Tales of a hero and Beauty and Beast at New Vic

Published: 18 July 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Inspirational” story: Marvellous

A new play about the life of an everyday hero and a timeless fairytale taken back to its origins will take centre stage at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme as part of the theatre's autumn and winter season.

Marvellous is a new adaptation of Neil “Nello” Baldwin's biography created in conjunction with the man who is a registered clown and used to be kit man at Stoke City Football Club. Then New Vic artistic director Theresa Heskins will breathe new life into Beauty and the Beast for Christmas 2021.

Heskins said, "it's been quite a while since we started working with Neil Baldwin on staging the story of his inspirational life. During that time, his optimistic outlook and talent for happiness have rubbed off on us all. Being able to tell the story of our local hero here, in his hometown, at a time when we all need a bit of magic back in our lives is a huge privilege.

"For our version of Beauty and the Beast, we've gone back to the original story and found it full of surprising treasures. Its themes about kindness, love and humanity all feel more important than ever. It's exciting for me as a director to be able to share this ultimately uplifting story with family audiences: it's so precious to us when families get to enjoy and be inspired by the magic of theatre together."

Marvellous will take to the theatre-in-the-round’s stage from Friday 1 until Saturday 23 October. Beauty and the Beast will run from Friday 26 November until Saturday 29 January 2022.

The season also includes Alan Ayckbourn’s The Girl Next Door, performed by the Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough, from Tuesday 7 until Saturday 18 September, and the John Godber Company presentation of Sunny Side Up! from Tuesday 26 until Saturday 30 October.