Kerbs, a new comedy about dating whilst disabled, receives its world premiere this month at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, in a co-production with Graeae, the UK’s leading disabled-led theatre company. Time to get booking!
The debut play from Wolverhampton-based disabled playwright, Kerbs runs at the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium from 26 February to 5 March 2022 before touring Liverpool, Doncaster, Scarborough and Plymouth.
Lucy and David are dating. Or at least, they’re trying to. Faced with first-date disasters, a few crossed wires and Lucy’s mum, what they really need is a bit of space, a bit of fun – and ideally some independence.
Escaping for the weekend to a caravan park in Somerset, it’s time for them to find out if their spark will finally catch, or burn everything to the ground.
In the cast, Maya Coate makes her professional stage debut as Lucy, alongside Jack Hunter (Cost of Living at Hampstead Theatre, Teenage Dick at Donmar Warehouse) as David and Rekha John-Cheriyan (Hollyoaks, Tomb Raider) as Carol and Toni.
Kerbs is directed by Co-Artistic Director and CEO of DaDa Fest Nickie Miles-Wildin (Crips without Constraints, Cuttin’ It), who has a long association with Graeae. The premiere production is designed is Amanda Mascarenhas, with lighting and audio-visual by Josh Pharo, sound by Charlotte Barber and movement by Angela Gasparetto.
Playwright Michael Southan said: “I’m delighted that Kerbs has found a home with Graeae at the Belgrade Theatre and thrilled that a love story with disabled people at its heart will be seen on stages across the country.”
Director Nickie Miles-Wildin said:
“I’m incredibly excited to be bringing Mike’s amazing script to the stage. Kerbs is a witty representation of what it’s like being a 20-something disabled person dating and carefully navigating your way through a relationship.”
Kerbs is a co-production between the Belgrade Theatre and Graeae for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. The production marks the beginning of Graeae’s 40th anniversary year and a return to the city of Coventry, where the company was conceived back in the early 1980s.
Kerbs will feature Graeae’s signature integrated creative captioning and audio description at every show. A digital version will also be made available for home-viewing at the end of the run. The production is supported by the Garfield Weston Culture Fund and Arts Council England.
About the Belgrade
The Belgrade Theatre is Coventry’s largest professional theatre, producing and presenting a diverse range of shows, events and groundbreaking community and education initiatives. In its landmark building, across the region, the UK and online, it uses theatre to entertain, inspire, share the city’s stories, uncover hidden histories, and unleash the creativity of diverse communities.
After a year of partial closure due to the pandemic, Belgrade reopened to a socially distanced public in May 2021, determined to be open as much as possible during City of Culture, and moved into a non socially distanced programme in autumn 2021.
Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre, boldly placing Deaf and disabled actors centre stage and challenging preconceptions.
Graeae presents a unique approach that: places Deaf and disabled artists centre-stage in a diversity of new and existing plays; pioneers a radical dramatic language by exploring the “aesthetics of access”, creatively embedding a range of tools such as audio description and sign language from the very beginning of the artistic process; explores new territory and theatrical genres – from contemporary classics to musicals, to outdoor circuit… with sway poles and giant puppets!
Graeae also champions the inclusion of Deaf and disabled people in the arts through: intensive actor and writer training initiatives; access support for creative and learning situations; empowering workshops and training programmes for young artists, led by inspiring role models; and a range of training models for the creative sector – from inclusive practice for drama schools, through to accessible e-marketing for theatre venues.
Prior to touring, Kerbs runs from 26 February to 5 March 2022 at Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Coventry CV1 1GS, with performances Mondays to Saturdays at 7.45pm, matinees Thursday and Saturday at 2.15pm. Tickets from £8.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!