Nottingham Playhouse unveils its new season as it celebrates 50th anniversary

THE new season at Nottingham Playhouse, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has unveiled its new season and the line-up includes a host of productions for children, music fans and drama lovers.

The season has kicked off with a critically acclaimed world premiere of a new adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s I Was A Rat! which runs until 13th April.

After this, is Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse’s co-production of the European premiere of Matthew Spangler’s stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s international best seller The Kite Runner.

This eagerly awaited production, directed by Giles Croft, opens on 26th April and runs to the 18th May.

The Kite Runner is quickly followed by the children’s show Grandpa in My Pocket - Teamwork! in late May.

This first-ever stage version inspired by the hugely popular CBeebies series, brings the Sunnysands characters and places to life with songs, dance, puppetry and a brand new story told by a young ensemble cast.

The colourful pirate adventure with hero Grandpa and his Shrinking Cap, is written by Mellie Buse and Jan Page, directed by Rosamunde Hutt, and runs from 23rd to 31st May before heading on an 18 week nationwide tour.

Following the acclaimed presentation of The Burial at Thebes at the 2008 Festival, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company returns to Charleston with celebrated actor/director Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy Oedipus from 4th–8th June.

Hot on the heels of this comes The Ashes by critically-acclaimed writer Michael Pinchbeck which was first performed in 2011.

The play recounts the tale of Nuncargate cricket hero Harold Larwood, his feud with Australian batting legend Don Bradman and the infamous Bodyline tour of 1932.

This is a dramatic tale of conflict between two countries, two classes and two men played out on the pitch and in the pavilion. The production, directed by Giles Croft, runs from 27th June to 6th July to coincide with the Ashes Test Match at Trent Bridge.

Autumn begins with George Orwell’s dark vision of the future, Nineteen Eighty-Four, a co-production with Headlong, in a new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan.

This major new co-production explores the world inside Winston Smith’s head, as well as the world without, and catches the euphoria and bliss buried deep underneath the cold face of Big Brother.

Directed by Robert Icke, the production runs from 13th to 28th September.

October sees the world premiere of a new play by celebrated Nottingham writer, Michael Eaton called Charlie Peace: His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend.

It tells the tale of the greatest celebrity villain of the Victorian age; Charlie Peace was a master of disguise, an accomplished musician and irresistibly attractive to women.

On the run, having murdered his lover’s husband and holed up in the warrens of Nottingham’s Narrow Marsh, Peace’s story is told in this modern musical melodrama directed by Giles Croft, and designed by Barney George, includes the work of internationally renowned graphic artist, Eddie Campbell. The co-production with The Belgrade Theatre Coventry runs from October 4th to 19th.

Shakespeare’s Richard III continues the year in a co-production with York Theatre Royal. Playing the role of the last Plantagenet king will be Ian Bartholomew, who was previously seen at Nottingham Playhouse in his critically acclaimed performance as Arturo Ui in autumn 2011.

This mirrors the precedent of Leonard Rossiter playing the part of Arturo Ui at Nottingham Playhouse in 1969 and following it up two years later with his portrayal of Richard III. The 2013 production is directed by Loveday Ingram and will play at the theatre from 25th October to 16th November before transferring to York Theatre Royal.

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