The months of waiting are almost over: the production of Touched gets under way this week at Nottingham Playhouse.
The theatre’s 40th anniversary production of Stephen Lowe’s play runs at the theatre from February 17 to March 4.
Bafta Award winning star of This Is England, Line of Duty and Broadchurch, Nottingham-born Vicky McClure takes her first major stage role as Sandra and will be joined by Screen International Star of Tomorrow and Nottingham Television Workshop alumni Aisling Loftus as Joan, who recently starred in the BBC’s War and Peace, in the role of Bridie.
Stephen Lowe’s Touched is a powerful and poignant World War II drama set during the 100 days between VE and VJ Day and centred on the lives of a family of working class Nottingham women.
The promise of a brave new world has arrived with peace in Europe and the election of the first ever Labour government. But the fighting is not yet over. With her husband away at war and having lost her son in a tragic car accident during the blackout, Sandra is torn apart by grief.
Meanwhile, her sisters – the brash Joan and naïve Betty – are brimming with hope for the future and the possibilities of new lives ahead for all of them. Touched is a modern classic, celebrating the 40th anniversary of its premiere at Nottingham Playhouse.
Director Matt Aston said: “Vicky McClure was always my first choice to play the part of Sandra in Touched. Despite the play premiering in 1977 it’s as if the play has been written for her.
“It was my intention to cast the show with the authentic Nottingham voice at its core. We’ve managed to achieve that and I couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of getting started.”
Nottingham-born Stephen Lowe’s plays have been staged at London’s Royal Court, (Touched, Body and Soul, Glasshouses, Tibetan Inroads) Royal Shakespeare Company (Divine Gossip and Ostrovsky’s The Storm) as well as works premiered at most of England’s leading repertory theatres including Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, Liverpool Playhouse, Plymouth Rep, with touring companies like Joint Stock (with Ragged Trousered Philanthropists) and his own company, Meeting Ground.
He has worked with theatre and TV/film directors and producers including Alan Ayckbourn, Richard Eyre, Bill Gaskill, Steven Daldry, Danny Boyle, David Leveux, Annie Casteldine, Alan Dossor, Thaddeus O’Sullivan, Michael Wearing, and the award-winning New Zealand team that created Once were Warriors, as well as composers like Rachel Portman and Michael Nyman.
For ticket details to come and see Touched, you can call the box office on 0115 9419419 or you can go online to www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
Photos by Robert Day