And so it ends...but not for long!


As the final show ended, it seemed like only yesterday that we began the first day of rehearsals. What a fantastic group of people to have had the pleasure of spending the last 8 plus weeks working with.

We hope you've enjoyed coming on the journey with us and thank you to all those who saw the show and/or supported us on our lil''s been a treat!

For those who didn't get to see the show in the old berg, there's no need to weep or lose sleep as you can catch us in Watford, Colchester and Hull over the next three weeks - oh yes - it doesn't finish here people! 

We can't wait to bring the show to the three fantastic venues we have lined up. So if you avoided the UK rain and caught some rays this summer then brighten up your September and get along to see YOUNG PRETENDER (although don't stand to close to us as we're a pretty pale bunch and we get jealous easily).

The upcoming venues/dates/times are:

    Watford Palace Theatre 2 - 3 September, 8pm (also 5pm on 3


    buy tickets now

    Mercury Theatre Colchester 8 - 10 September, 7:45pm

    buy tickets now

    Hull Truck 14 - 17 September, 8pm (also 2pm on 17 Sept)

     buy tickets now

And here are a few more reasons to pop along...

    “It’s not a Scottish history lesson, more a three-act, three-handed

    chamber study of the cycle of teenage rebellion” - ****

    The Scotsman


    “Captivating” - The Observer

    “Crowe’s writing zings off the page” and “Paul Woodson’s Prince is

    as magnetic as Mick Jagger” - The Independent

    “I could have watched hours more of E V Crowe's modern rewrite”

    - The Guardian

    “melding history with rock star swagger to pose questions about

    the hidden costs of conflict.” - **** Metro

Thank you again to everyone and look forward to seeing you in the very near future.

nabokov peeps x


Young Pretender: Series 1

Ok, so we may have taken the Alternative Fringe Award for ‘Show most likely to end up on TV’ in the Guardian a little too far...

For those of you who may enjoy it, here is our version of the DVD cover for nabokov and HBO’s Young Pretender: Series 1


Young Pretender  

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour  

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

Young Pretender voted as most likely Edinburgh play to be made into a TV show by The Guardian


In the Guardian’s Best of the Fringe Alternative Awards Young Pretender has been voted most like show to grace HBO!


 “I could have watched hours more of EV Crowe's modern rewrite 

    “bookend it with a glitzy credit sequence and you've got one of

    those great box-set dramas HBO makes so well. Please?


Read the full article here

Well we couldn’t agree more!  So if you are reading this Mr and Mrs HBO then please join us in nabokov’s first venture into the world of television…

Young Pretender  

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour  

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender


4 Stars in The Scotsman and a great mention in The Independent's round up of the Festivals biggest hits!

The Scotsman has come out with a fantastic review for Young Pretender!

    "Nabokov's appearance in Edinburgh last year produced Fringe First winner Bunny, and audience numbers suggest expectation levels have risen sharply this time out. Fortunately, this is a show, co-produced with Hull Truck Theatre, which meets them with stylish effort and clarity of purpose.

    “It’s not a Scottish history lesson, more a three-act, three-handed chamber study of the cycle of teenage rebellion

    “Paul Woodson is gifted what must surely be one of the roles of this year's festival as Charlie.

Read the full review here

And a great mention in The Independent in Alice Jones’ round up of the Festival’s biggest hits:

    “In the theatre, the most exciting writing has come from young talents like E V Crowe, whose Young Pretender gets inside the surprisingly modern head of Bonnie Prince Charlie, in order to probe the manipulative charm of leaders” 

Read the full article here

So with just over a week left at the festival get yourselves along to the show!

Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

Boddie Prince Charlie's Bad Boy Challenges - The Finale: Arthur's Seat

All good things must come to an end, annoyingly, and it's my final challenge.

