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Nuffield Southampton Theatres announce Spring and Summer 2019 Season

Samuel Hodges
Samuel Hodges

Samuel Hodges

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, today announced the company’s Spring and Summer 2019 season.

The season, which marks the first anniversary of the opening of NST City, includes Samuel Hodges directing his version of the UK regional première of Peter Morgan’s The Audience. Nuffield Southampton Theatres then present the stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns by Ursula Rani Sarma in a co-production withBirmingham Repertory Theatre and Northern Stage. NST also produce a brand-new audio play, The Line, curated by Barney Norris, which will tour Southampton in a Ford Transit Van in association with Up in Arms supported by Padmini Broomfield and Now Heritage CIC.

In January the company welcome the previously announced return of Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory which will be accompanied by The Shadow Factory Exhibition, a free immersive installation looking into the stories behind the production. The season continues its celebration of the local community with the annual festival Now-Here: Made in Southampton, a varied programme exploring the theme of industry and manufacturing in Southampton, inspired by the real-life stories of the city’s residents. Then, Make It SO, showcases and celebrates performances by local artists and companies in NST City’s Studio Theatre.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres also welcomes touring productions including Abigail’s Party by Mike LeighDan Gordon’s adaptation of Rain ManPrincess & the HustlerMarie Jones’ Stones in his Pockets, The Remains of the Day adapted by Barney Norris, Kneehigh’s Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), Jon Brittain’s Olivier Award-winning play Rotterdam and following two sold out runs at the National Theatre, Barber Shop Chronicles from NST Associate Inua Ellams. Alongside this NST host a selection of dance productions with Gecko’s MissingBoy Blue’s Olivier Award nominated Blak Whyte Gray and NST resident company ZoieLogic Dance Theatrepresents Sleuth.

 Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Sam Hodges, said today As we head into our second year at NST City, we return to the theme of making. From Spitfires to Ford Transit vans, from local artists to award-winning designers, this is a year that puts Southampton’s heritage as a city right at the heart of the programme.

 This season is a choir of genuinely diverse voices. You’ll hear the rare private thoughts of our Queen. You’ll hear Afghan women straining to be heard against the silencing might of their husbands and government. You’ll hear real-life accounts from Southampton’s former Ford workers. 

 And it’s fantastic that three of our touring shows are from writers we know well. Barney Norris, writer of The Line, brings his version of Remains of the Day; Jon Brittain, the hilarious writer behind our musical Billionaire Boy, brings his Olivier Award-winning play Rotterdam; and our very own Poetry Associate Inua Ellams brings the spectacular Barber Shop Chronicles.”

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

The UK regional première of

The Audience

by Peter Morgan

Directed by Samuel Hodges; Designer: Rosanna Vize

 24 May – 22 June 2019

Press Night: Thursday 30 May, 7pm

Prime Minister: I never sleep much.

Queen: Oh dear. I like the idea of any person with the power to start a nuclear war being rested.

For 60 years, the Queen has met her Prime Minister every week.  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 his version of The Audience from the writer of the popular TV series The Crown.

 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.

Samuel Hodges is Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST includes The Shadow FactoryDedication – 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 Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Northern Stage co-production in association with Nuffield Southampton Theatres

The European Première

A Thousand Splendid Suns 

by Khaled Hosseini
Adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma

Directed by Roxana Silbert; Designer: Ana Inés Jabares-Pita

25 June – 6 July 2019

Press Night: Wednesday 26 June, 7pm

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed.

Laila was born a generation later. When Laila is orphaned, her and Mariam’s lives collide as they are forced to share the same husband.

Under the Taliban take over, life is a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. As the war rages and the years pass, the country grows more oppressive and so does Rasheed.

But the bonds of love, family and friendship may offer the only escape and drive them to overcome the most daunting obstacles.

From the writer of The Kite Runner, this is the powerful story of three generations of women discovering strength in unity.  

Age recommendation: 14+

 Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. He is one of the most recognized and bestselling authors in the world. His books, The Kite RunnerA Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed, have been published in over seventy countries and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

Ursula Rani Sarma is a playwright and screenwriter. Her theatre credits include Joanne (Soho Theatre), Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Riot (American Conservatory Theatre), The Dark Things (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), The Spider Men (National Theatre), When the War Came (New Theatre Company), Blue (Cork Opera House/Theatre503/Irish tour), Touched (Irish tour), Orpheus Road (Paines Plough), Gift (Beltable Theatre/Djinn Theatre/Granary Theatre) and Like Sugar on Skin (Granary Theatre). Her television credits include Judge Dee and Red Rock; and for film, Robot and Scarecrow and Anywhere But Here.

