Thursday, 13 March 2014

Nottingham Playhouse great new season report

Nottingham Playhouse announces its new season of work for 2014

Despite recent cuts to its local government funding, Nottingham Playhouse is excited to announce its bold new season of work that includes three plays exploring ‘Time and Memory’ (involving a new commission), and a return of one of last year’s main stage successes, The Kite Runner, (touring nationally).

The Spring season has begun with Nottingham Playhouse’s five-way co-production, (Graeae, Birmingham Rep, New Wolsey and West Yorkshire Playhouse), of Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera. A ground breaking project that sees a fully integrated cast of disabled and non disabled actor musicians bring to life a production of uprising and dispossession, as relevant now as it was 85 years ago. The Threepenny Opera is touring until May 2014.

Orwell’s 1984, a critically acclaimed co production between Nottingham Playhouse and Headlong continued its success with its transfer to The Almeida. In May, 1984 opens in the West End (The Playhouse), London, before an anticipated national tour in the Autumn of 2014.

May sees the return of the neat festival, (Nottingham European Arts Theatre Festival), first launched in Nottingham back in 2011. neat14 will feature work from Spain, Croatia, Poland, Canada and Germany amongst many other countries. Nottingham Playhouse will once again be a key partner in hosting this ten-day festival. (23rd May-1st June 2014).

Launching neat 14 will be a major new community project- Mass Bolero; an eight-minute film involving the people of Nottingham. This mass participation event will see community groups, schools, organisations and individuals recreate Torvill and Dean’s iconic Bolero; paying tribute to two of Nottingham’s finest, with a powerful regional resonance.

Time and Memory season- September- November 2014.

In our Autumn season, we present three plays by British writers that all use two time frames to explore the impact of the past on the present.

In Time and the Conways, J B Priestley explores how the optimism at the end of WW1 is replaced by cynicism and discontent en route to the inevitable tragedy of WW2.

In Propaganda Swing, Peter Arnott's new play, (a co-production with the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), tells the story of an American journalist remembering his time in Berlin during WW2 and his unwilling involvement in the Nazi propaganda programme.

Our final Autumn main stage production, (before our much- celebrated pantomime) is Arcadia. Tom Stoppard explores, with brilliant wit, how we can never fully understand the past and how the journey to the future is constant and unchangeable.

We will be complementing these plays with a programme of work by emerging artists, to be chosen after an open-call this spring, which will create a contemporary response to both the stylistic and political content of the season, using the Neville Studio and other spaces in the theatre.

Fiona Buffini, Nottingham Playhouse’s Associate Director, (National Theatre, RSC and a volunteer with VSO), will be making her Playhouse’s directorial debut with Time and the Conways, working alongside Linbury Prize winner, Madeline Girling who will be designing the set for Time and the Conways and Arcadia. Giles Croft directs Arcadia and Propaganda Swing is directed by Hamish Glen.

2014 will also see the expansion of our participation and engagement work.

Already working in the Neville Studio is the In House project, a collaboration with SEA (Services for Empowerment and Advocacy) working with socially isolated members of the community, many of which have experienced homelessness. After a twelve- week participation project, members of the group will present their piece of work in our Neville studio.

Nottingham Playhouse’s Youth Theatre will be performing Peter Shaffer’s Equus in the Neville Studio, Monday 11th- Saturday 16th August.

Ending the year will be the return of Kenneth Alan Taylor’s 31st pantomime, Sleeping Beauty; look out for a new dame, (it won’t be Kenneth Alan Taylor!)

Other highlights this year include:

Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy, (A WYP production), Fri 28th and Sat 29th March
Richard Alston Dance Company’s Shimmer, Tuesday 29th April, as part of a powerful season of visiting dance.

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