Nick’s Summer job

Reform Theatre artistic director Keith Hukin in front of the set of My Favourite Summer
Reform Theatre artistic director Keith Hukin in front of the set of My Favourite Summer

REFORM Theatre’s founder and artistic director Keith Hukin has stepped back in front of the footlights for their latest production, a revival of Nick Lane’s My Favourite Summer.

He is playing opposite ex-Emmerdale actor Matthew Booth in the story of a young man who takes what turns out to be the summer job from hell working alongside a nutter called Melvin.

That’s the role Hukin has cast himself in . “Well, I thought it was about time I got back out there,” he says.

“The play is set in 1995 and is an autobiographical story which is where Nick is very good, and is also about someone who falls in love with a girl who doesn’t return his affections,” explains Hukin who is also directing. “He also thinks he will be working alongside a man of the people who turns out to be somewhat different.”

An edgy comedy, My Favourite Summer will be performed at the Lantern Theatre on Sunday, it second Sheffield performance after a recent night at Tapton School.

“Part of our remit is to perform theatre for young people that’s accessible. We go into schools and do workshops around the play. It’s adult theatre, we don’t talk down to them.”

Sheffield-based Reform company specialises in touring plays by Northern playwrights throughout the country to small and mid-scale venues. Last year it gave a premiere to another play of Nick Lane’s, Housebound.

The partnership between Reform and the Doncaster-born playwright currently the literary manager at Hull Truck Theatre looks set to go from strength to strength this year with the company’s first-ever commission, Seconds Out, focusing on the boxing industry of Sheffield and due to tour in the latter part of this Olympic year.

The tour of My Favourite Summer concludes with a run from Tuesday to Saturday at Harrogate Theatre which in another significant step for Reform recently forged an associate company partnership with them.

“The arrangement is that we either open or close plays there and we are able to use their resources for auditions and rehearsal space,” explains Hukin. ”Their artistic director, David Bown, who’s also from Sheffield, approached us and wanted us under their banner. It’s quite a compliment really and . I don’t think we are losing our identify by doing this.

“Another thing that’s good is that the Arts Council have confirmed support for the next two years after it being a bit hit and miss in the past. It’s has to be new theatre and new writing and that’s got to be the way forward.”