FIRST LOOK: The rehearsal images of Sabrina Mahfouz’ s new adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses

First look at rehearsals for the premiere of Sabrina Mahfouz’s new adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s acclaimed novel Noughts & Crosses.

Rehearsals are well under way for the premiere of the Pilot Theatre in co-production with Derby Theatre’s production of  Sabrina Mahfouz’s exciting new adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s critically acclaimed young adult novel of first love in a dangerous fictional dystopia – Noughts & Crosses.

Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director Esther Richardson (Brighton Rock), the new adaptation will premiere at Derby Theatre from the 1-16 February before embarking on a national tour until the 11 May 2019.

 Noughts & Crosses is the first novel in Malorie Blackman’s ground-breaking four-part YA series. The book has sold over 800,000 copies and deals with themes of racism and prejudice, set in an alternate 21st-century Britain, one where African nations conquered Europe, and enslaved their white inhabitants. In this world, dark-skinned ‘Crosses’ are vastly privileged and powerful compared to the ‘Nought’ underclass over which they rule. Noughts & Crosses charts the deeply forbidden romance between Sephy (a Cross) and Callum (a Nought) – a love affair which had repercussions for their families for generations.

Noughts & Crosses will be the first co-production between Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre Colchester and York Theatre Royal who have recently formed a new partnership to develop theatre for younger audiences. From 2019-2022 the consortium will commission and co-produce an original mid-scale production each year. Each production will play in all the consortium venues as well as touring nationally.  Schools workshops and outreach projects, along with free digital learning resources, will be available alongside each of the productions.

Noughts & Crosses’ exciting young cast will feature Heather Agyepong, Billy HarrisDoreene BlackstockJack CondonDaniel CopelandLisa Howard Chris Jack and Kimisha Lewis.

Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts & Crosses series, Thief and most recently her science fiction thriller Chasing the Stars. Her work has also been adapted for TV with the 6-part adaptation of Pig-Heart Boy winning a BAFTA and Noughts & Crosses currently in production for the BBC, with Roc Nation (Jay-Z’s entertainment company) on board to curate and release the soundtrack as Executive Producer. In 2005, Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children’s books, in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature and, between 2013 and 2015, she was the Children’s Laureate. Malorie has also recently written for the new Doctor Who series on BBC One and the fifth novel in her Noughts & Crosses sequence, Crossfire, will be published by Penguin Random House Children’s in summer 2019.

Noughts & Crosses will open at Derby Theatre and run from the 1-16 February and will then tour to Theatr Clwyd, Mold; The Lowry, Salford; Mercury Theatre Colchester; Bristol Old Vic; Brighton Theatre Royal; Belgrade Theatre Coventry; York Theatre Royal; Theatre Royal Stratford East and Northern Stage.

For more information on Noughts & Crosses please visit www.pilot-theatre.com and www.derbytheatre.co.uk