The building may be closed but the shows go on. Nottingham Playhouse today announces a new addition to its burgeoning digital output during the Covid-19 pandemic. The theatre has joined forces with the Theatre Royal Stratford East to produce The Revival, a series of online discussions that reunite the people behind some of the most popular and critically acclaimed stage productions at each of the theatres in recent years.
Co-hosted by Nottingham Playhouse Artistic Director Adam Penford together with Nadia Fall, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Revival brings cast and creatives together with historians and cultural commentators to give behind the scenes insights and a wider context of some of the two theatres’ recent hits.
Kicking off with the award-winning Nottingham Playhouse production of The Madness of George III, the first episode features Mark Gatiss who received critical praise for his portrayal of George III, alongside Adrian Scarborough who won the WhatsOnStage Best Actor in a Supporting Role award for his role as Doctor Willis. They are joined by Debra Gillett (Queen Charlotte), Sara Powell (Lady Pembroke) and Adam Karim (Fortnum), as well as Professor Arthur Burns of The Georgian Papers Project, who was the production’s historical consultant. Together these six contributors give an enlightening and entertaining insight into the production, which is currently being screened in its entirety as part of the National Theatre’s At Home season.
Future episodes of The Revival will include the Theatre Royal Stratford East production of August Wilson’s epic play King Hedley II , where the panel will include Sir Lenny Henry (Elmore) alongside co-star Cherelle Skeete (Tonya) as well as Constanza Romero the late playwright’s wife. With more panelists to be announced, the episode will be available in July
The episode on King Hedley II will be followed by an insight into the Nottingham Playhouse / Theatre Royal co-production of Mufaro Makubika’s Shebeen. This episode will feature the production’s director Matthew Xia, writer Mufaro Makubika, actor Martina Laird and designer Grace Smart. Online date to be announced
More episodes of The Revival are due to be announced over the coming months.
Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse Adam Penford says: “The idea for The Revival was born as I was missing being in the rehearsal room with freelance actors and creatives during lockdown. If we couldn’t produce theatre on the Nottingham Playhouse stage, it felt like a good opportunity to reflect on some productions which had made a big impact by reuniting some of those artistic teams. Our co-producing relationship with Theatre Royal Stratford East is long-standing, as is my personal relationship with Nadia, and I thought it would be fun to join forces, partly to add some of their awesome productions to the list, but also just to hang out together online!”
Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall added: “Lockdown has been excruciating for us all, as theatre makers we have been forced to shut up shop and wait eagerly for our return. The Revival is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate what we do best- live theatre, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to talk about pivotal productions that have shaped our theatres and that our audiences have loved. We’re talking about landmark plays which say so much about our world here and now, and it’s been fascinating to revist the process of putting them on, alongside discussing the urgent themes these stories provoke.”
The outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK has led to show postponements and the halting of many events and classes at the Playhouse. During this period Nottingham Playhouse has increased its online content with such projects as the upcoming live family show, Noah and The Peacock (June 19 -21), the National Theatre at Home screening of The Madness Of George III (end June 18) as well as a host of other projects that include dance tutorials, story-telling and special episodes of its podcast. Videos have been uploaded to Nottingham Playhouse’s YouTube channel, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The latest news regarding Nottingham Playhouse and its reaction to Covid-19 can be found at: nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/. Donations to the Curtain Up Appeal can be made via nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/support/curtain-up-appeal/.