NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE REVEALS EXCITING NEW SEASON LINE UP
- Film, TV and theatre star Alex Kingston confirmed to play the lead in specially–adapted Rebecca Lenkiewicz version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People
- New production of Assassins confirmed for Autumn 2019
- World premiere of LIT by Sophie Ellerby
- Casting for Memory of Water announced
- Details of Adam Penford’s production of Coram Boy revealed
- Emerging BAME playwright Nathaniel Price under commission for a new Nottingham-based drama
NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE has unveiled its 2019 Autumn season, including a specially-adapted version of An Enemy of the People starring Alex Kingston.
In the new 2019 Autumn brochure, the Playhouse has also revealed another new production for the theatre Assassins, as well as announcing a world premiere for the Neville Studio LIT and its epic community project Coram Boy, to take place at Nottingham’s Albert Hall.
Celebrated for 12 years in renowned US drama series ER, award-winning actress, TV and film star Alex Kingston will take on the lead of Dr Stockmann in An Enemy of the People in September. The timely and gripping play about fake news, whistle-blowers and the corruption of power is set in contemporary Norway where Dr Stockmann discovers the town’s famous spa waters are poisoned.
British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz, has specially adapted An Enemy of the People for Nottingham Playhouse. Lenkiewicz is also an esteemed screenwriter whose credits include co-writing the Oscar winning Ida, and Colette which starred Keira Knightley.
Adam Penford, artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “I am thrilled that An Enemy of the People is our headline drama this Autumn, following on from the major success of The Madness of George III in November. It’s a play I’ve had my eye on for a few years as the themes it explores feel so current; it’s hard to believe Ibsen wrote it 130 years ago.
“Alex Kingston is a tremendous actor with a powerful stage presence and global profile. I was delighted by how passionately she felt about both the play and the character and was excited about coming to Nottingham. Likewise, Rebecca Lenkiewicz is one of the most renowned British playwrights and her new incisive adaptation brings the play bang up-to-date so it has the freshness and mass appeal of a contemporary thriller.
“An Enemy of the People is one of the greatest dramas ever written and audiences will be gripped by its dramatic narrative and the mirror it holds up to our society.”
Speaking about her role in An Enemy of the People, Alex Kingston said: “I am really excited about participating in the 2019 season at Nottingham Playhouse. The lead main character was written for a man and has always been played by a man; in this version it is being adapted to allow me to play this role.
“The piece is really timely – there are a lot of shadows within the play that echo what we are going through right now – the Flint water scandal in Michigan, the vilification of Hillary Clinton, the general state of democracy and post Brexit Britain – there are a lot of themes that will resonate for the audience in this play.”
The award-winning theatre, which recently won Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2019, has also confirmed the world premiere of LIT – a co-production with HighTide, directed by Stef O’Driscoll and the debut play of local writer Sophie Ellerby. Taking place in the Neville Studio in late September and October, the play will explore the turbulent teenage years of a girl looking for love in all the wrong places.
The Autumn will also see Nottingham Playhouse and The Watermill Theatre produce Stephen Sondheim’s multiple Tony Award-winning musical Assassins in November.
Bill Buckhurst will return to the Playhouse following universal acclaim for his direction of 2018’s Sweet Charity, to direct the clever, funny and thought-provoking musical about the power of the President, lure of celebrity and the failure of the American dream.
The latest announcement also includes casting for heart-breaking drama The Memory of Water, taking place in May.
The comedy drama directed by highly acclaimed director and National Theatre, Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe regular Adele Thomas follows three estranged sisters who return to their childhood home on the eve of their mother’s funeral. Shelagh Stephenson’s Olivier award-winning story is a relatable drama about the complexities of family relationships.
Cuckoo and EastEnders actress Juliet Cowan will be taking on the role of Teresa, along–side EastEnders actor Nicholas Bailey who will be playing Mike. People Like Us and Love and Marriage actor Stewart Wright has also been confirmed to play Frank.
Nottingham Playhouse also announced it has commissioned a new drama for its theatre from stage and screenwriter Nathaniel Price. Set in the early 1980s Nottingham, the drama centres on the lives of a dual heritage family. Nathaniel is currently writing episodes for a major new adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses (Mammoth Screen/BBC) and Tin Star II starring Tim Roth (Kudos/Sky).
Coram Boy, led by Adam Penford, has also been announced as the theatre’s most ambitious community project yet, which will be taking centre stage at the Albert Hall in August.
Up to 100 amateur performers will form the production’s acting and choral ensemble working alongside a cast of professional actors.
