual turnover of over £5 million, and will attract around 350,000 people a year. It is estimated that the development will drive an additional £21 million of visitor spend in the city each year.