Life for Edge of Darkness star David Fleeshman is to get even murkier when he plunges deep into society’s underbelly to play a gumshoe in John Harvey’s Darkness Darkness for the Nottingham Playhouse.
The thriller will bring Harvey’s most famous creation, detective Charlie Resnick to the stage for the very first time.
Fleeshman (War Horse – National Theatre, Edge of Darkness BBC TV) stars as the jazz loving sleuth. This marks his return to the Nottingham Playhouse stage having appeared at the theatre in Steven Berkoff’s Ritual in Blood in 2001 and in Greg Doran’s production of Waiting for Godot in 1982.
David is joined by Elizabeth Twells (Saturday Night Sunday Morning – Mercury Theatre Colchester, Aloe Aloe Arcola Theatre) as impassioned activist, Jenny Hardwick. Other cast members so far include Martin Miller and Chris Donnelly.
The co-production, with New Perspectives, is part of the Playhouse’s Sweet Vengeance season, which comprises a series of works that explore the themes of revenge, justice and resentments buried deep.
Darkness Darkness, which is Harvey’s own adaptation of his best selling novel, is set in present day Nottingham and is the most recent of the Charlie Resnick novels.
It tells the story of Resnick, on the verge of retirement, when DI Catherine Njoroge convinces him to take on one more case following the discovery of the body of Jenny Hardwick, a young woman who disappeared during the bitterly-fought miners’ strike 30 years earlier.
As Resnick and Njoroge’s investigation unfolds, old wounds sustained on the Nottinghamshire picket lines are re-opened and memories of broken relationships resurface.
Resnick, too, must confront the ghosts of his past and guilt for his own role in policing the strike.
John Harvey said: “It was the excitement of the then newly opened Nottingham Playhouse that first brought me to the city in the mid-’60s.
“The prospect of seeing one of my Resnick novels dramatised on that same stage so many years later is truly exciting and a perfect way of squaring the circle.”
Darkness Darkness Director and New Perspectives artistic director Jack McNamara said: “We are thrilled to be working in co-production with Nottingham Playhouse for the first time to tell this story by one of Nottingham’s major international voices, John Harvey.
“With Darkness Darkness, we have had the thrilling opportunity to work with one of the country’s leading crime novelists to find a theatrical form for his latest investigation into the dark heart of our city.”
Nottingham Playhouse artistic director, Giles Croft, added: “It was in 2012 at the opening of Diary Of A Football Nobody by William Ivory that I first spoke to John about the possibility of his writing something for Nottingham Playhouse.
“Those sorts of conversations are always entered into with the expectation of rejection, but here we are preparing for the opening of Darkness, Darkness which is every bit is entertaining, intelligent and surprising as I could have wished.
“It’s thrilling to have a new play as part of our Sweet Vengeance season and I can’t think of a more appropriate person to have written it.”
Darkness Darkness runs at the Nottingham Playhouse from September 30 to October 15.