Casting announced for local community production of The Trials

Trials casting
Trials casting

Nottingham Playhouse and Mansfield Palace Theatre have announced the casting for The Trials, their summer community production coming to Mansfield Palace Theatre on Saturday 17 August.

Twelve young local actors, aged from 13 – 19, will play the Jury in Dawn King’s searing play about the gathering pace of environmental change and a generation being held to account for it. The young community cast will perform alongside three professional actors, who will play the Defendants. The Trials is produced in partnership with Donmar Warehouse.

The young cast are: Jamie Adlam, Noah Baguley, Nevaya Davidson, Abi Dring, Luca Gale-Hall, Joseph Grainge, Thomas Pears, Jessica Pywell, Finley Ramowski, Chloe Revill, Marley Simpson and Bernice Thomas. The professional actors include Mark Jardine (Bare – A Pop Opera, The Vaults; Coronation Street, ITV) and Cranks (Rebecca Crankshaw), (The Island, Cervantes Theatre; Coronation Street, ITV), with the third Defendant still to be cast.

In a future when the air has become unbreathable, three adult Defendants fight to clear their names. Called to account as the generation responsible for the environmental crisis that’s unfolding, they are being judged by a Jury of 12 teenagers – those paying the price for the actions of their elders. With their own futures hanging in the balance, are they seeking justice – or revenge?

The community cast of young performers from Nottingham and Mansfield were selected through open workshops to play the Jury in this production. Rehearsals have already begun, with these local actors exploring their characters and discussing responses to climate change. It’s an exciting opportunity for them to work alongside professional actors and perform on the main stage at both Nottingham Playhouse and Mansfield Palace Theatre.

Cast member Noah Baguley, 19, from East Leake, said:  

“I am so excited to be a part of this production. It is an incredibly daunting and powerful play that really focusses on the impact that the climate crisis will have on children. It is something that I've never really seen talked about and is addressed beautifully and gut-wrenchingly by Dawn King.”

Bernice Thomas, 18, from Woodthorpe, who is also part of the young cast, said:

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Trials at the Nottingham Playhouse. Rehearsals have been amazing in getting to know the cast and the creative team and I can’t wait to perform on stage.”

Co-Directors Omar Khan and Hannah Stone, who both began their careers as Youth Theatre Tutors at Mansfield Palace Theatre, commented: 

"We have managed to put together such an incredibly talented cast of local talent for this production. The young people involved have approached rehearsals with an insightful wisdom beyond their years, and we are excited to see what they go on to do after their experience on The Trials."

The creative team for The Trials includes Maria Terry, Designer; Laura Wolczyk, Lighting Designer; Amanda Priestley, Sound Designer; Keiren Hamilton-Amos, Movement Director; Anita Gilbert, Vocal Coach and Scarlett Sanders, Assistant Director. The Trials will be produced to Theatre Green Book standards, a set of standards for creating productions sustainably, including that 50% of materials should have had a previous life and 65% of materials should be reused or recycled afterwards.

The premiere of The Trials received many 4-star reviews at Donmar Warehouse, with WhatsOnStage calling it “Uncomfortable, urgent viewing … “ and The Arts Desk saying: “Both convincing and urgent … a compelling production … haunting and thought-provoking – this is the best play about our climate emergency.”

Staging The Trials as a community production is a continuation of the work by Nottingham Playhouse to engage, reflect and provide opportunities to, the local community. The Participation department runs over 60 community programmes, amongst which is Homegrown, a pre-professional development opportunity for young performers and theatre-makers to hone their skills. Further support is provided by the artist development scheme Amplify which provides in-depth artist development opportunities for creatives at early-career stage and beyond.

Mansfield Palace Theatre, a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) under Arts Council England, plays a vital role in enriching the cultural and social fabric of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. The theatre actively engages the community through workshops, educational programmes and partnerships with local schools, fostering local talent and providing creative opportunities for all ages. Notably, the theatre's initiatives focus on inclusivity, climate activism and targeted community projects that promote cultural diversity and social cohesion. The Trials is part of the theatre's NPO projects to encourage creative conversations around climate justice and youth voice.

Buy your tickets for the show HERE.

Published: 18th June 2024