Cast and Creative team for Bindweed announced

The Mercury Theatre, HighTide & New Wolsey Theatre have today jointly announced the full cast and creative team for the world premiere production of Martha Loader’s award-winning play Bindweed. The production is in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre. Following an initial run in the Mercury Studio in Colchester from 13-22 June, the play will tour to New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich from 28-29 June and Arcola Theatre in London from 9-13 July.

“Thursdays, curry night. Curry and a pint for a fiver. Go at five thirty, home by ten. Beat my mum up for a while. Bed by ten thirty.”

Each week, four men convicted of domestic abuse offences meet to undergo a perpetrator programme. But as Jen, the new group facilitator, starts to make progress with the men inside the room, life outside begins to buckle.

Bindweed is a shattering and darkly funny new play about responsibility and rehabilitation, which looks at what can be done to tackle abuse at its root.

The full cast of Bindweed will be Laura Hanna (Mariam Argent in Netflix’s Heartstopper, The Comedy of Errors – Shakespeare’s Globe) as Jen, Moray Treadwell (Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em – UK Tour, The Beatles LOVE show – Cirque Du Soleil / Apple, Las Vegas) as Frank, Josie Brightwell (Call The Midwife – BBC, Les Misérables – West End) as Nina, Siobhan and Belinda, Shailan Gohil (Love’s Labour’s Lost – Royal Shakespeare Company, Jack Absolute Flies Again – National Theatre) as Peter and Charlie, Sean Kingsley (Patriots – Almeida Theatre & West End, Les Misérables – West End) as Brian and Alistair, Simon Darwen (Of Mice and Men – Birmingham REP & Leeds Playhouse, Sirens – Mercury Theatre) as Mike and Ed.

Written by Martha Loader, Bindweed was first written as part of the Mercury Playwrights scheme and won the Judges Award at the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2022. Loader, who is from Ipswich, has had her work presented by HighTide, Mercury Theatre, Cambridge Junction, and INK. She is an Associate Artist of the New Wolsey Theatre and is currently working on commissions from Menagerie Theatre Company, and the Almeida Theatre as part of the ‘Genesis New Playwrights, Big Plays Programme’.

Joining Loader on the creative team are Jennifer Tang (Further Than The Furthest Thing – Young Vic, Ghost Girl // Gwei Mui 鬼妹 – Camden People’s Theatre) as Director, Lulu Tam ( I Really Do Think This Will Change Your Life – Mercury Theatre & Theatre503, The Prince – Southwark Playhouse) as Designer, Ric Mountjoy ( The Play That Goes Wrong – West End, Broadway, UK Tours, Australia/New Zealand and Hong Kong/Singapore, Oi Frog & Friends! – West End & UK Tour) as Lighting Designer, Jasmin Kent Rodgman (Paradise Now – Bush Theatre, Brown Girls Do It Too – Soho Theatre) as Sound Designer, Jennifer Jackson (COWBOIS – Royal Shakespeare Company & Royal Court Theatre, Julius Caesar – Royal Shakespeare Company) as Movement Director, Rc-Annie ( Twelfth Night – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Minority Report Nottingham Playhouse ) as Fight Director and Chani Merrell (Birkbeck Placement) as Assistant Director.

Playwright Martha Loader said: I am delighted that Bindweed is being brought to life by such an incredible team. The play started life on the Mercury Playwrights scheme and then, to my complete shock, won the Judges Award at the Bruntwood Prize 2022. I am so grateful to everyone who has worked on the play’s development. I would like to give particular thanks to Jo at Suffolk Police and Glenn and Brian at Iceni, whose specialist knowledge of these perpetrator groups has been such an important part of this process. I can’t wait to stage Bindweed in my home region next year.”

Dilek Latif, Senior Producer at Mercury theatre, said: “We are thrilled with our Co Producers (New Wolsey, HighTide and Manchester Royal Exchange) to be bringing Martha’s extraordinary play to the Mercury Studio as it begins the next chapter of its journey, which began on our Mercury playwriting scheme. We love discovering new, exciting writing and creative talent – the lifeblood of the theatre industry – and look forward to the show’s Mercury run, as well as continuing to support the legacy of the show as it goes on tour and beyond.”

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