De Montfort University students prepare to take to Curve's stage this May

Thu 30 Mar 2023
Students stand in a line as director Cara Nolan raises her arms in front of them.

Students at Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU) are preparing to take to Curve’s stage with a new production of Jim Cartwright’s Road.

The seminal state-of-the-nation play, set on a street in 1980s northern Britain, will run in Curve’s Studio theatre from Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 May. Road is a Curve and De Montfort University co-production, an annual collaboration between the two organisations which, for over a decade, has given drama students the opportunity to work with professional theatre-makers and perform to audiences at the theatre.

Directed by Curve’s Artist Development and New Work Producer Cara Nolan, rehearsals for the play are now underway. The 18-strong cast features: Amirah Abimbola Alabere as Joey; Renecia Allen as Clare; Tayla Baxter as Carol; Kyron-Ellis Bryan as Curt, Barry and Bisto; Emily Fenn as Professor and Linda; Ella Gibson as Scullery; Tallulah Gibson as Helen; Leianna Grant as Valerie; Raymond Macdonald-Hulme as Jerry and Eddie’s Dad; Matthew Hill as Eddie; Riley Jackson as Marion; Greta Jurgeleviciute as Dor and Brother; Julia Koziol as Skin-Lad; Maria Pavlou as Molly; Eliza Saczek as Lane and Brian; Renae Tia Samuels as Louise; Madilyn Taylor as Brenda and Manfred; and Jake Winter as Brink and Soldier.

I feel like England’s forcing the brain out me head.’

On an unnamed northern road in eighties Britain, the inhabitants are stirring. The Prime Minister has forgotten them, unemployment is rife, and the country is on its knees.

But the bar is open.

Poignant, funny and poetic, Road is a portrayal of ordinary people’s lives set against the backdrop of a nation divided. Join an ensemble cast of DMU drama students who will be asking the question, Why’s the world so tough? It’s like walking through meat in high heels.’

Road will feature a set designed by The Stage Debut Awards 2019 nominee Abby Clarke, created sustainably by using pre-existing set pieces and props from past Made at Curve productions. Costumes will be designed by Curve’s Head of Wardrobe Edd Lindley, Sound Design will come from Curve’s Head of Sound and Video Dave Norton alongside Curve’s Creative Venues Apprentice Technician (supported by The Andy Nairn Bursaries in Technical Theatre) Li Li Peberdy, and lighting for the play will be designed by Curve’s Lighting Technician Jonathan Payne, with Elliot Mitchell joining the team as Company Stage Manager and Hayley Bowman as Assistant Stage Manager.

Speaking about the production, cast member Leianna Grant said:

“Being able to work with such an amazing group of people has been a great experience. The team and cast have worked extremely hard and I can’t wait for the electrifying journey of Road to be brought to Curve.”

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“We’re proud to collaborate once again with our friends and partners at DMU, and it’s terrific to see this year’s co-production taking shape in rehearsals. Led by Cara Nolan, the cohort of students have embraced the process, working with team members here at Curve to create what is sure to be a remarkable piece of theatre.

“We’re passionate about the impact of the arts and creativity in education, and the skills these students are gaining during this experience – from teamwork to critical thinking – will be beneficial throughout their future careers. If you’re able to, please do come to see Road this May and support the incredible work of all those involved.”

Dr. Elinor Parsons, Senior Lecturer in Drama at DMU said:

“The co-production provides the students with an invaluable experience of the pleasures and pressures of working in a professional context. The rehearsals build on the students’ work in the Drama degree programme and encourage their contributions to the production as performers and researchers. The intense collaborative opportunity enables the students to take risks and make exciting discoveries.”

Tickets for Road are on sale now. To find out more and book, visit, call 0116 242 3595 or visit Curve’s Box Office in-person.