By Alex Wheatle
Adapted by Emteaz Hussain
Directed by Corey Campbell & Esther Richardson
Co-production with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Derby Theatre and York Theatre Royal
Opening Venue: 8-22 February 2020, Belgrade Theatre Coventry
National tour: February – May 2020
Following a highly acclaimed tour of their stage adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses, Pilot Theatre will next year stage the world premiere of Emteaz Hussain’s new adaptation of Alex Wheatle’s Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize Winner – Crongton Knights.
Directed by Corey Campbell (Artistic Director of Strictly Arts Theatre Company) and Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director Esther Richardson (Noughts & Crosses and Brighton Rock), the new adaptation will premiere at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from 8-22 February 2020 and will then embark on a national tour until May.
Life isn’t easy on the Crongton Estate but when the magnificent six set out to help a friend in trouble, much larger problems come their way.
Although, with the help of a few good friends nothing is impossible, and lessons learned the hard way are ones you’ll never forget. That’s when a crew becomes a family.
Crongton Knights will be the second of four co-productions between Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and York Theatre Royal who last year formed – with the Mercury Theatre Colchester – a new partnership to develop theatre for younger audiences. From 2019-2022 the consortium will commission and co-produce an original mid-scale production each year. Each production will play in all the consortium venues as well as touring nationally. The consortium’s first production, Noughts & Crosses, was seen by over 30,000 people on tour with 40 % of the audience being aged under 20.
Born in London to Jamaican parents, Alex Wheatle’s first book, Brixton Rock (1999), told the story of a 16-year old boy of mixed race, in 1980s Brixton. The novel was subsequently adapted for the stage and performed at the Young Vic in 2010. Its sequel, Brenton Brown, was published in 2011.
His other novels include East of Acre Lane (2001), which won a London Arts Board New Writers Award. A prequel, Island Songs, set in Jamaica, was published in 2005, and a sequel, Dirty South, in 2008. In 2010, he wrote and toured the one-man autobiographical performance, Uprising. His play, Shame & Scandal, had its debut at the Albany Theatre, Deptford in October 2015. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2008.
Crongton Knights will open at Belgrade Theatre Coventry from 8-22 February 2020 and will then tour to York Theatre Royal (25-29 February), The Lowry Salford (10-14 March) and Derby Theatre (17-21 March). Other tour dates will be announced later in the year.