BRB announce new season
A UK Première, Sleeping Beauty and the return of The Nutcracker are among the highlights of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 2013-14 season – its 24th at its Birmingham Hippodrome home.
The season will celebrate the
Company’s varied repertory, from the all-time favourite
The Sleeping Beauty
in the autumn through to the return of
for Christmas and La Fille mal gardée
in the summer of 2014. Added to the mix
will be the
This adaptation, by Company Director David Bintley, with scenery and costumes by War Horse designer Rae Smith, will be staged during the composer Benjamin Britten’s world-wide centenary celebrations.
Alongside the full-length works, the Company will perform three programmes of shorter works to include the return of Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations and a new revival of Frederick Ashton’s Les Rendezvous.
BRB has held most of its prices for the last few
seasons and from September a flexible range of prices will enable the
Company to offer tickets from as little as £15 along with a range of
The season opens with a mixed bill named
Penguin Café. This will celebrate some of David Bintley's most
popular, innovative and best-loved shorter works from the last 25 years.
Tombeaux / E=mc² / ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café
3 – 5 October 2013
Tombeaux is Bintley’s lament on the death of his mentor, the great choreographer Frederick Ashton. This homage to classical ballet will draw the audience into a passionate and melancholic landscape. Music is by William Walton and designs by Jasper Conran with lighting by John B. Read. E=mc² won the last-ever ITV South Bank Show Award for Dance in 2010.
Danced to a specially commissioned score by Australian composer Matthew Hindson, E=mc² explores Einstein’s ‘Special Theory of Relativity’ in music and dance of breathtaking energy and speed. Costumes are by Kate Ford and lighting by Peter Mumford.
Completing the bill is one of Bintley’s best-known ballets, ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café. The ballet introduces a colourful host of endangered animals seeking shelter from the storm.
Be introduced to a morris-dancing flea, a ballroom-dancing ram, a carnival-loving woolly monkey and many more, in a ballet that takes a witty and poignant look at man’s impact on the world.
Music is by Simon Jeffes and designs by Hayden Griffin and lighting by John B. Read.
The Sleeping Beauty
8 – 12 October 2013
The Sleeping Beauty (right) is one of the most popular fairytale ballets of all time. With a classical score by Tchaikovsky and original choreography by Marius Petipa, The Sleeping Beauty is considered one of the greatest ballets from Imperial Russia. This spectacular production is by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s former director Sir Peter Wright, creator of some of the Company’s best-loved productions including The Nutcracker, Coppélia and Swan Lake.
With its romantic finale packed with every fairytale character imaginable, The Sleeping Beauty is as engaging now as when the Sadler’s Wells Company premiered it in 1984. Designs are by Philip Prowse and lighting by Mark Jonathan.
22 Nov – 12 Dec 2013
Over the last two decades many audience members
have said their Christmas truly starts when they see
In this unparalleled, world-famous production by Peter Wright, complete with sets and costumes by the designer of the Company’s stunning Cinderella, this is one family-friendly ballet not to be missed.
Music is by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov and Vincent Redmon. Designs are by John F. Macfarlane and lighting by David A. Finn.
Three of a Kind
Card Game / Slaughter on
19 – 22 February 2014
Three of a Kind presents three witty classics from three masters of choreography: John Cranko, George Balanchine and Kenneth MacMillan. In Card Game, Stravinsky, himself a keen poker player, plays with allegiances, rivalries and power. Cranko’s witty choreography entered the Royal Ballet repertory in 1966.
In this modern classic, the sly Joker banishes the proud Queen, the Two, Three, Four, Five and Six strike a straight flush, and little Two of Diamonds tries to spoil everyone’s fun. Music is by Igor Stravinsky and designs are by Dorothee Zippel and lighting by Peter Teigen. Created by great ballet choreographer George Balanchine for the musical On Your Toes!,
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (right) is a crazy 1930s comedy, its humour and vitality providing plenty of entertainment. After discovering that a hitman in the audience is to shoot him as soon as his stage routine is over, a luckless leading man has no option but to extend his frantic solo until the cops arrive! Music is by the great Richard Rodgers and designs by Kate Ford and lighting by Johnny Westall-Eyre.
