Mike Poulton's New Version Of Ibsen's GHOSTS Announced As Part Of Royal & Derngate's Made In Northampton 2019 Season

Mike Poulton's New Version Of Ibsen's GHOSTS Announced As Part Of Royal & Derngate's Made In Northampton 2019 Season

Artistic Director of Northampton's Royal & Derngate, James Dacre today announced that the venue will stage the world premiere of a brand new version by Mike Poulton of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece Ghosts in April 2019, directed by Lucy Bailey, starring Penny Downie and Pierro Niel-Mee.

With Tony nominations for Fortune's Fool and adaptations of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, Mike Poulton's acclaimed plays also include Imperium for the Royal Shakespeare Company and A Tale of Two Cities for Royal & Derngate. At the Northampton venue, Lucy Bailey previously directed Gaslight and Love from a Stranger (nominated for the UK Theatre Best Touring Production Award in 2018). Her Olivier Award-nominated production of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution is still going strong at London County Hall over a year after first opening.

A shattering story of the consequences of secrets and lies, Ibsen's Ghosts is a damning comment on the morality and hypocrisy of 19th century life and this searing new version asks if much has changed since it was written over 100 years ago.

Constrained for years by societal expectations, widow Helen Alving is determined to escape the ghosts of her past but when her son Osvald returns home it is clear that some legacies are impossible to avoid. With secrets kept and lies told, the ghosts of her husband's actions demand bigger sacrifices now than ever before.

Helen will be played by Penny Downie, whose extensive stage and television credits include Hamlet in the West End and ITV's Downton Abbey. Taking the role of Osvald is Pierro Niel-Mee, whose credits include Shakespeare in Love (UK tour) and Imperium, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Ghosts can be seen at Royal & Derngate from Friday 19 April till Saturday 11 May, with a national press night on Wednesday 24 April.

James Dacre, Artistic Director, said: "This season we will premiere work by Tony, Nobel, Pulitzer and Olivier prize-winning writers that will transport our audiences from 1880s Norway to 1980s Rwanda and pre-war Oxfordshire to post-war Pittsburgh. At a time where our worldview is proving to be increasingly divided, these powerful, humane stories all explore the corrosive power of prejudice and the complex nature of belief."

Ghosts joins a Made in Northampton season that continues in January with the UK premiere of Olivier Award winner Katori Hall's spectacular play Our Lady of Kibeho. The play tells the astonishing true story of three Rwandan schoolgirls and the haunting events that forever changed their school, their community and their country. Directed by James Dacre, with stirring live music by Orlando Gough, the play features a large professional cast, including Michelle Asante, Ery Nzaramba and Gabrielle Brooks, supplemented by Royal & Derngate's Community Ensemble. #OurLadyThePlay

2017 Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro's masterpiece The Remains of the Day will be breathtakingly re-imagined for the stage, in an adaptation by one of Britain's most exciting young playwrights, Barney Norris (Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright), directed by Christopher Haydon (The Caretaker). This story of memory, regret and undeclared love receives its world premiere at Royal & Derngate in February before touring nationwide in a co-production with Out of Joint. #RemainsTour19

In May, Tom Mothersdale stars as the iconic villain in a revelatory new production of Shakespeare's famous East Midlands tale Richard III, a co-production by Headlong, Alexandra Palace and Bristol Old Vic with Oxford Playhouse. This frighteningly relevant tale of deceit, manipulation and violence is brought to life by director John Haidar (Headlong Associate Artist). #RichardIII2019

In September, Royal & Derngate stages Two Trains Running, American playwright August Wilson's vivid portrait of everyday lives in the shadow of a defining moment in American history. Set in Pittsburgh, 1969, the play sees the regulars of Memphis Lee's restaurant struggling to cope with the turbulence of a world that is changing rapidly around them. When Two Trains Running premiered on Broadway in 1992, it won Tony, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Directed by the 2018 winner of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award, Nancy Medina this co-production with English Touring Theatre will tour the UK after opening at Northampton. #TwoTrains2019

Further Made in Northampton 2019 productions will be announced next year.

Made in Northampton is sponsored locally by Michael Jones Jeweller.

For more information about any of these productions, visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk. Shows can be booked online or by calling Box Office on 01604 624811.

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