HAMPSTEAD DOWNSTAIRS / CELIA ATKIN PRESENT

BIG BIG SKY

By TOM WELLS
Directed by TESSA WALKER

Running time: 1 hour and 35 minutes without an interval

Bit risky though isn’t it? Just sort of turning up to an isolated peninsula in the North Sea without any sandwiches…

Downstairs

30 Jul - 11 Sep 2021

Box Office: 020 7722 9301

★★★★★ 'This poignant, uplifting play is just what we need right now' The Arts Desk

★★★★ 'This is a beautifully wistful play, full of charm and kindness by the bucketload' WhatsOnStage

★★★★  ‘A bittersweet, elegantly crafted story that entices with warmth, humour, emotional truths and universal themes’ The Stage

★★★★ 'Led by the cast’s wonderful performances, this production allows the beauty and tenderness in Wells’s play to soar.' The Upcoming

'A bittersweet gem that sends you out with recharged faith in human nature’ Daily Express


Kilnsea, East Yorkshire. Angie and Lauren are closing up the café for another winter; the birds have gone south and taken the tourists with them. The last visitor is Dennis, stopping by for his pasty and beans. But there’s another arrival – one that’s unforeseen and life changing for them all.

Tom Wells’ beautifully tender new play explores nature’s influence on love, friendship and family - the belief that anyone who’s lost can be found, even in the remotest of places.

Originally from Kilnsea, Tom’s credits include The Kitchen Sink (Bush Theatre) and Ghosting (Royal Court). Wells’ Folk (Birmingham Rep), The Kitchen Sink (Hull Truck) and About a Goth (Paines Plough / Play Pie and a Pint) were all directed by Tessa Walker. Big Big Sky will be their fourth collaboration.

Starring Jennifer Daley (Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, Chichester Festival Theatre), Matt Sutton (The House They Grew Up In, Headlong), Sam Newton (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, West End) and Jessica Jolleys (Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatr Clwyd).


Our promise to you

In the event of Big Big Sky being postponed, you can choose between a full refund or credit to be used for any show at Hampstead.

Regardless of changes to government advice on social distancing, Big Big Sky will remain as originally sold, with no seating capacity increase and social distancing measures in place.

Hampstead Theatre is delighted to open Big Big Sky following Government advice. As always, our audience, company and staff are our top priority. For more information about how we’re keeping you safe, please click here


We present entertaining and original theatre, and we want you to have the best experience possible. We understand that, as part of this, some audience members may appreciate additional guidance on the content of our plays. Click here for more information.


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  • The Arts Desk

    'This poignant, uplifting play is just what we need right now'

    'Get to Swiss Cottage early because Bob Bailey’s set for Tom Wells's new Hampstead Downstairs play Big Big Sky is a feast for the eyes.'

    'I’ve seldom applauded at the curtain with a greater enthusiasm to return to these two men and two women to see how things turn out, discover how they meet the everyday challenges that lie before them, watch as respect and love grow, even as the inevitable bickering spills over into arguments and more. That, Mr Wells, is how successfully you conjured these people'   

    'This beautifully crafted play demonstrates drama’s unique ability to forge the emotional connections that transcend social and physical distance. We’re with them under the big big sky of the Humber estuary because we're with them in their hearts and souls.'   

    READ FULL REVIEW

    Big Big Sky, Hampstead Downstairs review - a perfectly realised character study
    ,
  • WhatsOnStage

    'Wells' writing is superb, delicately balancing humour and sensitive moments like holding a baby bird in the palm of your hand. Despite only seeing four characters, Wells really builds the community and we immediately understand the relationships within it.'

    'This is a beautifully wistful play, full of charm and kindness by the bucketload. It's also useful to note that Hampstead are still seating audience members with social distancing, which is wonderful for those who are taking their first steps back into the theatre – and what a first show back this would be.'

    READ FULL REVIEW

    Big Big Sky at the Hampstead Theatre – review
    ,
  • The Stage

    'Wells has a knack for creating knotty but utterly believable family relationships and this new play is no exception. His characters are decent people, who might not always get things right but are driven by kindness. Wells entices us with warmth, humour and quirky asides, but punches through with some heartbreaking emotional truths and universal themes.'

    'Sympathetically directed by Tessa Walker, who has previously worked on several of Wells’ plays and knows how to make the most of it, Big Big Sky is given further emotional integrity by this accomplished quartet of performances.'

