Nikolai Foster’s celebrated anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing comes to Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Centre from 30 March – 11 April 2015.
Multi-award winning actress Charlie Brooks, best known for her role as Janine Butcher in EastEnders, will lead the cast as Sandra in the forthcoming performance of Beautiful Thing. Other notable credits include Jenny in Bleak Houseplus being crowned the Queen of the Jungle in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! and winner of the mirror ball trophy in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special in 2011. She also recently enjoyed a critically acclaimed stage performance in Our Country’s Good at Liverpool Playhouse.
Thomas Law, whose roles include Peter Beale in EastEnders, Matt Haddon in Casualty and most recently as a young Simon Pegg in blockbuster film The World’s End will star as Ste.
Sam Jackson, whose roles include Alex Henley in Skins (E4), Jack in Drifters (E4) and a critically acclaimed performance as Billy Casper in Kes (Derby Theatre) will star as Jamie.
Director Nikolai Foster was recently appointed Artistic Director of Curve Leicester. His work has been seen in most of the UK’s leading regional theatres, touring houses and internationally, and recent productions include The Hired Man (St James), Calamity Jane (UK tour), Brecht’s The Good Person Of Sichuan (Mercury, Colchester), Flashdance (West End), Hayfever (CFT), Merrily We Roll Along (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal & The Touring Consortium), and Annie (WYP, Leeds).
Beautiful Thing is a glorious urban love story between two young men set on an inner city housing estate. It tells the story of teenager Jamie’s relationship with classmate and neighbour, Ste. Together the two boys find comedy, warmth and the music of Mama Cass through their loud-mouthed next door neighbour Leah. Jonathan Harvey combines comedy with drama in his critically acclaimed award winning play. Beautiful Thing truly captures what it is to be a teenager and to fall in love.
Executive producer Tom O’Connell said, “Having produced the original anniversary production, I am honoured to now partner with Nottingham Playhouse and Curve theatre, Leicester, two fantastic producing theatres, to bring Jonathan’s hit comedy to the stage one more time. Nikolai and I made a promise to each other that if we ever re-visited his production it would play cities and theatres that it hadn’t been to before. We feel with this new cast and with some new elements added to the show, this new production will have audiences smiling all the way home.”
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive, Birmingham Hippodrome said “The arrival of Beautiful Thing in the theatre’s Patrick Centre continues an expanding programme for the venue and Birmingham Hippodrome’s commitment to presenting an expansive and varied list of performances for a diverse range of audiences.”
Jonathan Harvey wrote Beautiful Thing when he was just 24. It premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1993 and sold out its five-week run before transferring to the Donmar Warehouse, and then the Duke of York’s, eventually winning its author an Olivier Award nomination and the John Whiting Award. A screen adaptation of the play was released in 1996 by Channel 4 films, which went on to be a cult hit. Jonathan is a regular writer for Coronation Street and wrote the TV hit series Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, as well as the best-selling 2012 novel All She Wants. His plays include Canary and Corrie!
Over its 20 year history, the play has featured in the careers of many famous actors including Jonny Lee Miller, Suranne Jones, Hugh Bonneville, Philip Glennister, Andrew Garfield, and Rhys Ifans, and has been produced over 25 times worldwide, with international dates in China, France, Canada, Australia and Holland.
Lighting design is by David Plater and sound design by George Dennis, Beautiful Thing will be a co-production between the Nottingham Playhouse, the Curve Leicester and Tom O’Connell for QNQ Ltd.
Beautiful Thing runs at Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Centre from Monday 30 March – Saturday 11 April 2015. The first 100 tickets at every performance are priced at an early bird rate of £25 – call 0844 338 5000 or book online at birminghamhippodrome.com. 5% transaction charge applies (excl. cash sales in person) postage from £1. Phone calls from 5p per minute. Prices and discounting subject to change.
Perf times: Mon-Sat eves 7.45pm, Fri & Sat mats 2.30pm.