Graphic for Nottingham Playhouse's Spring/Summer productions


Spring Summer 2024 Season announced at Nottingham Playhouse

Nottingham Playhouse has announced its spring summer 2024 season, which includes the world premiere of a James Graham play and a brand-new stage adaptation of Minority Report, based on the Philip K. Dick short story, which was later made into a film by Spielberg.

New announcements include:

  • A world premiere by award-winning writer James Graham, Punch, based on the true-life story of Nottingham teenager Jacob Dunne
  • Max Webster (Life of Pi) directs a new stage play of Minority Report, written by David Haig, in a co-production with Birmingham Rep and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in association with Simon Friend Entertainment, by arrangement with Electric Shepherd Productions
  • Lucy Kirkwood’s gripping tale of generational choices around nuclear power, The Children, is directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward and an industry symposium on sustainable theatre-making will be hosted alongside the production
  • Liberation Squares is a co-production with Fifth Word, a story of three teenage Muslim girls undergoing a political awakening, written by Sonali Bhattacharyya
  • The Nottingham Playhouse community production returns with The Trials by Dawn King, featuring a cast of local young people alongside professional actors in this dystopian tale
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini comes home to Nottingham Playhouse as part of a UK-wide tour after it’s Broadway run

The new programme was announced at a special event for Members, which included updates on Nottingham Playhouse’s commitment to reducing energy usage and their carbon footprint, their ambitious sustainability goals and the unveiling of a new ‘green’ logo which will help communicate their commitment to aiming for Net Zero carbon emissions.

Punch is a world premiere by award-winning writer James Graham, one of Britain’s most celebrated writers whose work (Dear England, National Theatre, Sherwood and Quiz) has won several Olivier Awards, alongside BAFTA, Emmy, and Tony Award nominations. The play is based on the true-life story of Nottingham teenager Jacob Dunne whose fatal actions lead to an incredible story of the power of forgiveness and restorative justice. Directed by Adam Penford, Punch asks important questions about toxic masculinity, class and our education system.

Jacob Dunne commented:

“It is incredible to be working with local playwright, James Graham, for a production at Nottingham Playhouse, where I enjoyed many memorable nights at the pantomime as a boy. ‘Punch’, unlike the panto, explores our often oversimplified understanding of a villain through a medium that redeemed me – dialogue. 

My desire? To see you rolling into Nottingham Playhouse … like the mist from the Trent.”

A brand-new stage adaptation of the thrilling Minority Report, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick and known for the Steven Spielberg film featuring Tom Cruise, is adapted by renowned writer and actor David Haig (My Boy Jack, The Good Samaritan). This is a co-production with Birmingham Rep, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in association with Simon Friend Entertainment, producers of the globally successful Life of Pi, and its award-winning director Max Webster, by arrangement with Electric Shepherd Productions. This thought-provoking play questions our ideas of justice and the power of choice and will create a world of breathtaking visuals and immersive storytelling.

David Haig commented:

It’s been the most exciting challenge of my career: to write a futuristic thriller for the stage, based on one of the greatest sci-fi stories ever told.”

Previously announced, Lucy Kirkwood’s intimate portrait of relationships contrasted against the epic consequences of their previous choices, The Children, is directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward (Manic Street Creature, Edinburgh Fringe transferring to Southwark Playhouse October 23, Moonlight & Magnolias, Nottingham Playhouse). Hazel and Robin are nuclear physicists, living out their retirement on the east coast. When old friend Rose visits, her shocking proposal threatens their entire future. All three are forced to confront how their life choices have affected each other, as well as future generations.

The Children will be produced to Theatre Green Book standards, a set of standards for creating productions sustainably, including that 50% of materials should have had a previous life and 65% of materials should be reused or recycled afterwards. An industry symposium on Sustainable Productions: Making Theatre in the Climate Crisis will take place on Thursday 4 April, ensuring that knowledge gained by the Nottingham Playhouse team through their Green Book productions is shared and passed on.

