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Nottingham Stages Edgar's Arthur & Lockerbie

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Nottingham Playhouse will host David Edgar's new adaptation of Julian Barnes' bestselling novel Arthur and George as part of its spring season, which also sees the premiere of a new play by docudrama screenwriter Michael Eaton about the Lockerbie air bombing.

Other highlights of the newly announced season include a revival of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, with a cast led by comedy actor Mark Benton, and the start of a new national tour of Perry Henzell's reggae musical The Harder They Come.

Co-produced with Birmingham Repertory Theatre (where it runs before transferring to Nottingham), Arthur and George centres on Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle's involvement in the case of a young Anglo-Indian solicitor, George Edalji, who is accused of mutilating horses and the victim of a vicious hate campaign.

Directed by Birmingham Rep artistic director Rachel Kavanaugh, the stage adaptation is written by David Edgar, who wrote the RSC's multi award-winning version of Nicholas Nickleby. Arthur & George runs at Birmingham from 19 March to 10 April, and at Nottingham from 22 April to 8 May.

It's preceded in Nottingham by a revival of Peter Nichols' award-winning 1967 play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which runs from 19 March to Saturday 3 April starring Mark Benton (TV's Early Doors, Northern Lights) and directed by Matt Aston.

Later in the season, from the 14 to Saturday 22 May, Perry Henzell's The Harder They Come kicks off a new national tour. Based on the 1972 film that starred Jimmy Cliff and introduced reggae to a worldwide audience, The Harder They Come began life at Theatre Royal Stratford East before transferring to the West End's Playhouse Theatre in 2008 (See News, 31 2008).

It's followed by the world premiere of The Families of Lockerbie, written by screenwriter Michael Eaton, whose credits include the docudramas Why Lockerbie?, Shipman and Shoot to Kill.

According to press material: "This powerful new play ... explores the differing responses of the victims' families to the release, in August 2009, of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the bombing of the Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 ... Whether it was a decision they welcomed or decried, al-Megrahi's release opened up a new chapter in the continuing ordeal of all of those bereaved by the bombing. This is a dramatic and compelling drama which doesn't set out to endorse one faction over another, but to document the anguished, often angry, search for justice that persists on all sides."

Directed by Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Giles Croft, The Families of Lockerbie runs from the 10 to 19 June 2010.

For further details of the new season, visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk


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