Promo: Nicholas Farrell to join Mark Gatiss in A Christmas Carol at Nottingham Playhouse



By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Adam Penford 





Nottingham Playhouse today announces that Nicholas Farrell will join the cast for Mark Gatiss’ brand-new adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol directed by Adam Penford. Originally scheduled to open in 2020 the production will premiere at Nottingham Playhouse on 29 October, ahead of its London transfer to Alexandra Palace on 26 November presented by Eleanor Lloyd Productions. 

Olivier award-winning Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who) stars as Jacob Marley in his own retelling of Dickens’ classic winter ghost story alongside Nicholas Farrell (Chariots of Fire, The Crown, The Iron Lady and 37 Days) as Scrooge. Filled with Dickensian, spine-tingling special effects, prepare to be frightened and delighted in equal measure as you enter the supernatural Victorian world of A Christmas Carol.

It’s a cold Christmas Eve and mean-spirited miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Nicholas Farrell) has an unexpected visit from the spirit of his former business partner Jacob Marley (Mark Gatiss). Bound in chains as punishment for a lifetime of greed, the unearthly figure explains it isn’t too late for Scrooge to change his miserly ways in order to escape the same fate, but first he’ll have to face three more eerie encounters…

Adam Penford says –

Nicholas Farrell is one of our greatest stage actors and I’m delighted that he will be playing Scrooge in Mark Gatiss’s new adaptation. Nick will bring power and pathos to the iconic character, playing opposite Mark as Jacob Marley.”

A Christmas Carol is the latest collaboration between Gatiss and Penford following Nottingham Playhouse’s award-winning production of The Madness of George III in 2018. The production is designed by Paul Wills, with lighting design by Philip Gladwell, sound design by Ella Wahlström, video design by Nina Dunn,movement direction by Georgina Lamb, and composition by Tingying Dong. Sam Stevenson is the casting director, Matthew Forbes is the puppet director, and Jasmine Teo is the associate director.  

A Christmas Carol will open first at Nottingham Playhouse directed by its Artistic Director Adam Penford. Nottingham Playhouse is dedicated to making bold and thrilling world-class theatre in the heart of Nottingham and was named Regional Theatre of the Year in The Stage Awards 2019.

The production will then transfer to Alexandra Palace where it runs from 26 November to 29 January.


Nottingham Playhouse presents


A Ghost Story

By Charles Dickens

Adapted by Mark Gatiss

Directed by Adam Penford
Lighting Design by Philip Gladwell

Sound Design by Ella Wahlström

Video Design by Nina Dunn

Movement Direction by Georgina Lamb

Composition by Tingying Dong

Casting by Sam Stevenson CDG

Puppet Direction by Matthew Forbes

Associate Direction by Jasmine Teo

Nottingham Playhouse
Wellington Circus, Nottingham NG1 5AF

First performance: Fri 29 Oct 2021

Final performance: Sat 29 Nov 2021
Press performance: Tues 2 Nov 2021, 7pm

Box office:
0115 941 9419
Recommended age 12+
Prices from £45 – £8.50


Mark Gatiss 
Mark Gatiss has had a long and varied career as a writer, director and producer behind the camera, as well as being a critically-acclaimed actor and published author. His early success on television was as part of the comedy troupe The League of Gentlemen, for which he both wrote and appeared onscreen as various characters.  He had a childhood passion for Doctor Who and both wrote for and starred in the modern revival.  He was also the writer and executive producer of An Adventure in Space and Time, a 90 minute dramatisation of the genesis of the series as part of the show’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2013. 

Mark is the co-creator and executive producer of Sherlock, the hit BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman which has seen unprecedented global success and in which he also plays Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes.  The show has won a total of nine Emmys and twelve BAFTAs across its four series.  

Mark’s other writing credits for television include episodes of Nighty Night (2004 – 2005) Crooked House (2008), two episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, his adaptation of HG Wells’ The First Men in the Moon (2010) and all three episodes of the documentary series A History of Horror (2010) and its one-off sequel Horror Europa (2012), all of which he presented as well.  Most recently he wrote and presented two art documentaries for BBC4 – one on John Minton and the other on Aubrey Beardsley. 

