The Underground Man

A life of fascination, obsession and deep scientific curiosity.

William John Cavendish Scott-Bentinck, the 5th Duke of Portland is an eccentric English aristocrat whose imagination and curiosity know no bounds. This deceptively simple man struggles to come to terms with a world that is teeming with new knowledge, ill-founded opinion and gossip. Why does he hide himself away? What is his fascination with tunnels? Will he ever unearth the secrets hidden in his memory?

In a sequence of events that are often bizarre and frequently hilarious he reveals moments of surprising perception and wisdom. Adapted by Nick Wood from Mick Jackson's Booker Prize shortlisted novel this production features live music and a specially commissioned score.

The Underground Man is a delectable blend of fact and fiction in which the intriguing details of a complex life are richly explored through the vibrant imagination of a gentle soul. It is a journey, with a Gothic twist, through the curious tunnels of a Victorian mind.


“Soaked through with originality and expertly written: tragi-comic fiction with the most endearingly sympathetic of anti-heroes” THE TIMES

“A strong narrative drive, a Gothic twist and wonderful cast of secondary characters make this an entrancingly readable book” THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

“Something of a hero of mine” BILL BRYSON


Presented by ajtc and Nottingham Playhouse

Based on the novel by Mick Jackson

Adapted by Nick Wood

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Mill Studio



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