Jenny Topper and Theatre Royal Bath Productions today release images for the brand new play and UK tour of The Nightingales starring Ruth Jones in her anticipated return to the stage. Written by William Gaminara and directed by RSC Associate Artist Christopher Luscombe, the world premiere production has its opening night for press at Theatre Royal Bath on Wednesday 7 November and will then tour to Cambridge, Cardiff, Chichester and Malvern until December, prior to a West End transfer, with venue and dates to be announced. The cast is competed by Steven Pacey, Stefan Adegbola, Sarah Earnshaw, Philip McGinley and Mary Stockley.
The Nightingales is a funny, moving and thought-provoking play which follows the lives of a small community acapella group in their weekly singing practice, and the impact of new arrival, Maggie.
Under the watchful eye of Steven, their choirmaster, Connie, Ben, Diane and Bruno gather every week in the village hall to practise their accomplished acapella singing. They are a motley crew, but whatever their differences, whatever the problems they may have at home, all are happily bound together in their shared love of music. Until one day Maggie knocks on the door. . . Soon she is urging them to enter Talentfest, a potentially life-changing route to Britain’s Got Talent. In the weeks that follow, loyalties will be tested, tempers will fray and lives will indeed be changed - but not in the way that any of them had quite anticipated.
Ruth Jones (Maggie) is best known for playing Nessa in the BBC’s multi award winning Gavin and Stacey which she co-wrote and created with James Corden. She also took the title role in Sky 1’s Stella made by her own company Tidy Productions, which ran for six seasons, gaining Ruth a BAFTA nomination for Best Female Performance in a comedy. Other screen credits include: Little Britain, Nighty Night, Saxondale, Fat Friends, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Little Dorrit. Ruth also played Hattie Jacques in BBC4’s highly acclaimed film Hattie. Ruth’s last stage performance was in Educating Rita at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff in 2006. Before that she’d worked with Dominic Cooke in The Marriage of Figaro, Roger Michell in the National Theatre’s Under Milk Wood as well as the RSC's world tour of The Winter’s Tale. Ruth’s debut novel Never Greener is a Sunday Times number one bestseller.
Steven Pacey’s (Steven) most recent stage appearances include The Knowledge (Charing Cross Theatre), Loves Labour’s Lost / Much Ado About Nothing (West End and Chichester Festival Theatre), Travels with my Aunt and King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre). Musical theatre credits include Spamalot (National Tour) and La Cage aux Folles (The Playhouse). On television he has appeared in Doctors, Humans, Silent Witness and Poirot.
Stefan Adegbola (Bruno) has performed on stage in Titus Andronicus (RSC), The Convert (Gate Theatre), After Independence (Arcola), The Merchant of Venice (Globe Theatre and World Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Noel Coward). His screen credits include Doctor Who.
Sarah Earnshaw (Connie) most recently appeared in the UK tour of Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Previous stage credits include Travels with My Aunt (Chichester Festival Theatre), the original cast of Wicked (Apollo), Heart of Winter (Tristan Bates) and national tours of Spamalot, Jekyll and Hyde, Scrooge and Puttin’ on the Ritz. Television appearances also include Casualty and Children in Need.
Philip McGinley’s (Ben) numerous television credits include Game of Thrones, Manhunt, Vera, Coronation Street, Drifters, No Offence and Home Fires. Stage credits include Husbands & Sons (National Theatre), Microcosm (Soho Theatre), The Daughter in Law (Sheffield Crucible) and Herding Cats (Theatre Royal Bath and Hampstead Theatre).
Mary Stockley’s (Diane) stage credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (National Theatre and West End), The House They Grew Up In (Chichester Festival Theatre), Rainman (Apollo), Anything Goes (National Theatre and West End) and Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse). Recent television credits include Delicious, and The Alienist and film includes The Woman in Black and V for Vendetta.
William Gaminara (Playwright) is an actor and writer. He played Leo Dalton in Silent Witness for 11 years, and is Dr Richard Locke in The Archers. His plays include Germinal (Paines Plough), Back up the Hearse and According to Hoyle (Hampstead Theatre) and The Three Lions (St James Theatre/Pleasance). TV writing includes episodes for Jimmy McGovern's The Lakes, BBC's This Life (winner of a Writers’ Guild Drama Award), and an adaptation of Rachel Morris' novel Ella and the Mothers.
Christopher Luscombe (Director) is an associate artist of the RSC, where his productions include Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, both of which transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. He also directed the Olivier Award winning Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe and Apollo), The Madness of George III (Apollo), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), Enjoy (Gielgud), Olivier Award nominated productions of When We Are Married (Garrick) and Fascinating Aida - One Last Flutter (Harold Pinter) and The Rocky Horror Show and Spamalot (Playhouse).
Jonathan Fensom (Designer) has extensive design credits for productions including The Other Place (Park Theatre), Farinelli and The King (Shakespeare’s Globe, West End and Broadway) for which he received Olivier Award nominations for Best Costume and Best Set Design, Sex with Strangers (Hampstead Theatre), Six Degrees Of Separation (Old Vic), The Homecoming (Almeida) and Journey’s End (West End, Broadway and UK Tour), for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design. For Shakespeare’s Globe, Fensom he has also designed King Lear, Hamlet, Henry V, The Duchess of Malfi and Julius Caesar.
Nick Richings (Lighting) has designed for many West End productions including the Olivier Award-winning La Cage Aux Folles (The Playhouse), Whistle Down the Wind (Palace Theatre), Starlight Express (UK and Asia Tour), Scrooge (London Palladium, UK Tour and US Tour) and Glengarry Glenn Ross (Manchester Library Theatre). He has worked with the Apollo Leisure Group lighting their major musicals, summer shows, and pantomimes.
Jason Barnes (Sound) has designed sound for productions including Private Peaceful (New York and US tour), Private Lives (Broadway), We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (UK tour and West End), Canary, The Hypochondriac (English Touring Theatre), Mrs. Warren’s Profession (UK tour) and Enjoy (Gielgud and UK tour). Jason has also worked as Head of Sound and Resident Sound Designer at the Bristol Old Vic.
Luke Bateman’s (Musical Director) works have been performed in the West End, New York, around the UK and beyond, including Mr Popper’s Penguins (West End, UK and US tour), The Little Beasts (The Other Palace), The Sorrows of Satan (Tristan Bates), A Chorus of Disapproval (Harold Pinter), West End Recast (Duke of York's), West End Recast 2 (Phoenix Theatre). He has also won three song writing awards for his work with Mary Evans.
by William Gaminara
Directed by Christopher Luscombe
Designer: Jonathan Fensom
Lighting: Nick Richings
Sound: Jason Barnes
Musical Director: Luke Bateman
Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Dates: Wednesday 31 October – Saturday 10 November
Press night: Wednesday 7 November 7pm
Performance schedule: Evenings 7:30pm, matinee Thursdays and Saturdays 2:30pm
Prices: £23 - £37.50
Box Office: 01225 448844
Cambridge Arts Theatre
Dates: Monday 12 – Saturday 17 November
Box Office: 01223 503333
New Theatre Cardiff
Dates: Monday 19 – Saturday 24 November
Box Office: 029 2087 8889
Chichester Festival Theatre
Dates: Tuesday 27 November – Saturday 1 December
Box Office: 01243 781312
Malvern Festival Theatre
Dates: Monday 3 – Saturday 8 December
Box Office: 01684 569256