As part of Birmingham Fest, the Old Joint Stock Theatre welcomes Grimm Up North for one night only on Friday 31 July.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away... well, Yorkshire, there lived a prince among men named Tommy. All was right as rain in his kingdom, until one day Tommy encountered bold and brassy Brenda, maker of exotic candles.
Once Tommy’s wick has caught her eye, however, Brenda will stop at nothing to have her wicked way with him. Has Tommy’s fate been sealed, or does the key to his salvation lie in the hands of local Kebab King and club singer, Bing O’Wings?
Grimm Up North is an original comedy sketch show, featuring songs, video, audience participation and a spot of bingo!
Eyes down, and clickety-click!
A tale to make your hearts tock-tick!
This twisted fairy story’s sure
To make folk go a bit slack-jaw;
Bingo! Now the truth will out!
Happy ever after? I should doubt…
Way up north, it’s rather Grimm;
Dare you risk both life and limb
To venture into Brenda’s cellar?
Oh, I promise I shan’t tell her…
Even though there’s laughter,
Best expect no Happy Ever After!
Tickets are just £10 (concessions £8), however tickets are now strictly limited, so check with Old Joint Stock by calling 0121 200 0946 for any last minute availability.
Impulse Productions presents In The Heights this week at the Crescent Theatre. Running from 27 to 30 July, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award winning Musical is guaranteed to thrill Birmingham audiences.
This high energy show tells the the story of three days in the life of Washington Heights, in a tight-knit community at the top of Manhattan. This hip new musical will win you over with its sweet story, catchy tunes and infectious dance routines - one definitely not to be missed.
Take an exhilarating journey into Washington Heights, one of Manhattan's most vibrant communities - a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind.
With a gripping story and incredible Latin and hip-hop infused score, In The Heights is a ground-breaking 21st century musical about what it takes to make a living, what it costs to have a dream, and what it means to be home.
In The Heights opened at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre in February 2008. The production was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, winning four for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Tickets for this production are £16 (concessions £13). To book visit crescent-theatre.co.uk or call 0121 643 5858.
Birmingham Fest continues this week, as theatres around the city host fantastic new work. The Morning After is the next offering at the Blue Orange Theatre, written by Darren Haywood.
Sam wakes up following a heavy night out. He’d fallen out with his girlfriend and needed to drown his sorrows. However, the next morning he has no recollection of the previous night, and also he may not have spent it alone.
Can the events be pieced together? Or are they better forgotten?
The Morning After is a new comedy about the fall-out of the all too familiar 'night before'. Presented as part of Birmingham Fest, the play runs from 27 to 29 July, 7pm at Blue Orange Theatre. Tickets are £7 (£5 concessions). To book tickets, call box office on 0121 212 2643 or visit www.blueorangetheatre.co.uk.
Mandeep Dhillon and Jalleh Alizadeh will take leading roles in the stage premiere of Meera Syal’s much-loved novel, Anita And Me which opens at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 9 October (press night Tuesday 13 October).
Adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta and directed by Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s artistic director Roxana Silbert, Anita And Me is a warm and touching coming-of-age tale that follows Meena (Mandeep Dhillon), the rebellious teenage daughter of the only Punjabi family in the mining village of Tollington. When she becomes friends with the impossibly feisty Anita (Jalleh Alizadeh), she thinks she’s found her soul mate but her world is turned upside down as she finds herself caught between her two cultures.
Mandeep Dhillon is best know for her roles of Saz in the BBC3 series Some Girls and Dacia in CBBC’s hit series Wolf Blood. She can be currently seen in one of BBC iPlayer’s first Original Drama Shorts, My Jihad. Mandeep has also appeared in popular shows such as The Thick of It, Whitechapel and Cardinal Burns and on stage in Angle at the Bush and Little Platoons at the Bush Theatre. Local Birmingham actress Jalleh Alizadeh has appeared on screen in the ITV comedy drama Benidorm and BBC dramas Doctors andHustle.
Playing Meena’s parents, Daljit and Shyam, are Ayesha Dharker and Ameet Chana. Ayesha Dharker played Meena’s mother in the film of Anita And Me. She is currently appearing in Othello at the RSC and her many other theatre credits include the West End and Broadway musical Bombay Dreams, The Ramayana at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Arabian Nights at the RSC. On television Ayesha has appeared in Coronation Street, Indian Summers and Doctor Who. Her film credits include Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and The Terrorist.
Ameet Chana was a series regular in EastEnders and is currently appearing in the BBC drama My Jihad. On stage Ameet has appeared in Happy Birthday Sunita at Watford Palace Theatre and The Djinns of Eidgah at the Royal Court Theatre. His film credits include The Black Prince and Unhallowed Ground.
