Playhouse bowled over as Ashes play returns

Published: 22 June 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

Nottingham Playhouse is bringing back the play that tells the story of England’s infamous “bodyline” cricket tour of Australia.

It will coincide with The Ashes test match at the city’s Trent Bridge ground.

Nottingham-based writer Michael Pinchbeck’s play The Ashes premièred at the Playhouse in 2011.

It tells the story of England’s tour of Australia in 1932-33 which was spearheaded by fast-bowler and miner Harold Larwood from Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

Encouraged by his upper-class captain Jardine, who wanted revenge for the previous season’s defeat at the hands of Australia’s Donald Bradman, Larwood tore the Australian team apart by bowling directly at the body.

There were accusations of unsportsmanlike behaviour and diplomatic relations fell to an all-time low.

Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Giles Croft, who again directs, said, “After the global success of the London Olympics and as the England team of 2013 gets ready to fight Australia for the Ashes once again, this is a chance to look back to the drama and passion of the first truly international sporting controversy and get in the mood for the Ashes coming to Trent Bridge.”

The Ashes runs from Thursday (27 June) until Saturday 6 July.