Kirsty Patrick-Ward commented:

I am thrilled to be returning to Nottingham Playhouse – especially to direct a play that is as pertinent, insightful, witty and moving as The Children. Lucy Kirkwood is one of our Nation’s finest living playwrights and for me, her talents are exemplified in this extraordinary play. It asks the most difficult questions of our time with arresting honesty, humour and empathy. I look forward to exploring its indelible characters and bringing their precarious world to life both dynamically and sustainably with my incredible creative team.”

In development for Spring 2024 is Liberation Squares by Sonali Bhattacharyya, dates to be confirmed soon. In a co-production with the bold Fifth Word Theatre company, based in Derby, this is a story of three teenage British Muslim girls, whose adolescence is as complex, infuriating and joyous as any other teenagers, but with the added complications of Islamophobia and cultural erasure.

Sonali Bhattacharyya, writer of Liberation Squares, said:

“The development of Liberation Squares has included a fantastic programme called See Me, run by an East Midlands based graphic novelist and illustrator and a group of teenage Muslim girls in the region. Early drafts of the play were informed by discussions on Zoom, during the pandemic, about their experiences and their feedback on the characters, world and story of the show.

We can’t wait to bring Liberation Squares to audiences and are thrilled to be working with the team at Nottingham Playhouse on this.”

Nottingham Playhouse is delighted to stage The Trials, a challenging story of personal responsibility and climate crisis. This co-production with Mansfield Palace Theatre will empower young people from Nottingham and Mansfield to play the role of the jury as a community cast, alongside three professional actors. In a future when air has become unbreathable, three adult defendants fight to clear their names. Called to account as the generation responsible for the climate crisis, they are judged by a Jury of 12 teenagers – those paying the price for the actions of their elders.

Adam Penford, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, said:

“This is a challenging time for theatre, but Nottingham Playhouse is meeting that challenge head-on by continuing our commitment to staging bold new work and attracting the most dynamic theatre-makers to collaborate with us.

“Nottinghamshire born James Graham – one of the best writers in the world – returns to his home city to tell Jacob Dunne’s heart wrenching and transformative story in a world premiere. The team behind the hit Life of Pi bring their creative talents to tell the transfixing, futuristic tale of Minority Report – watch them stage the unstageable. The Children and The Trials both consider the vitally important impact our decisions have on the world we live in, through the lens of two different generations. And acclaimed rising playwright, Sonali Bhattacharyya, explores adolescence and identity in Liberation Squares.”

Alongside Nottingham Playhouse productions is a powerful programme of drama, comedy, dance and entertainment shows.

All productions are now on priority sale to members, public booking opens 6 October. Visit the website: or call the Box Office on 0115 941 9419.


Minority Report

16 Feb – 9 March

Nottingham Playhouse

Press Night: Tuesday 27 Feb 2024, 7pm

22 March – 6 April

Birmingham Rep

19 April – 18 May

Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Press Night:  Wednesday 24 April 2024, 7pm

Writer:  David Haig

Director:  Max Webster

Production Designer:  Jon Bausor

Video Designer:  Tal Rosner

Lighting Designer:  Jessica Hung Han Yun

Composer and Sound Designer:  Nicola T Chang

Movement Director:  Lucy Hind

Casting Director:  Lotte Hines CDG

It’s 2050 and neuroscientist Dame Julia Anderton is about to launch the next phase of her pioneering Pre-Crime programme, detaining people for crimes before they are committed. But when Julia is accused of pre-murder, she’s in a race against time to save herself from her own system.

This thrilling adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s iconic story challenges our beliefs about justice and freewill in a real-time chase through London of the future.

Minority Report sees award-winning director Max Webster re-united with the producers of the globally successful stage version of Life of Pi. This incredible theatrical experience will use cutting edge technology to create a world at the borders of science fiction and reality.