In Elite Syncopations, a completely
stripped-back theatre bursts into life as dancers in brilliantly
coloured costumes gather for a dance competition. An equally vibrant
rag-time band play old favourites from Scott Joplin and his
contemporaries to accompany a string of sketches, spanning the dazzling,
the witty and the touching, as each dancer at the competition takes
their turn. One of MacMillan’s best-loved creations, Elite
Syncopations is certain to leave audiences smiling. Choreography is
by Kenneth MacMillan and designs are by Ian Spurling and lighting by
John B. Read.
The Prince of the Pagodas
25 Feb –1 March 2014
David Bintley has created an imaginative reworking
of the classic story that celebrates the power of family love.
Bintley’s The Prince of the Pagodas, to Benjamin Britten’s
only commissioned ballet score, was rapturously received by audiences
and critics at its premiere by the National Ballet of Japan in 2011. The
spectacular and imaginative costumes from War Horse designer Rae
Smith promises to bring to life the elegance and beauty of the
The Prince of the Pagodas tells the story of the Princess Sakura who mourns the death of her brother and the slow disintegration of her once all-powerful father the Emperor of the Chrysanthemum Throne, who, broken by the death of his son, allows his new wife to take control of his kingdom.
Presented with a choice of four powerful and wealthy husbands, Sakura’s memories of the true love she once felt for her brother gives her the courage to refuse her suitors. Her resolve is reinforced when a fifth suitor arrives at the palace – a scaly Salamander, both fascinating and repellent. Determined not to be forced to follow her stepmother’s bidding, Princess Sakura throws herself on the mercy of the new arrival.
After a long and dangerous journey they arrive at the Salamander’s kingdom, but Sakura’s adventure has only just begun. Bintley follows in the chorographic footsteps of Cranko and MacMillan. Cranko choreographed The Prince of the Pagodas in 1957 for the Sadler’s Wells Ballet and MacMillan’s version premiered in 1989 for The Royal Ballet.
The Prince of the Pagodas is supported (2014) by The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The John Feeney Charitable Trust, The Britten-Pears Foundation, The Patrick Trust and The Boltini Trust.
Darkness and Light
Dante Sonata / Les Rendezvous / Façade
4 – 7 June 2014
Darkness and Light presents three early works from the founder choreographer of the Royal Ballet companies, master of the art form, Frederick Ashton. Fragile innocence confronts desperate evil in the simple and poignant Dante Sonata, created at the height of World War II.
The elegant white-clad Children of Light battle the dark and serpentine Children of Darkness with only one certain outcome – like every war, there will be casualties on both sides. Danced to a passionate, virtuoso score by Franz Liszt, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, the piece still holds a chilling resonance today. Designs are by Sophie Fedorovitch and lighting by Mark Jonathan. Created in 1933, Les Rendezvous was Ashton’s first major ballet for the then Vic-Wells Ballet.
This gentle piece, in which friends and acquaintances meet and dance together in a park, allows each of the dancers an opportunity to display virtuoso skills and technique in a series of solos, pas de deux and ensemble dances. Music is by Daniel Auber, arranged and orchestrated by Constant Lambert, with designs by Anthony Ward and lighting by John B. Read. Finally, based on Edith Sitwell’s deliciously nonsensical poetry, Façade embraces the fun of it all with whole-hearted and wilful abandon. Music is by William Walton with designs by John Armstrong and lighting by Peter Teigen.
