Dial M, American Nightmare, The Story, Hela, The Gift, Smack and Crack

Dial M for Murder – tour starts 14 January

Classis thriller Dial M for Murder gets a new production directed by Anthony Banks.

The play is based on Frederick Knott’s stage and screen play (used by Alfred Hitchcock in his iconic 1954 film version), in which the manipulative Tony Wendice seeks the perfect crime to revenge the infidelity of his wife, Margo.

Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers plays Tony with Not Going Out Star Sally Bretton playing Margo until April. They are joined by Christopher Harper and Michael Salami.

The resident director is Lizzie Powell, the fight director is Alison de Burgh and the producers are Simon Friend and Gavin Kalin.

Dial M for Murder visits Richmond Theatre Richmond, Theatre Royal Norwich, Orchard Theatre Dartford, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford, Theatre Royal Bath, His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen, King’s Theatre Edinburgh, Theatre Royal Glasgow, Salisbury Playhouse, Churchill Theatre Bromley, Palace Theatre Southend, Milton Keynes Theatre, New Alexandra Birmingham, New Theatre Cardiff, Curve Theatre Leicester, Lyceum Theatre Sheffield, Playhouse Theatre Liverpool, Theatr Clwyd Mold, Theatre Royal Brighton, Theatre Severn Shrewsbury, The Lowry Salford, Royal & Derngate Northampton, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Grand Theatre Leeds and Grand Theatre Wolverhampton.

The Violence Series: American Nightmare, The Story, Hela – tour starts 15 January

Little Cardiff-based pub theatre The Other Room thinks big. For its first foray into touring, it presents a trio of new dystopian dramas which it commissioned for its autumn season.

The three are:

  • American Nightmare by Matthew Bulgo: set in the not-so-distant future America, this is a sharp and cynical thriller which explores the deep-seated divides between the haves and the have-nots
  • The Story by Tess Berry-Hart:a disquieting exploration of moral condemnation and personal responsibility inspired by the playwright's work with refugees
  • Hela by Mari Izzard:a story of dark family secrets set in a dystopian Wales, where justice is determined by an algorithm

The Violence Series: American Nightmare, The Story, Hela visit Theatre503 London, Ffwrnes Llanelli, Arad Goch Aberystwyth, Theatr Clwyd Mold and Pontio Bangor.

The Gift – tour starts 18 January

The Gift is a funny play set in both 1862 and the present day which looks at cross-racial adoption and cultural appropriation, in part through the true story of Sarah Bonetta Davies, an African girl adopted by Queen Victoria. The contemporary lens looks at a modern-day, black, middle-class Sarah.

Shannon Hayes plays Sarah Bonetta Davies and Donna Berlin plays modern-day Sarah. Joining them are Dave Fishley, Rebecca Charles, Joanna Brookes and Richard Teverson.

The play is written by award-winning playwright Janice Okoh; it has composition by Adrienne Quartly and is directed by Dawn Walton. This is an Eclipse Theatre and Belgrade Theatre Coventry co-production.

The Gift opens at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry then visits Theatre Royal Stratford East London, The North Wall Oxford, Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds, NST City Southampton and Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough.

The Political History of Smack and Crack – tour starts 22 January

This two-hander follows a pair of star-crossed lovers over four decades from the 1981 Moss Side riots to recovery and survival on the present-day streets of Manchester.

In so doing, crackling with rage, humour and authenticity, it looks at ordinary people crushed by the heroin epidemic at the height of Thatcherism who are left behind when politics gets in the way of the state providing tangible support.

It is written by Ed Edwards inspired by his own experiences of imprisonment on drugs offences and rehab. Rising out of early illiteracy, he published his first novel when he was in prison, he now has writing credits for Holby City, Brookside and The Bill, several original radio plays, five novels and a children’s book to his name.

Cressida Brown directs The Political History of Smack and Crack which has been seen in Manchester, at Soho Theatre London and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The production partners with charity Mustard Tree, supporting their work in combatting poverty and preventing homelessness across Greater Manchester. The producer is Alastair Michael.

The Political History of Smack and Crack visits Bristol Old Vic, HOME, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sheffield Studio Theatre, The Marlowe Theatre, Live Theatre, Cast Doncaster, Tron Theatre Glasgow.