By Samson Hawkins
Director Nadia Fall
Set and Costume Designer – Lily Arnold
Lighting Designer – Richard Howell
Composer and Sound Designer – Max Pappenheim
Movement Director – Carrie-Anne Ingrouille
Casting Director – Jacob Sparrow
Associate Director – Timothy Trimmingh
Originally commissioned by Nottingham Playhouse
Saturday 11 – Saturday 25 Mar
Press performance – Wednesday 15 March 7pm
“If I were an animal there would be legislation to protect my home, but because I’m just a bloody human they can do whatever the f**k they like.”
Nottingham Playhouse is delighted to announce the casting for the world premiere of Samson Hawkins’ VILLAGE IDIOT, a co-production with Theatre Royal Stratford East and the pioneering consortium which puts deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the centre – Ramps on the Moon.
Directed by Stratford East Artistic Director Nadia Fall, VILLAGE IDIOT features Mark Benton (As You Like It – National Theatre, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – UK Tour) as Kevin, Maximilian Fairley (Flying Colours – The Arcola Theatre) as Harry, Philip Labey (While The Sun Shines – Orange Tree Theatre, Shakespeare In Love – Bath Theatre Royal) as Peter, Joseph Langdon (Faith Hope and Charity – European Tour, Equus – Trafalgar Studios) as Liam, Eileen Nicholas (Medea – National Theatre of Scotland, Richard III – Headlong) as Barbara and Faye Wiggan (A Proper Ordinary Miracle – National Theatre of Wales, The Mold Riots – Theatr Clwyd) as Debbie.
Townies have decided they want a lie in, so they’re building a new high-speed railway. Issue is, it’s going right through Barbara Honeybone’s house, and she ‘ent having none of it. Barbara’s grandson Peter works for the townies and it’s his job to convince the village that having a two-tonne bullet hurtling through the cabbage patches will actually be for the best.
Then there’s Harry, Barbara’s younger grandson, he ‘ent that bothered about trains, he’s only got eyes for Debbie Mahoney. But the only thing Barbara hates more than townies is the Mahoneys.
Welcome to Syresham, South Northamptonshire. It’s not quite the Cotswolds, not quite one of those posh villages Americans have in movies but it does have Syresham’s Got Talent, the headline event of the village fair. There’ll be songs, dancing, magic, drag, a bit of wrestling, and Kevin’s doing a meat raffle (vegetarian option two tins of Strongbow).
Village Idiot is an audacious comedy, where family feuds kick off around a country fair that you townies are all invited to.
VILLAGE IDIOT will mark the first new original play staged by the Ramps on the Moon project.
All performances of VILLAGE IDIOT are Captioned and will be in a Relaxed Environment. There will also be designated Socially Distanced & Masked, BSL Interpreted and Audio Described performances.
Writer Samson Hawkins said:
“I was a fencing contractor and I wanted to be a playwright, so I wrote a play about being a fencing contractor. I hope this play captures rural life in a way that will be recognisable to people from that background and enlightening to those not. It’s a message from the country people to the townies, a defence of who we are, and maybe even a challenge for the future.”
Nottingham Playhouse’s Artistic Director Adam Penford said:
“Nottingham Playhouse commissioned Samson to write Village Idiot after he submitted the idea to Amplify, our Artist Development programme for local theatre-makers. Five years later, and after many drafts, we couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s hitting the main stage, and in collaboration with our friends and colleagues at Stratford East and Ramps On the Moon. Samson’s unique voice grabbed our attention in 2018 and we cannot wait for a wider audience to experience that.”
Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Artistic Director Nadia Fall said:
“I’d never read anything quite like Village Idiot: it’s audacious, made me laugh out loud and gave me a window into country life that those of us from towns and cities just don’t get to see. And what’s particularly exciting to me is that this is the first Ramps show that is a new play, written by a neurodivergent writer.”
Saturday 11 – Saturday 25 March 2023
Press Night: Wednesday 15 March, 7pm
Sat 18 Mar, 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Thu 23 Mar, 1.30pm & 7.30pm
Audio Described – Thu 23 Mar, 7.30pm
BSL Interpreted – Fri 24 Mar, 7.30pm
Alongside Nottingham Playhouse, the production will visit Ramps on the Moon partner venues New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich (29 March – 01 April 2023) and Theatre Royal Stratford East (13 April – 06 May 2023).