Now, this challenge is a little different to the others. It's not really stereotypically Scottish because... well, it's just climbing a big hill. Nevertheless, Arthur's seat is a pretty big part of Edinburgh (literally and metaphorically) and so it seems an apt conclusion to the end of Boddie Prince Charlie's Bad Boy Scottish Challenges. It's almost as if physically walking up the hill and looking over the city represents also my attempts to mentally 'climb' and get to grips with the challenges of working for nabokov, prior to looking back over my time with the company before I depart...

Dammit they told me not to be sentimental.

Anyway, without telling anyone that I initially, mistakenly, said “So when are we heading up to Andrew's Chair?” (Look, that sounds quite similar) it was time to face my challenge.

And look – here's Arthur's Seat at Sunset!


Man that's beautiful. I'm so glad I was there to take that picture. I'd really have been annoyed to miss such a spectacular photo opportunity....

Okay, I'll level with you guys – I didn't take the photo. It's from the internet.

The weather on the day I was meant to go up was absolutely miserable – dark skies chucking it down with rain. Honestly, the photo would have been rubbish. Not that it matters to you, dear readers! You've still got a great picture. In fact, the picture you've got here is WAY better than anything I would have taken on my crappy camera... So, whilst some of you may say I technically 'failed' the last challenge, I think we should all agree that, actually, I was just doing everyone a great favour. Go me.

But on an honest note, scenic beauty really isn't a rare thing in Edinburgh – the city itself is full of amazing architecture, as well as a great big beautiful castle slap bang in the middle. It's hard not to fall in love with the place.

So... This is it.

I don't want to start with the sentimentality again, but to say I've enjoyed my time with nabokov couldn't be more of an understatement. I've LOVED it. I've had such a great experience and to be given the opportunity is something I'll always be extremely grateful for. (Thanks guys!) Whilst I know I'm kind of 'meant' to say it, I'm genuinely so proud (if pride is the right emotion) of 'Young Pretender' and truly think that it's an amazing play. EVERYONE involved has done such a superb job.

Feel free to follow me on twitter @CharlieWarley8 (I deserve some sort of self-promotion, right?) and, of course, keep up to date with nabokov as per with the social networking stuff below!

I hope you enjoyed my challenges. And even if you didn't, I did, so... swings and roundabouts.

Peace and love.

Boddie Prince Charlie.

Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 


Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

Boddie Prince Charlie's Bad Boy Challenges - Day Four: Bagpipes

We're coming to the end of my Bad Boy Scottish Challenges now, and, let's face it, for bagpipes to not be included is about as likely as Zooey Deschanel turning up at my doorstep and declaring her love for my incomparable persona...

Anyway, conventional self-deprication aside (over-analysing?) this was definitely the hardest task of the lot. You might think it would be easy. Bagpipes are surely sold in every other shop in Edinburgh, right?


Look, maybe we missed something, but we genuinely struggled to track them down! Eventually we found a shop, though the price was a slight issue...

So there was no chance I was gonna get a go on one of those. 

But, refusing to give up, we pushed on and tracked down some slightly cheaper types...

‘Junior Playable’ or, more aptly, ‘Kids Bagpipes’, to be exact. But that's fine. It's not embarrassing at all, trust me...

Now, even though we had bagpipes I could technically use, actually using them was a little tricky seeing as I had absolutely no idea where to start.

There's a lot of pieces.

"What did you do!?" - I hear you all type furiously into twitter and other social networking tools (that's right, nabokov are down with the kids). But stop typing - I'll tell you! We found a bit of a Scottish legend named 'Donald McDermott'. *


Now, Donald knows his stuff. He's been playing the bagpipes for years and years, and he even performed a couple of amazing tunes for us!

He also divulged a load of fascinating facts! (Which, coincidentally, can easily be found online for anyone who doesn't know a bagpipe legend.) For instance - Bagpipes were once used by Scots to "frighten away their enemies on the battlefield". Kind of makes sense (no offence to the Scots, but they are quite loud).

Also, there's a myth that in 1745 (that's right, the date in which 'Young Pretender' is set!) bagpipes were banned, but historians have no proof of this. Not that this effects the play at all seeing as we don't feature the bagpipes once. (Don't have a go, I'm just trying to get some sort of actual 'information' into this.)

