The season opens with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (3 – 19 February) - a co-production between Rupert Goold’s acclaimed touring company Headlong and The Nuffield Theatre, following previous collaborations The Winter’s Tale and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness. Combining original text with a cutting-edge production, this vivid reimagining uses video, movement and music to relocate Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy to a glamorous 1960s film studio where a Hollywood epic is in the making!
Cheek by Jowl return to The Nuffield later in the season with a new production of The Tempest (16 – 19 March) – performed in Russian with English surtitles. Following the success of the company’s French version of Andromaque, which played at The Nuffield last spring, this innovative interpretation opens in Paris, and will perform at just three regional venues before its run in London at The Barbican.
Douglas Post’s one-man thriller Bloodshot (29 – 31 March), directed by Patrick Sandford, returns for a short run following its premiere at The Nuffield last spring. Simon Slater, well known from TV dramas such as Inspector Morse, Monarch of the Glen and Spooks stars.
The highly acclaimed Paines Plough bring Love, Love, Love (27 – 30 April) – a superb new play from Olivier Award winning playwright Mike Bartlett, whose last play Earthquakes in London premiered at The National Theatre in 2010. This uproariously funny and thought provoking play, described by The Telegraph as required viewing, takes on the baby boomer generation as it retires…and finds it full of trouble…
Sandi Toksvig tackles the challenging moral issues of contemporary military occupation and its effects on the mental health of serving soldiers in her enthralling new play Bully Boy (10 – 28 May) directed by Patrick Sandford. Nationally known and loved as a broadcaster, Sandi tells this ferociously gripping and emotionally compelling story with startling insight and tenderness.
March sees two stunning physical theatre companies take to the stage: Ariel theatre company Upswing make their first visit to Southampton with Fallen (22 – 23 March) - a heady mix of circus, dance and shadows, with much of the action taking place far above the stage, and Benji Reid, pioneer of hip hop theatre and culture, brings The Devil Has Quentin’s Heart (24 – 26 March), from Breaking Cycles.
For those who enjoyed last season’s adrenaline charged performance from Petit Mal, comes Chouf Ouchouf (2 – 4 May) from Groupe Acrobatique de Tangier – a company of twelve highly skilled Moroccan acrobats. Hot on the heels of a London run at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Chouf Ouchouf brings together contemporary performance and traditional Moroccan acrobatics in an explosion of North African culture.
The Nuffield Theatre Company teams up with Forest Forge to bring Joan Aiken’s classic children’s tale The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (9 – 12 March, for ages 6+ and their families) to the stage. Set in an alternative history of England, the story follows two brave and determined girls on an enthralling adventure, evocative of Dickens and Edward Gorey.Then, the swashbuckling underwater adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (6 – 16 April, for ages 6+ and their families), comes from the team behind last year’s magnificent Nuffield production Alice in Wonderland.