May Theatre of the Month > Nuffield Theatre
1 May 2016About Nuffield
Nuffield is Southampton's leading producing theatre company, based at the Nuffield Theatre on the Highfield campus at the University of Southampton. We celebrated our 50th birthday in 2014, and in 2015 were awarded the Stage Award for Regional Theatre of the Year.
Samuel Hodges has been our Director since 2013, when he appointed a team of Associates to support his new creative vision for Nuffield: directors Blanche McIntyre, Michael Longhurst, and Natalie Abrahami, designer Tom Scutt, and playwright Adam Brace. Blanche McIntyre has directed our next Nuffield production, Noises Off, and Michael Longhurst and Tom Scutt’s collaboration on A Number transferred to London’s Young Vic before returning to Nuffield in 2015. Tom Scutt is also the designer on Nuffield’s new Christmas production Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.
To mark our 50th birthday, we announced our Associate Actors - Tom Hiddleston, Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, and Celia Imrie – all of whom have held events at Nuffield since joining us as ambassadors.
Our produced programme is backed by a bespoke artist development programme and extensive outreach and community projects.
Nuffield Laboratory is our creative development programme for theatre-makers and companies. It is a space where we collaborate with artists at all stages in their careers to experiment with new ideas; a creative hub for exploration and discovery. All the work for our stage is developed through our Laboratory, right alongside our unique opportunities for theatre-makers from Hampshire and across the UK to explore new creative projects and ideas or to hone and develop theatrical craft.
Nuffield’s Connect programme actively engages the wider community in Southampton and across the region of Hampshire in the work that we make – from performers on our stages to volunteers behind the scenes, across the whole gamut of ages and experience. Our Connect programme, which includes our Youth Theatre, Drama Club, and our adult workshops, reaches over 15,000 people in our region each year through an exceptional range of community activities.
We are very excited that our next Nuffield production – Noises Off – which we have co-produced with Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and Northern Stage will play here from 1 – 25 June. This celebrated multi award-winning play received the Olivier and Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy when it was first presented in 1982. Directed by our very own Associate Blanche McIntyre, this legendary farce is delicious, riotous comedy bliss, not to be missed.
Our upcoming autumn season boasts two world premieres. Creating brand new work is integral to our national identity, and this season also reinforces our well-established commitment to telling Southampton’s story.
Our autumn season opens with Dedication, a world premiere by award-winning playwright Nick Dear (Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch, National Theatre, The Art of Success, RSC, Olivier nomination), to be directed by our very own Samuel Hodges. Commissioned by Nuffield, the play will be a brand new dramatization of Shakespeare’s mysterious relationship with his patron, the 3rd Earl of Southampton. Set in the powder keg of sex, politics and power in Elizabethan England, this is a local story of national significance.
Launching during the Roald Dahl 100 celebrations, Dahl’s tale of horrid farmers and cunning foxes will be vividly brought to life in our brand new production of Fantastic Mr. Fox which promises to be a huge theatrical feast with songs for the whole family. Directed by Maria Aberg with music by Darren Clark, book by Sam Holcroft, and design by Nuffield Associate Tom Scutt, the production promises family fun at its finest.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a co-production with Curve. It will open at Nuffield this Christmas before playing at the Curve and embarking on a major national tour in spring 2017.
Nuffield is expanding and will be the operating company of the north building of Southampton’s new arts complex – Studio 144 – which will include a flexible 447 seat main house theatre, a 135 seat studio, screening facilities, rehearsal and workshop spaces, and a café bar and bistro, which will open in 2017. We will be running the new venue as well as our current space on the campus of the University of Southampton.
We are working hard to make sure that our programme can offer something for everyone. We want our audiences to feel at home in both our buildings and we have big ambitions as to how we want to achieve that.
Sam Hodges, Director of Nuffield, said:
“This new venue will transform Nuffield’s ability to show new and exciting high quality professional work from local, national and international artists, built on the foundations of our commitment to extensive and accessible artist development and community engagement. It will also allow us to develop our programme to include dance, film and music. As you can imagine this is a very exciting time for us, but also a great challenge.”
We are very much looking forward to the future of Nuffield, and we hope that you will be part of it!
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