Fourth associate artist joins Nottingham Playhouse

Published: 27 January 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Sarah “Rain” Kolawole has been appointed an associate artist at Nottingham Playhouse and will work with artistic director Adam Penford to help shape the theatre’s artistic vision.

As previously announced, the Playhouse appointed playwrights Amanda Whittington and James Graham and director Matthew Xia as associate artists in autumn 2018.

Penford said, “I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with Amanda, James, Matthew and Sarah. At Nottingham Playhouse, we always strive to create work which reflects our society. With that in mind, we aim for an equal-gender split in the actors and theatre-makers we employ across each season, so it was a natural extension of that policy to end up with an equal-gender split across the associates too.

“All four associates have a working-class influence in their backgrounds and their work. All four bring their own set of unique skills, experiences and interests with them and will act as a sounding board for me in everyday tasks including reading scripts and watching play readings.”

Kolawole is a spoken-word artist and emerging playwright. She is also a member of Amplify, Nottingham Playhouse’s artist development programme.

Two further creative associate appointments have also been made by the Playhouse: theatre company and Nottingham-based all-female comedy collective Major Labia and writer and actor Ben Norris.

These new roles come as part of the Amplify artist development programme which aims to recognise talent within the region and support developing artists at different stages in their professional careers.

The programme, led by artist development producer Beth Shouler, has more than 150 active members. She said, “Amplify is in its first year and the calibre of applicants and standard of applications for creative associates was exceptional.

“Major Labia makes hilarious and politically astute comedy theatre which we’ve seen sell out our studio and transfer to the main house. Ben Norris began in Nottingham Playhouse’s youth theatre and is a really exciting writer and actor. He’s also sold out the studio with his first show and the latest had an outing at the Amplify 18 festival. We can’t wait to see what they make while creative associates at the Playhouse.”