Birmingham Repertory Theatre today announces its Autumn and Winter 2017 season offering a rich, varied and entertaining programme to enthral audiences across the city and beyond. The new season also marks a significant and ambitious moment for The REP’s future, for artists and audiences.
The world premieres of Nativity! The Musical, Douglas Maxwell’s latest play, The Whip Hand and a new commission from Birmingham writer Steven Camden (aka Polarbear), I Knew You, are all part of the season.
Opening with the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of Jane Eyre, the season also features a revival of Duet For One starring Jemma Redgrave and Oliver Cotton plus a new spectacular staging for Christmas, The Hundred And One Dalmatians.
Coinciding with the launch of a new season, The REP has also today announced a new and ambitious fundraising campaign, REP First, to raise £1 million over the next three years to ensure the sustainability of The REP for future generations. Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director explains:
“One of the things that makes me proud of The REP is our pioneering spirit; our burning commitment to secure the theatre for future audiences and artists. That’s what inspired us to embark upon an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise £1 million over the next three years. This money will allow us to continue to support new work, new artistic talent and to grow new audiences.
“Our autumn season contains many great examples of the work that REP First will support – the world premieres of Nativity! The Musical, Douglas Maxwell’s brilliant new play, The Whip Hand, local writer Steven Camden’s second play, I Knew You and three outstanding plays by first time writers.
“Elsewhere I’m proud that audiences beyond Birmingham will get to see three outstanding REP productions on tour. What Shadows, Chris Hannan’s play about Enoch Powell featuring Ian McDiarmid will enjoy runs in Edinburgh and London, Looking For John Tony Timberlake’s tribute to Olympic Gold medallist, John Curry, runs for a month at the Edinburgh Fringe and The Snowman celebrates its 20th anniversary in the West End as well touring across the UK.”
The season opens in September with the National Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of Jane Eyre (4 – 16 September 2017). Director Sally Cookson’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece comes to The REP during the 170th anniversary year of when Jane Eyre was first published.
Two of Britain’s most respected actors, Jemma Redgrave and Oliver Cotton star in Duet for One by Tom Kempinski (22 September 2017 – 7 October 2017), a gripping and deeply moving psychological drama about a brilliant concert violinist who is forced to re-evaluate her life when stuck down by an unforeseen tragedy. Kempinski’s play premiered in 1980 and enjoyed successful runs in the West End and on Broadway. This revival is directed by Robin Lefevre with design by Olivier award-winning, Lez Brotherston.
The World Premiere of Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of Nativity! The Musical (20 October 2017 – 12 November 2017) features a cast of West End favourites including Daniel Boys (Avenue Q), Sarah Earnshaw (Wicked, Spamalot) and Simon Lipkin (Rock of Ages, Guys and Dolls). This perfect feel-good comedy for all the family has been adapted for the stage by Debbie Isitt, the creator of the much-loved films.
Debbie Isitt also adapts The REP’s festive spectacular – The Hundred and One Dalmatians (30 November 2017 – 13 January 2018). This new family production will be directed by The REP’s associate director Tessa Walker following her record-breaking 2015 production of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. Featuring wonderful puppets and new music, this joyous stage adaptation is packed with enchantment and humour, and will bring a thrilling new sense of adventure to the story, making it fun for families of all ages.
Following acclaimed productions of The King’s Speech and Single Spies, The REP joins forces with Chichester Festival Theatre once again for a major revival of Terence Rattigan’s, The Winslow Boy (21 February 2018 – 3 March 2018), directed by former REP artistic director, Rachel Kavanaugh with design by Michael Taylor. Based on a real-life event, Rattigan’s compelling drama, set in Edwardian London, is a courageous and often delicately humorous window into the class and political hypocrisy of the time.