China Plate announces Spring 2020 season

China Plate announces Spring 2020 Season

  • A fresh, modern and playful adaptation of Wuthering Heights, created by Inspector Sands, tours across the UK this spring and autumn
  • Caroline Horton’s multi-award-winning ALL OF ME (the possibility of future splendour) embarks on an extensive UK tour from late April onwards
  • International tour dates for critically acclaimed shows The Shape Of The Pain and Status
  • New shows in development include the final part of a trilogy by Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin, plus a new musical about Civil Rights in Britain by Christopher Haydon, Roy Williams and Tim Sutton 
  • China Plate continues its artistic development work with a Digital Discovery Day exploring the possibilities of the online world for theatremakers, and their first Young Producers programme at Warwick Arts Centre

Innovative producing studio China Plate today announces its latest body of touring theatrical productions, in-development work and wider industry engagement for spring 2020 and beyond. 
The centrepiece of the new season is Wuthering Heights, a new co-production with Inspector Sands, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and the Royal & Derngate in Northampton in association with Oxford Playhouse.

Conceived by Inspector Sands Co-Artistic Director Lucinka Eisler (who will direct) and Ben Lewis (who has written the script), the production is the company’s first mid-scale show. Channelling Emily Brontë’s piercing wit and fierce emotion, it promises a retelling of this classic story of obsessive love and revenge in a thrilling new version for our times.

Another highlight of the season, Caroline Horton’s acclaimed ALL OF ME (the possibility of future splendour) returns to the stage with a string of dates across the UK this spring. Winner of The Stage Award for Excellence and The Mental Health Fringe Award when it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2019, the honest, intimate work considers the cyclical and difficult nature of ongoing recovery, looking specifically at the tension between wanting to live and wanting to die.

It follows Horton’s celebrated Mess, in which the protagonist Josephine celebrated her imperfect recover from anorexia, a condition shared by the writer. In ALL OF ME, Horton confronts the question of what happens after the final curtain call. A collaboration Alex Swift (Mess, How To Win At History) and sound designer Elena Peña (Mess, Misty), the work was created with the assistance of Professor Matthew Broome (Director of the Institute for Mental Health), Dr Alexandra Pitman (Senior Clinical Lecturer at University College London), and STOP Suicide, an award-winning Mind campaign based in Peterborough and Cambridge.

China Plate’s two previous hit shows, The Shape Of The Pain and Status, also announce international touring dates for the summer. Created by Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe, The Shape of the Pain is a Fringe First award-winning show solo show about trying to communicate the experience of chronic pain and desire to another person. The show will headline a festival at the Sophiensaele in Berlin in July. Status, by Thorpe and director Rachel Chavkin, is another Fringe First-winner about national identity in a time of national crisis. It will be performed in Paris, France and Mannheim, Germany in May, plus Porto, Portugal in September – October 2020.

The midlands-based production company are also pleased to be developing a new musical about the fight for Civil Rights in 1960s Britain and the third show in the trilogy by Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin. Created by Christopher Haydon, Roy Williams and Tim Sutton, The Bus Boycott captures an often-forgotten chapter in the fight for civil liberties in the UK. Set in the 1960s, this uplifting show featuring Ska and Calypso has much to teach us about how we live today. Show 3 (working title) is the third part in a celebrated trilogy of works by playwright Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin. The first part, Confirmation, considered how the individual accumulates and processes information, including internalised confirmation bias. The follow-up, Status, looked at the creation of nationally-accepted narratives and who accepts or rejects these. Show 3 ties together these two strands by looking at how different nations, all with their different national stories, co-exist. Chris and Rachel’s starting point for the show was a visit to the United Nations in New York to meet a woman tasked with overseeing negotiations for a nuclear arms non-proliferation treaty in the 1990s.

Continuing the company’s commitment to artistic development and engagement, they are also holding two Digital Discovery days. Held at the New Theatre Royal Plymouth on 20 March and Birmingham Hippodrome of 1 April, the free day-long sessions will help theatremakers at all stages of their careers explore how to unlock the digital potential of their work. The company are also hosting the last day of their innovative training programme The Optimists on 21 March, aimed at tutoring theatremakers in creating work in a professional context and building their professional networks. Alongside this, China Plate have been supporting Rhum and Clay on their first midscale touring show, War of the Worlds, which embarks on a UK tour throughout the spring.  

Finally, the company are happy to announce they’ve just finished recruiting for their new Young Producers programme. In partnership with Warwick Arts Centre, the free training initiative is designed to give Coventry-based 16-21 year olds an introduction into producing arts events with the combined support of an independent producing company and one of the country’s leading arts venues. The project aims to give them an insight into all aspects of producing from managing a budget to project evaluation. They’ll meet producers and other professionals in the sector, see arts events and also put their skills into practice through creating Warwick Arts Centre’s first Youth Takeover Festival in June 2020. Young Producers is supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust, ESF Community Fund, Arts Council England, Arts Connect and Baron Davenport’s Charity.

