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Preview: Wonderland at Newcastle Northern Stage


Newcastle Northern Stage
Wednesday 27 February to Saturday 9 March 2019

Directed by: Adam Penford
Written by: Beth Steel

Nottingham Playhouse has announced the full cast list for the 2019 production of its popular and acclaimed play Wonderland. Following rave reviews from critics and audiences Nottingham Playhouse revealed that Wonderland would be returning to the theatre to kick off its 2019 season, prior to a run at Northern Stage in Newcastle.

© Nottingham Playhouse
Set in 1983 Nottinghamshire, Wonderland sees two 16-year-olds, Malcom (played by John Booker) and Jimmy (played by Joshua Glenister) wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by veteran miner Colonel (played by William Travis), 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 as The Times reporter David Hart will be Giles Taylor, while Geff Francis will play pit manager Tilsley and transport secretary Nicholas Ridley. Holding roles as pitmen in the story will be Karl Haynes as Bobbo, and Jack Quarton as Fanny.

© Nottingham Playhouse
Nicholas Shaw and Paul Kemp have been confirmed to play pitman Spud and real-life politician Peter Walker in the Nottinghamshire-based show, respectively. Directed by Nottingham-born Adam Penford and written by the daughter of Nottingham miner Beth Steel, the local story proved a huge hit with East Midlands audiences and returns to the award-nominated theatre for the second year running.

Morgan Large’s ambitious coal-face set design also received critical acclaim, winning Best Design in the UK Theatre Awards 2018. Adam said: “Wonderland was a huge hit in 2018 and received standing ovations every performance. Our audience has been calling for its return since it closed and it’s clear they feel an ownership of Beth Steel’s beautiful play.  It’s rare that theatre resonates so strongly with a community, producing tears and laughter in equal measure. I’m sure the production will capture the imagination of the audience again, whether they’re returning or seeing the show for the first time.  I’m also thrilled we’re taking it to Northern Stage, where the story will resonate just as deeply.”

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