Beth Steel's WONDERLAND Comes Home to Nottingham Playhouse

Beth Steel's WONDERLAND Comes Home to Nottingham Playhouse

Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company confirms full cast of Adam Penford's first show as Artistic Director, Wonderland - including local actors Chris Ashby who previously played the lead in the National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and was cast through the Playhouse open auditions, and Joshua Glenister who was a member of Nottingham Playhouse Youth Theatre.

Set in 1983 Nottinghamshire, Wonderland sees two 16-year-olds, Malcolm (played by Chris Ashby) and Jimmy (played by Joshua Glenister) wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by veteran miner Colonel (played by Deka Walmsley), 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 in this all-male cast as The Times reporter David Hart will be Jamie Beamish, while Nicholas Khan - well-known to the Playhouse for his role in The Kite Runner - will play pit manager Tisley and transport secretary Nicholas Ridley. Holding roles as pitmen in the story will be Tony Bell as Bobbo, and Jack Quarton as Fanny.

TV stars Harry Hepple and Matthew Cottle have been previously confirmed to play pitman Spud and real-life politician Peter Walker in the Nottingham-based show.

Wonderland is a regional premiere directed by Nottingham-born Adam Penford and is written by the daughter of Nottingham miner, Beth Steel.

Adam said: "I'm really excited to be announcing the full cast of my first production as Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse and thrilled that the cast includes so many local actors, including those we met during our open auditions for local talent in October. Nurturing home grown talent is really important to the Playhouse.

"Wonderland is really fitting for my return to the city. It's set in Nottingham and by a local playwright, Beth Steel, whose dad worked at Welbeck Colliery. The play was really well received when it was first produced in London and I'm delighted to be bringing it home for its regional premiere.

"Wonderland is really special. It's incredibly funny and moving, with great characters, and looks at the strike in a fresh way. The set design is hugely ambitious and there are movement sequences and live music; it's going to be a visual treat!"

Wonderland runs from Friday 9 February 2018 through to Saturday 24 February 2018.

Tickets are priced £37.50 - £8.50

For more information visit

Cast Bios:

Chris Ashby - Unearthed (Folio Theatre); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre); Tom's Midnight Garden (Birmingham Stage Company

Joshua Glenister - The Living Room Trilogy Workshop (Arts Theatre); A Single Act (Liverpool Playhouse); All Shook Up (Unity Theatre)

Deka Walmsley - Cockpit (Royal Lyceum Theatre); Fatherland (Frantic Assembly/Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Billy Elliot (West End)

Robin Bowerman - Noises Off; The Ashes; Of Mice and Men; Vertigo; Amy's View (Nottingham Playhouse); Shiv (Leicester Curve); Inside Out of Mind (Meeting Ground Theatre Company)

Jamie Beamish - TV: Derry Girls (Channel 4); Will (TNT); London Irish (Company Pictures/Channel 4); The Borgias (Showtime); Judge John Deed (BBC)Sacrifice at Easter; The Last Beauty Spot; The Tempest (Corcadorca); The Beaux Stratagem; England People Very Nice; A Slight Ache (National Theatre); Othello; The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare's Globe); The Merchant of Venice (Almeida Theatre)

Nicholas Khan - Our Town (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); A Tale of Two Cities (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre); The Kite Runner (West End/UK tour/Nottingham Playhouse); Love N Stuff (Theatre Royal Stratford East)

Tony Bell - Karagula (Soho Theatre); The Damned United; Don Quixote (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Shakespeare in Love (Noël Coward Theatre/Sonia Friedman Productions)

Jack Quarton - Great Expectations; Alice in Wonderland (Derby Theatre); Aladdin (Key Theatre, Peterborough); Ovid's Metamorphoses (Pants on Fire Theatre Company)

Matthew Cottle - TV: The Windsors (Channel 4); Murder on the Blackpool Express (Tiger Apect); Citizen Khan; Doctors; Pramface; Holby City; Sex, The City and Me; EastEnders; Down to Earth; Get Well Soon; Casualty (BBC). Theatre: How the Other Half Lives (Theatre Royal, Haymarket/Duke of York's/Tour); Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory); Our Country's Good; A Small Family Business; The Habit of Art (National Theatre).

Harry Hepple - TV: Boy Meets Girl; Holby City; Hustle; Doctors; Inspector George Gently (BBC), Misfits (E4). Theatre: Into the Woods (Menier Chocolate Factory); The Saints (Nuffield Southampton Theatres); A Taste of Honey; Burnt by the Sun (National Theatre)

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