Theatre News

China Plate theatre spring 2020 tours to include Wuthering Heights and a new Roy Williams musical

The Midlands production company will produce shows around the UK and internationally

Christopher Haydon, Rachel Chavkin and Roy Williams
Christopher Haydon, Rachel Chavkin and Roy Williams
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Theatre company China Plate has announced its latest body of touring theatrical productions, in-development work and wider industry engagement for spring 2020 and beyond.

These include UK tours of Wuthering Heights and Caroline Horton's ALL OF ME (the possibility of future splendour), as well as international tours of The Shape of the Pain and Status, an in-development piece by Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin and a new musical about civil rights in Britain by Christopher Haydon, Roy Williams and Tim Sutton.

Wuthering Heights is a co-production between Inspector Sands, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and the Royal and Derngate in association with Oxford Playhouse. The production by Ben Lewis will be directed by Lucinka Eisler and is a new, updated retelling of the classic Emily Brontë story. The show will run from 11 May to 18 November, with a full cast and creative team to be announced soon.

Horton's ALL OF ME (the possibility of future splendour) returns to the stage this spring after an award-winning performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019. The piece examines the cyclical nature of ongoing recovery and follows on from Horton's previous work Mess, which introduced protagonist Josephine's struggle with anorexia. Alex Swift directs the new show, which has design by Eleanor Field, lighting design by Katherine Williams, sound design by Elena Peña and music by James Atherton and Horton. The tour will run from 20 April to 18 June.

Two of China Plate's previous shows, The Shape of the Pain and Status, will also tour internationally this summer. The Shape of the Pain by Rachel Bagshaw and Thorpe is a solo show about trying to communicate the experience of chronic pain to another person. It will headline a festival at the Sophiensæle in Berlin in July. Status by Thorpe and Chavkin tells of national identity in a time of national crisis and will perform in Paris and Mannheim in May, before touring to Porto in September and October.

The production company are also developing a new musical about the fight for civil rights in 1960s Britain – The Bus Boycott is by Haydon, Williams and Sutton and features ska and calypso music genres. The third in a trilogy of work by Thorpe and Chavkin is also in development – the first piece, Confirmation, looks at how an individual accumulates and processes information, whereas the second Status examines how nationally-accepted narratives are created. The final show will tie together these strands by looking at how different nations with their different national stories all co-exist.

Speaking about the spring programme, China Plate's co-artistic directors Ed Collier and Paul Warwick said: "Spring 2020 is an extremely important moment for China Plate with the launch of our first full middle scale show, Wuthering Heights, a huge tour of Caroline Horton's award-winning ALL OF ME and a busy international season with Status and The Shape of The Pain touring across Europe. We're also thrilled to be embarking on our Young Producers scheme in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre inspiring the next generation of producers in Coventry in the lead up to Coventry City of Culture next year. Finally, don't miss our free Digital Discovery Days aimed at theatre makers looking for great hacks to broaden their digital reach!"