Gatiss back in Nottingham with A Christmas Carol

Published: 7 February 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Mark Gatiss is to return to Nottingham Playhouse to appear in his own re-telling of A Christmas Carol which will bring out the ghost story at the heart of the work.

Gatiss, who appeared in Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III at the theatre in November 2018, has written a new adaptation of the Charles Dickens story, drawing inspiration from the Victorian supernatural world.

Gatiss will play the ghost of Jacob Marley who visits mean-spirited Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve with a warning about his greed—sparking three more eerie encounters.

Gatiss said, “A Christmas Carol has been absolutely my favourite story since I was tiny. It’s an astonishingly powerful tale of life, love, loss and redemption and remains supremely relevant.

“But at its heart it’s a ghost story and that will be at the core of my new version. A scary, thrilling, joyous adventure to get the blood piping on a freezing winter’s night. A Victorian phantasmagoria!”

Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Adam Penford who directed The Madness of George III will direct A Christmas Carol. It will run in Nottingham from Friday 30 October until Saturday 14 November before transferring to London’s Alexandra Palace for the Christmas season.

A Christmas Carol will form part of the autumn 2020 and spring 2021 season at Nottingham Playhouse which will also feature a political play and a Broadway hit.

Nottingham Playhouse, Northern Stage and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh will present Red Ellen by Caroline Bird. It tells the story of Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson who battled to save Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany and led 200 workers in the Jarrow crusade—a march from Newcastle through Nottingham to deliver to London a petition to reduce unemployment and poverty. It will run from Tuesday 6 until Saturday 17 October.

There will be changes to the theatre’s traditional pantomime, with Bill Buckhurst taking over as director from Kenneth Alan Taylor. He has directed the panto for 36 years and will continue to write the script for Beauty and the Beast which will run from Friday 27 November until Saturday 16 January 2021.

Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal Stratford East will join forces to stage the regional première of Oscar-winning Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy. A “poignant piece brought to life with a score of soaring gospel music”, it will run in Nottingham from Friday 12 until Saturday 27 February 2021.

Nottingham Playhouse Stephanie Sirr commented, “our new season embraces Nottingham’s rebellious and pioneering spirit, showcases exceptional new talent and delivers world-class theatre to UK audiences.”