The Children

23 March – 6 April 2024

Press Night:  Wednesday 27 March 2024, 7pm

Writer:  Lucy Kirkwood

Director:  Kirsty Patrick Ward

Set and Costume Designer:  Amy Jane Cook

Lighting Designer:  Jamie Platt

Sound Designer:  Dominic Brennan

Movement Director:  Struan Leslie

Casting Director:  Ginny Schiller CDG

Hazel and Robin are nuclear physicists, living out their retirement in a cottage on the east coast. They listen to Radio 4, speak regularly with their children and Hazel never misses a day of yoga practice. But their existence is far from cosy – electricity is rationed and there’s a Geiger counter to hand to check radiation levels – for they live just outside the exclusion zone of a nuclear disaster.

When old friend Rose visits out of the blue, they crack open the parsnip wine and reminisce. But uncomfortable memories resurface, and Rose’s shocking proposal threatens their entire future. All three are forced to confront how their life choices have affected each other, as well as future generations. Lucy Kirkwood’s play is both epic and intimate, a gripping and funny thriller that highlights how the time to act is slipping through our fingers.

Winner 2018 Writer’s Guild for Best Play, Tony Award 2018 Best Play nomination, Top 3 in The Guardian’s 2019 Best Theatre Shows of the 21st century.

The Kite Runner

16 – 20 April 2024

Pres Night:  Tuesday 16 April, 7pm

“There is a way to be good again.”

Direct from Broadway, The Kite Runner, an outstanding and unforgettable theatrical tour de force is returning to the UK in 2024.

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel, this haunting tale of friendship spans cultures and continents and follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

Afghanistan is a country on the verge of war and best friends are about to be torn apart. It’s a beautiful afternoon in Kabul, the skies are full of colour and the streets are full of the excitement of a kite flying tournament, but no one can foresee the terrible incident that will shatter their lives forever.

One Broadway season and two West End seasons have garnered international acclaim for this incredibly powerful story.

Originally staged by Nottingham Playhouse in 2013, this smash hit production was a sell-out in the West End and on Broadway, and now makes a triumphant return to Nottingham before embarking on another national tour.


4 May – 25 May 2024

Press Night: Thursday 9 May 2024, 7pm

Writer:  James Graham

Director:  Adam Penford

Based on the book Right from Wrong by Jacob Dunne

Teenager Jacob lives in The Meadows, Nottingham. Like his mates, he spends Saturday nights drinking, sometimes dabbling with drugs, and often looking for a bit of trouble. One night, in Old Market Square, he gets into yet another fight with a stranger. This time he throws one single

punch – with fatal consequences.

Released from prison, lost and haunted by guilt, his life spirals until, out of the blue, the parents of his victim ask to meet him. Their quest for answers results in an unlikely connection and Jacob’s life begins to turn around. This important and fascinating new play shows us the incredible power of forgiveness, whilst asking important questions about toxic masculinity, class and our education system.

The Trials

14 – 16 Aug 2024

Writer:  Dawn King

Co-Director:  Hannah Stone

“It’s easy for you to accuse me now but you don’t understand. Everyone lived like we did!”

In a future when air has become unbreathable, three adult defendants fight to clear their names. Called to account as the generation responsible for the crisis that’s unfolding, they are being judged

by a Jury of twelve teenagers- those paying the price for the actions of their elders. With their own futures hanging in the balance are they seeking justice – or revenge?

This thrilling story of responsibility and climate crisis gives a voice to the young people who have no choice but to live with its consequences. This community co-production with Mansfield Palace goes

one step further, empowering young people from Nottingham and Mansfield who will play the part of the Jury, alongside three professional actors.

Described on its 2022 British premiere at the Donmar Warehouse as ‘compelling and fascinating’ (Time Out) and ‘bold, uncomfortable, urgent viewing’ (WhatsOnStage), Dawn King’s play paints the picture of a dystopian future that feels very close.

Posted on 29 September 2023

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