Roxana Silbert directs. She is Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre and was previously an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Artistic Director of Paines Plough Theatre Company (2005-2009), Literary Director at the Traverse Theatre (2001-2004) and Associate Director at Royal Court Theatre (1998-2000). For Birmingham Repertory Theatre her credits include What Shadows, The Government Inspector (in association with Ramps On The Moon), Anita and Me (with Theatre Royal Stratford East), The King’s Speech (with Chichester Festival Theatre), Of Mice And MenKhandan (Family) (with Royal Court Theatre), Dunsinane (National Theatre of Scotland/RSC), A Life Of Galileo (with RSC and Bath Theatre Royal) and Tartuffe.

 A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Up in Arms

supported by Padmini Broomfield and Now Heritage CIC

The Line 

Curated by Barney Norris

Directed by Alice Hamilton

 Staged in a Ford Transit Van

July – August 2019 (performance schedule to be announced)

 Everyone in Southampton knows someone who worked at Ford.

In Swaythling, there stood a factory. Built in 1939 to assemble aircraft parts, it switched to producing parts for Spitfires during World War II. In 1953, it was taken over by Ford.

Half a century later, Ford moved production of all passenger cars out of the UK, leaving Southampton’s plant as the only British factory. It made the Transit, the iconic white van.

In 2009, Ford moved production to a new plant in Turkey, reducing the workforce to 500; and in 2013, the factory closed down completely.

Take a seat inside our van and listen to this brand new audio play curated by Barney Norris, co-Director of Up In Arms an associate company of NST.

Based on real-life accounts by former Ford employees who recall a place which, through all its highs and lows, was always at the heart of its community.

Barney Norris is co-artistic director of Up In Arms Theatre, a touring theatre company. His first play Visitors ran at the Arcola Theatre before transferring to the Bush Theatre, winning him the 2014 Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright. His other full-length plays are NightfallEventideEcho’s End and While We’re Here. Norris is the author of a bestselling novel, Five Rivers Met in a Wooded Plain, and a book on theatre: To Bodies Gone: The Theatre of Peter Gill. His second novel, Turning For Home, was published in 2018, as well as a second non-fiction study, The Wellspring, a book of conversations with his father, the composer David Owen Norris.

 

Alice Hamilton is a theatre director and dramaturg, and co-artistic director of Up In Arms, a touring theatre company. Her credits for the company include The March on Russia (Orange Tree Theatre), Visitors (Arcola Theatre/UK tour/Bush Theatre), German SkerriesEventide and While We’re Here (UK tours). Other theatre credits include ParadiseEvery Day I Make Greatness Happen (Hampstead Theatre), Echo’s End (Salisbury Playhouse), Thirty Christmases (New Diorama Theatre) Anything That Flies (Jermyn Street Theatre), Orca and Orson’s Shadow (Southwark Playhouse).

LOCAL AND YOUTH THEATRE PROGRAMME

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

The Shadow Factory Exhibition is a free immersive installation looking into the history that inspired Howard Brenton’s play that explores Southampton’s role in World War II.Make It SO then celebrates local talent with a season of work from local artists and companies and finally annual festival, Now Here: Made in Southampton, returns with a variety of performances, exhibitions, workshops and talks celebrating the city’s rich industrial heritage.

Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatre in a co-production with National Theatre Connections 2019 present Class by Ben Bailey Smith and Lajaune Lincoln which follows a student council as the school election approaches examining wider issues of social division and populism. NST’s Summer Youth Project create a new production of 1984 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of George Orwell’s timeless and still poignantly relevant, classic.

NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

The Shadow Factory Exhibition

4 February – 1 March 2019

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

Make it SO

February – April 2019

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

Now-Here: Made in Southampton

11 – 13 July 2019

NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres and National Theatre Connections 2019 production

Class

28 – 30 March 2019

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres production

1984

29 July – 10 August 2019

NST: Five-star Musical Phenomenon SIX comes to Southampton

Six
Six

Six

“The most uplifting piece of new British musical theatre” (***** The Evening Standard), SIX is set to wow Southampton audiences at Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus 13 – 17 Nov.

Following a sold out Edinburgh season and an extended London run, SIX is the critically- acclaimed musical phenomenon everyone is losing their heads over!

From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII finally take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of her-storical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st century sisterly sass-itude fuelled by an all-female band.

With the show soundtrack storming up the UK charts, this new home-grown histo-remixed pop-concert musical comes direct from the West End and is sure to be the hottest thing on the block since Anne Boleyn’s neck!

