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Headlong announces Jack Thorne musical and ‘radical’ Pygmalion

Jack Thorne. Photo: Dan Wooller
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A new Jack Thorne musical and a “radical” version of Pygmalion will be staged by Headlong next year.

Thorne has written the book and lyrics for Junkyard, a musical inspired by a real-life playground in Bristol built in the 1960s by local teenagers.

The show, directed by Headlong artistic director Jeremy Herrin, will feature music by Stephen Warbeck and design by Chiara Stephenson.

It will open at the Bristol Old Vic on March 2, 2017, before embarking on tour to Rose Theatre Kingston and Theatr Clwyd. All three venues are helping co-produce the musical.

Earlier in the year, Pygmalion will premiere at West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on February 8 in a new staging by director Sam Pritchard.

He will helm the production as part of Headlong’s emerging director’s scheme, which has previously supported shows by Simon Godwin, Robert Icke, Ellen McDougall and Blanche McIntyre.

The play – a co-production with WYP and Southampton’s Nuffield – will feature set design by Alex Lowde and sound design by Ben and Max Ringham.

After opening in Leeds it will travel to Warwick, Leicester, Cheltenham, Bath, Keswick, Oxford, and Southampton, with dates to be announced soon.

Headlong’s new season will also see the company collaborate with The Guardian on a new series of short films about the Brexit vote, which it described as “the single most significant event in UK politics since the Second World War”.

A new initiative, Headlong Futures, will embed theatremakers in Bristol, Kent, Durham and Croydon, with the aim of developing ideas and new theatre with local communities.

Announcing the season, Herrin said he was “delighted that Headlong can foster so many national conversations”.

He added: “We hope that our new Headlong Futures pilot project will be a way of creatively empowering under-served communities and encouraging them to share their voices and is in keeping with our mission to make the best theatre we can, theatre that addresses what’s important in a surprising and inspiring way.”

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