Jon Culshaw will star as Bill Bryson in a brand-new stage production of Bryson’s award-winning memoir Notes From A Small Island adapted by BAFTA and Olivier Award winning playwright Tim Whitnall. Directed by the Watermill’s artistic director Paul Hart, the production will have its world premiere in Newbury on 24 September and play until 31 October, with a national press night on 28 September. The production will then tour to Malvern, Cambridge, and Richmond, with further dates to announced.
Notes from a Small Island spent three years in the Sunday Times bestsellers list, sold over two million copies and was voted on World Book Day by BBC Radio 4 listeners as the book that best represents our British identity.
Jon Culshaw said: “It’s a great pleasure and honour to have chance to portray Bill Bryson. His delicious wit makes preparing the role an absolute joy.”
Bill Bryson added:
“I am naturally intrigued and excited to see how Notes from a Small Island will be translated into a theatrical experience. I am especially delighted that Jon Culshaw will be taking the lead role. I have no doubt that he will be a better me than I am!”
Jon Culshaw is warmly regarded by many as one of Britain’s best impressionists with an unmatched versatility and a catalogue of over 350 voices and impersonations. He is a regular guest on current affairs programmes, providing comic relief with impromptu impersonations of politicians and commentators. BBC Radio 4 comedy Dead Ringers is now onto its 19th series and he is also in demand for voicing audio books including ‘The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump’ as well as many of the Dr Who releases. In a further departure from comedy he played the iconic David Bowie in an acclaimed BBC World Service radio drama before turning his hand to a Terry Pratchett audio drama for Audible, The Unseen Academicals. Following a sold-out debut tour, Culshaw is about to embark on his third UK tour The Great British Take Off with Dead Ringers producer, Bill Dare.
From A Small Island is produced by Simon Friend and Hanna Osmolska and the Watermill Theatre. Further casting and creative team to be announced.