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Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009
Made in England comes to Bristol
Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson's new play is the focus of Bristol's 'Made in England'

Made in England is a project dedicated to exploring how England - the place and the people - is expressed through creative and artistic forms.

It is a joint venture between the BBC and Arts Council England.

In Bristol, Made in England is focussing on the new project from Catherine Johnson, writer of the hit film Mamma Mia!

The diverse range of perspectives will culminate with a celebration of that work on St George's Day 2009.

Made in England though is not a retrospective project, it's a contemporary look at the England we know today - the influence of the urban; the changing and diverse population.

Catherine Johnson will be returning to the Old Vic after 21 years to premiere her latest work.

Ms Johnson was asked by the Old Vic's executive chairman, Dick Penny, to write the black comedy Suspension, which launches on 27 February.

Suspension is a play about Bristol, for Bristol, and it centres around Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge and the nearby Avon Gorge Hotel.

Catherine is passionate about Bristol and says that it is important that the play is set in, written in, and preformed predominantly by Bristolians.

She said: "When I discussed what I was going to do there, we very much felt it was important to showcase Bristol talent.

"I think we have so much talent, so much potential as well, in the city - I think it's really important to show people just what is here."

Ms Johnson's musical, Mamma Mia!, is now the highest grossing UK film of all time, the biggest selling UK DVD of all time, and it has been nominated for a BAFTA.

She is however cautious about her chances, saying: "I actually don't rate them very highly, to be quite honest, we're up against Slumdog Millionaire."




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