The Stage Is Set

The Stage Is Set

The Saints Foundation is supporting the Nuffield Theatres production ‘The Saints’ this summer, a new play by award winning young playwright Luke Barnes about Southampton Football Club.

Nuffield will premiere The ‘Saints’ in August 2014, a newly commissioned play, written by Luke Barnes and directed by Matthew Dunster, about the highs and lows of following Southampton Football Club, and in particular, the pivotal role of football within the vast majority of regional cities in this country. Taking place in Nuffield Playing Field, a specially built outdoor stadium located in the Guildhall Square, Southampton, the production explores the unequivocally theatrical experience of attending a football match, from the sense of spectacle and occasion to the intimacy and power of crowd behaviour and the sense of belonging and community this creates.

Throughout this year, Nuffield has collaborated with the Saints Foundation running a new drama club for young people. The project which runs weekly enables young people from a variety of backgrounds to access drama in a much broader way than is covered in formal education. Nuffield is also working with Saints Foundation choirs, engaging them in performances of The Saints. This community element will be a key part of the production, with the members of the choirs taking the role of football fans and working with the professional team behind the show, including sessions with director Matthew Dunster.

Head of Saints Foundation, Mark Abrahams, said: We’re delighted to be working with the Nuffield Theatre on such an innovative project. Football and culture has the unique ability to create profound emotions amongst people, and ‘The Saints’ will certainly celebrate the impact of both. The personal journey of supporting your Club resonates with all football fans, and we look forward to seeing the play in such an inspirational location.

Sam Hodges, Creative and Executive Director of Nuffield, said: “As Nuffield and the city celebrate their joint 50th birthday, I can’t think of a better party than a project which marries two of its greatest strengths – culture and football, with Southampton’s community the essential revellers and guests. For Nuffield, this is the start of a commitment to work in and across the city on a regular basis and to work in and with the community. We’re delighted to be partnering with the Saints Foundation on this project and through our portfolio of youth work”.

The production is part of the City’s Art at the Heart festival, which runs throughout August. The festival celebrates the 50th anniversaries of both Nuffield and the City of Southampton. ‘The Saints’ Performances start on 1st August – 17th August 2014 – for further information or to book your ticket call contact the Nuffield Theatre; 023 8067 1771 or visit www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk.

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