Jonathan Coe’s The Rotters’ Club, Gareth Farr’s The Quiet House and Tom Wells’ Folk will receive their stage premieres at Birmingham Repertory Theatre next year. The new Spring and Summer 2016 season also features a ground-breaking new production of The Government Inspector, Don Warrington as King Lear, plus a major revival of Alan Bennett’s Single Spies alongside a compelling mix of drama, comedy and family shows.
Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre says of the season;
“I’m proud to announce The REP’s new season, which combines new work from local writers, alongside exciting premieres, striking productions of classics and bold new interpretations of three of Shakespeare’s greatest works during the 400th anniversary of his death.
Jonathan Coe’s The Rotters’ Club is an iconic story set against the background of 70s Birmingham, there are new productions of Gogol’s The Government Inspector and Alan Bennett’s Single Spies, as well as premieres of Tom Wells’ Folk and Gareth Farr’s The Quiet House. And we have three striking Shakespeare productions - Don Warrington stars as King Lear, John Heffernan and Anna Maxwell Martin lead in Macbeth and experimental theatre company, Filter, bring their take on Twelfth Night."
Exploring the enduring fascination with royalty and Russian spies is an award-winning double bill by Alan Bennett. Single Spies (17 to 27 February). The REP’s Artistic Director, Roxana Silbert, will direct The Government Inspector adapted by David Harrower (19 to 26 March). Gogol’s satirical masterpiece is a riot of corruption, lies and greed and will feature an integrated cast of Deaf, disabled and able bodied actors and every performance will be fully accessible to Deaf or disabled audiences. This production is the first in the ground-breaking ‘ Ramps on the Moon’ touring project.
Jonathan Coe’s iconic 1970s coming-of-age novel, The Rotters’ Club (2 to 9 April) is brought to life on stage for the first time in an adaptation by Richard Cameron and will feature a large cast of young people drawn from across the city.
Infertility, IVF and the taboo that surrounds the subject is explored in the world premiere of Gareth Farr’s The Quiet House (26 May to 4 June). Also premiering is another Birmingham Repertory Theatre commission - Folk (14 to 30 April). Previous winner of the Critics Circle Most Promising Playwright award, Tom Wells’ Folk takes us into the world of Winnie – a swearing, Skoda-driving, Guinness drinking nun. Both of these shows will be directed by The REP's Associate Director Tessa Walker.
Acclaimed stage and screen actor Don Warrington will play one of Shakespeare’s most iconic roles King Lear (19 to 28 May). Two other Shakespeare plays also feature in the season – the previously announced, Macbeth (26 to 30 January) with John Heffernan and Anna Maxwell Martin, and visiting The REP for the first time is experimental theatre company, Filter, with their radically-cut, fast-paced version of Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy Twelfth Night (12 to 16 April).
Back by popular demand is The REP’s successful 2014 production of, Of Mice And Men (4 to 13 February) directed by Roxana Silbert. The production will open at The REP before it embarks on a 15 week UK tour.
Two new commissions by REP Foundry artists will feature in the season – Sarah Baker-Hamilton’s Lady Lust (21 to 23 January) and Abuelo (14 to 16 January) by Amahra Spence.
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller, The 39 Steps (29 February to 5 March), brilliantly and hilariously recreated for the stage now comes to The REP after 9 years in London’s West End.
For families, Hetty Feather (8 to 12 March) is based on a novel by Jacqueline Wilson, adapted for the stage by Emma Reeves using songs, live music and circus skills to glorious effect.
Based on Terrence Rattigan’s own experiences as a tail gunner during World War II, Flare Path (25 to 30 April), the epic wartime romance story, is presented by The Original Theatre Company who also visit with Shadowlands (31 May to 4 June) - the love story of C.S. Lewis.
Birmingham writer Charlene James’ urgent play, Cuttin It (14 to 18 June), highlights the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) here and abroad and is directed by Gbolahan Obisesan. Cuttin It is a Young Vic / Royal Court Theatre co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and The Yard Theatre.
The season will also feature award-winning French artist, Mohamed El Khatib’s haunting but often funny Beautiful Ending (26 to 27 January); Graeae Theatre’s The Solid Life of Sugar Water by Jack Thorne (2 to 6 February); one-woman show, The Crows Plucked Your Sinews performed by Yusra Warsama (9 to 11 Feb); Matthew Zajac’s phenomenal international hit The Tailor of Inverness (3 to 5 March); Gary Owen’sIphigenia in Splott (15 to 19 March); a gritty Faustian-tale and new opera by Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh from Music Theatre Wales - The Devil Inside (18 April); the latest production from Stan’s Cafe –Made Up (14 to 21 May), Torben Betts’ middle-class culture clash, Invincible (17 to 21 May) and Charlene James’ urgent play, Cuttin It (14 to 18 June). Additional shows will also be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the Spring and Summer Season are now on sale. Book tickets by calling Box Office on 0121 236 4455 or by booking online at Birmingham-rep.co.uk.
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