John Steinbeck epic The Grapes of Wrath comes to Royal & Derngate Theatre

John Steinbeck’s prize-winning book, The Grapes of Wrath, is now a thrilling stage production, opening at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre this week.

The co-production, with Nuffield Theatres Southampton, Nottingham Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse, adapted by Frank Galati, is a moving story of hope and survival.

This timely production about human resilience in the face of catastrophe is directed by Abbey Wright, infused with powerful live music by acclaimed songwriter Matt Regan, and features a large community chorus.

The Oklahoma landscape is barren, crops turn to dust and farmers are forced from their land.

The Joad family, driven by desperation, join thousands of families to undertake an epic journey to West to California in search of a new life.

Director Abbey Wright said: “The Grapes of Wrath is uncannily relevant to the world we find ourselves in today; increasing mechanisation, displacement of people, economic and environmental crisis.

“Across the world we have seen fear and hatred entering political discourse on immigration and identity. At the heart of The Grapes of Wrath is the need for community and love.

“Steinbeck invites us to ask ourselves ‘Who is our family?’, ‘Who are our children?'”.

The production stars Ben Bland, Daniel Booroff, Brendan Charleson, Charlie Folorunsho, Shiv Jalota, Jim Kitson, Molly Logan, Pamela Merrick, Harry Napier, Alexander Newland, Heronimo Sehmi, André Squire and Julia Swift.

The Grapes of Wrath runs on the Royal stage from Tuesday until May 20 before moving to West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, to play between May 24-June 10.

This production contains full-frontal nudity and is recommended for ages 14 and upwards.

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