Hold Onto Your Teacups! Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island' coming to Kenilworth theatre this June

By James Smith

11th Jun 2024 | Local Features

Bill Bryson checking if the white cliffs are still there. Spoiler: they are! As well as an eclectic mix of colourful characters he meets along the way (image supplied)
Bill Bryson checking if the white cliffs are still there. Spoiler: they are! As well as an eclectic mix of colourful characters he meets along the way (image supplied)

The Talisman Theatre and Arts Centre is "thrilled to announce" its upcoming production of Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island,' adapted for the stage by Tim Whitnall, featuring an impressive display of multi-roling from a talented cast.

The production will run from Monday 24 June at the Barrow Road-based theatre in Kenilworth.

Based on Bryson's best-selling travel book, 'Notes from a Small Island' takes the audience on a humorous and heartwarming journey across Britain.

The play vividly captures Bryson's observations and adventures as he travels through charming towns and countryside, meeting an eclectic mix of colourful characters along the way.

In this production, the Talisman actors will showcase their versatility by portraying multiple roles, bringing to life the rich tapestry of personalities that Bryson encounters.

The multi-roling adds a unique and dynamic element to the storytelling.

Tim Whitnall's adaptation of the book for the stage, first presented at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury only last year, is a faithful and hilarious distillation of the original book.

The 88 roles are being shared among the nine performers! (image supplied)

Audiences will follow Bill both on his initial tour and as he retraces his steps in 1994. He has to come to terms with a new language (what the hell are Belisha beacons, lemon curd and counterpanes?), and discover and understand our idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, as he gradually falls in love with both a people and a landscape.

The play is directed by Steve Smith, the theatre's Joint Artistic Director, who shared: "The 88 (yes, 88!) roles are played by just eight intrepid, versatile and talented actors portraying landladies, Welsh trainspotters, usherettes, hippies, even soft-porn stars (!) - the list goes on."

Steve added: "Directing this production has been an incredible journey. Bill Bryson's wit and affection for Britain shine through in every scene, and our cast has risen to the challenge of bringing these diverse characters to life with energy and creativity.

"We are eager to share this delightful and insightful exploration of Britain with our audience."

Performances will run from Monday 24 June to Saturday 29 June at the Talisman Theatre and Arts Centre, Barrow Road, Kenilworth.

Show times are at 7:30 pm each evening; Friday night is already sold out, and a matinee has been added on Saturday 29 June for those preferring an afternoon out at the theatre.

Don't miss your chance to embark on this hilarious and heartwarming adventure!

Tickets are now available via the website www.talismantheatre.co.uk or by contacting the Box Office direct on 01926 856548.

Tickets are now available online at www.talismantheatre.co.uk or contact the box office on 01926 856548. 

The Talisman Theatre sponsors Kenilworth Nub News' What's On section.

Without community-minded partners like them we would not be able to produce dedicated, clickbait-free news to the people of Kenilworth.


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