Headlong announces first season with Holly Race Roughan as Artistic Director

This season, Headlong will present a provocative mix of innovative new writing with reimagined classics and influential 20th Century plays to audiences across the UK. New Artistic Director, Holly Race Roughan, will direct two of the upcoming productions this year.

Holly Race Roughan said:

It has been no easy feat programming in a global pandemic, our industry has been brought to its knees by covid and we collectively continue to fire fight its devastating impact. So it is a privilege to be able to announce a season of work in these times, work that speaks to the political moment, exploits the liveness of theatre and has the audience – who we have sorely missed – at its heart.

We are fiercely committed to making work and collaborating with exceptional talent outside of London and I am proud to be kicking off my first season as Artistic Director with a new work from Liverpool-based playwright Chloe Moss which will see us continue our ongoing relationship with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse.”

Headlong will present the world premiere of Corrina, Corrina at Liverpool Everyman. Directed by Holly Race Roughan and written by Chloe Moss, the play is a thriller set at sea. It explores the exploitation and power dynamics on board of a cargo ship travelling from the UK to Singapore. The creative team is completed by Set Designer Moi Tran, Dramaturg Mingyu Lin, Composer and Sound Designer Max Perryment and Lighting and Video Design Josh Pharo. A co-production with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Corrina, Corrina, will have it’s opening night at Liverpool Everyman on the 19 May  and run until 4 June.

They will also present Tinuke Craig’s production of August Wilson’s Jitney. The show explores the fragile bond between eight men as they live, love and work in a racially segregated, post-Vietnam America. Following its premiere at Leeds Playhouse last Autumn, Craig’s critically acclaimed production will have its London premiere at The Old Vic (9 June – 9 July) ahead of runs at Oldham Coliseum Theatre (13 – 16 July), Worthing Connaught Theatre (19 – 23 July) and Bath Theatre Royal (26 – 30 July). A Headlong, Leeds Playhouse and Old Vic co-production.

This fall, Headlong will partner for the first time with Shakespeare’s Globe to present a new interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s great works, placing it firmly within the context of the current social/political climate. Directed by Holly Race Roughan, the production will open at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse later this year ahead of a UK tour in 2023.

Headlong works with some of the UK’s finest artists to commission groundbreaking new works for audiences across the country. Artists currently under commission include Winsome Pinnock, Joel Tan, Amanda Wilkin (Headlong’s writer-in-residence 20/21), Morgan Lloyd Malcom, Eve Leigh, Jordan Tannahill, Laura Lomas and Sami Ibrahim. Since 2019 Headlong has delivered gender parity across its commissions with at least  one in four new works written by an artist from the global majority. Later this year Headlong will publish the company’s commitments to justice and equality focusing on the climate crisis, gender, class and LGBTQI+ communities. Headlong’s commitments on race and disability are available to view on the company’s website. 

Recruitment for the next wave of Headlong Origins Artists will start this Spring. Now entering its third year, the scheme aims to celebrate and nurture emerging theatre makers from across the UK, outside London. Artists will be invited to work closely with the company for 12 months, during which they will receive mentorship from the Artistic Director and the producing and creative team. Applications for Headlong Origins 2022 will open on the 7 February.

Playwright and actor Charlie Josephine (Joan, POPS, BLUSH) will join the company as Headlong’s Writer-in-residence for 2022/23 for a 12 month residency. The artist aims to place the working class and Queer people at the heart of his stories.


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