New Vic Stage World Premiere Production of Local Hero’s Marvellous Story This Autumn

Marvellous, the incredible true story of everyday local hero ‘Nello’; a timeless fairytale taken back to its origins and the return of theatre favourite ‘Eric’ all feature in the New Vic’s latest season. The theatre will also present a host of one-night events in the autumn, welcoming audiences back to the theatre’s newly refurbished auditorium.

The world premiere stage production of Marvellous, the life-affirming tale of local hero Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin, will be performed from Friday 1 to Saturday 23 October. Originally a BAFTA award-winning film broadcast on BBC Two, and then a book by Neil Baldwin and Malcolm Clarke, the New Vic’s production of Marvellous is a brand new play about Nello’s extraordinary life, created in conjunction with the man himself. Combining a playful script with plenty of physical comedy and her inimitable directorial style, New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins will animate this inspiring tale about how to realise your dreams – even when society tries to limit you with a label – on the theatre’s in-the-round stage.

This Christmas, reuniting the creative team who created the much-loved productions of The Snow Queen (UK Theatre Best Show for Children and Young People 2017) and The Prince and The Pauper, Artistic Director Theresa Heskins will bring to life a spectacular retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Returning to the original story, audiences can expect enchanting storytelling, plenty of magical moments and breathtaking theatrical invention, making it a perfect treat for Christmas.

As part of their season, the New Vic will welcome back some old friends to the newly refurbished auditorium. The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough will bring The Girl Next Door to Newcastle-under-Lyme from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 18 September. Alan Ayckbourn’s 85th full-length play about a former TV star discovering a mysterious ‘girl next door’ from another era is a touching, tender and funny reflection on the ability of love to rise above adversity and reach across the years. The John Godber Company will return to the theatre with Sunny Side Up! from Tuesday 26 to Saturday 30 October – a hilarious and moving account of a struggling Yorkshire coast B&B and the people who run it.

Theatre favourite ‘Eric’ will also return from Monday 23 August to Saturday 4 September as David Graham Productions bring their unique blend of sensational ’60s music, laugh-out-loud comedy and loveable characters together once again for Eric’s Full Monty. Eric has a scheme to get rich quick by launching his own version of The Chippendales. When the night comes though, will Eric and the boys be brave enough to do… the ‘full monty’? Or will they leave their hats on?

The theatre’s season will be completed with a host of the best one-night concerts and events touring the country, including visits from Lesley Garrett, John Shuttleworth and Ben Hart.

New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said: “It’s been quite a while since we started working with Neil Baldwin on staging the story of his inspirational life. During that time his optimistic outlook and talent for happiness has rubbed off on us all. Being able to tell the story of our local hero here, in his hometown, at a time when we all need a bit of magic back in our lives, is a huge privilege.

“For our version of Beauty and the Beast, which we’ll stage at Christmas, we’ve gone right back to the original story – and found it full of surprising treasures. Its themes about kindness, about love, and about humanity all feel more important than ever. It’s exciting for me as a director to be able to share this ultimately uplifting story with family audiences: it’s so precious to us when families get to enjoy and be inspired by the magic of theatre together.”

Tickets for the upcoming season will be on sale from Wednesday 7 July at 12.00pm, and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01782 717962 or online at

Tony Walley
Tony Walley
News & Sport Editor

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