Nottingham Playhouse has unveiled its 2019 autumn season, with highlights including:
- Alex Kingston plays the lead in specially-adapted Rebecca Lenkiewicz version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People
- New production of Assassins
- 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
Award-winning actress, TV and film actress Alex Kingston will take on the lead of Dr Stockmann in An Enemy of the People from 13 to 28 September 2019 (press night is 17 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 starring 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.”
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 from 24 September to 5 October 2019, 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 from 30 October to 16 November 2019 (press night is 31 October). Bill Buckhurst will return to the Playhouse following 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 from 3 to 18 May 2019 (press night is 7 May). The comedy drama directed by 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.
Coram Boy, led by Adam Penford, has been announced as the theatre’s most ambitious community project yet, which will be taking centre stage at the Albert Hall in August.