Three-week festival as Nottingham Playhouse reopens

Published: 1 September 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Top-class talent”: Nottingham Playhouse Unlocked

Nottingham Playhouse is to open its doors for the first time since March for a three-week festival of live and live-streamed events.

The line-up includes Mark Gatiss and Jade Anouka reading ghost stories on Halloween, a world première from Nottinghamshire playwright James Graham, East Midlands-based writer Naomi Obeng's new work about mixed race identity and Jodie Prenger, Rosalie Craig and Sandra Marvin presenting a programme of songs that made their careers.

With social distancing measures in place, a limited number of tickets will be available to attend the live events in the theatre auditorium. All the events will also be streamed live.

Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Adam Penford said, “while we've continued to make work online throughout the pandemic, it's time to re-engage audiences and artists on stage again. The festival will be stripped back and top-class talent will come live from the Playhouse stage.

“It's a financial risk to be programming theatre again in this environment but we have a responsibility and desire to do so. I can't describe the buzz of excitement at the Playhouse to be producing live theatre again and hope audiences will support us as we navigate how to get theatre back on the road.”

The programme includes a reading of Rootless Island Baby, a new play from Playhouse associate artist Sarah “Rain” Kolawole, on Wednesday 21 October.

Playhouse associate artist James Graham returns to his home city with a love story for today, Bubble, on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 October.

On Tuesday 27 October, Major Labia, a “comedy collective of witty women”, will tackle inequality through vaginal comedy.

There will be a double bill of new work by East Midlands talent on Wednesday 28 October, poet, playwright and actor Ben Norris’s A Short Tour of the Heart and the first reading of a new Nottingham Playhouse commission, Where it Lands by Naomi Obeng.

“The master of spooky tales” Mark Gatiss and Jade Anouka will be telling Ghost Stories on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October before Playhouse associate artist Lewis Doherty “mimes every prop, makes every sound effect and brings to life more than 30 characters in this cyberpunk, neon-noir, one-man, action-packed blockbuster” Wolf.

Rosalie Craig, Sandra Marvin and Jodie Prenger will be live from the Playhouse stage in a celebration of musical theatre on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 November.