The epic adventure play, based on the award-winning novel by Jamila Gavin, features twists and danger and is about the strength of love between a parent and child.
To apply to take part in Coram Boy and to book into an audition workshop complete the online application form by Sunday 17 March at www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/participation/community/coram-boy-community-company/
Participants will need to commit to weekly evening rehearsals from week commencing 6 May – 20 July, as well as evening technical and dress rehearsals running from 22 July – 6 August and the performances from 7 – 10 August.
Application forms can also be downloaded from the website and are available in Easy Read and large print formats. Once completed, applicants can either email it as an attachment to email@example.com or post it to Elaine Williamson, Nottingham Playhouse, Wellington Circus, NG1 5AF by Sunday 17 March.
Nottingham Playhouse Autumn shows will go on sale to Playhouse Pass members on Wednesday 6 March and will go on general sale on Friday 15 March.
For more information about Nottingham Playhouse visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
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Nottingham Playhouse has been one of the United Kingdom’s leading producing theatres since its foundation in 1948. It welcomes over 130,000 ticket buyers annually and an additional 170,000 visitors to participation events and to Anish Kapoor’s stunning Sky Mirror. It creates productions large and small, from timeless classics and enthralling family shows to adventurous new commissions, often touring work nationally and internationally. Nottingham Playhouse was nominated Best Regional Theatre in The Stage Awards 2019.
In spring 2018 under new Artistic Director Adam Penford, the Playhouse produced two world premieres, Shebeen and Lava, and one regional premiere, Wonderland, all to great critical acclaim. September 2018 saw the highly praised production of Sweet Charity, the Playhouse’s first musical in over 10 years. In November 2018, The Madness of George III became the Playhouse’s highest ever selling drama.
The production was also broadcast by NT Live to over 2,500 venues in nearly 70 different countries, and was nominated for five WhatOnStage Awards 2019. In January 2019, Nottingham Playhouse was named Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2019.
2019 SEASON IN BRIEF
22 March to 7 April 2019
Directed by Lisa Blair
Designer: Frankie Bradshaw
Lighting Designer: Alexandra Stafford
Composer/Sound Designer: Tom Attwood
Movement Director: Chi-San Howard
Puppetry Director: Matthew Forbes
Accent Coach: Elspeth Morrison
Assistant Director: Katie Brailsford
Casting Director: Stuart Burt CDG
“They say that shoulder blades are where your wings were, when you were an angel…where your wings will grow again one day.”
Moving house has been hard for 12-year-old Michael, and now his baby sister is ill in hospital, it seems his whole world has been turned upside down.
Exploring the crumbling garage of his new home one afternoon, he makes an extraordinary discovery. A strange, decrepit creature, Skellig, is hidden amongst the dust, dead insects and junk.
Together with his new friend Mina, Michael decides to help Skellig. But can the mysterious Skellig help Michael in return?
Winner of the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year and Carnegie Medal, this modern classic has been adapted for the theatre by its author. Let your imagination take flight in this magical re-telling of David Almond’s hauntingly beautiful story.
The Memory of Water
3 to 18 May 2019
Directed by Adele Thomas
Designer: Laura Hopkins
Casting Director: Stuart Burt CDG
“Some things are in your bones”
Three sisters arrive at their remote childhood home on the eve of their mother’s funeral. Having grown apart, the siblings argue and joke as they sort through their mother’s belongings and gradually confide about the realities of their own adult lives. But it’s when they move on to childhood recollections that they soon spot discrepancies, leading to a series of dramatic and devastating revelations.
The Memory of Water is a hilariously heart-breaking play on what we fear most – losing someone both in life and death. A play about family, grief and the unreliability of memory. Expect tears and laughter in Nottingham Playhouse’s new production of Shelagh Stephenson’s Olivier award-winning comedy.
One Night in Miami…
7 to 22 June 2019
Directed by Matthew Xia
Designer: Grace Smart
Lighting Designer: Ciarán Cunningham
Composer/Sound Designer: Max Pappenheim
Casting Director: Sophie Parrott CDG
25 February 1964: Cassius Clay is crowned the new heavyweight champion of the world and celebrates with three of his closest friends – activist Malcolm X, American football icon Jim Brown and soul star Sam Cooke – in a downtown Miami motel room.
That much we know is true. What follows is an imagined account of a fabled real-life event.
Kemp Powers’ tough talking, in-your-face drama speculates on what might have happened in that room that night. Over music, whiskey and two tubs of vanilla ice cream, the men wrangle with the change that’s gonna come, and four era-defining legends emerge.
