Theatre: Crongton Knights – Theatre Royal York – 25-29th February

The world premiere adaptation of Alex Wheatle’s award-winning novel Crongton Knights comes to York Theatre Royal from 25 to 29 February.

Life isn’t easy on the Crongton Estate and for McKay and his mates it’s all about keeping their heads down but when a friend finds herself in trouble, they set out on a mission that goes further than any of them imagined. Crongton Knights takes on a night of madcap adventure as McKay and his friends ‘The Magnificent Six’ encounter the dangers and triumphs of a mission gone awry.

In the adaptation by Emteaz Hussain, the pulse of the city is alive on stage with a soundscape of beatboxing and vocals laid down by the cast and created by acclaimed musician Conrad Murray.

Author Alex Wheatle said: “I am very proud that Pilot Theatre are adapting my novel, Crongton Knights, for the stage. It’s a modern quest story where on their journey, the young diverse lead characters have to confront debt, poverty, blackmail, loss, fear, the trauma of a flight from a foreign land and the omnipresent threat of gangland violence.

“The dialogue I created for this award-winning novel deserves a platform and I for one can’t wait to see the characters that have lived in my head for a number of years, leap out of my mind and onto a stage near you.” Playwright Emteaz Hussain said: “On my first reading of Crongton Knights, I immediately recognised the intricate, multicultural, working class world that Alex Wheatle had vividly created. The unflinching brutality tempered by bighearted grace and the dignity afforded to the characters that I related to.

“I loved how these disparate young people struggled to bond in order to overcome such insurmountable obstacles in their young lives, and I jumped at the chance to adapt this for stage.”

Crongton Knight’s cast will feature Kate Donnachie (Sirens, Edinburgh Fringe ) as Bushkid; Zak Douglas (National Youth Theatre); Simi Egbejumi-David (Shit-Faced Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, Magnificent Bastard Production and Around the World in 80 Days, Kenny Wax Family Entertainment & Simon Friend) as Festus; Nigar Yeva (Give Me, Soho Theatre) as Saira; Olisa Odele (Ola in Chewing Gum, E4 and PC Merrick in Scarborough, BBC) as McKay; Aimee Powell (Freeman, Strictly Arts and Over The Too, Belgrade Theatre) as Venetia; Khai Shaw (The Lion King, West End, Little Baby Jesus, Orange Tree Theatre ) as Jonah and Marcel White (Freeman, Strictly Arts) as Nesta.

Crongton Knights is the second of four co-productions between Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and York Theatre Royal who last year formed – with the Mercury Theatre Colchester – a new partnership to develop theatre for younger audiences.

The consortium is commissioning and co-producing an original mid-scale production each year. Each production will play in all the consortium venues as well as touring nationally.  The consortium’s first production, Noughts & Crosses, was seen by over 30,000 people on tour with 40 per cent of the audience being aged under 20.

Crongton Knights is the second of four co-productions between Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and York Theatre Royal who last year formed – with the Mercury Theatre Colchester – a new partnership to develop theatre for younger audiences.

The consortium is commissioning and co-producing an original mid-scale production each year. Each production will play in all the consortium venues as well as touring nationally.  The consortium’s first production, Noughts & Crosses, was seen by over 30,000 people on tour with 40 per cent of the audience being aged under 20.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Crongton Nights- York Theatre Royal
25 – 29 Feb
Evenings 7.30pm / Matinees Thurs 2pm and Sat 2.30pm
Age guide 11+
Tickets from £15 (limited availability)
Box office 01904 623568 / yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

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