MIXED UP NORTH Plays Wilton's Music Hall Through December 5

Based on real events and encounters, MIXED UP NORTH is an inspiring and eye-opening story of an attempt to unite young people from ethnically divided communities in a Lancashire mill town. Produced by Out of Joint and the Octagon Theatre Bolton, the play will run in the unique Wilton's Music Hall in London.

Mixed Up North offers a fascinating history of Burnley as it follows Trish, who has set up an unusual theatre group as a way to bring together young people from Asian and White communities. She brings in a director - the harassed and heavily pregnant Bella - who struggles to share her artistic vision with a cast who think acting is "gay".

The cast will include the Oliver Award-winning Celia Imrie as Trish. Her credits include Calendar Girls, Bridget Jones' Diary, and numerous projects with Victoria Wood including Dinnerladies and Acorn Antiques. She shares the role with Judith Amsenga. The cast also includes Burnley-born Muzz Khan, who as well as being an actor is a resident DJ at top London nightclub Pacha and Matthew Wait, best known as Luke Warren in Casualty.

The play vividly captures the wit, anger, spirit and backgrounds of the young people involved.

Director Max Stafford-Clark and writer Robin Soans created the acclaimed documentary plays Talking to Terrorists and A State Affair. Mixed Up North started life in 2007 when the pair were invited to create a new play with students at the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).

"I was invited to the Royal Society for a debate on racism, at which the playwright David Edgar talked about the difficulty for an ethnic group to integrate into parts of society already dominated by another group. For example, he said that it was unsurprising that no Asian had played cricket for Yorkshire. He suggested that if we really wanted to integrate, we needed to create brand new spaces, and mentioned this theatre group. I thought this was fascinating, so Robin and I and the LAMDA students went to Lancashire to meet the people involved, and made their stories into a play. The LAMDA students were very talented and I'm delighted to have been able to cast many of them in the play's first professional production."

Max Stafford-Clark, Director

Full cast: Judith Amsenga, Celia Imrie, Lisa Kerr, Asif Khan, Kashif Khan, Muzz Khan, Rose Leslie, Tyrone Lopez, Kathryn O'Reilly, Claire Rafferty, Stephanie Street, Mia Soteriou, Lorna Stuart and Matthew Wait.

Design is by Jonathan Fensom, with lighting by Tim Bray and sound by Andy Smith. The composer is Felix Cross, with choreography by Jessica Swale.

Wilton's Music Hall, London
Runs through 5th December 2009

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