Kes at Derby Theatre
Kes at Derby Theatre

You’ve read the book, you’ve seen the film, now you can see the much-loved story of Kes when it hits the stage at Derby Theatre later in the year.

The venue has announced that Kes, adapted from the novel A Kestrel For A Knave by Barry Hines, will be its second professional produced show and can be seen there from September 13-October 5.

Adapted by Lawrence Till, it will be directed by Derby Theatre’s artistic director Sarah Brigham.

Kes will be Derby Theatre’s second professional produced show, following on from the first, the hugely successful Cooking with Elvis, which finished at the weekend.

Set against a northern backdrop, Kes is a coming-of-age classic told with humour and warmth which continues to speak, and be relevant to, audiences of all ages through its powerful story of struggle in a tough world.

It’s 1960s Britain and daring to hope can be a dangerous thing.

But ‘our Billy’ is brave enough to break free from the hardship, coal dust and the bullying he endures from his family and teachers.

Adamant on embarking on a journey towards a brighter future, Billy realises his ambition of hope and freedom through his kestrel, Kes.

Billy and Kes, through a shared aspiration to reach new horizons, form a unique bond through training, love and hope.

But injustice and heartbreak impact on their journeys too, as Billy tragically discovers.

Director Sarah Brigham said: “I’m delighted to be bringing this classic tale to the audiences of Derby.

“It’s a story of one boy’s hope and ambition against an incredibly tough landscape and I think it chimes very much with our times at the moment.

“It’s a great story with great drama within it and I hope our audiences will enjoy our second professional produced show.”

For many; Kes is a story fondly remembered with nostalgia of a time studying the play at school and Derby Theatre looks forward to presenting this exciting, yet faithful, version, from Lawrence Till’s adaptation, to new and existing audiences this autumn.

The play is to be designed by Barney George with original music by Ivan Stott.

Tickets to see Kes will be £10.50 - £25.50.

Family tickets and school rates are also available.

For more information and to book tickets call the box office on 01332 59 39 39 or online at

There is also an ‘Earlybird of prey’ offer available on tickets.

Book before May 31 and get 50 per cent off your booking (available on performances from Friday, September 13-Monday September 16.

n Meanwhile, Derby Theatre will be looking for local oung people (aged 11-15 years old) to play Billy’s classmates in the play. Auditions will be held on Sunday, June 16. For more email Caroline Barth at