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Working in theatre – an evening with members of the creative team for the Nottingham Playhouse’s new production, One Night in Miami...

One Night in Miami
Networking | Seminars

NTU and Nottingham Playhouse present evening of entertainment and conversation about working in the theatre, featuring members of the creative team for the Playhouse’s upcoming production, One Night in Miami...

  • From: Wednesday 22 May 2019, 6 pm
  • To: Wednesday 22 May 2019, 8 pm
  • Location: Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Lecture Theatre, Nottingham Trent University – City Campus, Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FP
  • Booking deadline: Tuesday 21 May 2019, 10.00 pm
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Past event

Event details

This event will highlight individual stories about life in theatre, featuring the Director, Writer and lead Actor of One Night in Miami...; Matthew Xia, Kemp Powers and Matt Henry respectively.  There will be short films - one of the rehearsal process and one from the US-based playwright - a live singing performance by Matt Henry and a panel discussion with opportunities for questions from the audience.

One Night in Miami... is set in February 1964 when Cassius Clay is crowned the new heavyweight champion of the world and celebrates with three of his closest friends, activist Malcolm X, American football icon Jim Brown and soul star Sam Cooke in a downtown Miami motel room.  Kemp Powers’ tough talking, in-your-face drama speculates on what might have happened that night.


Matt Henry - Singer & Actor

Matt Henry

Photography by Richard Hubert Smith

Matt trained at Urdang Academy. He is a British singer and actor who won an Oliver award for playing Lola in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Matt was a finalist on the second series of The Voice. He received an MBE during the Queen's Christmas honours list in December 2017 for his contribution to theatre.

Theatre credits include: The Two Noble Kinsmen; The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe); Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre); Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre and National Tour); The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Royal & Derngate); The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas (Adelphi and UK Tour); Hair (English Theatre Frankfurt); The Harder They Come (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Saturday Night Fever (UK Tour); Miss Saigon (UK Tour); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).

Television credits include: Finalist on The Voice Series 2 (BBC).

Film credits include: The Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures); Gulliver’s Travels (Fox); One Day (Focus Features).

Kemp Powers – Writer (via a short video)

Kemp Powers

Kemp Powers is a playwright, screenwriter and storyteller.

His plays include One Night in Miami…, Little Black ShadowsChrista McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue, The Two Reds and A Negro by Choice. He received the 2013 Ted Schmitt Award for Outstanding New Play for the world premiere of One Night in Miami... in Los Angeles. That production also won three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, four NAACP Theatre Awards and an LA Weekly Theater Award. One Night’s 2016 production at London’s Donmar Warehouse was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play. Powers’ work has been developed at South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Classical Theatre of Harlem and Rogue Machine Theatre.

In television, he was a writer for “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access) and he is currently developing several film and television projects, including adaptations of his plays. He has toured nationally as a storyteller for the Peabody Award-winning series, “The Moth,” and was one of the storytellers published in their New York Times-bestselling book, The Moth: 50 True Stories (Hyperion Press).

He resides in Los Angeles.

Matthew Xia - Director

Matthew Xia

Matthew Xia was previously Associate Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Director in Residence at The Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and Associate Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Directing credits for the Royal Exchange include: Frankenstein, Wish List (also Royal Court), Into the Woods and Brink.

Other directing credits include: Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse & Theatre Royal Stratford East), Dublin Carol (Sherman Theatre); Blue/Orange, The Sound of Yellow and Sizwe Banzis Dead (Young Vic & Eclipse); Suckerpunch Boom Suite (The Barbican & NitroBEAT); Migration Music and Scrappers (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse); Cinderella, The Blacks and I Was Looking At The Ceiling and I Saw The Sky (Co-Director, Theatre Royal Stratford East & The Barbican); Mad Blud and Aladdin (Associate Director, Theatre Royal Stratford East); Soundbites: Ruth the Divorcee and Barry the Love-Sick Bee (Lyric Theatre Studio & Bestival); Soundbites: Abandonment (Rich Mix); Wild Child (Royal Court Rough Cut)

Composing/Sound Design credits include: Paralympics Opening Ceremony (DJ); The People are Singing (Royal Exchange); Free Run (Underbelly); That's The Way To Do It (TimeWontWait); Pass the Baton and Bolero Remixed (New London Orchestra); Da Boyz, Family Man, The Snow Queen, Hansel & Gretel, Medea and Squid (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

Matthew is a founding member of Act for Change.

Adam Penford – Artistic Director

Adam Penford

Photography by creativebywren

Adam is Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse. He trained at LIPA.

For Nottingham Playhouse: The Madness of George III; Holes; Wonderland 2018.

For the National Theatre: A Small Family Business (Olivier); Dorfman Opening Gala (Dorfman); Is There Wi-Fi in Heaven (The Shed); Island (Cottesloe). Revival Director on One Man Two Guvnors (West End/ Broadway/UK and International Tour). Associate Director on NT 50 Years on Stage. Staff Director on Season’s Greetings.

Other directing credits: Committee (Donmar Warehouse); The Boys in The Band (Vaudeville/Park Theatre); Platinum (Hampstead Theatre); Unfaithful (Found111); Watership Down (Watermill Theatre); Deathtrap (Salisbury Playhouse/UK Tour); Ghost the Musical (ETF); Stepping Out (Salisbury Playhouse); The Machine Gunners and Run! (Polka Theatre); The Hostage (Southwark Playhouse).

Assistant/Associate director credits: Celebration Gala (Old Vic); The Winter’s Tale (Propeller at the Watermill Theatre); The Vagina Monologues (National Tour); 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Bush Theatre); Imagine This (Theatre Royal, Plymouth); Dying For It (Almeida Theatre); Charley’s Aunt (Oxford Playhouse).

He was formerly an Associate Artist at Polka Theatre in London.

Helen Davies – Course Leader/Senior Lecturer in Theatre Design

Helen Davies

Helen Fownes - Davies is Course Leader for BA (Hons) Theatre design at Nottingham Trent University.

Originally, from Shropshire, Helen graduated from BA (Hons) Theatre Design at Nottingham Trent University in the mid 90’s and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. She has worked extensively as a Designer in live performance for over 20 years.

Her designs have toured into national and international venues and transferred into the West End. She has worked in regional theatres and small-scale venues on classic and emerging theatre, dance and music pieces with some of The UK’s finest directors and choreographers. She has also worked as designer/ art director on events, site specific, exhibitions and in museums. In 2010 Helen co-founded a Theatre Company with a consortium of artists developing links between two distinct theatre practices by looking at audience and community engagement in the UK and China, culminating in a live rural theatre tour in the Midlands. She is passionate about how genres and culture can intertwine cutting across borders.

Helen is a strong advocate of widening the visual and performing arts, to a broader society, and has held various positions in education throughout her career. She was a resident Designer and Workshop facilitator for 6 years at the Arts and Education Centre, Nottingham, and has had a 12 year part time, now recently full time, Senior Lecturer position at NTU.

This event is co-sponsored by The Centre for Student and Community Engagement (CenSCE) at NTU.

More information on One Night in Miami... can be found on the Nottingham Playhouse website.


6 pmRegistration and Networking 
6.30 pmEvent starts


Live performance by Matt Henry

Short film from Kemp Powers

The making of One Night in Miami…

Panel discussion about working in theatre with Matt Henry, Matthew Xia, Helen Davies, Adam Penford with question and answers from the audience.

Live performance by Matt Henry

8 pmEvent Finish

Location details


Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Lecture Theatre
Nottingham Trent University – City Campus
Shakespeare Street

Past event

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