Liverpool-born writer Jonathan Harvey returns to his home town again this month, as Suranne Jones leads the cast of his acclaimed play Beautiful Thing, an urban love story set over a long hot summer on a Thamesmead housing estate. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this limited national tour comes to the Liverpool Playhouse direct from the West End between May 28 and June 1.
Beautiful Thing is the story of Jamie and his neighbour Ste, two teenage boys who discover their sexuality and find love, and the impact it has on a host of colourful characters, including Jamie’s brassy mother Sandra, her young hippy boyfriend Tony, and their sassy Mama Cass obsessed neighbour Leah.
A winner of the esteemed John Whiting Award, and critically acclaimed from its first production at the Bush Theatre in 1993, Beautiful Thing has earned a cult following, furthered by Harvey’s own adaptation into a successful film. Beloved for its joyous optimism alongside a tender and honest portrayal of blossoming love, this 20th anniversary revival will be directed by Nikolai Foster, last at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2009 with Kes.
Jonathan Harvey started his career 26 years ago at the Playhouse Studio, where he wrote the The Cherry Blossom Tree. His play Canary marked a momentous return to his native city, premiering at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2010 before transferring to the Hampstead Theatre. His other stage credits include Corrie! and Closer to Heaven for theatre, television shows Coronation Street and BAFTA-nominated Gimme Gimme Gimme, which he also created, as well as the bestselling novel All She Wants. His work was last performed in Liverpool by Altru Drama, who staged Harvey’s Tomorrow I’ll Be Happy in March as part of the National Theatre’s Connections scheme.
Playing Sandra, Suranne Jones is probably best known for her role as Karen MacDonald in Coronation Street, as well as her role as DCI Rachel Bailey in ITV’s Scott & Bailey. Her other television roles include The Secret of Crickley Hall and Doctor Who, and her theatre credits include Top Girls and A Few Good Men. Director Nikolai Foster reunites from Kes with Oliver Farnworth (Hollyoaks), who will be playing Tony. Completing the cast is television actress Zaraah Abrahams as Leah (Eastenders; Dancing on Ice), Jake Davies as Jamie, and Danny-Boy Hatchard as Ste.
For tickets and more information, visit the Playhouse’s website.