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

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

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

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

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

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

NST City

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

The War of the Worlds

Created by Rhum and Clay and written with Isley Lynn

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

 15 – 25 April 2020

Press night: Friday 17 April, 7pm

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

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

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

Originally commissioned by New Diorama Theatre.

NST City

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

Emily Brontë’s 

Wuthering Heights

Created by Inspector Sands

Conceived by Lucinka Eisler and Ben Lewis

Written by Ben Lewis

 Directed by Lucinka Eisler

 11 – 23 May 2020

Press night: Thursday 14 May, 7pm

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

Does it take a village to raise a monster?

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

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

NST City

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


Directed and Choreographed by Zoie Golding

 31 January – 1 February 2020

 When did you last face your fears?

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

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

NST City

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

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

by Isobel McArthur after Jane Austen

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

17 March – 4 April 2020

Guest night: Tuesday 17 March, 7pm

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

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

Let the ruthless match-making begin!


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

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

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres production


26 – 27 March 2020

 NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres production


7 – 8 August 2020

Listings                                                                                                      Nuffield Southampton Theatres

NST Campus, University Rd, Southampton, SO17 1TR

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

Twitter: @nstheatres

Facebook: /nstheatres

Box Office:         023 8067 1771

                             Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm

              Saturday: 10am – 4pm



NST City

31 January – 1 February 2020

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

NST City

17 March – 4 April 2020

Guest night: Tuesday 17 March, 7pm

The War of the Worlds

NST City

15 – 25 April 2020

Press night: Friday 17 April, 7pm

Wuthering Heights

NST City

11 – 23 May 2020

Press night: Thursday 14 May, 7pm


Nuffield Southampton Theatres announces new Autumn/Winter Season

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

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

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

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

Sam Hodges, Director at Nuffield Southampton Theatres said,

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

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

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

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

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

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

65 Years. 13 Prime Ministers. One Queen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Sam Hodges: “New work doesn’t always succeed – but it is critical as it’s the way that theatre has to respond in a fresh way to what is happening today.”

Sam Hodges founded HighTide Festival Theatre in 2006. Fast forward to 2014 Sam Hodges took over as the artistic and executive director of the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.

In 2016, Nuffield is at an exciting time of transition. Under the leadership of Sam Hodges it has been reinvigorated as a producing theatre company for Southampton and last year won The Stage award for Best Regional Theatre. He himself has just been nominated Best Director at UK Theatre Awards.

Later this year Nuffield will open a second venue in Studio 144 – Southampton’s new £25M city centre arts venue. Champagne all round!

Dedication is a new play that tells the story of Shakespeare and the 3rd Earl of Southampton. What exactly did happen between them? A powder keg of sex, power and politics in Elizabethan England.

On the eve of press night he discusses life lessons, Southampton as a cultural hub and bringing Shakespeare magic to the stage…

Samuel Hodges

Sam Hodges

Hello Sam, first things first: can you tell us all about Studio 144
Studio 144 will be a stunning new venue at the heart of Southampton’s thriving cultural quarter. It will be our new home and  will include a flexible 447 seat main house theatre, a 135 seat studio, screening facilities, rehearsal and workshop spaces, a café bar and bistro.
This new venue will transform Nuffield’s ability to show new and exciting high quality professional work from local, national and international artists, built on the foundations of our commitment to extensive and accessible artist development and community engagement. It will also allow us to develop our programme to include dance, film and music.  As you can imagine this is a very exciting time for us, but also a great challenge.
We’re going to be running two venues, the new city centre venue at Studio 144 and our existing theatre on the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus so we are working hard to make sure that our programme can offer something for everyone. We want our audiences to feel at home in both our buildings and we have big ambitions as to how we want to achieve that.


Dedication. Click on the image to book your tickets.







What can audiences expect from DEDICATION
A political thriller about what might have been. Sword fights, Elizabethan dancing, and a complete transformation of the auditorium into a space as you’ve never seen it before. We’re ‘casting’ the audience as the jury in a trial in which Shakespeare is being interrogated about his links to Southampton. It’s part love story, part adventure, part thriller.

Do you prefer the high level strategy director stuff or hands on stripped to the waist rehearsal room directing stuff? 
I love design – and am very much aesthetic led so I love those conversations about how the overall vision will look. But as a former actor, I do enjoy the process of developing the piece in the room as well – there’s nothing that beats an actor’s instincts and viewpoint as you shape a new play.

DEDICATION is an ambitious project. What have been the biggest challenges getting this off the ground? 
Probably the transformation of the auditorium and scale and intricacy of the set. There are literally loads of moving parts – and combined with the challenge of developing a new play, which relies entirely on an audience to truly test, we’ve had our hands full.

It would appear that audiences in Southampton are spoilt for choice for a good night out (The Mayflower, Nuffield, Stage Door) is this the case?
Completely the case although I think happily each venue offers quite a different flavour to Southampton. The Mayflower is obviously synonymous with big touring musicals, which it does very well, and it has started to do a bit of dance more recently. The Stage Door taps into that late-night cabaret feel – I’m a particular fan of their adult pantomime at Christmas! And then our focus is on drama and comedy – so something for everyone.

I noted with interest that you recently celebrated being Director at The Nuffield for three years. How would you describe your tenure? 
Extremely busy but very satisfying. I feel like we’ve achieved what we set out to do in this time which was to make Nuffield one of the national players, in terms of producing work. We have just announced our second London transfer in as many years, a UK national  commercial tour and we’ve been Regional Theatre of the Year,  – all big steps for the theatre. One of the most fulfilling parts of the job has been building a brilliant team around me – which makes the day-to-day a real pleasure. And having got to this point, the next three years are obviously going to be very focused on the new venue, which we feel ready for.

What is your favourite theatre in London? 
The Young Vic Theatre. It’s my kind of theatre. It mixes a strong European aesthetic with great British storytelling – a blend of what makes both traditions so unique. Yerma was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned in the past 12 months?
To make sure I do enough living outside of work to ensure that my work has something to be inspired by.

Is there anything that you’d like to add? 
The reason I commissioned this play is that I believe passionately in creating new work that aims to support Southampton in ‘telling its own story’. New work doesn’t always succeed – but it is critical as it’s the way that theatre has to respond in a fresh way to what is happening today. I’m not interested in just mounting a period historical piece – it’s only worth looking back to see what it says about today. I hope that Dedication can be Southampton’s contribution, not only to Shakespeare400, but to the wider catalogue of Shakespearean work. On a larger scale, though, I hope it also asks questions about the way that we mould history to our shape – that we think of it as a fixed point, whereas in fact it is only what is written down that lasts.


Checkout the production images of Dedication