Theatre News

Nottingham Playhouse season to feature Jenna Russell in Piaf, new Stiles and Drewe musical based on The Parent Trap book

The venue’s artistic director Adam Penford has unveiled the theatre’s new season

Jenna Russell
Jenna Russell
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Nottingham Playhouse has unveiled plans for its upcoming season.

Artistic director Adam Penford will direct a new production of Pam Gems' Piaf, starring award-winning performer Jenna Russell. Co-produced with Leeds Playhouse, the piece will transform the auditorium into a Parisian bar.

Penford said: "Nottingham Playhouse produced Piaf in the 1980s and I'm thrilled to bringing this lively play back to the theatre. It takes a real star to capture the legend that is Edith Piaf and Jenna Russell is one the UK theatre's most beguiling actor-singers. She has a unique talent for bringing fragility, spirit and charisma to every role she tackles."

The production runs from 8 to 23 May, with design by Frankie Bradshaw and lighting by Jack Knowles.

A new musical, Identical, will have its world premiere at Nottingham Playhouse from 31 July. Co-produced by the venue and Kenny Wax (The Play That Goes Wrong, Six), the show is based on Erich Kastner's book Lottie and Lisa (which was adapted into the Disney film The Parent Trap). It has music and lyrics by iconic duo Stiles and Drewe, with a book by Stuart Paterson. Running until 22 August, the production is adapted by Trevor Nunn and has plans to transfer to the West End.

Auditions for identical twins will take place in London on Saturday 5 October and in Nottingham on Saturday 26 October.

From 21 February to 7 March, Kirsty Patrick Ward will direct comedy Moonlight and Magnolias, about the fraught production of the Gone With The Wind film.

Ramps on the Moon and Nottingham Playhouse will stage a new adaptation of Dickens' Oliver Twist, penned by Bryony Lavery. Integrating creative sign language, audio description and captioning, the piece is directed by Amy Leach and runs from 16 to 25 April.

Nathaniel Price's First Touch will have its world premiere at the venue in June 2020. Inspired by recent football abuse scandals, the show runs from 5 to 20 June with cast and creative team to be announced.