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NEWS: Stars Join Still Life

4 May 2021

Nottingham Playhouse has announced that Julie Hesmondhalgh and Frances de le Tour are amongst the actors starring in its digital theatre project Still Life.

Still Life: Untold Stories from Nottingham Now is a new collection of five short films telling the tales of the city we love, through the eyes of residents who sometimes pass unnoticed. Conceived and commissioned by Nottingham Playhouse Still Life has paired writers with a member of Nottingham’s communities to help them create a piece that sheds light on a previously unexplored story.

The casting for these films have now been announced, alongside the release of exclusive behind-the-scenes images of the on-location filming. Julie Hesmondhalgh (The Greatest Play in the History of the World, The Pact, BBC, Coronation Street and Broadchurch, ITV) will feature in Amy Guyler’s Out of Stock. The Olivier and Tony Award-winning Frances de la Tour (Rising Damp, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Enola Holmes) will be playing Muriel in Alan Bennett’s sketch of the same name., continuing her long association with Bennett’s work – including roles in The History Boys and The Habit of Art and People.

UK Theatre award-winning Esh Alladi (The Argument, Theatre Royal Bath, Hobson’s Choice, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester) plays Shaq alongside Nottingham actress Jessica Temple (The Madness of George III, Nottingham Playhouse, Peter Pan, National Theatre) as Lauren in Emteaz Hussain’s Pimp My Ride. Conor Glean (One Night in Miami, Nottingham Playhouse, Mother Courage, The Manchester Royal Exchange) plays Luke, while  local actor Karl Haynes (An Enemy of the People and Wonderland, Nottingham Playhouse) takes the role of Sam in Olu Alakija’s Handle with Care. Amelia Harding from TV Workshop performs in Nathan Ellis’ Facts.

Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “The pandemic has changed the way we live and Still Life will capture this moment in time, revealing some of the lesser-known stories of the people of Nottingham in 2021. It is part of our on-going commitment to nurture the immense talent in the region, and provide some much-needed employment to many who have had little government support since last March. I’m delighted we managed to cast such a talented group of actors, well-known to Playhouse audiences through their local connection and award-winning performances.”

Some of the writers were selected as a part of an open call out for from the East Midlands. Olu Alakija is from Northampton (The Promise, Digital Theatre, The End of Term Show, Live Wired Digital Theatre), Nathan Ellis is from Oakham in Rutland (SUPER HIGH RESOLUTION, nominated for the Verity Burgate Award, WORK.TXT, VAULT). Amy Guyler (The Nobodies, Vault Festival 2020, Digging Deep, Vault Festival 2019) and Emteaz Hussain (STRAWBERRIES, Royal Court’s Living Newspaper, CRONGTON KNIGHTS, Pilot Theatre) are from Nottingham.

Internationally renowned and critically acclaimed writer Alan Bennett (Talking Heads, Lady in the Van, The History Boys and The Madness of George III) has also joined the project with a specially written sketch.

Still Life is directed by Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse (Cinderella, An Enemy of the People, The Madness of the George III) and Matthew Xia (Artistic Director ATC, Nottingham Playhouse Associate Artist, Shebeen, One Night In Miami).

Tickets for the Still Life online watch party can be purchased now. This begins 7.30pm on Friday 7 May 2021, with the viewing link then available until Wednesday 12 May 2021. General On Demand rental for five days will be available from Friday 7 May 2021 to June 17 2021.

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