As their production of Marvellous takes the West End by storm, Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre announce a season of work that features an innovative theatrical experiment, a revival of a cult classic, a rare staging of a hit regency comedy and more, as they collaborate with partners across the country including Headlong Theatre and Told by an Idiot, for spring 2023.
New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said: “We are so looking forward to collaborating with Headlong and so many nationally renowned theatre companies this season. I’m excited to be working for the first time with Told by an Idiot on The Killing of Sister George, and producing theatre with our firm friends Northern Broadsides, Octagon Theatre and Claybody Theatre. I’m also delighted to be part of a bold experiment working towards carbon-neutral theatre making alongside Headlong. Whilst the production comes with unique challenges, it’s an exciting moment for our theatre, and something that could provide us with some innovative new methods of creating work for the future. This season we’ll tell some great stories alongside our producing partners and I’m looking forward to inviting audiences for some brilliant experiences at the New Vic.”
The New Vic will partner with Headlong and The Barbican to produce award-winning playwright Miranda Rose Hall’s A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 June 2023. The touring model, conceived by Katie Mitchell with support from Jérôme Bel and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne in Switzerland, is the first of its kind in the UK and will be powered by bicycles peddled in real time throughout the duration of the show. The eco-friendly performance forms part of a ground-breaking international experiment in reimagining theatre in a climate crisis. Darkly funny and life-affirming, this fiercely feminist off-grid production takes audiences on a life-changing journey to confront the urgent ecological disaster that is unfolding around us.
Working for the first time with renowned theatre company, Told by an Idiot, the New Vic will co-produce the iconic play, The Killing of Sister George, from Friday 21 April to Saturday 13 May. Written by Frank Marcus and directed by Told by an Idiot’s award-winning Artistic Director Paul Hunter, this powerful black comedy, holds surprising moments of tenderness amidst its raucous hilarity. Famously adapted into a film in 1968 with Beryl Reid in the title role, this production will bring the play to life with a unique visual flair.
Opening the season on Friday 3 February, Ladies’ Day is the light-hearted tale of four women who swap their typical working day at the fish factory for the glamour of a trip to Royal Ascot. Written by Amanda Whittington (Kiss Me Quickstep, The Thrill of Love) and directed by Marieke Audsley, this aspirational story explores the values of friendship and optimism. Creating the production with Octagon Theatre Bolton, the show brims with wryly observed humour and is odds on to become an audience favourite.
The theatre will produce Quality Street, alongside Northern Broadsides. Written by J.M. Barrie (author of the much-loved Peter Pan), the story follows Phoebe Throssel, a character who seeks to rekindle romance through her youthful alter-ego Miss Livvy as her old flame reappears in town. In a rare revival of this famed play, Northern Broadsides’ Artistic Director Laurie Sansom brings to life the regency comedy with a playful Yorkshire twist from Friday 3 to Saturday 25 March.
Finally, the New Vic will produce Arnold Bennett’s The Card in association with Claybody Theatre. On stage from Saturday 20 May to Saturday 10 June, this new adaptation by Deborah McAndrew will be directed by Conrad Nelson (Anna of the Five Towns, Brassed Off). A revival of Claybody Theatre’s original production seen in 2022, The Card is an uplifting tale of a loveable rogue living in a fictitious Stoke-on-Trent known as ‘Five Towns’ and is a source of great local pride.
For more information about the New Vic’s spring season, visit newvictheatre.org.uk.