Never Let Me Go Is Coming To Kingston’s Rose Theatre In September

By Olivia Emily

2 weeks ago

What to expect from the new play


A world premiere is coming to Kingston’s Rose Theatre in just a few months. Based on Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro’s seminal, bestselling novel, Never Let Me Go has been adapted for the stage by Suzanne Heathcote. Here’s everything we know so far.

Never Let Me Go Is Coming To The Stage

First published in 2005, Kazuo Ishiguro’s sixth novel is science fiction number which gains pertinence with every passing year. To date selling more than 1 million copies, the book was adapted into a film in 2010, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield in their fledgling careers, and even a young Ella Purnell, most recently seen in Fallout and Yellowjackets. It’s a novel that retains space in the author’s mind; in 2021, Ishiguro’s eighth novel, Klara and the Sun, was described as a ‘love letter’ to Never Let Me Go which had been published 15 years prior, exploring a young, sick girl with a solar powered AI robot known as an ‘AF’, an ‘artificial friend’.

Another of Ishiguro’s best known novels, The Remains of the Day, bagged the Booker Prize in 1989 and was adapted into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in 1993. Flash forward to 2019, and The Remains of the Day was adapted again, this time for the stage, directed by Christopher Haydon. And now to the stage for Never Let Me Go, too, thanks to an adaptation by Suzanne Heathcote who has written for TV shows such as Killing Eve and Fear the Walking Dead, and the Netflix film adaptation of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club, as well as for the stage – with Haydon back in the director’s chair to boot.

What Is Never Let Me Go About?

Never Let Me Go is set in England in an alternate 1990s. We follow three friends – Kathy, Tommy and Ruth – at their boarding school, Hailsham. The trio grows up in this sheltered, parentless environment with little contact with the outside world – but why? As they grow up and leave the school, secrets are revealed that change the now-young-adults’ perception of life, their desires and their dreams.

The theatre summary reads:

What if you discovered your whole reason for being was not about your life but about making someone else’s possible? Your dreams, your desires, your love for another, all of them irrelevant in a world that values only what you give, without question or condition, to someone you’ve never met and will never know. 

Memory and reality collide in this stunning new staging that challenges us to think about what it means to be human. What it means to have hope and heart – to love and to lose.

Who Stars?

No news just yet on the cast list, but the production team includes:

  • Adaptor: Suzanne Heathcote 
  • Director: Christopher Haydon
  • Set & Costume Designer: Tom Piper 
  • Movement Director: Ayse Tashkiran 
  • Lighting Designer: Joshua Carr 
  • Composer: Eamonn O’Dwyer 
  • Sound Designer: Carolyn Downing 
  • Casting Director: Sam Jones CDG
  • Fight Director: Haruka Kuroda 
  • Assistant Director: Emma Denson

When Does It Open?

Never Let Me Go opens at Kingston’s Rose Theatre (24-26 High St, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HL) on 20 September 2024 before touring the UK. It’ll run in Kingston until 12 October, before heading to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate (16–26 October; 19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP) and Malvern Theatre (29 October–2 November; Grange Rd, Great Malvern, Malvern WR14 3HB), finishing at Bristol’s Old Vic (5–23 November; King St, Bristol BS1 4ED).