Town and Gown, Cambridge – 2021 Season Interview: The Nobodies

“The play explores the ‘us vs them’ mentality of the class divide, and the politicisation of vigilante activists. We look at the feeling of restlessness in the working classes in a time where class divisions are widening, the poor are getting poorer, and Brexit threatens to tear the country apart.”

WHO: Sam Edmunds, Co-Director & Co-Producer

WHAT: A town is in turmoil. A hospital is closing. And an MP is dead on the train tracks… Accident? Or opportunity?

When a local hospital announces its closure, panic ensues. Healthcare Assistant Rhea is forced to look for work elsewhere. Local lad Aaron worries about his mum’s treatment in the cancer unit. And Curtis just isn’t sure where he’s going to sleep. But when the three witness a horrific accident, a rare opportunity presents itself. As a dangerous decision triggers a wild chain of events, Rhea, Aaron and Curtis soon find themselves gathering power, influence and infamy – and inspiring a cohort of vigilante activists. What does it take to enact real change? And what would you sacrifice to keep it?”

WHERE: Town and Gown Pub & Theatre, Cambridge

WHEN: Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th June 2021

MORE: Click Here!

What does Cambridge mean to you?

Bringing The Nobodies to Cambridge will actually be my first time visiting! I have heard lots of wonderful things however and I am really excited to explore the city and take in its amazing architecture and culture. I’m also really excited by the theatre scene in Cambridge, which is renown for producing incredible artists. I hope during my time there I can meet some likeminded creatives and learn more about the arts scene in the city. Having spoken about Cambridge to Karl from The Town & Gown, I was thrilled to hear that the city is actively engaging in local politics and that there is a buzz in younger people especially to implement change within their local community. That is really what The Nobodies is about and I’m sure it will resonate with those who come to see it.

Tell us about your show.

The Nobodies is written by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Amy Guyler. Amy is a regular writer for East Enders and recently was voted top of the Brit List for ‘The Jude Problem’. It stars David Angland (I Like The Way You Move– Frantic Assembly), Joseph Reed (The Wipers Times – Arts Theatre & UK Tour) and Lucy Simpson (The Happy Warrior – Harrogate Theatre). The creative team consists of many different professionals including Sound Designer Mekel Edwards who was the previous production manager on the New York & UK Tour of The Babershop Chronicles by The National Theatre. It is produced by Chalk Line Theatre company who are a multi-award-winning company based in Luton who tour work both nationally and internationally. Chalk Line are an Associate Company of The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, as well as a Graduate Emerging Company of The New Diorama. The company is run by Co-Artistic Directors Sam Edmunds and Vikesh Godhwani.

The Nobodies first premiered at The Vault Festival where it received the COMMON Award 2020 presented by COMMON and The Pleasance Theatre. It performed to great critical acclaim receiving multiple 5* and 4* star reviews as well as being one of Lyn Gardner’s Top Picks for the festival, a British Theatre Recommended Show and one of A Younger Theatre’s Top Shows of 2020. It is now embarking on a UK summer tour and is published with Salamander Street Publishing.

The play explores the ‘us vs them’ mentality of the class divide, and the politicisation of vigilante activists. We look at the feeling of restlessness in the working classes in a time where class divisions are widening, the poor are getting poorer, and Brexit threatens to tear the country apart. Fuelled by the ‘taking back the power’ mantra, the play capitalises on the need for action for those feeling impotent in the current political climate.

Writer Guyler said, ‘The Nobodies follows three characters who – initially, at least – just want to make the world a better place. They want to help their own community. I think we all know what that feels like in today’s climate. I was tired of working-class stories being doom and gloom. This is a new version of our story – a version where we win. …Almost. ‘

In a time where political and social unrest is in abundance, The Nobodies aims to inspire communities to speak up against systems which do not represent them and to take action to provoke change, (no matter how small or large that action or change may be).

What kind of art makes you ‘Get Your Coat On’ and go see it?

I am a huge fan of contemporary work which tackles socio-political issues. Some of my favourite plays include: Good Dog by Arinze Kene and The Angry Brigade by James Graham. I like theatre which amplifies narratives of underrepresented communities, telling stories which do not often get given the platform they deserve. I like bold, visually striking work, often combining physical expression and intricate designs to compliment the text. Rhum & Clay’s recent production of Mistero Buffo was an exemplary piece of theatre which uses all the styles of theatre I love. I’m more a festival, off-west goer than West End theatre.

I love going to The Vault Festival in London or up to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where people really create new, challenging work, pushing the expectations of what theatre can be. I also love venues such as the The New Diorama, The Pleasance and Soho and companies like Gecko and Complicite. My taste in theatre isn’t too specific or fussy however, I like experiencing a multitude of work, engaging with lots of different genres.

You’re the age you are now. What’s the one thing you wish you could tell your younger self? What’s the one thing you’d like your older self to remember about you now?

I would tell myself that believe it or not, you are going to grow up and make theatre haha! No my advice would be, to take risks, have fun, don’t be afraid of being silly and try not to compare yourself to others, your journey will be hugely different to everyone else’s.

I’d like my older self to remember how hard I worked to keep making theatre and all the amazing memories I made with all of the incredible artists I worked with.