Manchester-based Plasterer and tiler turned playwright Nick Yardley will have his debut play, Towers of Babel, performed at Manchester Maccabi Community and Sports Club this March.
It is the morning of Tuesday September 11 2001. A Jewish father, Vince, a Manchester resident but on holiday in New York, is visiting his son, Justin, at his place of work, which sits in the shadow of the World Trade Center.
Relations are tense between father and son at the best of times, and Justin is planning to introduce his dad to his girlfriend, Issy, who is not Jewish. But of course, Tuesday September 11 2001 will unfold into a day unlike any other, and the father and son’s connections with each other are to be tested like never before.
Justin works as the economics expert on the controversial Bill and Baldy Breakfast Show on a New York City radio station, which invites callers to chat about the issues of the day. But things take an unexpected twist as the show develops into a fierce debate over religion and identity which become a microcosm for the upcoming disaster.
Vince is played by esteemed Manchester actor/director Kenneth Alan Taylor, who has appeared at most repertory theatres across the country. He was Artistic Director at the Nottingham Playhouse for seven years, and the Chief Executive at Oldham Coliseum for five years.
Justin is played by Jake Norton, who has TV credits in Coronation Street, The Bill, Emmerdale, The Royal Today, and Hollyoaks to his name, as well as appearances at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool; Bolton Octagon; Oldham Coliseum; The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool; the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford; Theatr Clwyd, Mold; and the Liverpool Everyman.
Leo Atkin and Simeon Trueby play radio hosts Bill and Baldy respectively. Both are regulars on the stages of Greater Manchester and further afield. Lucy Lowe plays radio producer Issy. Lucy has TV appearances on her CV in Red Productions’ psychological thriller Blood, and BBC2’s Worried About the Boy, which tracked the life story of Boy George.
In only three performances to date, Towers of Babel has won The Bolton Octagon Theatre Prize for outstanding writing in drama, been nominated for a Best New Play award at The Manchester Theatre Awards, and been nominated for the Meyer Whitworth Playwright Award.
Writer and Producer Nick Yardley: A plasterer and tiler by day, Nick has a First Class degree in Creative Writing from The University of Bolton. He has had work presented at The Lowry, the 24:7 Theatre Festival, and The Octagon Theatre, Bolton. He is currently writing a film for Spidervision Productions, and a four-part drama for Tile Films.
I’ve decided to put these 10 performances on at Manchester Maccabi with the intention of bringing different ethnicities together to enjoy the production, which has the message of tolerance to all faiths at its heart,” says Nick.
“The play has the backing of the Muslim/Jewish Forum, Bolton Interfaith Council, the Hindu Forum, the Christian/Jewish Alliance, the Council of Mosques, Manchester Interfaith Network, and the Christian Cohesion Unit.
“As a local Jewish writer, I’m extremely proud that Manchester Maccabi will open its doors and bring together so many different cultural groups in these difficult and troubling times.”
Director David Ricardo-Pearce: David is a theatre and television actor whose recent London stage appearances include Oberon and Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Barbican; Richard Bean’s The Big Fellah at the Lyric, Hammersmith; and Dr Lydgate in a sell-out adaptation of Middlemarch at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond. He has most recently worked at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton.
The play has been funded by The University of Bolton, and Arts Council England.
Towers of Babel by Nick Yardley
Directed by David Ricardo-Pearce
Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 March 2015
Venue: Manchester Maccabi Community and Sports Club, Brooklands, Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 0EG (0161 492 0040).
Performance days and times: Evenings Saturday 14 March 8pm; Sunday 15 March 8pm; Monday 16 March 8pm; Tuesday 17 March 8pm; Wednesday 18 March 8pm; Thursday 19 March 8pm; Saturday 21 March 8pm; Sunday 22 March 8pm. Matinees Wednesday 18 March 1.30pm; Thursday 19 March 1.30pm.
Tickets: £9, available at Manchester Maccabi reception or online at www.ibookedit.com/towersofbabel