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Nuffield Southampton Theatres Announce Spring and Summer 2019 Season

Wed 21 November, 2018

Nuffield Southampton Theatres Announce Spring and Summer 2019 Season

Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Samuel Hodges, announces the company’s Spring and Summer 2019 season.


The season, which marks the first anniversary of the opening of NST City, includes Samuel Hodges directing his version of the UK regional première of Peter Morgan’s The Audience. Nuffield Southampton Theatres then present the stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns by Ursula Rani Sarma in a co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Northern Stage. NST also produce a brand-new audio play, The Line, curated by Barney Norris, which will tour Southampton in a Ford Transit Van in association with Up in Arms supported by Padmini Broomfield and Now Heritage CIC.


In January the company welcome the previously announced return of Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory which will be accompanied by The Shadow Factory Exhibition, a free immersive installation looking into the stories behind the production. The season continues its celebration of the local community with the annual festival Now-Here: Made in Southampton, a varied programme exploring the theme of industry and manufacturing in Southampton, inspired by the real-life stories of the city’s residents. Then, Make It SO, showcases and celebrates performances by local artists and companies in NST City’s Studio Theatre.


Nuffield Southampton Theatres also welcomes touring productions including Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh, Dan Gordon’s adaptation of Rain Man, Princess & the Hustler, Marie JonesStones in his Pockets, The Remains of the Day adapted by Barney Norris, Kneehigh’s Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), Jon Brittain’s Olivier Award-winning play Rotterdam and following two sold out runs at the National Theatre, Barber Shop Chronicles from NST Associate Inua Ellams. Alongside this NST host a selection of dance productions with Gecko’s Missing, Boy Blue’s Olivier Award nominated Blak Whyte Gray and NST resident company ZoieLogic Dance Theatre presents Sleuth.


Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Sam Hodges, said today As we head into our second year at NST City, we return to the theme of making. From Spitfires to Ford Transit vans, from local artists to award-winning designers, this is a year that puts Southampton’s heritage as a city right at the heart of the programme.


This season is a choir of genuinely diverse voices. You’ll hear the rare private thoughts of our Queen. You’ll hear Afghan women straining to be heard against the silencing might of their husbands and government. You’ll hear real-life accounts from Southampton’s former Ford workers. 


And it’s fantastic that three of our touring shows are from writers we know well. Barney Norris, writer of The Line, brings his version of Remains of the Day; Jon Brittain, the hilarious writer behind our musical Billionaire Boy, brings his Olivier Award-winning play Rotterdam; and our very own Poetry Associate Inua Ellams brings the spectacular Barber Shop Chronicles.”


NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

The UK regional première of

The Audience

by Peter Morgan

Directed by Samuel Hodges; Designer: Rosanna Vize


24 May – 22 June 2019

Press Night: Thursday 30 May, 7pm


Prime Minister: I never sleep much.

Queen: Oh dear. I like the idea of any person with the power to start a nuclear war being rested.


For 60 years, the Queen has met her Prime Minister every week.  An audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties agree never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses.


What is discussed? What secrets are shared? Does her Majesty have her favourites?


Sometimes intimate, often confessional, occasionally explosive, The Audience imagines the private moments that define a changing Britain. One head of state. Endless heads of government. This play asks where the real power lies.


Nuffield Southampton Theatres Director Samuel Hodges directs his version of The Audience from the writer of the popular TV series The Crown.


Peter Morgan’s other work for theatre includes Frost/Nixon. His television work includes The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Jury, The Special Relationship, Longford, Colditz, Henry VIII and The Deal; and for film, Rush, 360, Hereafter, State of Play, The Damned United, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last King of Scotland and The Queen.

Samuel Hodges is Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST). His productions for NST includes The Shadow Factory, Dedication - Shakespeare and Southampton, following The Glass Menagerie in 2015. Previously he founded the HighTide Festival Theatre in 2007 and was the Artistic Director for five years, during which time he produced over 25 new plays, co-producing with the National Theatre, The Old Vic and the Bush Theatre, amongst others. Between 2012 and 2014, he ran the Criterion Theatre in London's West End, for whom he curated a late-night programme and a one-off summer season of new work to celebrate the London Olympics.



NST City

A Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Northern Stage co-production in association with Nuffield Southampton Theatres

The European Première

A Thousand Splendid Suns 

by Khaled Hosseini 
Adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma


Directed by Roxana Silbert; Designer: Ana Inés Jabares-Pita


25 June – 6 July 2019

Press Night: Wednesday 26 June, 7pm

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed.


Laila was born a generation later. When Laila is orphaned, her and Mariam’s lives collide as they are forced to share the same husband.


Under the Taliban take over, life is a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. As the war rages and the years pass, the country grows more oppressive and so does Rasheed.

But the bonds of love, family and friendship may offer the only escape and drive them to overcome the most daunting obstacles.


