New Vic takes 39 Steps into spring with fantasy horror story

Published: 11 December 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

A rare staging of a fantasy horror story, an “uplifting” new play about the life of a local hero and a revival of one of its most popular productions feature during 2020 at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Artistic director Theresa Heskins will follow up her 2015 production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Angela Carter’s fantasy The Company of Wolves.

It will be adapted by Heskins from Carter’s radio play and novella. Vicki Amedume will join the creative team as associate director, bringing aerial and circus expertise to the show.

Heskins said, “this season is going to be a special one. Staging the impossible is our speciality at the New Vic and this season I take on horror—a genre rarely visited in theatre.

“I’ve been longing to bring Angela Carter’s story to the stage for a long time, so to be able to create a production of The Company of Wolves is something really special for me.” It will run from Thursday 21 May until Saturday 13 June.

The New Vic and Octagon Theatre, Bolton will co-produce an account of the life of Neil “Nello” Baldwin. Originally a BAFTA award-winning film and novel by Neil Baldwin and Malcolm Clarke, Marvellous is a new stage production about the life of this local hero, created in conjunction with the man himself.

This world première production will bring Nello’s story back to his home town of Stoke-on-Trent from Friday 11 September until Saturday 3 October.

Heskins commented, “it’s been fascinating to work on Marvellous with Neil Baldwin, a true character. His recipe for happiness has rubbed off on us all at the New Vic and this play will be full of charm and, I think, a great way to head into the autumn.”

Jim Cartwright’s Two will open the theatre’s spring season from Friday 31 January until Saturday 22 February. Jimmy Fairhurst, who played Cliff in the Derby Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton 2016 production of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, and Samantha Robinson, Michelle in the 2019 Out of Joint / Royal Court staging of Andrea Dunbar’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too, will play all 14 characters.

The New Vic will revive its 2019 production of The 39 Steps. The cast of Rebecca Brewer, Gareth Cassidy, Michael Hugo and Isaac Stanmore will reunite for this adaptation of John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s work from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. It will run from Thursday 5 until Saturday 28 March.