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Jon Culshaw to star as Bill Bryson in Notes From a Small Island

Jon Culshaw - credit Emma Samms
Jon Culshaw – credit Emma Samms

Jon Culshaw will star as ‘Bill Bryson’ in a brand-new stage production of Bryson’s award-winning memoir NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND adapted by BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning playwright Tim Whitnall. Directed by the Watermill’s Artistic Director Paul Hart, the production will have its world premiere in Newbury on Thursday 24 September and play until Saturday 31 October, with a national press night on Monday 28 September. The production will then tour to Malvern, Cambridge, and Richmond, with further dates to announced.

What makes us love this country we call our own?

Join Bill as he journeys from Calais to Scotland, rediscovering the green and pleasant land he calls his home, before moving back to his native United States. Why does the nation that produced Marmite, Gardener’s Question time and people who say ‘Ooh lovely’ at the sight of a cup of tea, hold such a special place in his heart? And what precisely does he love so much about a country with place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells? A witty and insightful tribute to all the head-scratching quirks and idiosyncrasies of our small island, that will leave you feeling positively proud to be British.

Notes from a Small Island spent three years in the Sunday Times bestsellers list, sold over two million copies and was voted on World Book Day by BBC Radio 4 listeners as the book that best represents our British identity.

Bill Bryson said, “I am naturally intrigued and excited to see how Notes from a Small Island will be translated into a theatrical experience. I am especially delighted that Jon Culshaw will be taking the lead role. I have no doubt that he will be a better me than I am!

Jon Culshaw said, “It’s a great pleasure and honour to have chance to portray Bill Bryson. His delicious wit makes preparing the role an absolute joy.”

Jon Culshaw is warmly regarded by many as one of Britain’s best impressionists with an unmatched versatility and a catalogue of over 350 voices and impersonations including Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Professor Brian Cox, Barack Obama, Alan Carr, John Bishop and Michael McIntyre. Jon is a regular guest on current affairs programmes, providing comic relief with impromptu impersonations of politicians and commentators. BBC Radio 4 comedy Dead Ringers is now onto its 19th series and he is also in demand for voicing audio books including ‘The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump’ as well as many of the Dr Who releases.

In a further departure from comedy he played the iconic David Bowie in an acclaimed BBC World Service radio drama before turning his hand to a Terry Pratchett audio drama for Audible, The Unseen Academicals.

Following a sold-out debut tour, Jon is about to embark on his third UK tour The Great British Take Off with Dead Ringers producer, Bill Dare, which sees them perform an evening of unscripted, unrehearsed, spontaneous comedy and conversation.

Thursday 24 September – Saturday 31 October Box Office: 01635 46044
Watermill Theatre Newbury

Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 November Box Office: 01684 892277
Malvern Theatre

Monday 16 – Saturday 21 November Box Office: 01223 503333
Cambridge Arts Theatre

Monday 23 – Saturday 28 November Box Office: 0844 871 7651
Richmond Theatre


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