Recent acting roles include The Duke of Marlborough in the BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated The Favourite (2018), Disney’s Christopher Robin (2018), Peter Mandelson in James Graham’s Coalition (2015) and Tycho Nestoris in HBO’s Game of Thrones (2014-2017). He recently starred opposite Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in the award-winning screen adaptation of Florian Zeller’s The Father. Upcoming movie roles include Mission Impossible 7 and Operation Mincemeat. 

On stage, he has starred alongside Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus (2013), as Harold in Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band (2016) and as Doctor Shpigelsky in Patrick Marber’s adaptation of Turgenev’s Three Days in the Country for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. In November 2018 he took the titular role in The Madness of George III at the Nottingham Playhouse – the best-selling show in the theatre’s history. 

Most recently he co-created and executive produced the BBC and Netflix drama Dracula. For Christmas 2021 he has written and directed The Mezzotint (M.R James adaptation) for BBC Two and The Amazing Mr Blunden for Sky One – the latter of which he stars alongside Simon Callow and Tamsin Greig. 

Nicholas Farrell

Nicholas Farrell is a stage, film and television actor. His theatre credits include: Wild Duck (Almeida Theatre); Hamlet (Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre); Single Spies (Chichester Festival Theatre); Damsel in Distress (Chichester Festival Theatre); Peter and Alice (Michael Grandage Company); Browning Version/South Downs (Chichester/ West End); Birdsong (Comedy Theatre); Stuff Happens; Dinner (National Theatre); The Lady in the Van (Queens); The Strip (Royal Court); Walpurgis Night (The Gate); Kean (Old Vic/Canada); The Cherry Orchard (Aldwych); Divine Gossip; Three Sisters; Cymbeline; The Revenger’s Tragedy; The Merchant of Venice; Julius Caesar; Desert Air; Hamlet; Camille; Red Noses (RSC); Crime & Punishment (Lyric Hammersmith); Anyone for Denis (Whitehall Theatre); Lonestar/ Private Wars (Bush Theatre); A Man for All Seasons; As You Like It; A Month in the Country (Bristol Old Vic); Fears & Misery of The Third Reich (Open Space); The Crucible (Scarborough).

Nicholas’s television credits include: Gentleman Jack; The Nevers; The Crown; La Templaza; Whitehouse Farm; The Cry; Midsomer Murders; Will; SS-GB; Jack The Ripper; Thirteen; Siblings; Call the Midwife; The Village; 37 Days; Secret State; Death in Paradise; New Tricks; Father Brown; Bouquet of Barbed Wire; Lewis; Torchwood; The Diary of Anne Frank; Collision; Heartbeat; Casualty 1907; Rebus; Waking the Dead; Talk to Me; Inspector Lynley 6; The Roman Mysteries; Persuasion; Suburban Shootout; Poirot: Mystery of Blue Train & The ABC Murders ; Jericho; Trial and Retribution; Bedtime Stories I I I; Absolute Power; Foyle’s War: The Funk Hole; Reversals; Sparkhouse; Spooks; The Jury; Sex Chips and Rock and Roll; Family Money; Deadly Summer; Drop the Dead Donkey; Sharpe’s Regiment; The Treasure Seekers; Bramwell; The Choir; Harry; A Breed of Heroes; To Play the King; The Riff Raff Element; Lipstick On Your Collar; Casualty; Trials of Oz; Lovejoy; The Ginger Tree; Hold the Dream; Dead Lucky; The Fools on the Hill; Mansfield Park; The White Guard; The Jewel in The Crown

His film credits include: Dream Horse; Christmas in the Highlands; The Coldest Play; Hurricane; The Iron Lady; White Chamber; Another Mother’s Son; Legend; Mindhorn; Lies We Tell; Finding Altamira; Amazing Grace; Grace of Monaco; Summer in February; Pearl Harbor; Charlotte Gray; Hamlet; In the Bleak Midwinter; Twelfth Night; Greystoke; Chariots of Fire

Adam Penford            
Adam Penford has been Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse since 2017.

