- The UK première of Edmond De Bergerac – Alexis Michalik’s romantic comedy and winner of five Molière Awards, translated by Jeremy Sams, directed by Roxana Silbert and starring Freddie Fox.
- The European première of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma and directed by Roxana Silbert.
- Inua Ellams’ latest play, The Half God of Rainfall.
- Melly Still directs Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, based on Louis De Bernières’ novel, adapted by Rona Munro.
- Plays by local artists include Amahra Spence’s Concubine, Graeme Rose’s Fred Jeffs: The Sweetshop Murders, Paul O’Donnell’s We’ve Got Each Other, A Moment of Madness by The Other Way Works and REP Foundry Nights.
- BE FESTIVAL celebrates its 10th anniversary with Deadtown, The Forman Brothers’ Wild West Show.
- From Shore To Shore – three stories of migrant Chinese communities living in the UK.
- The Olivier award-winning Rotterdam – Jon Brittain’s play about identity politics and individuality.
- The Cat In The Hat and In The Night Garden Live bring fun for families.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre has today announced its spring and summer 2019 season. Speaking of the new season Roxana Silbert said:
Revolution is something Birmingham was founded upon and, over the years, it has become more diverse, adaptable and robust as a result. The city is currently experiencing a significant and exciting renaissance and has a gritty determination to improve the living and working environment for future generations.
I wanted this season to reflect that determined, bold, progressive spirit.
Across our three stages, we present stories from far-flung cultures such as The Half God Of Rainfall and From Shore To Shore, and those borne out of the hopelessness of war, such as the powerful A Thousand Splendid Sons and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, plus bold theatrical responses to injustice with Good Dog, Nanjing and Concubine. We explore our instinct to fight passionately for what we believe in with Edmond De Bergerac and Rotterdam.
Celebrating its UK première is the French theatre phenomenon, Edmond De Bergerac (15 – 30 March). Alexis Michalik’s hilarious comedy won five Molière Awards and continues to play to packed houses in Paris at the Theatre du Palais-Royale. Translated by Jeremy Sams, Roxana Silbert directs Freddie Fox (An Ideal Husband, Judas Kiss) as playwright Edmond Rostand in this romantic comedy inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac.
The UK première of Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns (2 – 18 May), will also be directed by Roxana Silbert, in a Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Northern Stage co-production. From the writer of The Kite Runner, and adapted for the stage by scriptwriter for theatre and screen, Ursula Rani Sarma, A Thousand Splendid Suns is the powerful story of three generations of women discovering strength in unity and finding hope in the unlikeliest of places.
Based on the best-selling novel by Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (29 May – 15 June) comes to the stage for the very first time. Marking the 25th anniversary of the novel’s original publication, this unforgettable love story, set against the backdrop of World War II, is adapted for the stage by Rona Munro and directed by Melly Still in a co-production with Rose Theatre Kingston and Neil Laidlaw.
Inua Ellams’ latest play, The Half God of Rainfall (13 – 20 April) is presented in a co-production with Fuel and Kiln Theatre. Inua Ellams (The Barber Shop Chronicles) writes this contemporary saga that weaves poetry with storytelling in a majestic, chaotic journey across mythologies that transports us from a tiny village in Southern Nigeria to the home of the Gods and beyond.
Elsewhere in the season REP supported productions by local writers and performers include Amahra Spence’s Concubine (26 February – 2 March), which returns following a sell-out run in 2018; Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit and Bon Jovi inspired, We’ve Got Each Other (23 – 27 April) by Paul O’Donnell, and Graeme Rose’s investigative thriller, Fred Jeffs: The Sweet Shop Murder (15 – 18 May). Scenes From A Brummie Iliad (19 – 20 July) sees Homer’s epic poem brought home – in a Brummie accent. Adapted by Roderick Smith, The REP’s Adult Drama and Young REP Light Post companies bring Homer’s striking vision to life.
Two productions take place beyond The REP’s stages. From Shore To Shore (2 – 6 April) takes place at Chung Ying Cantonese and Birmingham’s Chinese Community Centre. Award-winning writer Mary Cooper and multilingual collaborator M. W. Sun weave tales of love and loss, struggle and survival to tell the stories of migrant Chinese communities living in the UK. A Moment of Madness (3 – 6 May) by The Other Way Works and presented jointly by The REP and Flatpack Festival, explodes out of the confines of the theatre into the gritty reality of the city to fuse compelling drama with the excitement of real-time gameplay to create a visceral new live experience.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s critically acclaimed and enchanting production of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (25 February – 2 March), directed by Timothy Sheader, comes to The REP as part of a UK tour. Visiting The STUDIO is the Olivier Award-winning Rotterdam (20 – 22 May) – Jon Brittain’s bittersweet comedy about gender and sexuality, and also The Life I Lead (11 – 13 March), a new play by James Kettle starring comedian and actor Miles Jupp who brings to life the remarkable story of David Tomlinson, the actor renowned for playing the classic English gent, Mr Banks in the Disney classic, Mary Poppins.
The season of plays in The DOOR include Commonism (9 – 11 January) by northern theatre maker, Andy Smith and Norwegian, Amund Sjolie Sveen. Their performed conversation asks questions about nationality, theatre and politics.
After notching up over 200 performances internationally, actor Mark Lockyer brings his show, Living With The Lights On (22 – 26 January) to Birmingham – an hilarious, touching and utterly bonkers story of a life lived on the edge.
Armed with nothing but his own body and a chair, Lewis Doherty, brings thirty characters, a car chase and multi-man brawls to life in Wolf (11 – 13 February).
From the writer of the incredible hit play, Misty, Good Dog (6 – 9 March) by Arinzè Kene tells a delicately observed and fearless story about growing up and the everyday injustices.
In her personal response to the Nanjing Massacre of 1937, Jude Christian’s Nanjing (13 – 16 March) considers what it is to love one another while fighting hatred and how we can make sacrifices for pacifism. Finally, SparkPlug (10 – 13 April) is David Judge’s poetic, energetic one-man show that examines what family means in today’s society.
Theatrical treats for all the family include feline frivolity with The Cat In The Hat (26 February – 3 March) based Dr. Seuss’s famous book; a completely new theatre production of In The Night Garden Live (31 July – 4 August); adrenaline fuelled circus spectacular with Cirque Berserk! (19 – 24 February) and the ever-popular First Stages series of smaller, introductory plays for young children: Uncle’s Story Shop (19 January) and Little Gift (21 – 23 February).
BE FESTIVAL, Birmingham’s European arts festival celebrates its 10th anniversary (2 – 6 July) with a production on The REP’s main stage, Deadtown (27 – 29 June) – a wild-west adventure combining theatre and film by one of Europe’s most innovative theatre companies, the Forman Brothers.
One-night only performances include Mark Kermode’s How Does It Feel (21 January); Geordie comedian, Carl Hutchinson’s new show, I Know I Shouldn’t Behave Like This (9 March); The Paper Cinema’s Macbeth (15 March); a stand-up double header with Sukh Ojla and Bryony Twydle (25 May) and a night of poetry and live music with Out-Spoken (12 January).
Tickets for Spring and Summer 2019 go on sale to members today with general booking opening on Wednesday 24 October. Box Office: 0121 236 4455 / birmingham-rep.co.uk
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