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

Full cast announced for world première of David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy The Musical

BILLIONAIRE BOY THE MUSICAL
BILLIONAIRE BOY THE MUSICAL

BILLIONAIRE BOY THE MUSICAL

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Sam Hodges today announces the full cast for the world première stage adaptation of David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy The MusicalLuke Shepard directs Alex “Teddy” Clements (MD / Ensemble), Ryan Heenan (Joe Spud), Avita Jay (Sapphire / Raj), Eleanor Kane (Lauren), Lem Knights (Bob), Jared Leathwood (Dave Grubb), Natalie Morgan (Sue Grubb), Daisy Noir (Drummer / Ensemble),Dean Nolan (Len Spud) and Sophia Nomvete (Bobs Mum (Gwen). The production, which marks Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler’s first musical opens on 28 November, with previews from 19 November, and runs until 6 January in Southampton. Billionaire Boy The Musical then tours to Manchester, Coventry and Cardiff.

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 DressRatburger,Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny have all been adapted for TV. As well as being a bestselling children’s author, Walliams 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.

Jon Brittain is a playwright, comedy writer and director. His theatre credits include Rotterdam 

(Theatre503/Trafalgar Studios/59E59/Arts Theatre – winner of Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016 and an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre in 2017.), Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows; and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) which won a Fringe First Award in 2017. He directed both of John Kearns’s Fosters Award winning shows Sight Gags for Perverts and Shtick

and Tom Allen’s Both Worlds and Indeed.

 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 RoundSound of the UndergroundHole in the Head and The Promise.

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.

Alex “Teddy” Clements (Performance Musical Director / Ensemble). He returns to Nuffield Southampton Theatres after his work as Assistant Musical Director on The Shadow Factory. Musical Director Credits include Fortune Lane (Union Theatre), Things We’re Learning Now (Battersea Barge), Tomorrow, Maybe (Actor’s Centre, Bridge House Theatre, C Nova, Omnibus), Blueprints (Theatre Royal Winchester), Theory of Relativity (Theatre Royal Winchester) and A Christmas Carol (Luton Library Theatre). Composer Credits include Tomorrow, Maybe (Actor’s Centre, Bridge House Theatre, C Nova, Omnibus) and Blueprints (Theatre Royal Winchester).

 Ryan Heenan plays Joe Spud. His theatre credits include Moonfleet (Salisbury Playhouse), Grease (UK tour/international tour), Peter Pan (Churchill Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Derby Theatre/Mercury Theatre Colchester), The Burnt Part Boys (Park Theatre), Variété (Riverside Studios), Mort the Musical (Rose Theatre Kingston) and The Sound of Music (London Palladium).

Avita Jay plays Sapphire / Raj. Her theatre credits include The Secret Garden (York Theatre Royal), The Jungle Book, Bring on the Bollywood,The Merry Wives of Windsor (UK tour), Bottled Up (Lyric Hammersmith), We’re Stuck (Shoreditch Town Hall/UK tour), RapunzelWarde Street (Park Theatre), Pioneer (Sheffield Theatres/UK tour), Unsung (Wilton’s Music Hall) and Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World (Southwark Playhouse). Her film credits include The RezortThe East London Story: Slap or Die, London, Paris, New York and Twenty8K.

Eleanor Kane plays Lauren. Her theatre credits include Fun Home (Young Vic – Stage debut award nomination).

Lem Knights plays Bob. His theatre credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch), The Hundred and One Dalmatians,One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep), Boxed (The Vaults), Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre), Below the Breadline and Different Windows (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

Jared Leathwood plays Dave Grubb. This marks his professional stage debut.

 Natalie Morgan plays Sue Grubb. Her theatre credits include Gala (Arcola), Mountains of Madness (Old Red Lion Theatre, Etcetera Theatre), A Christmas CarolThe Musical (LOST Theatre), One More Time (Tristan Bates Theatre) and The Thing On the Doorstep: Asenath’s Tale (Etcetera Theatre).

 Daisy Noir (Drummer / Ensemble). This production marks her professional stage debut.

Dean Nolan plays Len Spud. His theatre credits include Brief Encounter (Birmingham Rep/Empire Cinema, Haymarket), Big Fish (The Other Palace), Fiddler on the RoofConquest of the South PoleRomeo and JulietA Midsummer Night’s Dream (Liverpool Everyman), The OresteiaMeasure For Measure‘Tis A Pity She’s A WhoreThe Knight Of The Burning Pestle (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Winter’s Tale (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Steptoe and Son (UK tour). His film credits include Pan and London Road.

