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The New Vic will feature fresh interpretations of some classic plays, alongside an innovative theatre experiment that shines a light on environmental awareness in their 2023 spring season. From Stoke-born playwright Arnold Bennett’s uplifting and heartwarming portrayal of Stoke-on-Trent in The Card to the environmentally aware A Play for The Living in a Time of Extinction, via a revival of hit comedy Ladies’ Day, a rare production of J.M. Barrie’s lesser known play Quality Street and a ’60s cult classic, the season’s collection of productions and innovative collaborations offers something of interest for everyone.


Opening on Friday 3 and running until Saturday 25 February, Ladies’ Day is the light-hearted tale of four women who swap their typical working day at the fish factory for the glamour of a trip to Royal Ascot. Written by Amanda Whittington (Kiss Me Quickstep, The Thrill of Love) and directed by Marieke Audsley, this aspirational story explores the values of friendship and optimism. A co-production with Octagon Theatre Bolton, the show brims with wryly observed humour and is odds on to become an audience favourite!


The New Vic will then produce Quality Street, alongside Northern Broadsides. Written by J.M. Barrie (author of the much-loved Peter Pan), the story follows Phoebe Throssel, a character who seeks to rekindle romance through her youthful alter-ego Miss Livvy as her old flame reappears in town. In a rare revival of this famed play, Northern Broadsides’ Artistic Director Laurie Sansom brings to life the regency comedy with a playful Yorkshire twist from Friday 3 to Saturday 25 March.


The John Godber Company present Bouncers, sister play to Shakers, at the New Vic from Tuesday 28 March to Saturday 1 April. Written and directed by Laurence Olivier award-winner John Godber, this screamingly funny depiction of four bouncers on duty outside a Yorkshire nightclub in the 1980s is guaranteed to bring out that late night party feeling amongst the audience with its outrageous humour and nostalgic portrayal of the northern club scene.


Following the feel-good theme, London Classic Theatre will take theatregoers back to 1977 inAbigail’s Party, the ferocious black comedy and landmark of twentieth century theatre written by Mike Leigh. Taking to the stage Wednesday 5 to Saturday 15 April, this is a ruthless, achingly funny examination of British life in the 1970s.


In April, the New Vic will collaborate for the first time with world-renowned theatre company, Told by an Idiot, for the iconic play The Killing of Sister George. On stage from Friday 21 April to Saturday 13 May, this cult classic, written by Frank Marcus will be directed by Told by an Idiot’s award-winning Artistic Director Paul Hunter. Famously adapted into a film in 1968, with Beryl Reid in the title role, this production will bring the story to life with unique visual flair and an audacious blend of raucous humour and compelling drama. 


Hanley-born playwright Arnold Bennett’s The Card, seen last year in a production at Fenton Town Hall, will be reimagined for the New Vic stage from Saturday 20 May to Saturday 10 June as the New Vic in association with Claybody Theatre brings the comedy to their in-the-round stage. Directed by Conrad Nelson (Anna of the Five Towns, Brassed Off) and adapted by Deborah McAndrew (Creative Director of Claybody Theatre), The Card is an uplifting tale of a loveable rogue living in a fictitious Stoke-on-Trent known as ‘Five Towns’. Featuring members of the original cast, including New Vic favourite Gareth Cassidy (Marvellous), The Card follows on from the New Vic’s hugely successful production of another Arnold Bennett play, Anna of The Five Towns in 2017.


Finally, A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction, written by award-winning playwright Miranda Rose Hall, will take audiences on a life-changing journey to confront the urgent ecological disaster that is unfolding around us from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 June. The New Vic partners with Headlong and The Barbican to present this pioneering touring production, powered entirely by bicycles. This eco-friendly performance forms part of a ground-breaking international experiment in reimagining theatre in a climate crisis.


Complementing the season of plays, a multitude of one-night concerts and events will delight audiences, including visits from comedians Mark Steel and Chris McCausland and music performances from 70s legend Tony Christie, Cara Dillon and Fairport Convention. The theatre will also host a unique concert celebrating the great Nat ‘King’ Cole and ‘Cloudbusting’, an exploration of Kate Bush’s stunning albums.


New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said: “We are so looking forward to collaborating with Headlong and so many nationally-renowned theatre companies this season. I’m excited to be working for the first time with Told by an Idiot on The Killing of Sister George, and producing theatre with our firm friends Northern Broadsides, Octagon Theatre and Claybody Theatre. I’m also delighted to be part of a bold experiment working towards carbon-neutral theatre making alongside Headlong. Whilst the production comes with unique challenges, it’s an exciting moment for our theatre, and something that could provide us with some innovative new methods of creating work for the future. This season we’ll tell some great stories alongside our producing partners and I’m looking forward to inviting audiences for some brilliant experiences at the New Vic.”


Tickets for the New Vic’s spring season go on sale on Wednesday 2 November. For more information visit or call the Box Office on 01782 717962.


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