A Song for Ella Grey

by Handy Mag
Published: Last Updated on

York Theatre Royal, 20-24 February 2024

Award-winning Pilot Theatre – in association with York Theatre Royal and Northern Stage – bring  A Song for Ella Grey, Zoe Cooper’s new adaptation of David Almond’s award-winning novel contemporary retelling of the Orpheus myth, to York Theatre Royal from 20-24 February 2024.

Claire and her best friend, Ella Grey, are ordinary kids from ordinary families in an ordinary world. They and their friends fall in and out of love, play music and dance, stare at the stars, yearn for excitement, and have parties on the beautiful beaches of Northumberland.  One day a stranger, a musician called Orpheus, appears on the beach, and entrances them all but particularly Ella. 

A Song For Ella Grey cast

A Song for Ella Grey is a tale of modern friends and ancient forces, a tale told since the dawn of time and told again today. 

The cast features actress, writer and – to her 729.1k followers – celebrated Tik Tok creator (with a following of 729.1k) Grace Long (Breeders, Sky One, which Grace is also on the writing staff for and the film Three Days Millionaire, Shush Films) as Ella Grey; Beth Crame (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Northern Stage) as Angeline; Jonathan Iceton (Down the Lines, The Customs House) as Jay; Amonik Melaco (Singin’ In The Rain, Sadlers Wells and Heathers The Musical, The Other Place) as Sam and Olivia Onyehara (All’s Well That Ends Well, Royal Shakespeare Company and The 39 Steps, Stephen Joseph Theatre) as Claire. 

David Almond is one of the most prolific and highly acclaimed writers of novels for children and young adults. His novels have included SkelligKit’s WildernessMy Name is MinaJoe Quinn’s PoltergeistThe Tightrope WalkersThe SavageA Song for Ella GreyHalf a Creature from the SeaThe Colour of the SunThe Tale of Angelino BrownThe Dam and many more novels, stories, picture books, plays, songs and opera libretti. His work has been translated into over 40 languages and has won a string of major awards around the world. In 2022 he was awarded an OBE for services to literature.

Novelist David Almond said: “A Song for Ella Grey is so close to my heart. The novel itself came with great force, demanding to be told. It’s my version of the great Orpheus myth, which has been told many times in many forms and will be told forever more.

“This version takes place in ordinary north eastern streets, on wild north eastern beaches, among ordinary northeastern teenagers. Hades lies just beneath the city. Orpheus appears on the shores of the North Sea. Ella Grey and her dear friends are drawn rapidly into this ancient tale of love and death, of music and joy. I’m so thrilled that Pilot Theatre and Zoe Cooper are bringing the tale to the stage.”    

Zoe Cooper’s recent plays include Out of Water (Orange Tree Theatre/RSC) which was a finalist for the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and shortlisted for the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award, and Jess and Joe Forever (Orange Tree Theatre/UK tour) which won the Most Promising Playwright Award at the Off West End Awards 2017 and was longlisted for the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award. Her new adaptation of Northanger Abbey will be co-produced by the Orange Tree, Theatre by the Lake, Stephen Joseph Theatre and Bolton Octagon in January 2024.

Pilot Theatre in association with Northern Stage and York Theatre Royal presents A Song for Ella Grey

Tues 20, Wed 21, Thurs 22 & Fri 23 at 7pm. Wed 21 and Thurs 22 at 1pm. Sat 24 at 2pm

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