Staffordshire Hoard plays reimagined by New Vic

Published: 24 October 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Inspired by Anglo-Saxon treasure: Unearthed Credit: Andrew Billington

Audiences are to have the opportunity to return to the newly refurbished New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme and revisit pieces from its 2015 Staffordshire Hoard Festival in Hoard: Rediscovered.

The original cast and creative team reunited for filmed versions of New Vic artistic director Theresa Heskins's documentary-drama Unearthed and a selection of mini-plays from some of the country's most talented writers including Isy Suttie, Sara Pascoe and Lemn Sissay.

Heskins said, "our hoard of plays was created after the National Theatre Studio invited the New Vic to be their associate company for a year, encouraging us to 'dream big'.

“The result, a season of plays inspired by an Anglo-Saxon treasure found in a Staffordshire field, is an exploration of a local discovery that had a national impact. Archaeologists and historians aren’t sure they will ever know what the hoard is, who it belonged to or why it was buried in an isolated field. Our plays explore the many possibilities we heard about.

"It's been such a privilege to welcome back the entire original cast and creative team to recreate these pieces in a new way, and we’re finding such joy in welcoming back audiences to the New Vic after a long break.”

The cast comprises Romayne Andrews, Suzanne Ahmet, Crystal Condie, Jemma Churchill, David Crellin, Elizabeth Elvin, Paula James, David Kirkbride, Gwawr Loader, Perry Moore, Adam Morris, David Nellist, Bryonie Pritchar, David Semark and Johnson Willis.

The creative team includes Heskins who directs Unearthed, Gemma Fairlie who directs the mini-plays, designers Lis Evans and Mika Handley, lighting designer Daniella Beattie, sound designer James Earls-Davis and composers James Atherton and Conrad Nelson.

Hoard: Rediscovered will be screened at the New Vic Theatre from Saturday 7 until Saturday 14 November. It will feature Unearthed followed by three mini-plays each evening chosen from Out of the Dark: The Hoard Speaks by Alan Garner, The Rime of the Staffordshire Hoard by Gary Longden, Rune by April de Angelis, Darren Sharp’s Magic, The Foreigner by Lydia Adetunji, Sara Pascoe’s Hoarder, Hwaet! by Tom Wells, Half a Horse by Isy Suttie, Inscribed by Lemn Sissay MBE and My Name is Freda by Samuel Adamson.