The world premiere stage adaptation of I, Daniel Blake that exposes the stark reality behind the cost-of-living crisis headlines will open at Northern Stage (25 May – 10 June) before touring.
The first stage adaptation of Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or and BAFTA award-winning film will be written by actor and comedian Dave Johns who won the Best Actor award at the British Independent Film Awards and Best Newcomer at the EMPIRE Awards for his role in the film. Ken Loach said, “This story is more relevant now than ever. And who better to put it on stage than Dave Johns, the original Daniel Blake?”
David Nellist will play Daniel. Originally from Wallsend in Newcastle, he appeared as Mike Stamford in Sherlock on BBC ONE with Benedict Cumberbatch and was recently in Stonehouse opposite Matthew Macfadyen on ITV. His theatre credits include West End productions Billy Elliott, War Horse, The Pitmen Painters and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and closer to home A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Not Too Tame, Shakespeare North Playhouse, Northern Stage), and Close the Coalhouse Door (Northern Stage).
Bryony Corrigan will play Katie. Inspired to become an actor after doing work experience at Northern Stage aged 15, Bryony is best known as series regular Vanessa in Mischief Theatre’s The Goes Wrong Show on BBC ONE. Her theatre credits include the recent stage adaptation of Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island (Watermill Theatre) and My Romantic History at Live Theatre, which she won Performing Artist of the Year for at the Journal Culture Awards.
Kema Sikazwe (also known as Kema Kay) will play China, a role he played in the film after being spotted by Ken Loach on a visit to Newcastle. The actor, rapper and singer wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed Shine at Live Theatre – a show about his experience of moving to Newcastle aged three which is about to be adapted for a TV musical drama.
The rest of the cast are Janine Leigh who appeared alongside Joanne Froggatt in Channel 4 film In Our Name, Micky Cochrane (Billy Elliot the Musical, Curve), and former Northern Stage Young Company member Jodie Wild making her professional stage debut.