Back in the late 90s, Head Master Andy Platt was looking for some inspirational figures to teach his students about at a school in Penistone, Barnsley. By doing some extensive research, he came across Nicholas Saunderson a remarkable man born in Penistone in the 17th century, who in spite of losing his eyes due to small pox aged one, ended up becoming a Professor at Cambridge.
Nicholas’ story is quite remarkable and without wanting to give away any spoilers, the oppression and barriers he suffered due to being visually impaired was quite remarkable; but what is perhaps more remarkable is his ability to overcome them. One of these obstacles which he faced early on was the fact that he was not able to attend school, and in the days before braille, Nicholas ran his fingers across gravestones so he could learn to read.
Feeling so inspired by the life of Nicholas, Andy Platt, writer/producer of the show, brought it to life, putting on what is now an early adaption at the Penistone Paramount back in 2006. From then on, the production has continued to grow and develop. Quitting his job as a teacher and teaming up with Max Reid, the Company (Right Hand Theatre) took the show to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016 and it did amazingly well.
For the last two years, the team behind the musical have been spending a lot of time researching and developing the show. Some of this work has been collaborating with community groups who are visually impaired, or support those who are, such as The Partially Sighted Society in Doncaster. They were also supported by The Civic during this time, becoming in-house residents and using our space for workshops.
Due to funding from the Arts Council and co-commissioned by both The Civic and CAST (Doncaster), the team are now touring No Horizon across the North of England.
They will be kicking off their tour right here with us on Thursday March 19th; there will be a further two showings on the 20th and 21st of March. The show on the 20th will be audio described and accessible for audiences that are blind or partially sighted.
Make sure you do not miss out on the incredible story of this forgotten Barnsley hero; you can book your tickets now on our website or by calling our friendly Box Office team on 01226 327000.