Nottingham Playhouse unveils new shows and updates for its Autumn/Winter Season

  • Neville Studio Christmas show confirmed as Pinocchio 
  • Amplify19 festival to return in autumn
  • Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful announced as the spring 2020 family show
  • Casting updates for An Enemy of the People, Lit, Assassins and Coram Boy
  • Holes to return to the Playhouse as part of a national tour

NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE has unveiled the latest updates for its autumn/winter season, including the announcement of Pinocchio as the Neville Studio Christmas show. A firm family favourite, Pinocchio will be this season’s festive treat for smaller children. The classic story of a puppet who is magically brought to life, Pinocchio is a production full of fun and mischief, following a young boy and his pet cricket on a journey of discovery into the unknown. With plenty of laughter, music and chances to join in, Pinocchio is the perfect Christmas show for younger children.

The award-winning theatre has also confirmed the return of Amplify19 festival in October after the success of the inaugural Amplify festival last year. The festival’s highlights include one-man fantasy adventure tale BOAR from creative associate Lewis Doherty, and trade a production that follows three women through a mix of fresh rhythm and raucous humour as they come to terms with the transactions that define them.

With a wide range of workshops, shows and work in progress pieces on offer throughout the week, Amplify19 aims to support and showcase up and coming artists from the East Midlands.

Next year’s family show has also been revealed as Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful. This premiere of Simon Reade’s new adaptation brings to life the moving, vivid and relatable story of Tommo, a country boy fighting a war he doesn’t understand for people he cannot respect. Having endured a tough rural childhood with his brother Charlie, we join 18-year-old Private Tommo Peaceful in the trenches as he tells us his remarkable story on what may be his last night on earth.

A tale of courage, devotion and sibling rivalry, the award-winning novel has quickly become a classic story for children and young adults since its publication in 2003. Private Peaceful will take to the stage next year and feature as Nottingham Playhouse’s spring 2020 family show.

The latest season announcement also includes casting for Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s special adaption of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People.

The headline drama, which stars award-winning actress, TV and film star Alex Kingston, is a gripping production set in contemporary Norway where the waters of a town’s famous spa are mysteriously poisoned.

Olivier Award-nominee and TV regular Malcom Sinclair has been cast as Peter Mattsson, the mayor of the Norwegian town and Dr Stockmann’s brother.
Donna Banya has been confirmed to play Petra, Dr Stockmann’s daughter and Imogen Daines is to play Ulrika Hovstad, editor of the town’s local paper. Karl Haynes, last seen at the Playhouse in Wonderland earlier this year, will also be joining them on stage as Captain Horster, Dr Stockmann’s friend and ally.  Returning to Nottingham Playhouse, Richard Evans – who previously appeared in the international tour of The Burial at Thebes – will take the role of Morten Kiil and Deka Walmsley will be playing Christopher Stockmann after appearing in Wonderland last year. East Midlands actor Tim Samuels has been confirmed to play Aslaksen, while also rehearsing to star in Playhouse production Coram Boy.

The theatre has also announced that Danish composer Frans Bak – who is well known for writing the score for both the original and American remake of TV series The Killing (Forbrydelsen) and the BBC’s Doctor Foster – will be composing the music for An Enemy of the People.

Coram Boy  Helen Edmundson’s adaptation of the book by Jamila Gavin – is Nottingham Playhouse’s most ambitious community project to date, and has also had some new additions to the cast. Jack Quarton returns to Nottingham after starring in Wonderland to play Thomas Ledbury, as well as being associate director for the production, which will involve nearly 100 members of the public.

Alongside Jack, Tim Samuels will be taking on the role of Otis Gardinera child snatching criminal who tricks young women into handing over their babies.
Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Thanks to record-breaking audiences last year we are able to create another season that mixes new writing with new versions of exciting classics, musicals and dramas. We have some terrific opportunities for children and young people to engage with the theatre and a brand new programme of classes and courses.   We are ever-grateful to our funders and sponsors who, along with our brilliant audiences, help to make all of this possible.”

Cast updates have also been announced for Sophie Ellerby’s LIT – a production about the turbulent teenage years of a girl from Nottingham. Running in the Playhouse’s Neville Studio, LIT gives a humorous account of the trials and tribulations of a young girl looking for love.
Nottingham actress and Television Workshop alumni, Eve Austin, who appeared in Inside No 9, is set to take the lead as Bex; a vibrant, fearless teenager with a lot of boredom to quell.  Eve will be joined by Tiger Cohen-Towell who plays Ruth, Bex’s shy, contemplative friend, along with Maxine Finch who takes the role as Bex’s new foster mum, Sylvia.

Jim Pope has been cast in the role of Ruth’s Dad Mark and Kieran Hardcastle has been confirmed to play Lee, the charming yet foul-mouthed older brother of a boy at Bex’s school.

Casting announcements have also been released for modern classic Assassins. Created by legendary musical theatre writer Stephen Sondheim, the multiple Tony award-winning vaudeville-style show is a satirical and stylish look at why individuals reach for a gun when they feel their voice can’t be heard.

Award-winning director Bill Buckhurst returns following universal acclaim for Sweet Charity with another multi-talented cast.

Alex Mugnaioni will be playing John Wilkes Booth, while Peter Dukes takes the role of Leon Czolgosz. Evelyn Hoskins has been cast as Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, along with Wonderland’s Jack Quarton who will be taking the stage as John Hinckley.

Ned Rudkins-Stow will be playing Lee Harvey Oswald, Joey Hickman will be playing The Proprietor and Phoebe Fildes will be playing Emma Goldman. The ensemble will be made up of Grace Lancaster, Matthew James Hinchliffe and Simon Oskarsson.

Finally, Nottingham Playhouse has announced the return of its critically acclaimed production of Louis Sachar’s Holes.
Based on the multi award-winning novel and Hollywood blockbuster, Holes is an off-beat comedy adventure perfect for children aged eight and up. Back by popular demand in February 2020, Nottingham Playhouse’s Holes has a short run as part of a major national tour.
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