The Nuffield Southampton Theatre have a new venue and they'll be opening it with the world premiere of The Shadow Factory. Coinciding with the theatre opening, The Shadow Factory opens on February 15th and runs until March 3rd. The production is set in wartime Southampton: the home to the legendary Supermarine Spitefires.
In 1940 the Spitfire was the pride of Southampton. Produced out of the city, the planes were a major part of Britain's wartime effort. But then the German Luftwaffe dropped 2,300 bombs on the city in what would become known as the Southampton blitz. Much of the city was destroyed, including the Woolston Supermarine Spitfire factory.
The Shadow Factory tells the story of what happened after this. A city ravaged by bombs comes together to bravely continue their part in the war. Instead of one big factory, production of the spitfires was then moved to smaller factories dotted around the city, taking over car manufacturers and garages. It's a story that echoes the resurrected wartime phrase, "keep calm and carry on."
The War has set the scene for many stories of hometown bravery. The stories of the people who stay behind while the soldiers go off to fight. But this story is uniquely Southampton, and holds a special significance as the first production at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres City Studio campus.
From the 17th of February until the 2nd of March you will also be able to visit the Shadow Factory Exhibition, open between 11am-4pm daily (except for matinee days or Sundays). The exhibition will feature elements from the Shadow Factory set designed by 59 productions who were also the design team for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. The exhibition will provide a deeper look into the stories behind the production. You can book a spot for free when you purchase tickets for the show.
The Shadow Factory is written by Howard Brenton and directed by Samuel Hodges, with design by 59 Productions. Tickets start from £10 and can be purchased from the Nuffield Southampton Theatres website. Previews of the show will be held from February 7th.