Nottingham Playhouse presents Sondheim’s Assassins

Published: 26 October 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Stephen Sondheim’s “satirical and stylish look at why individuals reach for a gun when they feel their voice can’t be heard”, Assassins, is to transfer to Nottingham after opening in Berkshire.

Assassins, “a musical about the power of the President, the lure of celebrity and the failure of the American Dream", is a co-production between the Watermill Theatre, Newbury and Nottingham Playhouse.

Writers Sondheim and John Weidman bend the rules of time and space, taking the audience on a rollercoaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and inspire one another to perform harrowing acts.

The cast of Assassins features Alex Mugnaioni, who played the lead in the 2019 tour of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which was adapted by Rona Munro and based on the novel by Louis de Bernières. He takes the role of John Wilkes Booth.

Jack Quarton, who was Fanny in Beth Steel’s Wonderland at Nottingham Playhouse in 2018 and played multiple roles in Neil Bartlett’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations at Derby Theatre in 2017, is John Hinckley.

The rest of the cast comprises Peter Dukes (Leon Czolgosz), Evelyn Hoskins (Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme), Ned Rudkins-Stow (Lee Harvey Oswald), Joey Hickman (the Proprietor), Phoebe Fildes (Emma Goldman), Eddie Elliott (Charles Guiteau), Lillie Flynn (the Balladeer), Sara Poyzer (Sara Jane Moore), Steve Simmonds (Samuel Byck) and Zheng Xi Yong (Giuseppe Zangara). The ensemble is made up of Grace Lancaster, Matthew James Hinchliffe and Simon Oskarsson.

The show is directed by Bill Buckhurst who returns to Nottingham after directing Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields’s Sweet Charity in 2018.

Designer is Simon Kenny. Musical supervisor and arranger is Catherine Jayes, Georgina Lamb is associate director and choreographer, lighting designer is Ben Ormerod and Chris Full is sound designer.

Assassins will run at Nottingham Playhouse from Wednesday 30 October until Saturday 16 November.