The new adaptation by Janice Okoh, with additional material by Paul Robinson, will bring to the stage all the vibrant colour and warmth of the much-loved coming-of age story, which captured the hearts and minds of so many readers on its publication in 2019, when it was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick.
It features James Gladdon as Robert, Cate Hamer as Dulcie and Ingvild Lakou as Romy in the story of 16-year-old Robert Appleyard who, in a Britain still reeling from the Second World War, sets out on an adventure – to walk from his home in Durham to Scarborough, where he hopes to find work.
But he never gets there. Just up the coast at Robin Hood’s Bay, a chance encounter with the bohemian and eccentric Dulcie Piper leads to a lifelong friendship that will come to define them both.
She introduces him to the joys of good food and wine, of art and literature. He helps her lay to rest a ghost from the past.
Director Paul Robinson says: “I first came across The Offing when I heard Benjamin Myers talking to Jo Whiley on the BBC Radio 2 Book Club back in 2019. By the end of the interview, I’d contacted Benjamin’s agent: I knew it would be perfect for our stage – wise, lyrically beautiful, and as an added bonus, it’s set just up the road in Robin Hood’s Bay.
“I’m delighted to be able to bring it there this autumn in this sensitive new adaption by Janice Okoh, writer of Egusi Soup, Three Birds and The Gift.”
The Offing is designed by Helen Goddard with lighting design by Sally Ferguson. The composer and sound designer is Ana Silvera, and movement is by Gemma Payne. The recorded music is performed by renowned folk musicians Ana Silvera, Rob Harbron, Aidan O’Rourke and Jasper Høiby. Casting is by Sarah Hughes CDG. The Assistant Director is Alice Kynman.
The Offing can be seen in the Round from Thursday October 14 to Saturday October 20. It will then be performed at Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne from Wednesday November 3 to Saturday November 27.
Tickets for the show at the Stephen Joseph priced from £10, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com
Tickets for the show at Live Theatre, priced from £6, are available from the box office on 0191 232 1232 and online at www.live.org.uk