On Tuesday 21 February, we welcomed invited guests to the press night of our latest production, Touched. It was a celebratory affair as the great and good of the Nottingham came out to support the homegrown talent that have brought this 40th anniversary production to life. It was a particularly emotional night for former Television Workshop director Ian Smith, who joined us to see five of his former students take to the stage. We were honoured to have Touched playwright Stephen Lowe in attendance with his wife, the writer Tanya Myers and his daughter Lily Lowe-Myers, who starred in Any Means Necessary here in January 2016.
Turning out to support actor Vicky McClure were her partner, director Jonny Owen, her This is England director Shane Meadows and co-star Johnny Harris. Also in attendance was Thandie Newton, who will be appearing alongside Vicky in the new series of Line of Duty, which is due to air on BBC One later this year.
We were delighted to be joined on the night by Edward Peck, Vice Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, and Angela Brown, Dean of School of Arts & Humanities. NTU have been sponsors of Nottingham Playhouse since 2016 and are sponsoring this production of Touched. Through their sponsorship, we’re proud to offer work placements so that local people can gain career opportunities and to widen access to working in theatre.
Other members of the local cultural community turned out to show their support for Touched, including director Jack McNamara, and playwrights William Ivory, Andy Barrett and Nick Wood. We were also joined by Peter Knott and Peter Philips, representatives from Arts Council England who continue to support the work of Nottingham Playhouse.