Pilot Theatre to premiere new stage adaptation of A Song for Ella Grey on tour

Pilot Theatre have announced a premiere of Zoe Cooper’s new stage adaptation of David Almond’s novel A Song for Ella Grey.

In association with Northern Stage and York Theatre Royal, Pilot Theatre will present Zoe Cooper’s new adaptation of David Almond’s award-winning contemporary retelling of the Orpheus myth.

A Song for Ella Grey, will premiere at Northern Stage from 2 -1 5 February 2024 and then tour to York Theatre Royal, Hull Truck Theatre, Theatre Peckham and Yvonne Arnaud Guildford.

The cast will feature actress, writer and – to her 729.1k followers – celebrated Tik Tok performer Grace Long (Breeders, Sky/FX, which Grace is also on the writing staff for and the film Three Days Millionaire, Shush Films) as Ella Grey; Beth Crame (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Northern Stage) as Angeline; Jonathan Iceton (Down the Lines, The Customs House) as Jay; Amonik Melaco (Singin’ In The Rain, Sadlers Wells and Heathers The Musical, The Other Place) as Sam and Olivia Onyehara (All’s Well That Ends Well/Richard III, Royal Shakespeare Company and The 39 Steps, Stephen Joseph Theatre) as Claire.

Claire and her best friend, Ella Grey, are ordinary kids from ordinary families in an ordinary world. They and their friends fall in and out of love, play music and dance, stare at the stars, yearn for excitement, and have parties on the beautiful beaches of Northumberland.

One day a stranger, a musician called Orpheus, appears on the beach, and entrances them all but particularly Ella. Where has he come from and what path will Ella follow?

A Song for Ella Grey is a tale of modern teenagers and ancient forces, a tale told since the dawn of time and told again today.

Novelist David Almond said: “A Song for Ella Grey is so close to my heart. The novel itself came with great force, demanding to be told. It’s my version of the great Orpheus myth, which has been told many times in many forms and will be told forever more. This version takes place in ordinary north eastern streets, on wild north eastern beaches, among ordinary northeastern teenagers. Hades lies just beneath the city. Orpheus appears on the shores of the North Sea. Ella Grey and her dear friends are drawn rapidly into this ancient tale of love and death, of music and joy. I’m so thrilled that Pilot Theatre and Zoe Cooper are bringing the tale to the stage.”

Playwright Zoe Cooper said: “Ever since I first read A Song for Ella Grey, I have thought it would make a wonderful stage play. Full of north-east wilderness, infused with the darkness and magic of Greek mythology and possessing all the humanity of all of David Almond’s work, it is something very special. Pilot Theatre produce wonderfully fresh, provocative and precise productions for young people and adults alike. Since collaborating with the company during lockdown on the brilliant Signal Fires, it has been an ambition of mine to make something bigger with them. The opportunity to work on this production, of this book and to open it at Northern Stage, in the city I call home is incredibly exciting!”

For more information and tickets, visit www.pilot-theatre.com

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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