Another interesting fact is that the original bagpipe was "made from the whole skin of a dead (obviously) sheep". Similarly, I learned earlier this week that Haggis was prepared in a sheep's stomach. A lot happened with sheep in Scotland back in the day didn't it? Obviously wasn't just the wind making them shake...

So - there's another blog filled with fun, facts and... frolicking! What more could you want? 

Hopefully I'll be delivering a final challenge for ya'll soon!

*May not be an actual person.


Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 


Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

Boddie Prince Charlie's Bad Boy Challenges - Day Three: Kilt Wearing

So, perhaps one of the most stereotypical of the lot – Kilts! There’s no way I could go to Scotland without trying a few…

The day started with a surprise when an angry store owner told us he wasn’t too keen on us blogging about their kilts. Maybe they thought we’d be a bit harsh about their designs and materials, what with us being fashionistas and all...

But anyway, we found a great little place called W. Armstong & Son, which is a wonderful antique clothes place. (See, look at all of that publicity, angry store owner… Now who’s angry. Well, you still are, but even more angry I bet.)

So, I gave kilt wearing a go! We tried to get a load of different colours 'cause, you know, we're mental. The first example is below:

Now, to most people that probably looks fine. Good, if anything. (That might be pushing it, but give me a chance…)

However, Chris Starkie (our superb Scottish actor) soon notified me that, actually, kilts are meant to come to the knees and no further. So actually, I looked like a bit of an idiot. Still – first attempt right? The second would be better….

Well, that’s what I thought.

Actually, I realised that wearing it the proper way only showed off my tiny legs and made me look… well, less like this:


And more like this:


Plus, it was really quite heavy as it was a ‘heavyweight’ tartan. (That’s about as technical as I can get when it comes to kilts, sorry.)

Anyway, I continued to try them on, and the last one, which is the most stereotypically Scottish in my eyes (for some reason I only ever think of kilts in the colour red) was this:

I’m not sure what nabokov wanted me to learn from this experience. I… um… well, kilts are quite comfy. And normally expensive (though totally worth it). Er… That’s about it.

I kind of fell like I’ve cheated everyone here.  I’ll copy some facts about kilts from Wikipedia:

The kilt is a knee-length garment with pleats at the rear, originating in the traditional dress of men   and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century. Since the 19th century it has become    associated with the wider culture of Scotland in general, or with Celtic (and more specifically Gaelic)    heritage even more broadly. It is most often made of woollen cloth in a tartan pattern.

Wow, wasn’t that interesting?

Check back tomorrow guys for another ultimate Bad Boy challenge! (I’m sorry, I didn’t call them that…)


Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

4 stars for Young Pretender in Metro!

Another cracking review for the show up in Edinburgh:


    “melding history with rock star swagger to pose questions about

    the hidden costs of conflict.

    “Young Pretender adds a contemporary sheen to a familiar


Unfortunately the review is only in print and hasn’t come out online yet, but we’ll link the full review as soon as we can!

And we also thought we’d share a bit of audience feedback with you too from

    “Outstanding play, clever, funny and gripping... a must see

    - Alan Wellburn

    “This is a must-see: the vicious circle of youth in rebellion,

    generation after generation with their hopes of changing the

    world. It is an age-old story told for a modern age

    - Christine McDerment

Read the full comments here

So if you are up in Edinburgh and haven’t seen the show, then what are you waiting for!?

Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

Boddie Prince Charlie's Bad Boy Challenges - Day One: Haggis

Hello everyone!

As you know I, 'Boddie Prince Charlie', have been given a list of 'Bad Boy' challenges that I have to complete by the end of the week…

My first was eating Haggis - described by wikipedia as "a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock". 

And we decided to check out local pub ‘The Last Drop’, which was once a place where criminals would have their last drinks before taking their last drop and being executed…. I'm not entirely sure what this means for me - it's either my first and last Haggis or nabokov have got other plans for me that I'm not aware of...

Anyway, along with the food (which included neeps and tatties, or turnips and mashed potato to you and me), I even got an Ale to go with my meal, just to be safe and… extra Scottish.

Here’s my reaction:


It was genuinely really tasty - easy to see why the Scots love it so much! Imagine a mashed up burger with a handful of pepper thrown in and that's how I first described it… Though it's much nicer than that. And incredibly filling - well worth the money (especially seeing as I didn’t pay for it - woohoo!) 

I’ll be continuing with these challenges throughout the week, so keep checking back for the daily blog! 

Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender


"buzzes with contemporary relevance" - The Independent on Young Pretender

And the reviews are coming in!

Here’s a taster of the stonking write up for Young Pretender in The Independent:

    “the intelligent young company nabokov

    “Crowe’s writing zings off the page

    “a witty take on politics and power that buzzes with contemporary


    “Paul Woodson’s Prince is as magnetic as Mick Jagger

    “Chris Starkie and Rebecca Elise… excellent


Read the full review here

Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

Boddie Prince Charlie's Bad Boy Challenges


PintMy name’s Charlie Boddington. I’ve been the Production Assistant for nabokov throughout ‘Young Pretender’, and I wrote the blog posts within the rehearsal period... You know, the amazing ones. Ahm. Anyway, upon arriving in Edinburgh I was given a list of challenges, should I have chosen to accept them… (I didn’t really have a choice.) 

So, being dubbed ‘Boddie Prince Charlie’, I’ve been told to take part in some ‘Bad Boy’ challenges. (None of which are stereotypically Scottish in anyway.) 

The first is eating Haggis!

So check back later today to see how I got on...


Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 


"Captivating" - The Observer on Young Pretender

And the first review from the first performance is in!

Observer logo

A cracking write up for Young Pretender from The Observer:


    “Packed tight with goodies

Read the full review here

We’re here all month, so if you’re around in Edinburgh at 4:40pm and want a hit of pure theatre, then come and join us! 

Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender


DAY 6!

2 performances down and gearing up for performance 3! 

After some good times in the the nab-o-flat…


...ripping through a four-hour tech in our slightly flooded venue and hiking all the way up Arthur’s Seat to find some rehearsal space...


Young Pretender was ready to roll!  Well, it was once actress Becky had recovered from an horrific sunburn on her shoulders that we can see her covering up in the pic above...

We’ve had a great couple of performances, and the show is starting to settle in to it’s new home as the cast learn the ins and outs of making a tricky space really work.

Emma lights
The dedicated production team have been plastering Edinburgh in posters and fliers, and our Young Pretender badges have been going down a storm!  The energy amongst the team is great and we can’t wait to get back on the stage today!

Tonight we’re off to see Frisky and Mannish for some awesome Cabaret action, so meet us there if anyone is around!

Young Pretender 

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate. 

4-28 August


1 Hour 

Follow us: / @nabokovtheatre #youngpretender

Actors Chris Starkie and Paul Woodson give their run down of Day 3...

Photo-20Hey punks, three in Edinburgh and we are getting hilly. Becky, Kirsty, Joe, Paul and Chris had the bright idea of climbing Arthurs seat and running the play.

Photo-19Perhaps it was the sweltering heat or the late night technical rehearsal...


...but we only made it half-way. However, where we ended up turned out to be a fantastic, quiet spot. Once we had finally decided to pitch our theatrical yurt, the dramatic surroundings helped us to root ourselves in the truth of the play.


A great run ensued with new light shed on the play.

The whole team have been beavering away and morale is high. These essential few days have been stressful but fruitful. Thank you to all.

Peace out Mother-lickers and see you soon.

Paul and Chris

Young Pretender

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate.

4-28 August


1 Hour


The Young Pretenders have arrived…


Team nabokov has arrived in the beautiful Burgh and we are raring to go! We had a lovely journey up on a train over flowing with equally excited thesps and we’ve made ourselves very comfy in our positively palatial nabohouse.

