The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner at The Rep
After an amazing summer of sport, a brand new production of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner sprints into The Old Rep Theatre from 2 to 6 October.
Adapted by BAFTA winning and Olivier Award nominated playwright Roy Williams (Fallout, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads and Little Sweet Thing) and directed by Marcus Romer, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, is a searing text set in Britain’s Olympic year, 2012. It exposes the beating heart of a nation, still broken and still divided across class lines. Produced by Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal the production comes to Birmingham as part of The REP’s Autumn and Winter Season.
Alan Sillitoe’s short story, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner was first published in 1959 in a short story collection of the same name. The story focuses on Colin, a poor teenager from a working-class area who has bleak prospects and few interests beyond petty crime. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner has entered popular culture in part due to the successful 1962 film version for which Sillitoe also wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by Tony Richardson and starred Tom Courtenay as Colin.
Marcus Romer, Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre and director of The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner said: “We decided upon The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and planned to make this in 2012, the year of the London Olympics. Again a strong piece about class and divisions within society and reading it again it still hit all the areas we wanted. Our actor playing Colin Smith would be running on stage and we would place his story in the real time of the actual race. So a real opportunity to get inside his head as he pounds away with his thoughts, memories and we find out what has got him to this point and into this state of mind – so we can understand his choices and decisions as the story runs on.”
Performed by a cast of nine actors, including Jack McMullen (BBC One drama Waterloo Road)and introducing Elliot Barnes-Worrell as Colin, this gritty adaptation of Alan Sillitoe’s classic text hits the ground running; unlocking the biting realism of the original book while placing the drama firmly in a contemporary frame.
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner was written by Alan Sillitoe, adapted for the stage by Roy Williams, directed by Marcus Romer, designed by Lydia Denno with lighting designed by Mark Beasley, AV Design by KMA and soundscape by Sandy Nuttgens.
Full cast includes: Elliot Barnes-Worrell as Colin Smith, Doreene Blackstock as Mum, Curtis Cole as Luke, Dominic Gately as Stevens, Savannah Gordon-Liburd as Kenisha, Luke James as Gunthorpe, Jack McMullen as Jase, Alix Ross as Sandra/Guard and Sean Sagar as Asher.
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
The Old Rep Theatre, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY
Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 October
Performance Times: Evenings at 7.30pm except Tuesday 2 Oct at 7.00pm. Matinees Wed 3 and Thu 4 Oct at 2.00pm.
After Dark – free post-show discussion with the company: Thu 4 Oct after the 7.30pm performance
Tickets: £8 to £28
Box Office: 0121 236 4455
Online booking: www.birmingham-rep.co.uk