NE Road casting announced

Published: 13 September 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

The cast and creative team Credit: Mark Savage

Northern Stage’s Artistic Director, Natalie Ibu, has announced the cast and creative team for her first production, Jim Cartwright’s Road, which will run from 8 to 30 October.

The cast is Michael Hodgson (The Pitmen Painters: Live Theatre / National Theatre / West End / Broadway, Get Carter (Northern Stage); Ike Bennett (Curfew: Sky TV); Rosie Stancliffe (Leaving by Paddy Campbell / Curious Monkey, Meat Factory at Alphabetti); Ryan Nolan (Hyem: Theatre 503, Sam Mendes's award winning film 1917); Nicole Sawyerr (Those Who Trespass: Arts Ed & High Tide Festival, Boom: Theatre 503); Ruby Crepin-Glyne who is making her professional theatre debut after graduating from The Oxford School of Drama in 2019 where she performed in the Sam Wanamaker Festival at The Globe and The Royal Court in Mark Ravenhill's Pool No Water; Rohit Gokani (Silver Street: BBC Asian Network, A Living Myth: English National Opera, on TV Wire in the Blood with Robson Green); Shahbaaz Khan, a recent graduate from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts returning to his home region to make his professional stage debut; Philip Harrison (recent credits include The Duke with Jim Broadbent and Jekyll & Hyde: Northumberland Theatre Company); and Patricia Jones (West End Girls: Live Theatre, film credits include I, Daniel Blake).

The creative team includes set and costume designer Amelia Jane Hankin, lighting designer Zoe Spurr, sound designer Jon McLeod, assistant director Natasha Haws and movement director Nadia Iftkhar.

Road is the dream play for me to direct as my first show for Northern Stage,” said Natalie Ibu. “I directed a scene when I was at university and it has really stayed with me for 17 years. It's with Road that I found my vision as a director. It helped me articulate that I wanted to tell stories about the blood, sweat and tears it takes to live life, and that I wanted to fill stages with loud, vivid expressions of what it means to be alive.

“Originally set in Lancashire, we're relocating it to a North East working class community in Blyth dealing with poverty, unemployment, disappointment and a desperation for change whilst also making the most of who and what they have. It's about what it is to live, in all of its complexities—looking to the past to understand how we live now, telling forgotten stories about forgotten people. There's an incredible resilience in this community, a charm; they're a hoot to be around and I'm excited to be working with a brilliant cast and creative team to explore the intersectionality between race, class and gender and bring Jim Cartwright's vivid characters back to life, 2021 style.”