New Vic actors pull pints to prepare for pub play

Published: 25 January 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Jimmy Fairhurst and Samantha Robinson will play all 14 characters in Jim Cartwright’s Two which is to run for three weeks at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Fairhurst, who is artistic director of Not Too Tame Theatre Company, played Cliff in the Derby Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton co-production of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger in 2016.

Robinson played Michelle in the Out of Joint, Octagon Theatre and Royal Court Theatre production of Andrea Dunbar’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too in 2018 and 2019 and was Rita in Educating Rita at the Mercury Colchester in 2015.

Two features the landlord and landlady of a northern pub welcoming their regulars with open arms. Lending an ear for stories of celebration, loss, love and despair, the bickering couple work together to keep the locals in high spirits—with drinks, conversation and laughter.

But what is their story? As a lost boy turns up on their doorstep looking for his dad, the couple must confront their own demons and perhaps, for the first time in years, talk to each other.

Fairhurst and Robinson visited Titanic Brewery’s The Greyhound pub in Newcastle-under-Lyme in preparation for the play which features an operational onstage bar.

Fairhurst, who has worked in pubs since he was 18, was awarded his publican’s licence in Stoke ten years ago, so had no trouble propping up the bar.

Robinson said, “they pull the best pints in Stoke, so it’s the perfect place for my first bar job! I’ve always been good at drinking them, not so much pulling them. But I think I’m going to be quite the professional after this!”

Directed by Ruth Carney, Two runs at the New Vic Theatre from Friday 31 January until Saturday 22 February.