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9th December 2019


A rare staging of an iconic fantasy horror, an uplifting new play about the life of a local hero, a dark comedy classic and a revival of one of their most popular productions make for an exciting spring season at the New Vic, the theatre announced today.

New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins will follow up her critically acclaimed production of Dracula from 2015 with a rare, fully staged production of Angela Carter’s iconic fantasy The Company of Wolves this spring. Combining imaginative staging, evocative soundscapes and spectacular aerial movement with her trademark theatrical invention, this extraordinary retelling of the gripping horror story will be a groundbreaking production of epic proportions. Adapted by Heskins from Carter’s renowned radio play and novella, Vicki Amedume (Astley’s Astounding Adventures) will join the creative team as Associate Director, bringing aerial and circus expertise to the show to create stunning visuals with the performers.

The New Vic then co-produce a life-affirming, uplifting account of the life of Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin with Octagon Theatre, Bolton. Originally a BAFTA award-winning film and novel by Neil Baldwin and Malcolm Clarke, Marvellous is a brand new stage production about the life of this well-known local hero, created in conjunction with the man himself. Combining a playful script with lots of physical comedy and her inimitable directorial style, Theresa Heskins will animate this extraordinary tale about how to realise your dreams – even when society tries to limit you with a label – on the theatre’s in-the-round stage in September. This world premier production will bring Nello’s story back to his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent.

Jim Cartwright’s Two will open the theatre’s season in February. This dark comedy, set in a working-class pub over the course of one night poignantly weaves together rich stories of human emotion. Directed by Ruth Carney (The Showband Story, Opera House Belfast; Holby City), Jimmy Fairhurst (Look Back In Anger, Derby Theatre/Octagon Theatre Bolton; Britannia, Vertigo Films) and Samantha Robinson (Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Out of Joint/Royal Court; Educating Rita, Mercury Colchester) will play all 14 characters in the season opener.

After a hugely successful run at the beginning of 2019, the New Vic will revive their popular production of The 39 Steps in the spring. Reuniting the cast of Rebecca Brewer, Gareth Cassidy, Michael Hugo and Isaac Stanmore, this inventive fast-paced caper – an adaptation of John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s work, from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon – is set to delight audiences once again in March.

The theatre will also welcome some of the best theatre currently touring the country to Newcastle-under-Lyme in the spring. The Ballad of Maria Marten, from Eastern Angles and Matthew Linley Creative Projects in association with the Stephen Joseph Theatre, tells the story of a real-life murder mystery and is a spine-tingling crime drama. Northern Broadsides return to the stage in April with Quality Street. Written by J.M. Barrie before he penned Peter Pan, Quality Street is a much-loved farce and was so well-known in its day that it gave its name to the UK’s most popular chocolates.

The New Vic Youth Theatre will perform The Changing Room, part of National Theatre Connections, in February and David Graham Productions’ much-loved character of ‘Eric’ takes an earlier slot in the year this spring, returning in April for Eric’s Full Monty. The ultimate 60s party night, the show will be full of classic 60s music, brilliant comedy and is a perfect treat for the spring.

The spring season is completed with a whole host of exciting one-night events, including visits from popular soprano Lesley Garrett, MasterChef judge Jay Rayner, Fairport Convention, poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, Britain’s Got Talent 2019 finalist Ben Hart, comedian John Shuttleworth, virtuoso guitarist Ralph McTell, Alistair McGowan in his new show that combines his talents as a master impressionist with his newfound talent as a classical pianist, plus much more!

Theresa Heskins, Artistic Director of the New Vic Theatre said: “This season is going to be a special one. Staging the impossible is our speciality at the New Vic and this season I take on horror – a genre rarely visited in theatre. I’ve been longing to bring Angela Carter’s iconic story to the stage for a long time so to be able to create a production of The Company of Wolves is something really special for me. Looking further ahead, it’s been fascinating to work on Marvellous with Neil Baldwin, a true character. His recipe for happiness has rubbed off on us all at the New Vic and this play will be full of charm and I think, a great way to head into the autumn.”

Tickets for the New Vic’s spring season are on sale now. To book, and for more information about what’s coming up at the theatre, visit or call Box Office on 01782 717962.

Article by Kay Wilson

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