Nottingham Playhouse awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status

Nottingham Playhouse continues its first full season since the start of the pandemic with three announcements – the award of Theatre of Sanctuary Status, the extension of its digital programme and an addition to its ongoing production work.

The Theatre of Sanctuary Award recognises that the theatre’s commitment – both now and into the future – has enabled it to become a welcoming, safe and enjoyable space for refugees and asylum seekers.

Reflecting the work, Nottingham Playhouse has done over many years to encourage participation and accessibility to people seeking sanctuary in Nottingham, the award acknowledges the theatre’s ongoing endeavours to share stories and culture from people with lived experience, as well as its cultivation of wider engagement in the arts in the city.

Specific examples of onstage productions have included work that charts the experience of asylum seekers and refugees, such as The Kite Runner and Kindertransport, and plays written or performed by refugees, including Pizza Shop Heroes.

Other relevant initiatives have included engaging asylum seekers for work experience, offering Pay What You Can and free tickets for people who otherwise would not have the means to come to the theatre, and free backstage tours to sanctuary seekers and organisations working with them.

In addition to the Theatre of Sanctuary status, Nottingham Playhouse also announces the extension of its ongoing digital offering with the return of the acclaimed series of digital dramas Still Life, featuring Frances De La Tour and Julie Hesmondhalgh, that bring to life untold stories of the city under lockdown (available until May 31, 2022), Ramps on The Moon’s adapation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist by award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery (available from October 25 to November 20), the previously announced staging of Phoebe Frances Brown’s The Glad Game (available until October 31) and the specially filmed performance of Nottingham Playhouse’s hugely popular pantomime which this year is Beauty and The Beast (filmed on December 7 in front of a live audience and available throughout the Christmas period).

At the same time, Nottingham Playhouse is continuing with the return of live onstage work with Mark Gatiss’s eagerly awaited adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in which he stars as Jacob Marley alongside Nicholas Farrell’s Ebenezer Scrooge, this year’s panto Beauty and The Beast as well as the Playhouse’s show for 3-8 year olds, Little Red Riding Hood, both running over the Christmas period and into January.

Looking ahead, there is also the gripping new drama inspired by the recent football abuse scandals, First Touch by fast-rising screenwriter Nathanial Price (BBC’s Noughts and Crosses and Sky’s Tin Star) which runs from May 7 to 21, 2022.

For more on what’s in store at the venue, go to

Posted on 04 October 2021

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Ananda Datema