Nottingham Playhouse Launches The Amplify Podcast

Nottingham Playhouse has released the first three episodes of a new podcast series that will explore the careers, processes and lockdown experiences of nationally and internationally renowned artists.

The Playhouse’s existing podcast, Nottingham Playcast, offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of productions and projects at the theatre. However these episodes will form a new strand of this, in response to the recent global crisis.

Included is Olivier Award-winning actor and playwright David Haig, known for his stage plays My Boy Jack and The Good Samaritan (both for Hampstead Theatre) and Pressure (Royal Lyceum and Minerva Theatre).

His distinguished acting career includes West End appearances such as in Yes, Prime Minister. He has also performed in Alan Ayckbourn‘s House/Garden at The National Theatre and in Hitchcock Blonde at the Royal Court. His television appearances include My Boy Jack (ITV, starring David, Daniel Radcliffe and Kim Cattrall), Four Weddings and a Funeral and Crime and Punishment.

Director and writer Gbolahan Obiesesan also features in the first release of episodes.

He is known by many for his critically acclaimed play The Fishermen, based on the Man Booker-nominated novel by Chigozie Obioma, which premiered at Manchester HOME before a UK tour. Other plays include Mad About the Boy, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before a UK tour. He has also directed several plays, including The Last King of Scotland at Sheffield Crucible and Yvette at Bush Theatre.

Director Natalie Abrahmi’s illustrious career is also explored.

Her career has spanned across the UK, serving as Artistic Director at The Gate Theatre, before joining the Young Vic as Geneisis Fellow and Associate Director. She has also been Associate Artist at the Nuffield Theatre and Hull Truck. She has directed ANNA at The National Theatre, Wings at the Young Vic, Queen Anne at the RSC and The Eleventh Capital for Royal Court.

Her production of The Kreutzer Sonata at Gate Theatre later transferred to New York. Film credits include Mayday and Life’s a Pitch.

These will be followed by weekly episode releases with other artists including Adam Penford (Nottingham Playhouse‘s Artistic Director), Jeremy Herrin, Maria Aberg, Nick Bagnall, Sam Hodges, Tim Sheader, Nikolai Foster, Luke Barnes, Davina Moss and Amit Sharma.

Interviews have been conducted by Craig Gilbert, Artist Development Producer for the Playhouse’s Amplify programme – which seeks to inspire and support theatre-makers from the East Midlands – in a makeshift bedroom studio. It is hoped the podcasts will offer inspiration for other creatives in Nottinghamshire and beyond during a time of social distancing and theatre closures.

Craig Gilbert, Artist Development Producer at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “These difficult times present challenges for all of us – artists and audiences alike.

In having these informal chats with our peers and collaborators I hope to bring a little joy to our friends who can’t currently come and see shows and some inspiration to the artists stuck at home. I’m hugely grateful to the guests for taking the time to talk and really hope you enjoy the stories these artists have to tell.”

This is just one way that Nottingham Playhouse has ‘gone digital’ after coronavirus closed its doors in March 2020. This has included the releasing of singing and dance tutorials, putting its Family Fest online, a new Pen Pal scheme, and the re-releasing of archive footage like its Mass Bolero.

In a bid to re-open its doors, it has also launched a new fundraising initiative called the Curtain Up Appeal.

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