LONE FLYER, a powerful drama by Ade Morris about Hull’s legendary Amy Johnson, one of Britain’s greatest female pilots, will land at Hull Truck Theatre from Thursday 7th – Saturday 30th October.
Hull-born actress Louise Willoughby will join the production to star as ‘Amy Johnson’ and Benedict Salter will reprise his original role, supporting her playing a series of other male parts.
“It’s not a bit like a car or a boat you know, it’s like a bird, it’s the most magical feeling I’ve ever had.”
May 1930, Amy Johnson has a dream, but just how far will her dream take her? As the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, Amy’s career reached new heights, but the outbreak of the Second World War changed everything, and she finds herself facing her greatest challenge yet. Driven by the need to escape from one life to another, follow Amy’s journey from humble beginnings to become one of Britain’s most influential female aviators.
Lone Flyer is a Hull Truck Theatre co-production with The Watermill Theatre, Newbury, where it plays Friday 10 – Saturday 25 September. The production originally opened in Newbury in November 2020 before closing due to lockdown. Since then, it played at the Jermyn Street Theatre as part of their Footprints Festival, achieving 5 Off West End Nominations for Best Production, Sound Design, Director, Leading Performance and Supporting Performance.
Directed by Watermill Associate Lucy Betts, Ade Morris’ powerful play about one of the most inspirational women of the twentieth century was first staged at the Watermill in 2001.
Hull-born Louise Willoughby, who is taking on the role of Amy Johnson, said: “I’m delighted to be back in rehearsals and in a room with a creative team after it’s been such a difficult time for our industry. Being from Hull, I grew up learning about Amy’s story – I actually played her in a scene in a small community play when I was about 15!
“I don’t think there’s a single person from Hull who hasn’t heard of Amy Johnson, how she defied all expectations with her determination, knowing what she wanted to do, and finding a way to do it. I think women today have a lot to thank her for. I’m honoured to be playing Amy and I can’t wait to tell her story.”
Louise attended the Northern Theatre Company in Hull from a young age before training at LSMT graduating in 2009 with Distinction. Her previous theatre credits include: Prince Charming’s Christmas Cracker (Hull Truck Theatre’s online Christmas 2020 production); Little Women (ERT); Les Miserables (Grange Park Opera) and Grease (RCCL). She’s also appeared on screen in a number of independent films including vampire comedy B Negative (2019) , horror short Pieces (2016) and The Broken Teeth of Lions (2015) which was entirely shot in Hull. Benedict was also a BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award finalist in 2016.
Added Mark Babych, Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre: “Everyone from Hull will have grown up knowing the incredible story of Amy Johnson. We’re proud to be bringing this production back ‘home’ to Hull and are so excited to have one of the city’s finest home-grown actors, Louise, bringing the story of this incredible women to life on stage.”
Lone Flyer is directed by Lucy Betts, with design by Isobel Nicolson, lighting design by Harry Armytage and sound design by Justin Teasdale. Original Sound Design is by Thom Townsend and Jamie Kubisch-Wiles. The stage management team consists of Emily Stedman (rehearsal DSM), Georgia Dacey (DSM), and Natalie Toney (ASM). The Sign Integrated Performer is Lixi Chivas.