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Unlocked Festival at Nottingham Playhouse features performances by stars including Mark Gatiss, Ben Norris and Jodie Prenger




For a three-week period, Nottingham Playhouse is to open its doors to the public for the first time since March to host an eclectic festival of live and live-streamed events.

The Unlocked Festival will feature a mix of world class performers ­— including Mark Gatiss ­— East Midlands talent, specially-created work and work in progress.

“While we have continued to make work online throughout the pandemic, it’s time to re-engage audiences and artists on stage again,” said Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Adam Penford.

Unlocked festival at Nottingham Playhouse. (42612037)
Unlocked festival at Nottingham Playhouse. (42612037)

“The festival will be stripped-back and simple, top-class talent coming live from the Playhouse stage.

“It’s a financial risk to be programming theatre again in this environment, but we have a responsibility and desire to do so.

“I can’t describe the buzz of excitement at the Playhouse to be producing live theatre again and hope audiences will support us as we navigate how to get theatre back on the road.”

Mark Gatiss stars in Ghost Stories at Nottingham Playhouse. (42612098)
Mark Gatiss stars in Ghost Stories at Nottingham Playhouse. (42612098)

The festival launches on Wednesday with Rootless Island Baby, a staged reading of a new play from Nottingham Playhouse associate artist Sarah ‘Rain’ Kolawole.

It is the story of Carly, a young social worker conflicted by a case that triggers memories of her own childhood experiences in the care system.

Tickets for the performance, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £10 in person or £8 for the livestream.

The world premiere of Bubble, by James Graham, is performed on Friday, October 23, at 7.30pm, and Saturday, October 24, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Ashley and Morgan both think they’ve found the one. Then, a national lockdown is announced and they’re faced with a decision ­— quarantine apart, or take the crazy decision to isolate together?

Follow two alternative versions of the couple’s future as they navigate a strange new reality together, and apart.

Tickets cost £25 in person or £10 and £22.50 for the livestream

Major Labia, a comedy collective of witty women, is at the Playhouse on October 27, at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £12.50 in person or £10 for the livestream

Star of The Archers and two-time UK National Poetry Slam champion Ben Norris takes A Short Tour Of The Heart on October 28, at 7.30pm, as part of a double bill.

Fusing spoken-word and music, the Notts-born writer-performer will trial new work as well as share pieces from his back catalogue.

Also on the bill is Naomi Obeng, who will be a first reading of her Nottingham Playhouse commission, Where It Lands, a piece of one-person storytelling that examines the reality of a mixed race identity in 2020.

Tickets cost £10 in person or £8 for the livestream.

Ghost Stories is on Friday, October 30, at 7.30pm, and Saturday, October 31, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Mark Gatiss invites you to turn the lights down low and gather round to hear him read some of his favourite ghost stories, live from the Playhouse stage.

Featuring special guest Jade Anouka, the duo will bring you classics of the genre along with lesser known gems.

Tickets cost £25 in person or £10 and £22.50 for the livestream.

Lewis Doherty mimes every prop, makes every sound effect and brings to life over 30 characters in the cyberpunk, neon-noir, one man blockbuster movie, Wolf, on November 4.

In Shadow City,Detective Jay Walker is dead. With no leads and a case colder than ice, it’s up to his ex partner Patrick Wolf to bust some heads and find out who killed him.

Tickets cost £12.50 in person or £10 for the livestream

Rosalie Craig, Sandra Marvin and Jodie Prenger, with Amy Shackcloth, are in concert on November 6, at 7.30pm and November 7, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

The three West End leading ladies perform a programme of the songs that made their careers.

Tickets cost £25 in person or £10 and £22.50 for the livestream.



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