Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company presents Wonderland from February 9-24.
This is Adam Penford’s first show as artistic director at the venue and features a cast including local actors Chris Ashby, who previously played the lead in the National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and was cast through the Playhouse open auditions, and Joshua Glenister, who was a member of Nottingham Playhouse Youth Theatre.
Set in 1983 Nottinghamshire, Wonderland sees two 16-year-olds, Malcolm (played by Chris Ashby) and Jimmy (played by Joshua Glenister) wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by veteran miner Colonel (played by Deka Walmsley), they descend into the brotherhood, banter, searing heat and liquid blue light of Welbeck Colliery.
Meanwhile in London, an American CEO Ian MacGregor (played by Robin Bowerman) is brought in to reform King Coal. Pits close and a strike is called.
Taking the stage in this all-male cast as The Times reporter David Hart will be Jamie Beamish, while Nicholas Khan – well-known to the Playhouse for his role in The Kite Runner – will play pit manager Tisley and transport secretary Nicholas Ridley. Holding roles as pitmen in the story will be Tony Bell as Bobbo, and Jack Quarton as Fanny.
TV stars Harry Hepple and Matthew Cottle play pitman Spud and real-life politician Peter Walker in the Nottingham-based show.
Wonderland is a regional premiere directed by Nottingham-born Adam Penford and is written by the daughter of Nottingham miner, Beth Steel.
Adam Penford said: “I’m really excited to be announcing the full cast of my first production as Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse and thrilled that the cast includes so many local actors, including those we met during our open auditions for local talent in October. Nurturing home grown talent is really important to the Playhouse.
“Wonderland is really fitting for my return to the city. It’s set in Nottingham and by a local playwright, Beth Steel, whose dad worked at Welbeck Colliery. The play was really well received when it was first produced in London and I’m delighted to be bringing it home for its regional premiere.
“Wonderland is really special. It’s incredibly funny and moving, with great characters, and looks at the strike in a fresh way. The set design is hugely ambitious and there are movement sequences and live music; it’s going to be a visual treat!”
Tickets are priced £37.50 - £8.50. For more information visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk