A Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth Production

The Unreturning

by Anna Jordan


Thursday 20 September - Saturday 6 October 2018 Download Calendar

The Drum


I want to return to my home. I want a hero’s welcome: fanfares and brass bands and sausage rolls and jaeger bombs. I want to lie under the skylight on my mum’s bed and watch clouds. I want to go out in my hometown, drink and dance and shout for no reason! I want to sing in the streets and puke in the gutter and they will never know. None of them will ever know what I….

Can beginnings be made out of endings? In a British northern coastal town, three young men are coming home. In 1918 George returns from the Western Front. In 2013 Frankie is back from his final tour of Afghanistan. And some time in the not-too-distant future Nat returns from an overseas refugee camp to what was his hometown.

A compelling new play by Anna Jordan (Yen – Royal Court Theatre, Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2013), directed by Neil Bettles (Associate Director of Frantic Assembly) and featuring Frantic’s celebrated physicality, The Unreturning explores the profound effect that war has on young lives, and asks – what does coming home really mean? What is home? And when experience has shattered you into a million pieces, will home help to put you together again, or treat you as an ugly truth it does not want to confront?

Contains very strong lanuage
Age guidance: 14+
Running time: 1hr 45mins (no interval)

Audio described performance: Wed 26 Sep 7.45pm
Captioned performance: Thu 27 Sep 7.45pm

Pricing & Concessions

All Performances

Preview Performances (20th > 22nd)




Jared Garfield – George
Jared is best known to television audiences for his recurring role as Nathan Nightingale in Hollyoaks (C4) from 2015 to 2017. He has also appeared on television in Dr Who’s 2017 Christmas Special (BBC) and Midsomer Murders (ITV). On film he has appeared in Boy A (Cuba Pictures) opposite Andrew Garfield.

Recent theatre credits include, Mr Deville in A Harlem Dream (Young Vic); Lysander in Watch Your Head’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Windsor Castle); and The Dishwashers (Birmingham Rep/UK Tour).

Joe Layton- Frankie
Joe trained at Drama Centre and made his stage debut in A Level Playing Field (Jermyn Street Theatre).

Joe’s television work includes roles in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Tatau (BBC Three), Casualty (BBC), Thirteen (BBC3), Father Brown (BBC) and New Worlds (C4).

Jonnie Riordan – Nat
Jonnie is an actor, director and movement director. Previous work with Frantic Assembly as a performer includes This Will All Be Gone and No Way Back, and Canticles (Brighton Festival/Aldeburgh Music).
Other acting credits include, Full Stop (Light The Fuse/Lyric Hammersmith/Greenwich and Docklands International Festival); The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Holland Park); Night Film (Stand + Stare); Mortal: A Drama (Wellcome Collection); and In His Image (Hampstead Theatre).
Jonnie is associate director of ThickSkin, appearing as an actor in their productions Boy Magnet and These Imagined Stories and directing Boy Magnet and White Noise. Other directing credits include, Nigel Slater’s Toast (The Lowry) and Found (The Albany). As movement director his credits include, Great Apes (Arcola Theatre); Connections Festival 16/17 (National Theatre); Maggie & Pierre (Finborough Theatre); The Paper Birds’ Mobile (UK tour); Frozen Light’s Home (UK tour); CAUGHT (Pleasance Theatre); and Cracking, Hooked and Bat Boy (New Wimbledon Studio).

Kieton Saunders-Browne – Finn
Keiton trained at the Young Actors Theatre and will be making his professional stage debut in The Unreturning. Keiton’s film credits include Pulling (Kaiser Siren Films) and The Backseat (Hidden Art Films).


Anna Jordan – Writer
Anna is a writer, director and acting coach.

As a writer her current projects include Pop Music (Paines Plough / Birmingham Repertory Theatre) and a new adaptation of Mother Courage (Royal Exchange/Headlong). Anna won the Bruntwood Prize in 2013 for her play Yen, which has had productions at The Royal Exchange, Royal Court Theatre and MCC New York as well as several international productions. It was also shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2015–2016.

Other theatre includes We Anchor In Hope (Royal Court – Beyond the Court); Chicken Shop (Park Theatre) and Freak (Theatre503/Assembly Studios). She was recently part of the writers room on HBO’s new series Succession, created by Jesse Armstrong, and has written episode 4.

Anna has taught/directed at RADA, LAMDA, Arts Ed, Central and italia Conti. She runs her own company, Without a Paddle Theatre and co-founded Hackney Showroom Young Actors with Sam Curtis Lindsay. She is also the vocal coach for ALT Actor Training.

Neil Bettles – Director
Neil has worked with Frantic Assembly since 2004.
For Frantic Assembly he directed This Will All Be Gone and Co-directed No Way Back for the company and was Assistant Director of Dirty Wonderand at the Brighton Festival.

Other credits include, International Associate Movement Director of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child (London, New York and Australia), Associate Director of We Are Here (La Mama, New York). As movement director, Carmen (Opera Wuppertal, Germany); The James Plays (Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre); Blood Wedding and The Bacchae (Royal & Derngate). As Associate Movement Director, Heisenberg (Wyndhams Theatre), The Light Princess (National Theatre), and The Full Monty (Sheffield Theatres and West End).

He is co-founder and Artistic Director of ThickSkin for which his directing credits include Chalk Farm, The Static and Blackout, He also co-directed Boy Magnet and White Noise for the company.

Jessica Williams – Associate Director
Jess trained at the London Contemporary Dance School. On graduating she joined ‘Transitions Dance Company’ at the Laban centre.
Jess began working for ‘Frantic Assembly’ in 2012 as a practitioner and has taught movement at MA level for Frantic Assembly and for the Royal Academy of Music and the Oxford School of Drama.
For Frantic Assembly she toured the UK for Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and went on to become Associate Movement Director for the US touring production of Curious Incident. She also performed in This Will All Be Gone for the company.
Other credits include Co-Directing for the National Youth Theatre Wales, Associate Movement Director for the National Theatre of Wales, and Movement Director for Dirty Protest. Jess is co-Director of Wales based bilingual company Neontopia and works as movement director for LA based company Wilderness.

Andrze Goulding -Set and Projection Designer
Andrzej works as a Set and Projection Designer internationally across all forms of live
For Frantic Assembly he was Set & Video designer for No Way Back.
Set and Video credits include, Status (Edinburgh Festival 2018); People, Places and Things (National Theatre, West End, St Ann’s Warehouse, UK Tour); Groundhog Day (Broadway, Old Vic); The Girl On The Train (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Pressure (West End, UK Tour, Park Theatre); Frost/Nixon (Sheffield Crucible); Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse, NT Live); 1984 (Northern Ballet, Sadler’s Wells, Sky Arts); Kiss Of The Spider Woman (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Suicide, From Morning To Midnight, (National Theatre); Relative Values (West End); Me and My Girl, Sweet Bird Of Youth, The Boy in the Striped Pyjama’s, Pressure (Chichester Festival Theatre); No’s Knife (Old Vic Theatre, Abbey Theatre); Carou- sel (Barbican, Opera North); Rent (St James Theatre, UK Tour 2016-17); Room (Theatre Royal Stratford East, Abbey Theatre); Man To Man (Edinburgh Festival 2015, BAM, UK Tour); The Machine (MIF, The Armoury NYC); Into The Hoods : Remixed (Peacock Theatre, UK Tour); The Last Mermaid (WMC); Rules for Living (UK Tour); Hansel and Gretel (Vienna State Opera); The Impresario / Le Rossignol (Santa Fe Opera); Silent Night (US Tour).
Set Designs Include, Union (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) and Sane New World (Ruby Wax Tour).
He was recently nominated for a Drama Desk Award (for People, Places and Things), won the 2017 Theatre and Technology Award for Creative Innovation in Video Design (for Room) and was nominated for the first ever Whatsonstage Award for Video Design in 2017 (for Groundhog Day).

Zoe Spurr – Lighting Designer
Zoe trained at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Recent theatre includes: Toast (Traverse 1), Meek (Headlong/UK Tour), Abigail’s Party (Queens Theatre Hornchurch/ UK Tour) Polstead (for Eastern Angles/UK Tour), Sticky, Infinite Joy, Confidence, Natives, Collective Rage (Southwark Playhouse), Tiny Dynamite (Old Red Lion) The Phlebotomist (Hampstead Theatre), Not Talking (Arcola Theatre), Grotty (Bunker Theatre), Phoenix Rising, Loose Lips (Big House Theatre Company, Site Specific), The Beginners (Unicorn Theatre), Elephant (Birmingham REP), Tiny Dynamite (Old Red Lion), The Magic Flute (Soho Theatre/UK tour), The Scar Test (Soho Theatre), Skate Hard Turn Left (BAC), The Drive (UK Tour), Hidden (UK Tour), Elton John’s Glasses, Good Dog (Watford Palace/UK Tour), Erwartung/Twice Through The Heart (for Shadwell Opera at Hackney Showroom), The Knife of Dawn (Camden Roundhouse) and Affection (with Outbox Theatre, site specific)

Pete Malkin – Sound Designer
Pete is a multi-award winning Sound Designer for Theatre and a graduate of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Sound Designer credits include, Pity (Royal Court); Queens of the Coal Age (Manchester Royal Exchange); The Seagull (Lyric Hammersmith); The Kid Stays in the Picture (Royal Court); Frogman (Curious Directive); White Bike (The Space); Schism (Aegis Productions); The Tempest (Donmar Warehouse); Beware of Pity (Schaubühne, Berlin/Complicité); Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange); Treasure (Finborough); Unearthed (Arcola/UK Tour); 7–75 (The Place); Am I Dead Yet (Unlimited/Bush); War Correspondents (Greenwich Festival/UK Tour); The Commission (ROH/Aldeburgh/Opera North); Sun (St Leonard’s Church/National Art Service); Farragut North (Southwark); Space Junk (Gameshow/Lyric Hammersmith).
Co-Sound Designer credits include, The Encounter (Complicité), for which he won, with Gareth Fry, the Special Tony Award for sound design; The Noise (Northern Stage/Unlimited Theatre).
Associate Sound Designer credit include, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (West End/Broadway); 1984 (Headlong); Oresteia (West End); Hamlet (RSC); Lionboy, The Magic Flute, The Master & Margarita (Complicité).
Pete’s sound work also includes co-sound designing the UN Global Goals launch and Sydney Opera House Light the Sails events.

Lily Arnold – Costume Designer
Set and costume design credits include, Things Of Dry Hours (Young Vic); The Girl On The Train (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Dublin Carol (Sherman Theatre); Rules For Living (ETT/Royal And Derngate); Snow in Midsummer, The Jew of Malta, The Rape of Lucrece, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company); Room (Stratford East); The Secret Garden (York Theatre Royal/Theatre By The Lake); The Solid Life of Sugar Water (National Theatre/Theatre Royal Plymouth); The Sugar Coated Bullets of The Bourgeoisie (High Tide/Arcola); Tomcat (Southwark Playhouse); Jeramee, Hartleby and Ooglemore (Unicorn Theatre); Forget Me Not (Bush Theatre); So Here We Are (HighTide/Royal Exchange); Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Edge of Our Bodies (Gate Theatre); Beached (Marlowe Theatre); Yellow Face (Park Theatre/National Theatre); Peddling (HighTide Festival/59E59); Ahasverus, The Bullet (Hampstead Downstairs)

Upcoming productions include, Love Lies Bleeding (PRINTROOM); Sleeping Beauty (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Remains Of The Day (Royal and Derngate)

Production Team

Production Manager- Nick Soper
CSM (on book) – Sarah Thomas
TSM (Production Manager Touring) – Nick Hill
Production Video and Sound – Benjamin Walden
ASM – Anthony Papamichael
Production LX – Matthew Whale
Programmer – Lauren Kunicki
Video System Engineer – Dan Trenchard
Video System Rigger – Michael Samuel
Drum Technician – Matt Hoyle
Head of Wardrobe – Delia Lancaster