Jo Scotcher’s amazing set and the final members of tem nabokov arrive this afternoon, so there’s just time to fit in a few speedy line runs, an actual run in the case of Chris Starkie (its no accident that he is a vision of healthiness) and a slap up meal later- probably at Monster Mash if Mr Murphy gets his way!

Edinburgh’s already buzzing with posters, flyers and giant udders springing up all over the city. We fully intend to take advantage of the previews and see as much as we can, so we will keep you posted with our top tips.

Detailed schemes and strategies are in place to make the absolute most of our…shall we say brief tech, at the Underbelly and we can’t wait to finally see Jo’s awesome set and lighting whizz kid Jack Knowles’ work in all its glory. A last few costume bits to pick up and a Charlie hair cut for Woody is all that’s left.

It’s great to be back!


Young Pretender

Underbelly (Belly Button), Cowgate.

4-28 August


1 Hour


5 stars from the Watford Observer for BUNNY

Dear bloggers 

here is one last review of BUNNY by Jack Thorne!

The Watford Observer’s Melanie Dakin gave the show a fantasic ***** star review!

Here’s what she had to say:

Jack Thorne’s blistering monologue

the excitable, wonderful, warm and naive Katie

Joe Murphy’s direction in this piece is so masterful it’s virtually undetectable

I have seen good things by Watford Palace’s creative associates nabokov before and look forward to many more collaborations"

Read the full review here

Thank you very much Melanie, we’re so glad you enjoyed the show!

BUNNY's Stage Manager gives a round-up of her experience on the show

First to introduce myself – my name’s Natalie Walker and I’m the Stage Manager on BUNNY.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the show 29 times so far (and as I write this we’ve only got two to go) and having been part of the BUNNY gang for so long, there are a few things I’d like to say before our illustrious production draws to a close.

Firstly, a word on Rosie Wyatt. I still marvel at her turns of phrase, and whilst most Wyatt-isms should, and will, remain unpublished, I’ll miss her doing the Tim Vine dance for me every now and then, and asking questions like “Do I look like my headshot?”. 

Yes Rosie, you do.  Because it’s you.

Next, a word to the team at the Iron Belly, Underbelly.  Our Edinburgh technicians were an eclectic bunch, always cheerful, happy and helpful, even though they work long hours and sometimes forget what daylight looks like.  My maths head tells me that between myself, Kirsty Patrick Ward, and the Underbelly techs (Peter, Jude, Not-Peter, Not-Jude and The Other One) we refocused 100 lights and tied over 500 knots to hold the screen up every day.  So a round of applause for the Edinburgh team.

It’s been a pleasure as always to work with Joe Murphy – by a happy coincidence, Joe and I have worked together before on rehearsed readings and other small productions with me providing sound effects for Joe’s work, so I’ve enjoyed seeing him develop a full production and having the chance to work with him in a different capacity.  Never before has a man given such a convincing impression that he has no idea what he’s doing whilst, in actuality, every detail is meticulously planned and every decision made with absolute conviction. Probably.  All joking aside, it’s a joy to work with a young director that really does have his own style and vision, and I look forward to our paths crossing again.  

As for the rest of the team, I feel like the reviews have given enough credit to the design and the illustrations so I need not lavish any further well-earned praise on their creators, but there is just one more person that needs a name check – the unsung hero of nabokov, Executive Director and General Manager, Ric MountjoyRic works tirelessly and passionately, ensuring not only that everyone is paid and in the right place, but that the production itself is running smoothly, the venues are happy, and the entire company is working like a well oiled machine.  Without his consideration and expertise, BUNNY couldn’t have been, so Ric, we salute you.

And to top it all off, a well-deserved Fringe First award (need I even start on the impeccable quality of writing?  Probably not.) for a play that is as funny and energetic as it is intriguing and evocative. Although it should be said that my other Edinburgh show also won an award, so I’m pretty sure that’s conclusive proof that I’m a lucky charm of a Stage Manager.  I’m just saying. 

