The production, directed by Shared Experience artistic director Nancy Meckler, launches a new tour on 9 September 2004, visiting Bristol Old Vic, London’s Lyric Hammersmith and Cork Opera House, before playing at Nottingham from 5 to 23 October. It will then transfer to New York for a limited season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and will return to the UK on 16 November to complete its regional tour, visiting Liverpool, Poole and Salford, where it concludes on 4 December.
Back in Nottingham, the autumn/winter season of in-house productions at the Playhouse, under the stewardship of associate director Richard Baron, features a new version of another classic novel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as world premieres from Roy Williams and Amanda Whittington and a new production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
The season opens with The Hound of the Baskervilles, running from 4 to 25 September 2004. This new version - written by actor-author Clive Francis, directed by Baron and co-produced with Salisbury Playhouse, where it visits from 30 September to 23 October 2004 - utilises the latest cinematography (by Timothy Bird) and special effects to breathe new life into Conan Doyle’s mystery. At Nottingham, it’s followed, from 29 October to 20 November 2004, by Baron’s production of The Tempest, starring Francis as Prospero.
At Christmas, creator and star of 21 years of Playhouse pantomimes, Kenneth Alan Taylor, awakens Sleeping Beauty from 26 November 2004 to 15 January 2005. He’s joined for the third year by Jeffrey Longmore.
In the new year, J M Synge's seminal Irish play The Playboy of the Western World is relocated to Trinidad in Mustapha Matura's Playboy of the West Indies. Nottingham Playhouse co-produces with London’s Tricycle Theatre, which premiered Matura’s play 20 years ago, in 1984. This new production, directed by Tricycle artistic director Nicolas Kent, runs first in London, from 2 December 2004 to 22 January 2005, before transferring to Nottingham from 28 January to 12 February 2005.
The first of 2005’s world premieres is Eclipse Theatre's visiting production of Little Sweet Thing by Roy Williams (Sing Your Heart Out for the Lads, Clubland and Fallout). Eclipse Theatre is inspired by the findings of the Eclipse report, issued after the June 2001 conference held in Nottingham to develop strategies for combating racism in theatre. Michael Buffong directs Williams’ play which runs in Nottingham from 15 to 19 February 2004 as part of a larger tour.
In association with the Theatre Writing Partnership, the season’s second world premiere is Satin 'N' Steel by Nottingham writer Amanda Whittington (Be My Baby). Set in the backstage world of the club circuit, this comedy is directed by Ester Richardson.
There are also a host of other events including a series of stand-up including Lenny Henry's So Much Things to Say (27 to 29 September), Jeff Green in From A - Z (19 September), Rob Bryden's Keith Barret Show Live (2 October), Mark Thomas (11 October) and Jeremy Hardy (14 November).
- by Hannah Kennedy