Curtain up on new season at The Belgrade Theatre

Belgrade Theatre, New season

New shows have been announced for The Belgrade Theatre’s Autumn of 2024 program, and looking ahead to the beginning of 2025.

Kicking off the autumn season from 11th– 21st September will be a co-production with China Plate, Please Do Not Touch, written by former Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey (GrimeBoy, Birmingham Rep) and directed by award winning theatre maker, Gail Babb (Stars, Tamasha – OFFIE’S Best New Play 2024).

Mason is an activist. He’s always been able to talk his way out of trouble, win any argument and speak out against injustice until an incident in a heritage house takes all that away from him. How do you keep speaking up when everything’s designed to silence you?

Belgrade Theatre, New season
My Mother’s Funeral

Play On!, a co-production from Talawa and The Belgrade, will open at the Belgrade Theatre 23rd September – 5th October, ahead of a UK tour. This stylish new jazz musical, a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, will be directed by Talawa’s Artistic Director Michael Buffong, fusing the thrilling music of Duke Ellington and hip-hop choreography.

Meet Vy, a talented songwriter aiming to make it big in the 1940’s Harlem scene. They all say that women will never be taken seriously in a man’s world. Our protagonist is determined to prove them wrong – but how? A cunning gender swap gives Vy access to her idol, the Duke, and nightclub sensation Lady Liv. Vy’s attempts at being a man are a little too convincing, and the three form a complicated love triangle. Who will come out on top?

Play On! Will be produced by Talawa Theatre Company and The Belgrade Theatre, and co-produced with Birmingham Hippodrome, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Wiltshire Creative.

Belgrade Theatre new season, Coventry
Enough of Him by Tommy Ga-Ken Wan.

Gripping new family drama Revealed, directed by the Belgrade’s Associate Director Jay Zorenti-Nakhid will premiere from 18th October – 2nd November. A Belgrade Theatre production, written by renowned writer and performer Daniel J Carver (RSC, Seaview), will be at times devastating and shocking, yet hilarious and heartwarming, celebrating the courage in connecting with those we find hardest to love.

At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, an incident in police custody has led to protests and riots in the city’s streets.

16-year-old Luther, his father Malcolm and grandfather Sidney take refuge at the family’s Caribbean restaurant. Thrown together for the night, their differing opinions on racism, masculinity, sexuality, parenting, and love are revealed, with explosive consequences.

As recently announced at the Belgrade Theatre’s launch for its new strategy and artistic vision, a cornerstone of its in-house produced work will premiere in Coventry in 2025, in a co-production with Bristol Old Vic and Hackney Empire. An innovative new version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – the original play, originally scored with Rap and R&B, directed by Corey Campbell in collaboration with local Midlands artists That’s A Rap and A Class, will open at the Belgrade 21st February – 8th March 2025, before heading to Bristol and Hackney.

This is unmistakably Shakespeare’s love story, unaltered in its original text. But it’s not just Shakespeare’s play. There is an important Plus One: rap.

Belgrade Theatre new season, Coventry

Everything that makes Shakespeare’s play so well loved is here. The rich, feuding families. The intense, forbidden passion. And the flash of violence that tears the young lovers apart, sending them spiralling towards tragedy.

The story shines with new, original elements of rap – as well as soul and R&B. Think everyday English as well as the Elizabethan variety. And the poetry of rap rhythms as well as perfect pentameters.

As part of the Belgrade’s ongoing collaboration with Paines Plough, who have recently announced a move to Coventry, their new co-production of Kelly Jones’ My Mother’s Funeral: The Show (a cornerstone of the annual Roundabout programme) will also preview at The Belgrade from Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th July before going to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Abigail’s mum is dead. But it turns out she can’t afford her to be.

Did you know how expensive it is to die? It’s £4,000 for the funeral. Extra for flowers. And even more if you want sausage rolls. Otherwise, she will receive a pauper’s funeral, and an unmarked grave. Then, when a theatre suddenly pulls out of Abigail’s new project, she is asked to write about something else. Something that will bring in audiences. Something more raw, from her ‘unique working class lens.’

Yep. To afford the funeral, she has to write about her mum.

This show (a Paines Plough, Mercury Theatre, Belgrade Theatre, Landmark Theatres and Royal & Derngate Northampton co-production) will also be part of See It First,  running from 17th – 27th July; a summer programme of new plays, work-in-progress, workshops and conversations between artists and audiences. The Belgrade will become an artistic hub for the region – an opportunity to see the best shows and engage with leading companies making new work prior to Edinburgh Fringe. Further details of the full programme to be announced shortly.

Belgrade Theatre, New season

Other shows coming to the theatre include the 20th anniversary production of Alan Bennett’s modern classic The History Boys (8th – 12th October), the international smash hit Ghost The Musical (22nd – 26th October), the multi award-winning comedy ART (15th – 19th October), the classical ballets The Nutcracker and Swan Lake (4th – 6th November) and National Theatre of Scotland’s compelling domestic drama, Enough of Him (20st – 23rd November).

Comedy nights across the season include the one-person parody production Buffy – Revamped (4th September), Florence Espeut-Nickless’ DESTINY (26th September), An Evening Without Kate Bush (28th September) and Adam Kay: Undoctored (28th October). Music and entertainment highlights include Steve Steinman’s Anything For Love – The Meat Loaf Story (29th October) and Legend – Bob Marley (10th January 2025).

Tickets for all shows are on sale to Priority Members now, and on general sale from Monday 15th April here

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