Richard Twyman today announces his inaugural season as Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre which includes a series of first-time collaborations with theatres, theatre companies and artists.
In the Spring, English Touring Theatre joins forces for the first time with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory on Twyman’s production of Othello which, following a run at the Tobacco Factory Theatre, tours to venues in the UK beginning at Wilton’s Musical Hall.
This is followed by two autumn shows – firstly, ETT works with Simon Godwin, Associate Director of the National Theatre, to present the first tour of Sam Holcroft’s comedy Rules for Living which premièred at the National’s Dorfman Theatre in 2015. The show reunites ETT with co-producers Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Rose Theatre Kingston, with whom they created the critically acclaimed, award-winning revival of Peter Whelan’s The Herbal Bed in 2016. It opens in Northampton on 12 September before touring.
Secondly, the autumn sees another new partnership as ETT co-produces with Mercury Theatre Colchester on the Regional Touring Network production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir, twenty years after its world première at the Royal Court. The show, opens at Mercury Theatre Colchester on 14 September before travelling to Harrogate, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Barnstaple, Exeter, Oldham, Warwick, Poole and Huddersfield.
Richard Twyman said today, “I’m delighted to announce our new season of work and my first as Artistic Director. In this time of complex and extraordinary change in the country, ETT’s role as a national touring company has never felt more important. This season sees us tour to 21 theatres throughout England, bringing audiences together to explore the conventions and fears that shape our national identity and govern our experience of contemporary life.
“Othello, a co-production with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, is one of Shakespeare’s plays that speaks most directly to our world today. This production interrogates one of the burning tensions of our age, the fear of the ‘other’ and the perception that their identity may threaten our own.
“In the autumn, we tour the deliriously funny Rules For Living by Sam Holcroft with Simon Godwin making his ETT debut as director. Playful and theatrical, Rules for Living explodes the instantly recognisable dynamic of the family unit at Christmas, laying bare the conventions and anxieties of contemporary society.
Twyman goes on to say: “Autumn ’17 also sees year two of the Regional Touring Network, a three-year partnership with nine regional theatres to develop new audiences, it continues our commitment to tour top quality drama as widely as possible. This year we are staging a major tour of the 20th Anniversary production of The Weir by Conor McPherson. One of the great pieces of theatrical story-telling, I’m proud we can share this moving and seminal play with new audiences throughout England.”