Follow Us on Twitter

Two Trains Running - Royal & Derngate Northampton

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ROYAL & Derngate Northampton in partnership with English Touring Theatre have announced that the winner of the 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award, Nancy Medina, will premiere August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize nominated, Tony and Lucille Lortel Award-winning Two Trains Running in the Royal Theatre, Northampton next Autumn.

It will be the opening show of the venue’s Made in Northampton Autumn season. The co-production costs will be supported by a grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust.

The news was announced this weekend at an Awards ceremony at Shakespeare’s Globe, where Medina was presented with the Award by The Royal Theatrical Support Trust Chair Sir Geoffrey Cass and Sir Trevor Nunn CBE. The ceremony was attended by RTST Trustee Sir Ian McKellen CBE and a number of other leading names from British theatre.

August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero, who is the executor of his estate, described Medina as “an exceptional artist who will direct this play with great respect for the material and a keen eye for how this play illuminates our lives today.”

Nancy Medina said: “I am thrilled to be directing August Wilson’s Two Trains Running for Royal & Derngate and ETT. It is about time that Wilson’s beautiful and poetic characters gain a wider audience across the UK.”

Medina was selected from 70 candidates by a panel chaired by James Dacre (Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate) and comprising judges Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE (Artistic Director of the Young Vic); multi-Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Sir Trevor Nunn CBE; Olivier Award-nominees Tanya Moodie and Samantha Bond; four-time Olivier Award-winner Paule Constable (Associate, National Theatre); and Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre).

James Dacre and Richard Twyman said: “Nancy is a dynamic and accomplished director and we are thrilled to be working with her on the regional premiere of Two Trains Running. August Wilson’s iconic play speaks directly to many of the urgent questions we face in our society today, it is a privilege for Royal & Derngate and ETT to share such an inspiring and powerful piece of work with audiences around the UK.”

Two Trains Running is set in Pittsburgh, 1969, where the regulars of Memphis Lee’s restaurant are struggling to cope with the turbulence of a world that is changing rapidly around them. The diner is scheduled to be torn down, a casualty of the city’s renovation project that is sweeping away the buildings of a community, but not its spirit.

With compassion and humour, the master American playwright August Wilson paints a vivid portrait of everyday lives in the shadow of this defining moment in American history. When Two Trains Running premiered on Broadway in 1992, it won Tony, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards and was shortlisted for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Nancy Medina was the 2017 Genesis Future Director Award winner for the Young Vic. She is an acting tutor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Course Leader for a post-16 Professional Acting Diploma at Boomsatsuma. Directing credits include: Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), When They Go Low (NT Connections/Sherman Theatre), Yellowman (Young Vic), Curried Goat and Fish Fingers (Bristol Old Vic), Dogtag (Theatre West), Strawberry & Chocolate and Dutchman (Tobacco Factory Theatres) and Persistence of Memory (Rondo Theatre).