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Remains of the Day to open in Northampton

Published: 16 February 2019

The world première of Barney Norris’s adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day will be staged at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate before going on a national tour.

Norris, described as “one of Britain’s most exciting young writers”, has collaborated with 2017 Nobel Prize winner Ishiguro on the play which has been re-imagined for the stage for the first time.

The “shocking, morally compromised truth behind the manicured gardens and grand receptions of an English stately home” are revealed through the memories of a proud butler. Years later, faced with a life half-lived, he sets out on a journey to find a friend from his past who might finally offer him redemption.

Stephen Boxer will play the butler Stevens. He had the dual role of dad and Paul in Nina Raine’s Stories at the National Theatre in 2018. In 2014, he played Gloucester in the National Theatre’s King Lear alongside Simon Russell Beale and the doctor in Nicholas Wright’s adaptation of Pat Barker’s Regeneration, a Royal and Derngate and Touring Consortium co-production.

Niamh Cusack, who takes the role of Kenton, played Lenù in April de Angelis’s adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend at Rose Theatre, Kingston in 2017 and Paulina in The Winter’s Tale at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2016.

The cast of The Remains of the Day also includes Stephen Critchlow, Pip Donaghy, Edward Franklin, Miles Richardson, Sadie Shimmin and Patrick Toomey.

It will be directed by Christopher Haydon, who directed the Royal and Derngate and Bristol Old Vic production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker in 2017 and Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men at Birmingham REP and London’s Garrick Theatre in 2013 and 2014. Designer is Lily Arnold, lighting design is by Mark Howland and sound design is by Elena Peña. Sophie Cotton is the composer, movement director is Lucy Cullingford and video designer is Andrzej Goulding.

The Remains of the Day is a co-production between Northampton’s Royal and Derngate and Out of Joint in association with Oxford Playhouse. It opens at Royal and Derngate from Saturday 23 February until Saturday 16 March. Press night will be Wednesday 27 February.

It then tours to York Theatre Royal, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, Nuffield Southampton, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Oxford Playhouse, Derby Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse and Bristol Old Vic until Saturday 25 May.

Steve Orme