New Vic Theatre Celebrates 60 Years of Theatre Making In-the-Round

The New Vic announces the first part of their Spring 2022 season, beginning a year of celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of theatre making for the company.

 The first two productions in the theatre-in-the-round’s year of celebrations will be the much anticipated Marvellous, the world premiere stage production based on the extraordinary life of Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin, and an exciting co-production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It with Northern Broadsides.

 New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said:

“Over the years the New Vic has continually honoured its origins in groundbreaking documentary dramas championed by founding director Peter Cheeseman, dramatising issues relevant to our community. The plays in our upcoming season feel like a perfect complement to the company’s 60th anniversary, celebrating all that is unique about our work and in-the-round theatre, none more so than the extraordinary true story of local hero, clown and Stoke City FC kit man Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin. With Marvellous, we have a story that I know will fill us all with such optimism. It’s also wonderful to be collaborating once again with Northern Broadsides on a vibrant production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. I can’t wait to open the year by sharing these two plays with audiences.”

The world premiere stage production of everyday hero Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin’s story Marvellous will be performed from Friday 11 March to Saturday 9 April. The story of Nello’s extraordinary life has previously been adapted into a BAFTA winning film and a book. This brand new stage play, commissioned especially for the New Vic, has been created in conjunction with the man himself to bring his story to life for the first time on stage. Combining a playful script with physical comedy and New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins’ inimitable directorial style, this is a tale about how to realise your dreams – even when society tries to limit you with a label.

Beginning the year with a double-celebration, the New Vic will collaborate with Northern Broadsides on Shakespeare’s As You Like It from Friday 4 to Saturday 26 February, before it embarks on a national tour. The production will see both companies celebrating milestones – the New Vic theatre company’s 60th and Northern Broadsides’ 30th anniversaries.

Directed by Broadsides’ Artistic Director Laurie Sansom, 12 northern actors will bring to life the vivid characters in this bold version of the much-loved comedy, which promises to capture the sheer joy of live performance and the power of love to change the world.

The productions kick off a year-long celebration of the beginnings of the New Vic theatre company, then the Victoria Theatre Company and the first professional company in Britain to perform permanently in-the-round. Founded 60 years ago, in October 1962 by Peter Cheeseman, the company earned an international reputation for producing documentary-style dramas that told stories of real-lives. Continuing that tradition into their 60th year, the New Vic’s production of Marvellous has been in development with Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin and will tell another true story of a real-life ‘hero’. A programme of events will surround the 60th anniversary celebrations throughout the year, with the festivities beginning in full at a gala event taking place at the theatre on 18 March, during the run of Marvellous.

Further details of the New Vic’s 60th anniversary year will be announced soon. Tickets for productions in the spring season go on sale on Wednesday 17 November. Visit newvictheatre.org.uk for more details.

Tony Walley
News & Sport Editor

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