The season launches on 21 August 2002 with Greene's Travels with My Aunt, a restaging of the production by Richard Baron (newly appointed Playhouse associate director), now recast Gary Wilmot, Clive Francis and Jeffrey Holland. The comedy runs in Nottingham to 31 August, ahead of a three-month, UK-wide tour at the Playhouse prior to an extensive national tour (See News, 11 Jul 02).
The revival is followed by the world premiere of Rat Pack Confidential, based on the book by Shawn Levy, adapted by Paul Sirett and directed by Playhouse artistic director Giles Croft. The lives of the supercool 'Rat Pack' from the 1950s and 60s - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis JR, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop - are brought to life and interspersed with many of the entertainers' classic songs, including "Come Fly with Me", "Let's Face the Music and Dance" and "My Way."
Rat Pack Confidential will play at Nottingham from 6 to 21 September before visiting the Bolton Octagon Theatre (who are co-producing) and Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre.
JM Barrie's thriller about Mary Rose, a sheltered girl with a chilling and secretive past, runs at Nottingham from 4 to 26 October 2002, with Baron directing. It is followed, from 29 November 2002 to 18 January 2003, by the Christmas presentation of Beauty and the Beast, rewritten, directed by and starring Kenneth Alan Taylor.
Visiting productions include the Soho Theatre Company's production of Amanda Whittington's Be My Baby. Set in 1964, 19-year-old Mary is seven months pregnant and living in a mother and baby home - waiting to give up her child for adoption. The Oxford Playhouse also visit with SeZar an adaptation of Julius Caesar and Clwyd Theatre Cymru present To Kill a Mockingbird.
- by Sarah Beaumont