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Comedy and classic drama in New Vic summer season

Published: 13 April 2019

A “heart-warming quirky comedy”, a classic drama about a brass band and a story filled with “magical moments, devilish encounters and spellbinding music” will be the attractions at a north Staffordshire theatre in summer 2019.

The New Vic at Newcastle-under-Lyme and Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre will co-produce Charlotte Jones’s Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis. It will be directed by Gemma Fairlie who was also at the helm for Maxine Peake’s first play Beryl about cycling legend Beryl Burton, which ran at the New Vic in 2017. A comedy about learning to love who you are, Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis will run from Thursday 2 until Saturday 18 May.

Conrad Nelson, who directed Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for Northern Broadsides at the New Vic earlier in 2019, will return to direct Paul Allen’s play Brassed Off which is adapted from Mark Herman’s screenplay.

It follows the troubles of a mining community whose pit is on the brink of closure. A story about community spirit and triumph in the face of adversity, it features live music by TCTC Group Champion Brass Band. It will run from Saturday 1 until Saturday 22 June.

The New Vic will then stage David Greig’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. It will be directed by Anna Marsland who was resident director on Simon Stephens’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the National Theatre.

The play tells the tale of cautious academic Prudencia Hart who sets off to snowy Scotland for a conference but soon finds herself at the edge of reality. It will run from Friday 28 June until Saturday 13 July.

Steve Orme