Category Archives: Northcott Theatre Exeter


by Lionel Bart
Lighting Design: Jon Primrose
Set Design: Becky Hawkins
Directors: Rachel Vowles, John Whitehead

Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Far from the Madding Crowd

at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter.

Photo © Marc Hill, Apex

Photo © Marc Hill, Apex

“Thomas Hardy’s greatest, most inspirational novel, brought to the stage by a company with an enviable reputation for dramatising classic works of fiction.
Bathsheba Everdene arrives in the village of Weatherbury to take charge of the dilapidated estate that she has inherited. A proud and independent young woman, but still ignorant in the ways of the country, her fate becomes entwined with three men, any of whom could bring salvation or disaster: the dashing young cavalry officer Sergeant Troy, her wealthy and powerful neighbour Squire Boldwood, and the quiet, dependable farmer Gabriel Oak.
Bathsheba’s relationships with each of these men leads her on a turbulent journey from innocence to experience in the first of Hardy’s great Wessex sagas.”

Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Sarah Williamson
Directed by : John Durnin and Gillian King
Devised by the company

Performances 28th August – 20th September 1997 at 7.30pm (8.00pm on Saturday)


Far from the Madding Crowd is a funny, moving and powerful play and anyone wanting to see how literary adaptation should be done should go to Exeter immediately. No previous knowledge of Thomas Hardy is required.”
The Independent 2nd September 1997

“…another faultless production. Novel adaptations are becoming a quality trademark for the Northcott Theatre.”
Western Morning News

Seneca’s Oedipus

adapted by Ted Hughes

“Thirty years on from the original National Theatre production, Ted Hughes’ thrilling version of Seneca’s Oedipus has lost none of its power to shock and disturb.
Using a dramatic verse of characteristic richness and intensity, this unique re-telling of the Oedipus myth will be Artistic Director John Durnin’s final production for the Northcott.”

Northcott Theatre, Exeter.
Performances 26th March – 11th April 1998
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design & Direction : John Durnin

A really pleasing result here. My first really stylised design, a good communication with the set designer/director enabled me to establish the look of the show early on, and work through the rehearsal process with it in mind. The more stylised moments in the piece were highlighted with strong beams, while real firelight provided a beautiful earthy quality. The chorus were sharply crosslit on the climbing poles upstage of the set. A hazer was used throughout the show, and for about 30 minutes before the show started to ensure the atmosphere was thick with haze.


Creon / Phorbas / Chorus  SEAN HANNAWAY
Tiresius / Messenger / Chorus  MICHAEL VAUGHAN
Manto / Slave / Chorus  CHARLOTTE McDOUGALL


Director and Designer JOHN DURNIN
Lighting Designer JON PRIMROSE


Northanger Abbey

at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter.
October 1996

Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Kit Surrey
Directed by : John Durnin
by Jane Austen, adapted by Cathy Turner

Tin Pan Ali

April 2002
Northcott Young Company

Music by David Nield
Book & Lyrics by Jeremy James Taylor

Lighting Design: Jon Primrose
Set Design: Becky Hawkins
Directed by Rachel Vowles
Choreographed by John Whitehead
Musical Director Paul McClure

Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Bouncers by John Godber

Northcott Theatre, Exeter
February 1999

Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Becky Hawkins
Director : Ben Crocker

Amadeus by Peter Shaffer

Northcott Theatre, Exeter
September 1994
Lighting Design : Jon Primrose
Set Design : Kit Surrey
Director : Tim Carroll