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in Northampton since 1932

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Hell Cab
by Will Kern

Cast & Crew

Cab Driver Tony Kranz
Religious Woman/Call Me Mama/ Drunk/Distraught Woman
Pauline Sawford
Religious Man/Some Guy/Southside Guy/NY Obnoxious 2/Architect
Rob Kendall
Fast Cabbie/Crack Head/Hot Man/Steve/Scary Man/NY Obnoxious 1
Chris Eves
X Hat/Homer/Car Buyer/Father-to-be/Intense Man/Boyfriend
Taygon Kelly
Anna Harrowell
Shopper/Stoned Girl/Hot Woman/Receptionist/Brenda-Southside Girl
Clare Hayhoe

Director Rob Kendall
Stage Manager/Continuity
Clare Brittain
Richard Kendall, Suzanne Richards
Light & Sound
Richard and Jane Vaughan, The Works
Masque Theatre, The Works
Front of House/Box Office Manager
Jo Nutt
Front of House Masque members

Photo from the Northampton Chronicle & Echo of the Hell Cab cast

Production No. 333

More images from Hell Cab


Rob Kendall, director

Hell Cab was shown at the Edinburgh Festival in 1997 and I am very pleased that Will Kern has allowed Masque to premiere the first English production.

As an ensemble production I have taken Kern’s brief to cast it ‘how the hell you want’ and have changed some of the actors character allocation and staged it in a different way than Edinburgh.

But nevertheless we have tried to keep the pacing of the twenty-six scenes as instructed — breakneck!

To know a society, Dostoyevsky wrote, one must look inside its prisons and hospitals.

Modern addendum: also drive a cab.

Hell Cab is the story of an unnamed Cab Driver, a recent small town émigré to the Windy City, who struggles to keep alive by ferrying Chicagoans around in freezing Clnistmastime weather.

The fight on his hand is two-fold: to make a living and to keep his spirit from being shredded by the milestones of urban reality.

Perhaps it is his newcomer’s innocence but the Cab Driver is drawn to comment on, and even intervene, in the affairs of his passengers.

The dark humour and the relentless weight of humanity flows through his cab over these couple of pre-Christmas days. We share his frail attempts to arbitrate human behaviour in these snap shots of life in the back of his cab and may even come to the same conclusions.

Hell Cab is, above all, a Christmas story, though by no means traditional, and has its own take on the ‘holidays’ but there is ultimately a message of hope in these times of chaos and strife.

17 - 21 February 2004
Northampton College Studio Theatre, Booth Lane, Northampton

Page last updated: 16/02/2013 Masque Theatre © 2013


Northampton Chronicle & Echo, February 2004

Everyone knows taxi drivers are the font of all knowledge.

There are few subiects they don’t appear to be an expert in, but in a new production by Northampton's Masque Theatre, the driver himself‘ is forced to learn a few lessons in human existence.

Set in Chicago two days before Christrnas, Hell Cab sees just seven actors playing 32 roles in the hour-and-a-half show.

With all the action taking place within the confines of the cab, the driver comes face to face with a crack addict and his girlfriend, an expectant mother and her husband and at least one lady who has got into the festive spirit just a little too much.

First shown at the Edinburgh Festival in 1997, Hell Cab mixes dar humour, irony and sheer terror and as the characters explore their lives on the back seat, the driver, played by Tony Kranz, soon realises Christmas can bring out the best in people.

Director Rob Kendall said: "We are thrilled the writer Will Kern has allowed us to stage the Engiish premiere of Hell Cab. It is a very modern play showing raw emotions, although some of the language is not suitable for young children."

Hell Cab will take to the stage at Northampton College Studio in Booth Lane, from next Tuesday to Saturday.

Performances start at 7.45pm.

A newspaper photo of the Hell Cab cast