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John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse

Based on the novel by John Steinbeck
Adapted by Frank Galati
Directed by Abbey Wright
Designed by Laura Hopkins
Lighting Design by Nigel Edwards
Music by Matt Regan

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Quarry Theatre
Press Night Wednesday 24 May, 7.30pm
Friday 24 May – Saturday 10 June 2017

John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Grapes of Wrath, adapted by Frank Galati, comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse 24 May – 10 June. Directed by Nuffield Southampton Associate Abbey Wright (The Mountaintop, New Vic), this vital new production features a community company from Leeds with live music from Matt Regan (Greater Belfast, Traverse).

The American dust bowl. The height of the Great Depression. One family begins an epic journey, driven as much by fear as by hope. Route 66 to California, the Promised Land. In search of work. A new life.

The cast will include a 30-strong community company made of up local Leeds residents, alongside Ben Bland (Connie), Daniel Booroff (Noah), Brendan Charleson (Casy), Charlie Folorunsho (Pa), Shiv Jalota (Al), Jim Kitson (Uncle John), Pamela Merrick (Granma/Elizabeth Sandry), Amy Molloy (Rose of Sharon), Harry Napier (as cast), Alexander Newland (Muley, Narrator, Vocalist), Heronimo Sehmi (Grampa), André Squire (Tom Joad) and Julia Swift (Ma).

Abbey Wright said: “The Grapes of Wrath is uncannily relevant to the world we find ourselves in today; increasing mechanisation, displacement of people, economic and environmental crisis. Across the world we have seen fear and hatred entering political discourse on immigration and identity. At the heart of The Grapes of Wrath is the need for community and love. Steinbeck invites us to ask ourselves ‘Who is our family?’, ‘Who are our children?'”.

Running in tandem with The Grapes of Wrath is our regular activity in support of refugees and asylum seekers. This includes Asmarina Voices, a weekly singing group which includes a crèche with creative activities for children, HEARTS youth group, a weekly group which offers drama activities and supports members to develop skills in English, and tickets offers so refugee and asylum seekers can attend performances at the theatre. In June for Refugee Week, West Yorkshire Playhouse will be presenting and hosting a range of talks, activities and performances for the public and targeted for specific communities that explore key issues surrounding migration. Refugee Week is from 19 – 25 June.

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