Nobby the tramp’s life to be stage play

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By TARA DUN­DON tara.dun­don@pe­ter­bor­oughto­

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.east­er­nan­

To sub­mit your ideas, email plat­form­peter­bor­ough@ya­


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.

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