Speaking about the spring programme, Directors Ed Collier and Paul Warwick said: “Spring 2020 is an extremely important moment for China Plate with the launch of our first full middle scale show, Wuthering Heights, a huge tour of Caroline Horton’s award-winning All Of Me and a busy international season with Status and The Shape of The Pain touring across Europe. We’re also thrilled to be embarking on our Young Producers scheme in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre inspiring the next generation of producers in Coventry in the lead up to Coventry City of Culture next year. Finally, don’t miss our free Digital Discovery Days aimed at theatre makers looking for great hacks to broaden their digital reach!”

Established in 2006, China Plate is one of the UK’s most prolific and respected independent producers of contemporary theatre, producing work that engages 35,000 audience members annually. The company’s central mission is to ‘challenge the way performance is made, who it’s made by and who gets to experience it.’ China Plate has worked with some of the UK’s most talented artists, including Caroline Horton, Inspector Sands, David Edgar, Chris Thorpe, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Bagshaw, Urielle Klein-Mekongo and Contender Charlie. They are Resident Producers at Warwick Arts Centre, partners in the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) founded to bring contemporary dance to rural venues around the UK, partners in the ACE Ambition for Excellence funded Musical Theatre Development Consortium led by Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton and Derby Theatre’s Performing Arts Producing Hub.

@YourOldChina |

For information on Wuthering Heights, please contact Arabella Neville-Rolfe at [email protected]

Listings information

Wuthering Heights

11 – 23 May                   Nuffield Southampton Theatres
142-144 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DU
Various times | From £ | 023 8067 1771

27 May – 6 June            Royal and Derngate, Northampton
19 – 21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton, NN1 1DP2pm and 7:45pm | From £ | 016 0462 4811

17-21 November          Oxford Playhouse
Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2LWTimes | | 018 6530 5305

24-18 November –        Warwick Arts Centre
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7ALTimes | | 024 7652 4524

ALL OF ME (the possibility of future splendor)

20 April                        Bloomsbury Theatre
University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
7pm | £10 | 020 7679 2000

22 April                        Norwich Playhouse
42-58 St Georges St, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1AB7.30pm | £ | 01603 598598

24 April                        The Barbican, Plymouth
Castle Street, Plymouth, PL1 2NJ 7.30pm | £13.50 (£11.50 concs) | 01752 267131

26 April                        Tolmen Centre, Cornwall

Fore Street, Constantine, Falmouth TR11 5AA
7.30pm | £10 | 01326 341353

30 April            The Hub at St Mary’s Lichfield
Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LG8pm | £ | 01543 256611 

2 May               Harlow Playhouse       
Playhouse Square, Town Centre CM20 1LS
7.45pm | Pay what you can | 01279 431945

5 May               Hull Truck Theatre, Hull

50 Ferensway, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU2 8LB
7pm | Prices TBC | 01482 323638

7 May               Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot
25 Station Rd, Didcot OX11 7NE7.30pm | £12.50 (Concs £10.50 – £5)        | 01235 515144

9 May               The Gulbenkian, Canterbury
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NB
7.30pm | £13 (Concs £12 – £9 | 01227 769075

11 May             University of York Theatre
Heslington, York YO10 5DD
Times and prices TBC | 01904 320000

13 May             The Ustinov, Theatre Royal Bath

Sawclose, Bath BA1 1ET
8pm | £17.50 (Concs £14.50)             | 01225 448844

15 May             Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales
Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DE
7.30pm | Prices TBC | 01970 62 32 32

18 – 20 May      Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
2 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9SU7pm | £10 (Concs £8) | 0131 623 3030

21 – 23 May      Tron Theatre, Glasgow
                        63 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HB                        7.45pm | £15/£17               | 0141 552 4267                        

27 May             Nottingham Playhouse
Wellington Circus, Nottingham, NG1 5AF8pm | £ | 0115 941 9419

28 May             The North Wall, Oxford

South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN
8pm | £13 (Concs £11) | 01865 319450

5 June              The Hat Factory, Luton

65 – 67 Bute St, Luton LU1 2EY
7.30pm | £12 | 01582 878100

9 June              Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton
Duke St, Burton upon Trent DE14 1EB
7pm | £10 | 01283 508100

11 June            Corn Exchange Newbury
Market Pl, Newbury, West Berkshire RG14 5B
7.45pm and prices TBC | 0845 5218 218

14 June            The Holbeck Working Men’s Club
Jenkinson Lawn, Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 9QX
Times and prices TB9 | 0113 226 0808

18 June            Pound Arts Centre
The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, SN13 9HX
7.30pm | Prices TBC | 01249 701628

Young Producers

WAC Youth Takeover Festival
Warwick Arts Centre
Fri 26 and Sat 27 June (times tbc, not on sale yet)