Southampton’s new theatre to open with The Shadow Factory

Southampton’s new theatre, NST City, will open next year with the world premiere of Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory (February 7-March 3).

The play tells how Southampton’s spitfire factory was destroyed in three raids by the Luftwaffe during autumn 1940 – and how “a story of chaos, courage and community spirit” emerged from the ashes.

Samuel Hodges, director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, said: “I first heard about this story months after starting this job and was immediately struck by its significance.

“This story is both epic in its power and impact, but also incredibly human – it’s about individuals coming together, overcoming personal bias and mistrust, to achieve something great on their own terms.”

Brenton added: “The creation of the shadow factories is an inspiring story from a frightening time, something for Southampton to celebrate.

“Six weeks after the big factory’s destruction, spitfires were being made in small places all over the town.”

Alongside the production, the company will mount The Shadow Factory Exhibition, giving audiences the opportunity to explore the stories behind The Shadow Factory.

NST City is part of Studio 144, Southampton’s new £28 million arts venue in the city centre.