Cast and Future Creatives company announced for unique production of Alex Wheatle’s Home Girl

Derby Theatre is excited to announce the cast and company for their upcoming production of Home Girl, a professional and young people’s unique co-production of Alex Wheatle’s novel adapted for the stage by Nathan Powell and Sarah ‘Rain’ Kolawole in collaboration with care-experienced young people and young theatremakers. 

Home Girl was due to be performed at Derby Theatre during summer 2021, but had to be cancelled, so we are thrilled to see its return to our main stage for 2022.

Home Girl tells the story of Naomi, a teenage girl growing up fast in the care system, a wholly modern story which sheds a much-needed light on what can be an unsettling life – and the consequences that can follow when children treated like pawns on a family chessboard. The production will play on the main stage at Derby Theatre for two days only from Friday 8 until Saturday 9 July.

The cast includes: Lisa Allen (Horrible Histories for the UK no. 1 tour, Palace of Varieties and Brassed Off for Derby Theatre and DCI Burns, Waterloo Road and Emmerdale for TV. Lisa also won Best Actress at Diversity in Cannes for her performance in the leading role in the multi award-winning film Coal In Their Veins); Andrea Davy (The Railway Children for Northcott, Exeter; Treasure Island for Birmingham Rep plus Coronation Street and Patrick Melrose for TV); Martha Godber (Great Adventures for Hull Truck Theatre, Sunny Side Up for John Godber Company plus Oddsquad and South Riding for TV); Duane Hannibal (One Man, Two Guvnors for Derby Theatre and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Of Mice and Men and The Wind in the Willows for Birmingham Rep and A Taste of Honey for New Vic, Stoke); April Nerissa Hudson (Treasure Island and The Little Mermaid for Derby Theatre, Man Like Mobeen and Doctors for the BBC and Wanted, celebrating Women’s History Month for Gazebo Theatre’s national tour); and Helena Rimmer (The Mince Pie Mice for Lichfield Garrick and A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and Alice in Wonderland for Derby Theatre).

The Home Girl creative team is Alex Wheatle (writer); Nathan Powell and Sarah ‘Rain’ Kolawole (stage adaptors); Sarah Brigham and Bryn Holding (co-directors); Kevin Jenkins (Set and Costume Designer); Lucy James and Rukus (Sound Design and Composers); Alexandra Stafford (Lighting Designer); Natasha Cover (Assistant Director); and Lucy Wild (Movement Directors) plus the Future Creatives creative team.

Joining the cast will be an ensemble of young people, our Future Creatives young performers. Future Creatives sits at the heart of the Home Girl project, an initiative which offers a range of performance and hands-on opportunities for young people aged 14-25 to be involved in different stages of the creative and production process, including performance, set and costume design, lighting, production, marketing, film and photography. Future Creatives is part of Reimagine, one of 5 National pilot programmes, funded through Arts Council England and DMCS as part of the Youth Performance Partnership Fund.

As part of the process, each young person is being mentored by a professional who works and specialises in each area, including Anisa Archer as the Future Creatives Writer.

Our Future Creatives young performers are: Paisley, Sharyna, Georgia Anderson, Tom Carlisle, Drew Green, Bry Griffths, Alex Etheridge, Zoe Fowkes, Ursule Jancenkovaite, Shannon John, Oliver Manley, Chloe Ridgers, Scarlett Robinson-Stanley and Riley Sheehan-Moore.

The Future Creatives working as part of the creative team are Anisa Archer (Writer) Nicole Chang (Costume Designer); Sam Evans (Lighting Designer); Jamie Hallett (Producer); Emma White (Set and Costume Designer) and Essa (Filmmaker).

“This isn’t my home. Haven’t had a proper home since…This is just somewhere I’ll be resting my bones for a week and maybe a bit. This time next year you’ll forget who I am. I haven’t got a diddly where I’ll be by then. But I’m used to it.”

When fourteen-year-old white girl Naomi is placed with a Black foster care family, her life takes some dramatic twists and turns. Fast-paced and funny, tender, tragic and full of courage, this exciting stage adaptation of 

Home Girl will play on the main stage at Derby Theatre this summer.

Tickets: £15, only £5 for under 26s and £10 for groups of 10 or more. For more information and to book, call the Box Office on 01332 593939, online at www.derbytheatre.co.uk or text phone on 07717 346964. 

BSL interpreted performance: Saturday 9 July, 7pm.

Age guidance; 11+