The venue won Regional Theatre of the Year 2019 in The Stage Awards, with the judges saying: “The resurgence of Nottingham Playhouse under artistic director Adam Penford is a reason to rejoice.” 

Trained at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).

For Nottingham Playhouse: Piaf, An Enemy of the People, Coram Boy, The Madness of George III and Wonderland.

For the National Theatre: A Small Family Business (Olivier), Dorfman Opening Gala (Dorfman), Is There Wi-Fi in Heaven (The Shed), Island (Cottesloe). Revival Director on One Man Two Guvnors (West End, Broadway, UK and International Tour). Associate Director on NT 50 Years on Stage. Staff Director on Season’s Greetings.

Other directing credits: Holes(UK Tour), Committee(Donmar Warehouse), The Boys in the Band(Vaudeville and Park Theatre), Platinum(Hampstead Theatre), Unfaithful(Found111), Watership Down (Watermill Theatre), Deathtrap (Salisbury Playhouse and UK Tour), Ghost the Musical (ETF), Stepping Out (Salisbury Playhouse), The Machine Gunners and Run! (Polka Theatre), The Hostage (Southwark Playhouse) and Young Woodley, Tea and Sympathy (Finborough Theatre).

Assistant/Associate director credits: Kevin Spacey Gala (Old Vic), The Winter’s Tale (Propeller at the Watermill), The Vagina Monologues (National Tour), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Bush), Imagine This (Theatre Royal, Plymouth), Dying For It (Almeida) and Charley’s Aunt (Oxford Playhouse).

Nottingham Playhouse

Nottingham Playhouse is dedicated to making bold and thrilling theatre in the heart of Nottingham and was named Regional Theatre of the Year in The Stage Awards 2019. In 2021, both Chief Executive Stephanie Sirr and Artistic Director Adam Penford featured in The Stage’s 100 – as did Associate Artist James Graham. 

2020 to 2021 was Nottingham Playhouse’s most challenging time in its history. The theatre is a central part of cultural life in Nottingham and, despite the pandemic closing its doors, it proved its ability to adapt and thrive by creating new work and moving to digital platforms where in person audiences have not been possible. 

In 2020 its award-winning production of The Madness of George III was made available online through NT at Home and it produced its first piece of new digital theatre – an interactive Zoom play for children called Noah and the Peacock. Most recently, nearly 29,000 people, including children from 69 schools, watched its online pantomime Cinderella. It has continued its commitment to hiring local freelancers who have been hard-hit by the current crisis, through efforts to produce new work, highlighted in its Unlocked festival in autumn 2020, including the world premiere of Bubble by associate artist James Graham. This commitment continued through Spring Loaded in 2021, which included the highly-regarded new digital theatre project Still Life.

This summer, the theatre reopened its doors with an acclaimed production of Pam Gems’ Piaf starring Jenna Russell in the title role. As well as A Christmas Carol, the first full season since the pandemic began includes the legendary Nottingham Playhouse pantomime, which this year will be Beauty and The Beast.  2022 will feature the much-anticipated productions of Private Peaceful, Red Ellen and First Touch whichare due to take place after being postponed due to the pandemic. 

Nottingham Playhouse believes that theatre should be accessible to everyone, even with its doors closed. Its Encore sessions created 2,240 engagements with over 50s in the past year and the Playhouse has continued to reach out to Nottingham’s communities, including those who are at risk of being isolated or marginalised. Its Amplify programme – which seeks to inspire and support theatre-makers from the East Midlands – has also continued running with one-to-one sessions, panel discussions, open call outs and podcasts. 

Nottingham Playhouse Trust Ltd relies on ticket sales for 70% of its income, and continues to fundraise through its Curtain Up appeal. It is a registered charity (no. 1109342).


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