On Friday 25 September 2015, the Theatre Royal Nottingham will celebrate its 150th anniversary. To celebrate this landmark occasion, and to showcase some of the region's best creative talent, a brand new play has been commissioned.
·Based on the ballads of Robin Hood
·Set in the century and a half from 1865 to the present day, to reflect the Theatre Royal's 150th anniversary
·Written by seven of the East Midlands' most talented playwrights
·Co-produced by the region's leading touring theatre company, New Perspectives
Based on the legend of Robin Hood, a specially commissioned play will premiere at the Theatre Royal in September. In a unique collaboration, the Theatre Royal is joining forces with the regions' leading touring theatre company, New Perspectives, and seven of the East Midlands' most talented playwrights to create a series of new stories, taking the world's most famous folklore hero on a journey through a century and a half of Nottingham's vibrant and colourful history.
HOOD - The Legend Continues has been written in six sections by seven playwrights from the East Midlands. Jack McNamara, artistic director for New Perspectives, has assembled a writing team including James Graham, widely considered to be Britain's most talented new political playwright and screenwriter. His recent projects include the script for the British film X+Y, starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall; the book for Broadway musical Finding Neverlandin collaboration with Gary Barlow and producer Harvey Weinstein; Coalition, a one-off drama for Channel 4 about the formation of the present coalition government; and The Vote, a real-time play for the Donmar Warehouse and Channel 4, set in a polling station on election day. James' personal connections to the Theatre Royal and to Nottingham are significant, too, as he grew up in Annesley in Nottinghamshire and also worked at the theatre's stage door for a short period after leaving university.
James is joined by award-winning writers Andy Barrett and Tim Elgood, emerging young writers Laura Lomas and Mufaro Makubika and the stage and screen writing team, Brian Mitchelland Joseph Nixon.
Robert Sanderson, Managing Director of the Theatre Royal Nottingham, said, "I was determined that the theatre's 150th anniversary should be marked by something tangible, something creative and lasting. A new play, with its roots firmly set in Nottinghamshire, will be the perfect showcase for our city's remarkably talented creative community. The play is in its formative stages, but what New Perspectives have created already is proving both very exciting and thoroughly entertaining. In each of the six stories we will see characters instantly recognisable as Robin Hood, Maid Marian, the Merry Men and the Sheriff of Nottingham but each taking place in a different era and in a more modern setting. The writers' individual styles have given these well-known characters an intriguingly fresh approach and the play as a whole brings the legend of Robin Hood, his feistiness and rebelliousness, bang up to date. I am very much looking forward to sharing it with our audiences when they see it on the Theatre Royal stage in September."
East Midlands based national touring theatre company, New Perspectives, has a 40-year track record in creating dynamic performances for rural and community audiences. Jack McNamara, the company's Artistic Director, said, "It is a huge honour for New Perspectives to be asked by the Theatre Royal to create a piece of theatre to mark their 150th year. It is also a privilege to be able to offer Nottingham our own version of the city's most famous legend. Seven of the region's truly exciting contemporary playwrights have put this great story through their own filters and created something wonderfully modern and unique. Anyone who thought that Robin Hood was all about archery and green tights will be in for a big surprise!"
New Perspectives Executive Director, Sally Anne Tye, added, "We are delighted to be part of this unique collaboration between two very different city-based cultural organisations, bringing Nottingham's greatest legend back to life on the Theatre Royal stage."
HOOD - The Legend Continues will have its world premiere on Thursday 17 September 2015 at the Theatre Royal Nottingham and will run until Saturday 26 September.