The Underground Man
ajtc Theatre Company
The Underground Man is a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse, adapted by Nick Wood from the novel of the same name by award-winning writer Mick Jackson, and to be directed by Andrew Breakwell. The show will be performed by Mick Jasper and Iain Armstrong, accompanied by live music.
ajtc is the company that brought On The Black Hill to Welsh venues a few years ago.
The Underground Man is the fictionalised diary of a deeply eccentric English aristocrat William John Cavendish Scott-Bentinck, the 5th Duke of Portland who becomes increasingly frustrated by his own ageing body and bewildered at the world about him.
The Duke commissions the construction of a labyrinth of tunnels, large enough to take a coach and horses, beneath his estate and retreats into them. While he spends an increasing amount of time underground and retreats even deeper into the darker corners of his house, there are some ghosts that demand to be acknowledged, and some memories that insist on making themselves known. His health is failing, but his imagination seems to know no bounds. A childhood memory seems determined to haunt him and the image of a young boy begins to follow him around until finally he feels his only option is to tunnel back to the very source.
Adapted from Mick Jackson's Booker shortlisted novel this ajtc Nottingham Playhouse co-production melds the best of both innovative companies in a free-flowing, innovative performance that features live music and a specially commissioned score.
The Underground Man'is a delectable blend of fact and fiction in which the intriguing details of a complex life are richly explored through the vibrant imagination of a gentle soul.
A journey, with a Gothic twist, through the curious tunnels of a Victorian mind
‘Soaked through with originality and expertly written: tragi-comic fiction with the most endearingly sympathetic of anti-heroes.’ The Times
‘A strong narrative drive, a Gothic twist and wonderful cast of secondary characters make this an entrancingly readable book.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Something of a hero of mine' Bill Bryson
From a sequence of events frequently both bizarre and hilarious emerges a compassionate portrait of a man of deceptive simplicity whose attempt to understand himself and the nature of existence often leads him to moments of surprising perception as he struggles with a world that is teeming with new knowledge, ill-founded opinion, and gossip that is not so very far from our own experience of being overwhelmed by endless information and social media.
ajtc is a touring theatre company working in new writing, adaptations and new productions of established scripts for small and mid-scale theatre, non theatre, school and community venues.
In its 15 year existence the company has toured to great acclaim in Wales, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Eire, Holland and Germany.
ajtc's productions are self-contained and adaptable to suit the needs of all small and mid-scale venues.