Robinson welcomes play to his new theatrethe Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough

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The critically-acclaimed play And Then Come The Nightjars, set before, during and after the foot and mouth crisis of 2001, can be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, next month.

Directed by Paul Robinson, the new artistic director at the venue, And Then Come the Nightjars can be seen in the McCarthy auditorium.

Starring David Fielder and Nigel Hastings, it is set in South Devon in 2001. It follows Jeff, a dairy vet with a problem and Michael, a cattle farmer, who is a problem himself. The two men have a begrudging respect for one another, usually expressed through a shared fag, a nip of whisky and some boisterous banter. But when foot and mouth sweeps across the UK countryside their friendship – and indeed their whole way of life – is thrown into question. Michael watches in disbelief as his cows are rounded up, and to his horror, it is Jeff brandishing the gun.

This poignant and uncompromising play was a winner of Theatre503’s inaugural international Playwriting Award in 2014 and is a co-production with Bristol Old Vic, in association with Tara Finney Productions.

Staged first at Theatre503 in 2015, it was nominated for six Off West End Theatre Awards including Most Promising Playwright. Writer Bea Roberts was also nominated for the Susan Blackburn Smith prize.

It was highly praised by the national press, gaining four-star reviews from The Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard and The Guardian, which said:

Bea Roberts says: “I am absolutely thrilled that Nightjars is on the road. It’s a beautiful and very special production in which the whole creative team have crafted every last detail.”

Paul Robinson said: “And Then Come The Nightjars is a really special piece. Bea explores the foot and mouth crisis from an entirely human, emotional angle, making our characters’ struggle accessible, however familiar the audience is with rural life and specifically this terrible blot on our rural landscape.

“I can’t wait for my Scarborough colleagues and our audiences to see the piece.”

And Then Come The Nightjars can be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on Wednesday October 19 at 7.45pm and on Thursday October 20 at 1.45pm and 7.15pm.

Tickets cost from £10 to £18, and can be booked by calling the box office on 01723 370541 or via the website: www.sjt.uk.com