Exciting stage premiere of Malorie Blackman's acclaimed young adult novel premieres at Derby Theatre
Derby Theatre is thrilled to present, as one of their big productions for spring 2019 and in co-production with Pilot Theatre, Sabrina Mahfouz’s exciting new adaptation of Malorie’s Blackman's critically acclaimed young adult novel, Noughts & Crosses, on from Friday 1 until Saturday 16 February.
Noughts & Crosses, also produced in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre Colchester and York Theatre Royal, follows Pilot Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, which toured during 2018.
Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director, Esther Richardson, Noughts & Crosses is a captivating love story, told from the perspectives of two teenagers, and set in a volatile, racially segregated society that explores the powerful themes of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world.
Sabrina Mahfouz’s new adaptation is based on Malorie Blackman’s first book in the Noughts & Crosses series for young adults, which has won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades. A BBC adaptation of Noughts & Crosses is due to be screened in 2019.
Noughts & Crosses’ exciting young cast will feature Heather Agyepong (Girls, Talawa Theatre, High Tide & Martha Rose Wilson Prod and So Many Reasons, Fuel Theatre & Ovalhouse Theatre); Billy Harris (Boots On The Ground, Tangled Feet and 13, Tobacco Factory Theatre); Doreene Blackstock (Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare’s Globe; Cymbeline and Hamlet, RSC ); Jack Condon (East, King’s Head Theatre and Last Man Standing, Theatre N16); Daniel Copeland (Invincible, Orange Tree Theatre and The Jungle Book, Leeds Playhouse); Lisa Howard (They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay, Northern Broadsides and Flood, Slung Low and Hull City of Culture 2017); Chris Jack (Brighton Rock, Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal and Our Town, Royal Exchange Manchester) and Kimisha Lewis (Last Dream (on earth), National Theatre of Scotland and Send: A Game of Textual Tennis, Lyric Hammersmith). All actors will also play ensemble roles.
Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts & Crosses series, Thief and most recently her science fiction thriller Chasing the Stars. Her work has also been adapted for TV with the 6-part adaptation of Pig-Heart Boy winning a BAFTA and Noughts & Crosses currently in production for the BBC, with Roc Nation (Jay-Z's entertainment company) on board to curate and release the soundtrack as Executive Producer. A stage adaptation of the book, by Pilot Theatre, will run from February 2019, under the direction of Esther Richardson. In 2005, Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children’s books, in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature and, between 2013 and 2015, she was the Children’s Laureate. Malorie has also recently written for the new Doctor Who series on BBC One and the fifth novel in her Noughts & Crosses sequence, Crossfire, will be published by Penguin Random House Children's in summer 2019.
Malorie Blackman said about the production:
"I'm thrilled that Noughts & Crosses is being adapted for the stage by Sabrina and produced by Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre and a talented consortium of theatre makers whose aim it is to develop theatre for younger audiences."
Noughts & Crosses will be the first co-production between Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre, Colchester and York Theatre Royal who have recently formed a new partnership to develop theatre for younger audiences. From 2019-2022, the consortium will commission and co-produce an original mid-scale production each year. Each production will play in all the consortium venues as well as touring nationally. Schools workshops and outreach projects, along with free digital learning resources, will be available alongside each of the productions.