The Underground Man
Original by Mick Jackson
Adapted by Nick Wood
- Stage adaptation of Mick Jackson’s celebrated novel (1997), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Royal Society of Authors’ First Novel Award.
- Adapted by Nick Wood, critically acclaimed playwright and bestselling author of A Girl With A Book and Other Plays; his works are performed extensively in the UK, USA and Europe.
- Co-produced by Nottingham Playhouse (co-producer of the critically acclaimed stage version of 1984) and Nick Wood’s AJTC (A Girl with a Book).
A life of fascination, obsession and deep scientific curiosity.
William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck is an eccentric Nottinghamshire aristocrat whose imagination and curiosity know no bounds. This deceptively simple man struggles to come to terms with a world that is teeming with new knowledge, ill-founded opinion and gossip.
Why does he hide himself away? What is his fascination with tunnels? Will he ever unearth the secrets hidden in his memory?
In a sequence of events that are often curious and frequently hilarious, he reveals moments of surprising perception and wisdom. The Underground Man is a delectable blend of fact and fiction in which the intriguing details of a complex life are richly explored through the vibrant imagination of a gentle soul.
“a highly effective two-hander, with beautifully and suitably understated performances… A quietly strange, original and riveting piece of theatre.” Nottingham Post, 28 September 2016
About the authors
Nick Wood was an actor, a freelance journalist, and a teacher before becoming a full-time writer. Commissions include: Radio 4, Derby Theatre, Eastern Angles, Thalia Theatre Hamburg, Action Transport, The Drum, Plymouth, Theatr Iolo, Hans Otto Theater Potsdam, Jumper Up Theatre, and Nottingham Playhouse. Plays include: Warrior Square, Mia, A Dream of White Horses, My Name is Stephen Luckwell, The Children of the Crown, and About A Band. His plays are translated into several languages and performed in France, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Hong Kong, USA, Canada, Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Denmark, Montenegro, Russia, Switzerland, and South Korea. With Andrew Breakwell, he started New Theatre Nottingham and recently returned to acting touring his new one-man play A Girl With A Book. Currently, there are twelve productions of A Girl With A Book by companies in Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In June 2016 Eastern Angles revived their production of his adaptation of We Didn’t Mean to Go To Sea; in the autumn Getting Better Slowly, a play involving dance and verbatim theatre about Guillaine Barre Syndrome will open its tour at the Lincoln Drill Hall.
Mick Jackson was born in Great Harwood, Lancashire. He studied drama at Dartington College of Arts, Devon and was a singer in a band through his 20s. Between 1991-92 he attended the Creative Writing MA course at the University of East Anglia where his tutors were Malcolm Bradbury, Rose Tremain and Michele Roberts. His first novel, The Underground Man, written in Cambridge and London, whilst Jackson worked part-time as a special needs assistant and is a fictional version of the life of the fifth Duke of Portland, an English eccentric, renowned for creating a network of tunnels under his estate at Welbeck Abbey. It was originally published by Picador in 1997 and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and won the Royal Society of Authors’ First Novel Award. He has since written three more novels, a novella, a collection of stories and an e-book, all published by Faber and Faber. His latest novel was published in 2015 and supported in part by a grant from The Sasakawa Foundation. He has written and directed prize-winning short films and directed a documentary for BBC2 (Silvering Up). His feature-length script, Roman Road, was produced by Zenith and broadcast on ITV in 2004. He has since adapted two of his novels, and is working on an original feature-length screenplay. In recent years, Mick has set up writing residencies at the Science Museum, London and the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton as a way of providing time and space to research less conventional projects. As well as developing a series of short fictions for a fourth collection, he is also working on a book for pre-school children. Between 2012-14 he was a RLF Writing Fellow at the University of Sussex.