 Sophia Nomvete plays Bobs Mum (Gwen). Her theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Theatres), Miss LittlewoodVice Versa (RSC), Wind in the Willows the Musical (Theatre Royal Plymouth/ The Lowry/Mayflower Theatre), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse/Northern Stage/Nuffield Southampton Theatres), The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (Birmingham Rep), The Heresy of LoveAs You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Exchange Theatre), Tuxedo Junction (The Watermill Theatre), The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Pyjama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre), Ragtime and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra (Nuffield Southampton Theatre), Grimm Tales (Library Theatre), England People Very Nice (National Theatre), Our House(Cambridge Theatre), The Drowsy Chaperone (The Gatehouse), Footloose (Novello Theatre) and Fame (UK tour).

 Luke Sheppard directs. His credits include In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse/ King Cross Theatre – winner of 3 Olivier Awards), Murder for Two(The Other Palace / UK tour), Spring Awakening (Hope Mill, Manchester), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 ¾ (Menier Chocolate Factory / Leicester Curve), Working, Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse), Jersey Boys (international tour), Oliver! (The Watermill Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Theatre Royal Northampton), Night Must Fall (Salisbury Playhouse) and Stig of the Dump (Arts Theatre).

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

Full Cast announced for Don Carlos –the centrepiece of Exeter Northcott Theatre’s 50thAnniversary Season

Daniel Buckroyd
Daniel Buckroyd

Daniel Buckroyd

Artistic and Executive Director of Exeter Northcott Theatre Daniel Buckroyd today announced the full cast for a major new revival of Schiller’s Don Carlos presented in a co-production with Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) and Rose Theatre KingstonGadi Roll directs Tom Burke (Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa), Alexandra Dowling (Eboli), Darrell D’Silva (Philip), Kelly Gough (Elizabeth), Jason Morell (Domingo), Vinta Morgan(Alba), Samuel Valentine (Don Carlos), Stephen Ventura (Lerma) Flip Webster (Duchess), with Alexander AllinDan BallGuy Dennys and Euan Shanahan completing the company’s ensemble.

Produced by former Northcott Executive and Artistic Director Paul Jepson with NST and Rose Theatre, it is the centrepiece of the Exeter Northcott’s 50th anniversary celebrations and opens 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.

Artistic and Executive Director Daniel Buckroyd said, “It is very exciting that the next outing in the Northcott’s role as a producer of high-quality theatre comes in the form of this fantastic co-production with Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston.

We are also delighted that it will be playing to audiences around the UK, flying the flag for the theatre and the city.’’

Don Carlos is a magnificent tale of passion and power set against the chilling backdrop of the bloody and ruthless Spanish Inquisition.

Don Carlos is torn apart when his tyrannical father King Philip II seals a peace deal by marrying French noble Elizabeth de Valois, the love of Carlos’ life. The heartbroken heir turns for help to his closest friend, Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, a champion of the oppressed, who questions the monarch’s iron rule and becomes an unlikely power broker in the duplicitous court.

Written just two years before the French Revolution, Schiller’s Don Carlos is a man caught at the intersection of passion and politics: smitten by his stepmother and seduced by Posa’s dangerous vision of freedom. The chilling work is full of Shakespearean echoes and its themes of justice and equality; freedom of expression and conscience; religious bigotry and state persecution are as relevant today as ever.

Director Gadi Roll brings his trademark dynamic imagery and haunting soundscapes to Schiller’s masterpiece.

Gadi Roll said, “This is a play for our times.  It mercilessly and sensationally depicts an extreme world of state power and corruption, but at its heart are some of the greatest heroes ever written.”

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.

Alexander Allin is a member of the Ensemble. His theatre credit includes The Records (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Dinosaur Dreams (Etcetera Theatre), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Tristan Bates Theatre), Fanny and Stella: The Shocking True Story (Above the Stag Theatre) and The Libertine(Leicester Square Theatre).

Dan Ball is a member of the Ensemble. His theatre credits include Macbeth (Beer Caves), FrankensteinTwelfth Night (Exeter Barnfield Theatre),Margurite (Tabard Theatre), Powerplay and Click (White Bear Theatre); and for film, The Wedding Video and Throw of a Dice.

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.

Guy Dennys is a member of the Ensemble. His theatre credits include Medea (Four of Swords Theatre) and Macbeth (Bussey Building).

Alexandra Dowling plays Eboli. Her theatre credits include A Lie of the Mind (Southwark Playhouse), While the Sun Shines (Theatre Royal Bath), I Have Been Here Before and The Last of the De Mullins (Jermyn Street Theatre). Her television credits include series regular Queen Anne in The Musketeers. Other television credits include Poirot and Game of Thrones; and for film Hammer of the Gods.