The cast for Anita And Me also includes: Amy Booth-Steel (Mrs Ormerod); Janice Connolly (Mrs Worrall);Joseph Drake (Sam); Kiren Jogi (Aunty Shaila); Megan McCormick (Tracey); Tarek Merchant (Ned);Chris Nayak (Uncle Amman) and Yasmin Wilde (Nanima).
The Anita And Me set is designed by Bob Bailey with lighting design by Chahine Yavroyan. Ben and Max Ringham compose and design the sound, and movement direction will be by Ann Yee.
Anita And Me opens at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 9 to 24 October. Tickets are £7 - £35, for more information and to book call The REP's box office on 0121 236 4455 or visit birmingham-rep.co.uk.
The Old Rep is bringing a taste of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to Birmingham, as they present a programme of stand-up comedy previews. From 21 to 23 July, a series of emerging UK comedians will take to the stage at The Old Rep to give audiences a glimpse of what will be on offer in Edinburgh later this year.
With tickets at just £5, The Old Rep’s Edinburgh Fringe preview season is a fun and affordable night out for all. Also, if you book to see all three Edinburgh preview shows, you will receive one ticket for free – that’s 3 nights of comedy for just £10.
The Edinburgh preview programme opens on Tuesday 21 July at 8pm with the double bill of Julian Deane, who makes his Edinburgh Fringe debut this year, and Steve Bugeja. Bugeja’s set Day Release follows the story of the time he went to a friend’s wedding and, on the way, had to pick up the bride’s dad who was leaving prison for the first time in 18 years.
The programme continues on Wednesday 22 July, 8pm, with Alex Smith and Ahir Shah, in what promises to be an intriguing evening of comedy. Alex Smith - a stand-up comedian, Huffington Post columnist and You & Your Wedding magazine’s resident groom – talks about the trials and tribulations of the recently engaged. Thoughtful wastrel Ahir Shah’s erudite and philosophical style has seen him perform across the UK and abroad, earning critical acclaim at every turn. His set Distant is about cigarettes, vegetarianism, extremism, disengagement, depression, walking and pirates.
The Old Rep’s season of Fringe previews will conclude on Thursday 23 July at 8pm, with Edinburgh’s very own double BAFTA nominate Iain Stirling. Iain is known for his appearances on CBeebies’ Scoop (with his canine pal Hacker T Dog) and CBBC’s The Dog Ate My Homework, so his show at The Old Rep will give parents a chance to see his more grown-up material! His show, Touchy Feely, covers post-referendum Scotland and that time he annoyed the armed forces. Iain will be accompanied on the 23 July by an as yet unannounced supporting act.
This string of previews at The Old Rep follows the recent announcement that the theatre will host comedians Lee Nelson and Chris Ramsey in October.
To book your tickets for any of The Old Rep’s Edinburgh previews, call the Box Office on 0121 359 9444, or visit oldreptheatre.co.uk (online booking fee applies). Tickets are just £5 each, and the performances are expected to finish at approximately 10:15pm.
As part of Birmingham Fest, the Crescent Theatre’s studio space welcomes The Grandmother. Presented by Irritable Monkey Productions, in association with SSA Drama, this darkly comic debut from Nicholas Tuck draws on personal family experiences, whilst addressing certain modern ethics and questions of morality.
A Father's relaxing bath turns into a family conference as they all collectively try to avoid one thing…The Grandmother. During its two acts, this tragicomedy examines the idea of family, unconditional love, and how quickly it can all be ripped apart.
For more information and to book tickets visit crescent-theatre.co.uk or call 0121 643 5858.
King Lear (alone) is a brand-new interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, adapted by Edinburgh Fringe award-winning playwright Frank Bramwell. The play questions whether Shakespeare was right to kill off King Lear at the end of his play. The starting point is Kent’s question at the end of the play “Is this the Promised End?”
Lear is on the heath, left alone to once more think about that fateful day and everything that happened since then, retold through the words of Shakespeare. Now he has just one hour, one hour to decide what his future holds.
This fascinating opportunity takes the audience along Lear’s ensuing spiritual journey following the news of Cordelia’s death, allowing us to re-examine the original play’s themes and insights from a completely different angle.
By losing the other 29 characters of the original, this play allows the audience to get inside the very thoughts and feelings of King Lear himself.
This play by Frank Bramwell is his fifth sequel to Shakespeare’s plays. The previous four (based on Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Hamlet) have all delighted audiences with the boldness of their approach and the dexterity of touch. Romeo & Juliet for All Time won an award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a play “that stood head and shoulders above other plays reviewed”.
King Lear (alone) plays at Old Clubhouse (Venue 21) as part of Buxton Fringe from 23-25 July, bookings can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07720 839 612. The play will then move on to Birmingham, as part of Birmingham Fest from 28-31 July. Performances take place at Old Joint Stock Theatre and St Paul’s Church. For tickets and more information visit oldjointstocktheatre.co.uk or call 0121 200 0946.
