Hoard Rediscovered Comes to New Vic Theatre

New Vic Theatre Hoard Festival Unearthed image by Andrew Billington
New Vic Theatre Hoard Festival Unearthed image by Andrew Billington

Audiences will be given the opportunity to return to the newly refurbished New Vic Theatre and revisit pieces from its critically acclaimed 2015 Staffordshire Hoard Festival in Hoard: Rediscovered, screened at the theatre as part of its Housewarming Season this November.

Hoard: Rediscovered sees the original cast and creative team reunited for filmed versions of New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins’ documentary-drama Unearthed, and a selection of mini plays from some of the country’s most talented writers including Isy Suttie, Sara Pascoe and Lemn Sissay, all directed by Gemma Fairlie.

Originally developed in conjunction with the National Theatre Studio, the cast of Hoard: Rediscovered includes Romayne Andrews, Suzanne Ahmet, Crystal Condie, Jemma Churchill, David Crellin, Elizabeth Elvin, Paula James, David Kirkbride, Gwawr Loader, Perry Moore, Adam Morris, David Nellist, Bryonie Pritchard, David Semark, and Johnson Willis.

New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said: “Our Hoard of plays was created after the National Theatre Studio invited the New Vic to be their associate company for a year, encouraging us to ‘dream big’. The result, a season of plays inspired by an Anglo-Saxon treasure found in a Staffordshire hoard, is an exploration of a local discovery that had a national impact. Archaeologists and historians are not sure they will ever know what the hoard is, who it belonged to, or why it was buried in an isolated field, but our plays explore the many possibilities we heard about. For me, the challenge of this reimagining is adapting the verbatim documentary I wrote for the stage, to the screen. I am really excited that audiences at the theatre will be watching the documentary on not one but two screens – one horizontal and one vertical – in a dynamic format which I am excited to be exploring with brilliant collaborators.

“It’s been such a privilege to welcome back the entire original cast and creative team to recreate these pieces in a new way, and we are finding such joy in welcoming back audiences to the New Vic after a long break. We didn’t waste the time – we conducted a massive refurbishment, made some big plans, and delivered important work across our communities.  But my goodness, it is such a pleasure to see people back enjoying theatre performances too.”

Director of the mini plays, Gemma Fairlie added: “It’s been such a huge privilege to revisit the Hoard project with Hoard: Rediscovered. Not only do I get to work with an incredible team again but in the current situation, seeing so many brilliant people back doing what they are great at – theatre – is immensely heartening.

“Bringing these stories back to life in a digitally reimagined way has added a new layer of storytelling. The way we have filmed and edited the plays has enabled us to add atmosphere, connection, and surprise. Eleven unique pieces of drama have emerged that are both theatrical and filmic. The writing and the performances have really grown into this new medium and I cannot wait for audiences to experience the incredible range of stories inspired by the Hoard, and now invigorated by the circumstances.”

Hoard: Rediscovered will be screened at Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre from Saturday 7 to Saturday 14 November. Telling the story of the discovery of a hoard of 1400 year old Anglo-Saxon treasure, socially distanced audiences will find their imaginations gripped as they follow this drama which animates the words of real people who found the gold in a Staffordshire field, and of the experts who tried to unravel its meanings.

Further details for Hoard: Rediscovered are available on the theatre’s website at newvictheatre.org.uk

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