    READ FULL REVIEW

    Big Big Sky
    ,
  • The Upcoming

    'Set in a café in remote coastal East Yorkshire, Tom Wells’s Big Big Sky is a grounded little drama with a big, big heart. Inspired by the playwright’s own café experiences from his hometown Kilnsea, and directed by Tessa Walker for the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, the play is a sweet 90-minute sojourn into lives of a community, rendered with deep affection.'

    'Walker’s naturalistic direction allows real intimacy to develop between the actors, especially in quiet beats held with genuine emotional weight. Designer Bob Bailey’s bright, clean café set, backdropped with a sweeping, painted cloudy horizon, is subtly embracing. Led by the cast’s wonderful performances, this production allows the beauty and tenderness in Wells’s play to soar.'

    READ FULL REVIEW

    Big Big Sky at Hampstead Theatre
    ,

Artistic team

WRITER

TOM WELLS

DIRECTOR

TESSA WALKER

DESIGNER

BOB BAILEY

LIGHTING

JAI MORJARIA

SOUND

LAURA HOWARD

DESIGN ASSOCIATE

ROISIN MARTINDALE

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

MORGAN LEE

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR

VAL MCCANN

Cast

Big Big Sky: Reviews Round-up

Posted on 10 August 2021

See what reviewers have been saying about Tom Wells' 'poignant, uplifting play' Big Big Sky...

A CUP OF TEA WITH TOM WELLS

Posted on 6 August 2021

We caught up with 'Big Big Sky' writer Tom Wells to talk life advice, his favourite place to write and Ted Lasso...

The Two Character Play and Big Big Sky Announced

Posted on 13 May 2021

Hampstead Theatre announces Tennessee Williams' The Two Character Play, directed by Sam Yates, and the World Premiere of Tom Wells' Big Big Sky, directed by the theatre's new Associate Director Tessa Walker

BIG BIG SKY CAST ANNOUNCEMENT

Posted on 13 May 2021

Acclaimed actors, Jennifer Daley, Matt Sutton, Sam Newton and Jessica Jolleys will star in Tom Wells' Big Big Sky, directed by Hampstead's new Associate Director Tessa Walker.

First five performances: All tickets £5
Performances thereafter: £20
Seniors*: £10 (matinee only)
Under 30s and Students: £10
Access: £6

*Ages 60+

Video and Image Gallery

JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE)
SAM NEWTON (ED) SAM NEWTON (ED)
JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN)
MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) MATT SUTTON (DENNIS)
TOM WELLS (WRITER) TOM WELLS (WRITER)
TESSA WALKER (DIRECTOR) TESSA WALKER (DIRECTOR)
JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) & SAM NEWTON (ED) JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) & SAM NEWTON (ED)
SAM NEWTON (ED), JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) SAM NEWTON (ED), JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & MATT SUTTON (DENNIS)
JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & MATT SUTTON (DENNIS)
TOM WELLS (WRITER) TOM WELLS (WRITER)
SAM NEWTON (ED) & MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) SAM NEWTON (ED) & MATT SUTTON (DENNIS)
JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE)
MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) MATT SUTTON (DENNIS)
SAM NEWTON (ED) SAM NEWTON (ED)
JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN)
MATT SUTTON (DENNIS), SAM NEWTON (ED), JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) MATT SUTTON (DENNIS), SAM NEWTON (ED), JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN)
JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & SAM NEWTON (ED) JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) & SAM NEWTON (ED)
MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) & JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) & JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE)
JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN)
JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE)
MATT SUTTON (DENNIS), JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) & JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE) MATT SUTTON (DENNIS), JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) & JENNIFER DALEY (ANGIE)
MATT SUTTON (DENNIS) MATT SUTTON (DENNIS)
SAM NEWTON (ED) & JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN) SAM NEWTON (ED) & JESSICA JOLLEYS (LAUREN)

KEEPING YOU SAFE AT HAMPSTEAD

1 Social Distanced 2

SOCIAL DISTANCING

2 Reduced Audience Capacity 1

REDUCED AUDIENCE CAPACITY

3 MASKS REQUIRED 1

FACE MASKS REQUIRED

4 TEMPERATURE CHECKS2

TEMPERATURE CHECKS

5 STATE OF THE ART VENTILATION2

STATE OF THE ART VENTILATION

6 ENHANCED CLEANING2

ENHANCED CLEANING

7 CONTACTLESS TICKETS2

CONTACTLESS TICKETS

8 HAND SANITIZING STATIONS 1

HAND SANITIZING STATIONS

9 CASHLESS PAYMENT3

CASHLESS PAYMENT