Mark Gatiss will star as Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol as part of Nottingham Playhouse's autumn 2020 and spring 2021 season, it was announced today.
The WhatsOnStage Award-winning actor will return to the venue to star in his own adaptation of the classic Dickensian tale when it plays from 30 October to 14 November, with a press night on 3 November. The show will be directed by the venue's artistic director Adam Penford, reuniting the pair after The Madness of King George III, which won the WhatsOnStage Award in 2019 for Best Play Revival. A Christmas Carol will transfer to London's Alexandra Palace for its Christmas season.
The production will follow on from Red Ellen, a new show by Caroline Bird which will be co-presented with Northern Stage and the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh. Directed by Wils Wilson, the play tells the story of Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson who saved Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany, served in Churchill's cabinet and lead 200 workers in the Jarrow Crusade. Red Ellen will play from 6 to 17 October, with a press night on 7 October.
The previously announced annual pantomime Beauty and the Beast will run from 27 November to 16 January 2021, with a press night on 28 November. It will be directed by Bill Buckhurst (Sweeney Todd, Sweet Charity, Assassins, Sister Act), with Kenneth Alan Taylor – who has directed the venue's pantomime for the last 36 years – writing the script for this production. John Elkington will return to reprise his role as pantomime dame.
Joining the line-up for the festive season is Nottingham Playhouse's Neville Studio show Jack and the Beanstalk, suitable for children aged 3 to 8. The production will play from 9 December to 2 January 2021 before touring to primary schools across the East Midlands.
Nancy Medina (Two Trains Running) will direct Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney from 12 to 27 February 2021, with a press night on 16 February. The coming-of-age story about scholarship high school student Pharus explores themes of class, sexuality and race within the confines of the school system. It features a gospel music soundtrack and will be co-produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East.