And nearly 600 video cues later, my time with BUNNY must come to an end, as all good things do.  Always a pleasure, never a chore.  And… fade to blackout.


BNE Rosie FF

Team nabokov are over the moon to have been awarded a Fringe First! We are fresh from the award ceremony and have a photo of our lovely award to prove it! A big thank you to our friends at Escalator East to Edinburgh, Arts Council England, Watford Palace  & Mercury Theatre Colchester for all their support.


We only have three performances left in Edinburgh and we will all be sad to leave this wonderful festival, who have embraced BUNNY so warmly.


It's been such an incredible, whirlwind month & us nabokovers will always remember it! So if you’re in Edinburgh and haven't got a ticket to BUNNY (a Fringe First award winning production) then what are you waiting for? Get on it chaps!





Book HERE to catch BUNNY at the Edinburgh Festival


p.s Don’t forget that you down south will get the chance to catch BUNNY at the Watford Palace Theatre (20mins out of London via train) on the 6+7th September 


and Mercury Theatre, Colchester from the 8th-11th September


The BBC visit nabokov and What's On Stage deliver BUNNY's 7th **** review!

Hello dearest bloggers!


We’re really made up with a cracking four-star review from What’s On Stage:

    “As Katie, Rosie Wyatt gives a terrific performance.

    “A well–written, beautifully acted 60 minute drama.

Read the full review here

And as if that wasn’t exciting enough in their top 5 One Person shows of the entire Edinburgh Fringe What’s On Stage have named BUNNY as number 1!

Jack Thorne’s hour-long monologue impeccably performed by recent drama school graduate Rosie Wyatt.

Bunny subtlety and intricately plants the notion that there’s something altogether more sinister brimming throughout the newly adopted home of EasyJet.

Take a look at this feature here

Thank you very much What’s On Stage!

And there is yet one more nugget of excitement!  nabokov were host to the BBC this week as they came in to film BUNNY for the fantastic Review Show that is filmed live in Edinburgh.

So tune in on BBC 2 this Friday at 11:00pm and you will hopefully catch a clip of BUNNY and hear a bit of discussion about the show.

Until next time!

nabokov x

And the British Theatre Guides makes it 6!

What an incredible week it has been for team nabokov! We’ve had some amazing audience reactions (particularly from some lovely Lutonians who revelled in the familiarity of Katie’s world), and a whole bundle of awesome reviews!  BUNNY has now collected 6 **** reviews from The Independent, The Scotsman, The Financial Times, ThreeWeeks, Fest and (just yesterday) from the British Theatre Guide.

Well, what with all the good news, we thought that a little celebrating was in order! A nice meal here, an evening at the Underbelly there; and Last night we enjoyed a few drinks and theatre chin-wagging with our pals from Escalator East To Edinburgh and ACE at the Loft bar in the Gilded Balloon.

Paul and rosie

naboflat played host to a sophisticated evening of Fajita’s, wine & cheese, and we’ve also been checking out some of the other brilliant shows at the festival.  So after you’ve seen Bunny (the hottest show in town), here’s some other shows that are well worth checking out... 

Penelope at the Traverse

Sex Idiot at Zoo Roxy

Frisky & Mannish at the Underbelly

The Fitzrovia Radio Hour at the Underbelly

Lach’s Anithoot at the Gilded Balloon

Time Vine’s Joke-Amotive at the Pleasance

We’ve had some sell out shows and packed houses all week, so book HERE for your hot Bunny ticket and avoid disappointment!

For those of you that won’t make the Fringe, no fear, you can catch BUNNY on tour at the WATFORD PALACE THEATRE on the 6+7 September (20 mins train ride from central London stations)

and MERCURY THEATRE, COLCHESTER form the 8th-11th September.


nabokov x


Written by Jack Thorne

Directed by Joe Murphy

5 – 29 August 2010

Underbelly, Cowgate

£6 - £10