Central Stage School is on the lookout for new members to join them from September 2015. This fun and friendly school is run by fully qualified staff, conducting lessons in Tap, Street Jazz and Musical Theatre, based in Solihull.
Central Stage School thrive on teaching fun and stimulating classes to all ages, ensuring that everyone enjoys what they are learning. Classes help to improve and develop a number of skills and qualities including co-ordination, rhythm, self-discipline, self-confidence and social skills.
The school has a very friendly community; staff, pupils and parents are involved in all the schools activities from Examinations to Christmas parties. The school offers pupils the chance to enter medals and appear in an annual show at the Solihull Arts Complex and have also appeared in many galas and West End productions.
Donna Rhodes, Teacher at Central Stage School, says:
"We are so passionate about dance being for everyone no matter their ability. Getting on the stage really helps to transform people's confidence. Every child is treated the same regardless of their ability, we are a team."
Adult classes are full for next year, but there is plenty on offer for children and teenagers. Classes are held on a Monday evening at Solihull British Legion and children's classes are on a Saturday afternoon at Olton Friary. Not only that, on Friday afternoons there is an adult tap class for beginners and a dance fitness class, which is held at Olton United Reformed Church.
For more information, email email@example.com or head over to Central Stage School's website here.
Find Central Stage School on Facebook here.
Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton present the world premiere of a brand new stage adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel Brave New World, at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 November.
It has recently been announced that Sophie Ward will star as Margaret Mond – the Regional World Controller for Western Europe, which in Huxley’s novel is a male character.
About the casting, adapter and playwright Dawn King said:
“I took this decision primarily because as a feminist, I wanted to increase the gender equality of the show. I also felt that having a female world controller of Western Europe is more representative of our world today, and of a world of the future. In the novel the character is called ‘Mustapha Mond’, but in my adaptation I chose the name Margaret, for its obvious allusions. I think Sophie Ward is a great choice to play the role because ‘Mond’ is a person who has had to make hard decisions, has a strong sense of her own personal morality, and has real steely authority – qualities I think Sophie will accentuate.”
Sophie Ward’s extensive screen credits include series regular roles in Land Girls, Heartbeat and Holby City and appearances in acclaimed TV dramas Dinotopia, A Dark Adapted Eye (opposite Helena Bonham Carter), A Village Affair and Secret State, and films including Jane Eyre, Book of Blood, Out of Bounds, Crime and Punishment, Wuthering Heights and Young Sherlock Holmes. Her theatre work includes: Go Back For Murder (tour); Private Lives; One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (tour); An Ideal Husband (Theatre Clwyd); Nothing (59th Street, New York); Electricity (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Semi Monde (Lyric Theatre, London); The Three Sisters (Chichester); The Turn Of The Screw (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry); Flare Path (King’s Head, London) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (tour).
Brave New World, widely considered to be one of the finest and most prophetic dystopian novels of the twentieth century, bursts into life on stage in an adaptation by award-winning playwright Dawn King,directed by James Dacre and designed by Naomi Dawson, with an original new music by the ground breaking British band These New Puritans.
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was first published in 1932, and is widely seen to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century, anticipating developments in reproductive technology, psychological manipulation and behavioural conditioning. Set 600 years in the future human life has been almost entirely industrialised, and humans are created and conditioned in a lab according to a strict caste system, in a World State whose motto is “Community, Identity, Stability”. Monogamy, the family unit and the ‘natural’ process of giving birth, are considered horrific and unnatural, and material comfort and physical pleasure - provided by the drug soma and recreational sex — represent society’s highest good.
Dawn King also said, “Huxley's novel is over eighty years old, but his vision of the future is shockingly familiar. In many ways, we already live in Brave New World: a glittering dystopia built on inequality, where people keep themselves distracted with empty pleasures, chemical stimulants and consumer goods. Adapting this huge work for the stage has been as tough and stimulating as anything I've ever done and a huge pleasure.”
Further casting is to be announced.
For more information and to book tickets visit grandtheatre.co.uk or call the Grand's box office on 01902 429 212.
As part of Birmingham Fest, Night Project Theatre are delighted to present Musicals Discovered, a one hour mini-concert at the Blue Orange Theatre on the evening of 18 July from 7pm to 8pm.
The concert provides a platform for Composers of Musical Theatre from the region to showcase their work, alongside a selection of pieces from smash-hit musicals and the lesser-known musical canon.
This is a great chance to hear something a little bit different, or simply to enjoy a few favourites in the intimate atmosphere of the Blue Orange theatre.
Tickets are just £7.50 (£6.00 concessions). For more information and to book click here, or call the box office on 0121 212 2643.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.