Strong-willed Vicar’s daughter Margaret Hale has grown up in the rarefied atmosphere of rural southern England, so when her family relocates to the roughness and vitality of a Northern factory town, she is thrown into a new life of strikes and strife.

Hot-blooded industrialist John Thornton rules his cotton mill with an iron hand. Sparks fly when Margaret challenges both master and millhand, only to discover that not all of her southern beliefs hold true.

A tale for today, this timely adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s great classic 19th-century novel by BAFTA-nominated writer Janys Chambers explores the complex relationship between North and South, and between women and men of different classes. Can reason overcome pride and prejudice? Can compassion triumph over a blind adherence to market forces? Can love bloom amongst the snowy fibres of a money-driven cotton mill?

star star star star

“Rarely has theatre seemed so much part of the public sphere as in this ELECTRIFYING adaptation of the Elizabeth Gaskell novel.”

star star star star

“Big, SWIRLING production… RICHLY ENTERTAINING and satisfying piece of theatre"

star star star star

"ACCOMPLISHED adaptation... teeming with life. IMPRESSIVE"

Across The Arts

“Beautifully crafted… BRISTLES WITH ACTION”


“POW! Billy Elliot met the barricades of Les Mis”

Perthshire Advertiser

“a QUALITY CAST… and impressive community chorus”


“Beautifully framed… BRILLIANTLY PERFORMED”

Wee Review

“STRIKING DESIGN… effortlessly captures the contrasts in the novel”

  • Creative Team

    Director Elizabeth Newman

    Associate Director Janys Chambers

    Set and Costume Designer Amanda Stoodley

    Lighting Designer Wayne Dowdeswell

    Musical Director and Sound Designer Ben Occhipinti

    Movement and Associate Director Lesley Hutchison

    Fight Director Carter Ferguson

    Stage Manager Kate Schofield

    Deputy Stage Manager (book) Heather Saunderson

    Deputy Stage Manager (floor) Owen Thomas

  • Writers

    Janys Chambers

    Janys is currently New Writing Associate at Octagon Theatre, Bolton and was formerly Dramaturg for National Theatre Wales.


    Writing: Janys has previously adapted The Railway Children, The Secret Garden, and Jane Eyre for Elizabeth Newman. The Secret Garden received a nomination as Best Young People’s Production in the Manchester Theatre Awards. She has also written widely for BBC Radio 4. Television writing includes Holby City, Children’s Ward, Engie Bengy, and over 100 episodes of Emmerdale. Her episode represented the BBC’s Belonging when it won a Welsh BAFTA for Best Series. She’s been nominated for Best Episode in a TV Soap, Writers’ Guild-nominated for Best Radio Play for Children and BAFTA-nominated as Best New Writer for Television.  


    Directing: Janys has directed work for the New Vic (as Associate Artist), Theatr Clwyd, Oldham Coliseum, Octagon Theatre, Theatre Centre, New Perspectives, Action Transport, plus specially-commissioned work for Rural Touring Networks, schools and NHS Wales.


    Acting: Janys has worked at York Theatre Royal, Manchester Library, Manchester Contact, Birmingham Rep, Derby Playhouse, Northampton Royal, KneeHigh, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Chester Gateway and Dukes, Lancaster. TV acting includes Coronation Street, Brookside, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, The Royal Today, Courtroom, Always And Everyone, Dalziel And Pascoe, Out Of Hours and Butterfly Collectors.

    Elizabeth Gaskell

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