Darrell D’Silva plays Philip. His theatre credits include XThe Lying Kind (Royal Court Theatre), Dunsinane (RSC/National Theatre of Scotland/international tour), Making Stalin Laugh (JW3), Public EnemySix Characters Looking for an Author (Young Vic), Children’s Children (Almeida Theatre), Hedda Gabler (The Old Vic), Antony CleopatraKing LearLittle EaglesJulius CaesarThe DrunksThe Winter’s TaleHecuba (RSC), The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Rose TattooRoyal Hunt of the SunTales From the Vienna WoodsFurther than the Furthest Thing(National Theatre), Absolutely (Perhaps) (Wyndham’s Theatre), Antartica (Savoy Theatre), Closer (UK tour), and Romeo and Juliet and The Three Musketeers (Sheffield Theatres). His television credits include Strike BackWoyzeckAsylumCriminal Justice and Out of the Blue; and for film, MontanaNorthmen – A Viking SagaCloser to the MoonTo Be FirstLawless and Dirty Pretty Things.

Kelly Gough plays Elizabeth. Her theatre credits include A Street Car Named Desire (Nuffield Southampton Theatres and UK tour), All in the Timing (Inis Theatre), Big Love (Abbey Theatre), Falling Out Of Love (Yew Tree Theatre), The Playboy Of The Western World (Druid Theatre) and Phaedra, Vinegar Tom, Terrorism, Three Sisters, Twelfth Night and Yeats Trilogy (Samuel Beckett Theatre). For television her credits include Call the Midwife, The Fall, Strike Back, Broadchurch, Vera, Law & Order, ClassCountry Woman, Raw, Scup, Belonging to Laura, This is Night Live and The Clinic; and for film, Taking Stock, Cry Rosa, Out Of Innocence, Kill Command and Jump.

Jason Morell plays Domingo. His theatre credits include The Biograph Girl (Finborough Theatre), Present Laughter (Theatre Royal Bath), The Prince and the Pauper (Unicorn Theatre), The Merchant of VeniceThe Taming of the Shrew (RSC), Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Faustus (Royal & Derngate Northampton/Hampstead Theatre), Lysistrata (Arcola Theatre), The Duchess of MalfiThe Rehearsal (Salisbury Playhouse), Ritual in Blood(Nottingham Playhouse), The Critic (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Silver Lake (Wilton’s Music Hall), Romeo & Juliet (UK tour), The Reckless are Dying Out (Lyric Hammersmith), Rainsnakes (Young Vic) and Swanwhite (Gate Theatre). His television credits include Hear the Silence and Second Sight: Parasomnia; and for film, AffinityArtifactsThe GatheringThe LakeWildeMrs Brown and Damage.

Vinta Morgan plays Alba. His theatre work includes Death and the Maiden (Fio Theatre Company), Faithful Ruslan – The Story of a Guard Dog(Belgrade Theatre and Citizens’ Theatre), Dreamland (Arcola Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Almeida Theatre), Richard III (Trafalgar Studios) and Romeo and Juliet (RSC). For television, his work includes Butterfly, I Want My Wife Back, 50 Ways to Kill Your Lover and Silent Witness; and for film,Official Secrets, What Happened to Monday, If It Be Love and Nine Lives.

Euan Shanahan is a member of the Ensemble. His theatre credits include A Queer Anthology of Dating (Southwark Playhouse), The Front RoomSex with a Stranger (The Wardrobe Theatre) and 13 (Tobacco Factory).

Samuel Valentine plays Don Carlos. His theatre credits include The Stepmother (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Romeo & Juliet (Garrick Theatre/Shakespeare’s Globe). His television credits include King Lear; and for film, Thicker Than Water.

Stephen Ventura plays Lerma. His theatre credits include Great Apes (Arcola Theatre), Running Wild (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Fifth Column (Southwark Playhouse), The One That Got Away (Theatre Royal Bath), The Orphan of Zhao (RSC). For television, his work includes Doc Martin, Downton Abbey, 32 Brinkburn Street and M.I. High; and for film, Emma.

Flip Webster plays Duchess. Her theatre credits include The Hound of the BaskervillesThe 39 Steps… I Counted Them (Guildford Fringe), Women of an Uncertain AgeFlipside – One Woman Show (Edinburgh Festival Fringe) and Stepping Out (The Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre). Her television credits include WitlessThe Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies and Night and Day; and for film, The HeiressMade in RomaniaIrina Palmand Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

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 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

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