Nobby the tramp’s life to be stage play
A POPULAR city tramp who spent 10 years living in a bus shelter is to be turned into a celebrity when a play about his life hits the stage.
The life of Nobby, Peterborough’s bestloved tramp is to be transformed into a 30-minute play to be showcased across the city.
Nobby the tramp, aka Scotsman Michael Ross, spent more than 10 years living in a bus shelter in Oundle Road, Orton Longueville. Touring theatre group Eastern Angles, along with city actor Mark Curtis and play-playwrighter wrighter Ken-Kennethneth Emson, have teamed up to produce the play called “Our Nobby”, set for showing this autumn, And now the team are calling on people in Peterborough to send in stories about their encounters with Nobby so they can be included in the play.
The play will tell true stories about his life, some of which are so quirky that many people believe they are myths.
They include tales of the tramp indulging his passion for golf sneaking onto a local course to play and the postman trying to deliver his mail to his makeshift home in the bus shelter.
Peterborian Mark, who conceived the idea of the play, will be portraying Nobby. He said: “The idea came to me one day when I was sitting on a train and started thinking about identity.
“Growing up in Peterborough there was a lot of community spirit. I also remember the community rallying round when Nobby was asked to move on.
“He removed himself from everyone, he became a major focus point and many people were fixated by him.
“Playing Nobby will be challenging because I will have to be very focused, but I am also looking forward to playing someone who was so prominent in Peterborough.”
The play will be touring in Peterborough in workplaces, community centres, pubs, schools and colleges from September 22.
Director Kate Hall said: “Having grown up in Peterborough I thought Mark’s idea was great. We have already spent one day walking Nobby’s daily walk and imagining what life was like for him every day.
“The play will be created through a process of research, script development and rehearsal and this is why we need people’s stories to help our creative team to best represent this wonderful character.”
Writer Kenneth said: “We are very much in the research period at the moment. I had never heard about Nobby before I was commissioned to write this play but since then I have found out so much and can’t believe how popular he was, it is almost mythical.”
The makers of the play have contacted Nobby, who is living in Peterborough, though they have not revealed where to protect his privacy.
Although he is not prepared to feature in the play himself, he said he is happy for his story to be told.
Day centre manager at St Theresa’s in Manor House Street, Peterborough, Doug Styles, said Nobby had been found accommodation in Peterborough in 2006 and added: “We understand that he is still there. He hasn’t been rough sleeping since and hasn’t been into St Theresa’s.”
Last year, Eastern Angles embarked on a new initiative - Platform Peterborough. The idea was to take two specially commissioned plays on tour across the city of Peterborough. The two half-hour plays were inspired by the city - they were entitled “Lincoln Road” and “Lion & Unicorn”.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering or having a venue that the theatre can perform at for free should get in touch via their website at www.easternangles.co.uk
To submit your ideas, email firstname.lastname@example.org
RESEARCH: Members of the East Angles Theatre Company who are researching a play on Nobby are pictured by his old bus shelter recreating his walk pictured are Kenny Emson, Mark Curtis and Kate Hall. (METP-23-06-10RH203)
LOVED: Top left, Nobby the tramp – aka Michael Ross – on a walkabout in the city centre, in his bus shelter, and practising his golfing skills.