Directed by Matthew Xia (director of 2018’s acclaimed production Shebeen), One Night in Miami… is a play about prejudice and brotherhood, and asks us which side of the fence do we stand when hard choices need to be made?
One Night in Miami… received its theatrical stage premiere in the UK at the Donmar Warehouse on Tuesday 11 October 2016.
Praise for the Donmar’s production:
“A rich and fascinating play” The Independent
“packs one hell of a punch” The Times
“Powers has lit on a crucible moment” The Observer
Following the performances at Nottingham Playhouse, One Night in Miami… will tour to Bristol Old Vic and HOME in Manchester.
7 to 10 August 2019
Directed by Adam Penford
In 1739 Thomas Coram established his Foundling Hospital, a home for unwanted children. Into this world fall Aaron and his best friend Toby; one the unknowing heir to a vast fortune and the other rescued from an African slave ship.
Aaron’s gift for music exposes both boys to the dark underbelly of Georgian society. Soon they are on a dangerous journey to unravel their pasts and forge their destinies.
Based on Jamila Gavin’s Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award-winning novel, Coram Boy is a gripping family saga that exposes an era blighted by slavery and the ill-treatment of children.
Nottingham’s beautiful Albert Hall, with its iconic Binns Organ, provides the perfect backdrop to Coram Boy’s soaring choral score. Six professional actors, with up to 100 community performers, will bring to life this epic tale of heartbreak and redemption.
Artistic Director Adam Penford, following his highly acclaimed production of The Madness of George III, directs this tale of the power of music and the unbreakable bond of parent-child love.
An Enemy of the People
13 to 28 September 2029
Directed by Adam Penford
Designed by Morgan Large
“Who forms the majority? The wise or the foolish?”
When Dr Stockmann discovers the town’s famous spa waters are poisoned, she presumes she’ll be treated as a hero for saving the community from disaster. Instead she’s accused by the mayor of threatening the town’s livelihood. Public and media opinion is soon swayed and the community becomes split into factions.
Would you make a stance, even if it led to your family’s social isolation? And when does a moral campaign tip into ego-driven martyrdom?
A timely and gripping play about fake news, whistle-blowers and the corruption of power which challenges both personal and global politics.
This updated version from acclaimed playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz will be directed by Adam Penford (Wonderland, The Madness of George II) and offers a fresh and contemporary look at Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama. Design by Morgan Large, winner of UK Theatre Award for Best Design, Wonderland
30 October to 16 November
Directed by Bill Buckhurst
“Murder is a tawdry little crime. But when a president gets killed, when Julius Caesar got killed… he gets assassinated.”
A man sits in a storeroom on the sixth floor of a Book Depository in Texas in 1963, waiting for John F Kennedy’s motorcade to pass below. He rests his finger on the trigger, ready to join a line of men and women who have shot their way into the history books.
Assassins is a satirical and stylish look at why individuals reach for a gun when they feel their voice can’t be heard. Clever, funny and thought-provoking, this is a musical about the power of the President, lure of celebrity and the failure of the American dream.
Created by the greatest living musical theatre writer, Stephen Sondheim, this multiple Tony award-winning vaudeville-style show is a modern classic. Following universal acclaim for Sweet Charity award-winning director Bill Buckhurst returns with another multi-talented cast.
Assassins is based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jr. Original orchestrations by Michael Starobin.
Playwrights Horizons Inc., New York City, produced Assassins off-Broadway in 1990.
First Broadway production, 2004, Roundabout Theatre Company, Todd Haimes, artistic director. Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.
Assassins is a co-production between Nottingham Playhouse and The Watermill Theatre.
24 September to 5 October 2019
Directed by Stef O’Driscoll
“I’m making him work for it. Got him to buy me a pack of Tangfastics and a can of Lilt before I showed him my tits.”
The problem with love is that it’s different for everyone. For Bex, love is a handjob in detention and the promise of a date at a Chinese buffet. She doesn’t even like Chinese.
LIT explores the turbulent teenage years of a girl looking for love in all the wrong places.
Originally commissioned by HighTide, Sophie Ellerby’s writing revives a proud British tradition of placing complex working class people at the heart of her work. Sophie is an actor and a writer, and the spark of LIT came from her experience studying young women and mothers in the prison system.
Director Stef O’Driscoll, Artistic Director of nabokov, director of Paines Plough Roundabout season, is a leading innovator in British theatre; ‘Creates an alternative experience for people who don’t think theatre is for them.‘ The Stage.
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