Richard Twyman, Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre, today announces the 2018-19 season ahead of the company’s 25th anniversary in September, with further productions and events to be announced throughout the year. This follows ETT and Mercury Theatre Colchester’s co-production of The Weir collecting the 2018 Manchester Theatre Award for Best Visiting Production on Friday.
The season begins with the previously announced A Streetcar Named Desire directed by 2017 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award winner Chelsea Walker, a co-production with Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Theatr Clwyd, which opens at Nuffield Southampton Theatres on 28 March 2018 with previews from 23 March prior to a UK tour. This is followed by a revival of Twyman’s critically acclaimed reimagining of Othello (“a marvellous production – one of the best I have seen” Susannah Clapp, The Observer), a co-production with Oxford Playhouse and Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (originally co-produced with Tobacco Factory Theatres), which opens at Oxford Playhouse on 20 September 2018, with previews from 18 September prior to a UK tour; and a new production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus directed by Ned Bennett, a co-production with Theatre Royal Stratford East, as part of Nadia Fall’s inaugural season at the theatre. The production opens at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 21 February 2019, with previews from 15 February, prior to a UK tour.
Richard Twyman said today, “As we approach ETT’s 25th anniversary we look excitedly to the future, re-defining ETT for a new generation of artists and audiences. The first three shows to be announced for 2018-19, will reimagine classic work for audiences throughout the country, and I’m thrilled to be sharing the work of two of the most exciting and accomplished directors to emerge in recent years on main stages across the nation – Chelsea Walker, who directs A Streetcar Named Desire and Ned Bennett, who directs Equus. I’m delighted that alongside the tour of Othello, our nationwide multi-arts festival, The Othello Project, curated by journalist and cultural organiser Abdul-Rehman Malik, furthers our commitment to making work with diverse communities.
Alongside bold productions of seminal plays, reaching over 20 cities nationwide, we will further ETT’s support of new artists and approaches to touring. This year sees the expansion of ETT Forge to a country-wide platform for emerging touring theatre makers; the launch of ETT Forge Associates, our new yearly commitment to grow the touring work of three brilliant companies and producers; and three new Associate Artists joining the company – Nathaniel Martello-White, Nadir Nahdi and Elizabeth Freestone. All three are exceptional artists in their field, original, fearless voices that will help shape ETT’s future.”
To accompany the UK tour of Othello, ETT, alongside journalist and activist Abdul-Rehman Malik, will curate a multi-art festival in response to the production at each venue. The festivals will give a platform to some of the most exciting Muslim artists and writers working in the UK today, shining a light on the contemporary relevance of the play, breaking down barriers to Shakespeare and championing cross-cultural dialogue amongst communities. The project will feature work from spoken word artist, Tanya Muneera Williams and is presented in association with Amal – a project of the Said Foundation. Further details about the festivals will be announced soon.
ETT announces three new Associate Artists joining the company in its anniversary year, Nathaniel Martello-White, Nadir Nahdi and Elizabeth Freestone. Nathaniel Martello-White is a playwright and actor, whose play Torn was staged at the Royal Court in 2016 in a production directed by Richard Twyman, and who will support the development of new voices at ETT. Nadir Nahdi is a filmmaker and the founder of BENI, a You Tube channel highlighting young people from diverse backgrounds, who previously worked with ETT on The Othello Project and will help to shape the company’s digital strategy. Director Elizabeth Freestone is the former Artistic Director of Pentabus and a Mentor for Women in the Arts, she brings with her a wealth of experience in touring, specifically to rural communities.
The company also announces the expansion of ETT Forge, including the launch of ETT Forge Associates, a scheme designed to establish a deep rooted and meaningful relationship with three exceptional companies or individuals each year from across the UK who are looking to grow in scale and ambition, building stronger national relationships. This year’s ETT Forge Associates are Antic Face, Common and Alison Holder.
The expansion of ETT Forge broadens the reach of the programme regionally and enhances the support available to companies and producers with a proven commitment to touring. Through skills workshops and peer to peer networking opportunities, online resources, development time in ETT’s studios and curated industry sharing’s, ETT Forge provides a toolkit to support the future of touring in the UK. The new scheme opens for registration today, Monday 12 March, and will be open to all UK based companies and producers who can demonstrate a commitment to touring their work.