From the writer of The Kite Runner, this is the powerful story of three generations of women discovering strength in unity.  


Age recommendation: 14+


Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. He is one of the most recognized and bestselling authors in the world. His books, The Kite RunnerA Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed, have been published in over seventy countries and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.


Ursula Rani Sarma is a playwright and screenwriter. Her theatre credits include Joanne (Soho Theatre), Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Riot (American Conservatory Theatre), The Dark Things (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), The Spider Men (National Theatre), When the War Came (New Theatre Company), Blue (Cork Opera House/Theatre503/Irish tour), Touched (Irish tour), Orpheus Road (Paines Plough), Gift (Beltable Theatre/Djinn Theatre/Granary Theatre) and Like Sugar on Skin (Granary Theatre). Her television credits include Judge Dee and Red Rock; and for film, Robot and Scarecrow and Anywhere But Here.


Roxana Silbert directs. She is Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre and was previously an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Artistic Director of Paines Plough Theatre Company (2005-2009), Literary Director at the Traverse Theatre (2001-2004) and Associate Director at Royal Court Theatre (1998-2000). For Birmingham Repertory Theatre her credits include What Shadows, The Government Inspector (in association with Ramps On The Moon), Anita and Me (with Theatre Royal Stratford East), The King’s Speech (with Chichester Festival Theatre), Of Mice And Men; Khandan (Family) (with Royal Court Theatre), Dunsinane (National Theatre of Scotland/RSC), A Life Of Galileo (with RSC and Bath Theatre Royal) and Tartuffe.


A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Up in Arms

supported by Padmini Broomfield and Now Heritage CIC

The Line 

Curated by Barney Norris


Directed by Alice Hamilton


Staged in a Ford Transit Van

July – August 2019 (performance schedule to be announced)


Everyone in Southampton knows someone who worked at Ford.


In Swaythling, there stood a factory. Built in 1939 to assemble aircraft parts, it switched to producing parts for Spitfires during World War II. In 1953, it was taken over by Ford. 


Half a century later, Ford moved production of all passenger cars out of the UK, leaving Southampton’s plant as the only British factory. It made the Transit, the iconic white van.  


In 2009, Ford moved production to a new plant in Turkey, reducing the workforce to 500; and in 2013, the factory closed down completely.


Take a seat inside our van and listen to this brand new audio play curated by Barney Norris, co-Director of Up In Arms an associate company of NST.


Based on real-life accounts by former Ford employees who recall a place which, through all its highs and lows, was always at the heart of its community.


Barney Norris is co-artistic director of Up In Arms Theatre, a touring theatre company. His first play Visitors ran at the Arcola Theatre before transferring to the Bush Theatre, winning him the 2014 Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright. His other full-length plays are Nightfall, Eventide, Echo's End and While We're Here. Norris is the author of a bestselling novel, Five Rivers Met in a Wooded Plain, and a book on theatre: To Bodies Gone: The Theatre of Peter Gill. His second novel, Turning For Home, was published in 2018, as well as a second non-fiction study, The Wellspring, a book of conversations with his father, the composer David Owen Norris.


Alice Hamilton is a theatre director and dramaturg, and co-artistic director of Up In Arms, a touring theatre company. Her credits for the company include The March on Russia (Orange Tree Theatre), Visitors (Arcola Theatre/UK tour/Bush Theatre), German Skerries, Eventide and While We’re Here (UK tours). Other theatre credits include Paradise, Every Day I Make Greatness Happen (Hampstead Theatre), Echo’s End (Salisbury Playhouse), Thirty Christmases (New Diorama Theatre) Anything That Flies (Jermyn Street Theatre), Orca and Orson’s Shadow (Southwark Playhouse).




Alongside the company’s main season of work Nuffield Southampton Theatres presents a programme performed by and celebrating the local community as well as a season of work by NST Youth Theatre which provides the opportunity for local young people to work with professional theatre makers.


The Shadow Factory Exhibition is a free immersive installation looking into the history that inspired Howard Brenton’s play that explores Southampton’s role in World War II. Make It SO then celebrates local talent with a season of work from local artists and companies and finally annual festival, Now Here: Made in Southampton, returns with a variety of performances, exhibitions, workshops and talks celebrating the city’s rich industrial heritage.


Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatre in a co-production with National Theatre Connections 2019 present Class by Ben Bailey Smith and Lajaune Lincoln which follows a student council as the school election approaches examining wider issues of social division and populism. NST’s Summer Youth Project create a new production of 1984 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of George Orwell’s timeless and still poignantly relevant, classic.



NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

The Shadow Factory Exhibition

4 February - 1 March 2019


NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

Make it SO

February – April 2019


NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production

Now-Here: Made in Southampton

11 - 13 July 2019


NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres and National Theatre Connections 2019 production


28 - 30 March 2019


NST City

A Nuffield Southampton Youth Theatres production


29 July – 10 August 2019



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