Revival: two theatres unite for online discussions

Published: 19 June 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

The cast of The Madness of George III Credit: Manuel Harlan

Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal Stratford East are to co-produce The Revival, a series of online discussions reuniting the people behind some of the most popular productions at each theatre in recent years.

Hosted by Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Adam Penford and Nadia Fall, who holds a similar position at Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Revival “brings cast and creatives together with historians and cultural commentators to give behind-the-scenes insights and a wider context of some of the two theatres' recent hits”.

The series starts with Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough, Debra Gillett, Sara Powell and Adam Karim and historical consultant Professor Arthur Burns of The Georgian Papers Project discussing the 2018 production of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III. The discussion is being released to coincide with the screening of the play as part of the National Theatre’s At Home season.

Future episodes of The Revival will include the Theatre Royal Stratford East production of August Wilson's play King Hedley II with the panel including Sir Lenny Henry, Cherelle Skeete and the late playwright’s wife Constanza Romero. The episode will be available in July.

It will be followed by an insight into the Nottingham Playhouse / Theatre Royal 2018 co-production of Mufaro Makubika's Shebeen. The episode will feature director Matthew Xia, writer Mufuro Makubika, actor Martina Laird and designer Grace Smart. The date is to be announced.

Penford said, “the idea for The Revival was born as I was missing being in the rehearsal room with freelance actors and creatives during lockdown. If we couldn't produce theatre on the Nottingham Playhouse stage, it felt like a good opportunity to reflect on some productions which had made a big impact by reuniting some of those artistic teams.”

Fall added, “it's a wonderful opportunity to talk about pivotal productions that have shaped our theatres and that our audiences have loved. We're talking about landmark plays which say so much about our world here and now, and it's been fascinating to re-visit the process of putting them on, alongside discussing the urgent themes these stories provoke.”