Penford digs Holes for his opening show at Nottingham Playhouse

Chris Ashby in Holes

Adam Penford’s inaugural production as artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse is Louis Sachar’s theatrical version of the multi award-winning novel Holes starring EastEnders’s Little Mo, Kacey Ainsworth, and East Midlands-born actor Chris Ashby in the lead part of Stanley,

Set in Texas, Stanley Yelnats (Chris Ashby) can’t catch a break.

Born into a family cursed with bad luck – thanks to Stanley’s ‘no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather’ – it comes as no surprise when he finds himself accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

Sent to Camp Green Lake (it isn’t green and there is no lake) as punishment, he is made to dig a hole every day – five foot deep, five foot in diameter – in the baked earth to ‘build character’.

But the powerful Warden (Kacey Ainsworth) is definitely searching for something.

Will Stanley and his fellow inmates survive the heat and thirst, the deadly yellow-spotted lizards and the Warden’s ambitions?

And more importantly, will they discover what they are really digging for before time runs out?

Joining Chris Ashby and Kacey Ainsworth will be Playhouse panto regular John Elkington as Mr Sir.

Showing the Playhouse’s commitment to diversity, Holes has been cast gender-blind, with some of
the male inmates being portrayed by female actors.

Taking the role of Stanley’s best friend at Camp Green Lake, Zero, is Pepter Lunkuse.

Other inmates at the camp include X-Ray (played by Ammar Duffus), Magnet (played by Safiyya Ingar), Armpit (played by Henry Mettle, marking his debut professional stage performance).

Local actor Elizabeth Twells returns to the Playhouse as ‘Kissing’ Kate Barlow, as well as
Stanley’s Mom, Myra, Sarah and Ms Morengo.

Edward Harrison will play Stanley’s Dad, Mr Pendanski, Trout Walker and Elya. Meanwhile Greg Lockett will play Sam and Myra’s father.

This family-friendly adventure story includes live music, puppetry from the resident puppetry director on War Horse, Matthew Forbes.

Adam Penford said: “Holes is an amazing story of friendship and justice. It has a gripping narrative, enchanting characters and real jeopardy.

“I wanted a family-friendly production that would appeal to both our pantomime and drama audiences.

“The film and novel are extremely popular with both adults and children, which makes Holes a perfect choice.”

Holes runs from this Saturday, March 31, until April 22.

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