The University of Bolton present the northern premiere of Arthur Miller play in the Bolton Library Lecture Theatre from February to March supported by the Octagon Theatre.
Professor David Thacker, head of the BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance Degree at the University of Bolton and former Artistic Director at the Octagon Theatre, will direct The Last Yankee at the Bolton Library Lecture Theatre from 28 February – 16 March 2019.
Renowned for his work on Miller David Thacker worked closely with the American playwright and now brings his contemporary drama about mental health to life in the Bolton Library, having previously directed acclaimed productions of Miller’s All My Sons, An Enemy of the People and A View From the Bridge at the Octagon Theatre.
Author of Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge and The Crucible Arthur Miller – forged a close professional and personal friendship with director David Thacker and The Last Yankee premiered at the Young Vic in 1993 was directed by Thacker.
The cast for this new production will include David Ricardo-Pearce who performed in David Thacker’s production of Hamlet at the Octagon in 2018, and another familiar face to Octagon audiences, Patrick Poletti who performed in David Thacker’s Arthur Miller productions All My Sons and A View From The Bridge.
Annie Tyson will play opposite Patrick Poletti as Karen Frick. Annie worked with David Thacker on Octagon productions Love on the Dole and A Streetcar Named Desire in 2010. Juliet Aubrey worked with David Thacker on BBC Television productions of Death of a Salesman, Dalziel and Pascoe, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Measure for Measure.
David Thacker said: “The Last Yankee is not one of Miller’s best known works but it is so relevant to issues high on the agenda. It puts mental health and perceptions and understanding of the issue at the forefront and it has huge contemporary relevance. I believe it is even more important now than it was in 1993. Like all of Arthur Miller’s work, it is a prescient, funny and moving play.”
Sam Johnson, Head of the University of Bolton School of the Arts, said she was delighted that the University of Bolton was involved in such an exciting project. “It has been fascinating to see how a professional production comes together and it is an amazing experience for the students. I am sure it will be stunning.”
Councillor John Byrne, Executive Cabinet Member for Culture, Youth and Sport, said the council was delighted to be supporting the University’s initiative.
“It is very exciting that David Thacker and the University is presenting this play to a professional standard in the heart of the town centre, just yards from the Octagon Theatre which is out of action at the moment as it undergoes a multi-million pound transformation. The Lecture Theatre will be a great new venue to stage the play and the audience will be so close to the action, it is a chance not to be missed.”
Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive of the Octagon Theatre Bolton, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the University of Bolton on this production of The Last Yankee. Whilst the Theatre is out and about during our redevelopment, I'm thrilled that audiences can continue to enjoy outstanding theatre made in Bolton.
The Last Yankee promises to live up to that, with a fantastic cast and the world-wide reputation of David Thacker's direction of Arthur Miller plays ".
The production, presented by the University of Bolton, Bolton Council and the Library and Museum Services and is supported by the Octagon Theatre.
The Last Yankee will be performed in Bolton Library Lecture Theatre from 28 February – 16 March 2019.
Tickets are available from the Octagon website octagonbolton.co.uk/whats-on/theatre/the-last-yankee/
Photograph © Inge Morath / Magnum Photos — Arthur Miller at home, Roxbury, CT, USA 1980
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