La Fille mal gardée
11 – 15 June 2014
Ever popular because of its simple, engaging story, wonderful wit and passion, La Fille mal gardée is known for its famous clog and ribbon dances and remains a firm favourite for all the family, ballet aficionados or those new to ballet. Music is by Ferdinand Hérold, freely adapted and arranged by John Lanchbery, scenario by Jean Dauberval with designs by Osbert Lancaster and lighting by Peter Teigen.
Season at a glance
3–5 October 2013 - Penguin Café (Tombeaux | E=mc2 | ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café)
8–12 October 2013 - The Sleeping Beauty
22 Nov–12 Dec 2013 - The Nutcracker
19–22 Feb 2014 - Three of a Kind (Card Game | Slaughter on Tenth Avenue | Elite Syncopations)
25 Feb–1 March 2014 - The Prince of the Pagodas
4–7 June 2014- Darkness and Light (Dante Sonata | Les Rendezvous | Façade)
11–15 June 2014 - La Fille mal gardée
People ready for REP opening
Frances de la Tour as Dorothy Stacpoole in the current production of People at the National Theatre which runs until April 2. Picture: Catherine Ashmore
ALAN Bennett’s new comedy, People, will re-open Birmingham Rep in September after it’s two and a half closure for refurbishment as part of the new Library of Birmingham.
The play opened at the National Theatre in November last year starring Frances de La Tour in the lead role of Dorothy in her third new play by Alan Bennett at the National following The History Boys and The Habit of Art .
The play will not only be the first on the stage of the refurbished Rep but will be the first staging post of the National Theatre production’s UK Tour.
The play will run from 3-21 September and bookings
for this major production, and the rest of The REP’s return-home season
will open during the theatre’s 100th birthday celebrations in February.
Priority bookings for members will open on February 15th and for the
general public on February 22nd. Memberships start at £30.
Further information - www.birmingham-rep.co.uk
It's a Strictly snow show
THERE is good news for anyone who had booked to see Strictly Come Dancing Live 2013 at the NIA last weekend and never made it because of the weather.
The old adage is that “the show must go on” and the NIA, like all the theatres in our region incidentally, worked minor miracles in ensuring the theatre tradition was maintained but the producers of the live tour accepted that, while the show might go on, not all the audience could be there to see it.
The promoters accommodated as many people as possible at other performances if they could not attend the show they had booked but some people were still unable to attend so an extra performance, a snow show, has been added to next season’s tour schedule for Birmingham on the afternoon of Friday, 17 January, just for those ticketholders who missed out this year.
The full statement is as follows:
"The promoters of
Strictly Come Dancing have scheduled an exclusive performance for
customers who were unable to attend the NIA shows this weekend due to
the weather. This performance will take place on the afternoon of Friday
17 January 2014, in advance of the 2014 tour dates, featuring next
year’s superstar line-up.
The promoters of the
Strictly Come Dancing Tour said: "We are aware that there are
disappointed people who have not been able to attend the performance
they booked for at the NIA, or an alternative show over the weekend. In
view of this, we have scheduled an exclusive 'snow show' in January next
year. Unfortunately it was not possible to schedule this performance any
earlier, due to venue and artist availability."
Nearly 4,000 people were able to enjoy the show on Friday night - about 70% of the expected audience. We were subsequently able to accommodate over 1,000 ticket exchanges for other performances over the weekend. The promoters also released their guest list seats to ensure that patrons could access as many seats as possible.
If you wish to take advantage of the ‘snow show’ please return your unused and unscanned tickets – along with your name, address and telephone number – by 28 February 2013 to: Strictly Snow Show, Freepost, The Ticket Factory, PO Box 3348, Birmingham, B40 1NS. Alternatively, if you have e-tickets, you can send them in via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Strictly Snow Show’.
The Ticket Factory will handle all returns, regardless of which ticket agent you booked through. However, if you did book hospitality, please contact amplify directly. Please note that confirmations will be sent out by 31 March 2013. If you have any issues, please call 0844 581 0779."
A cast dying for laughs
FORTY years after appearing with Michael Crawford in the much-loved television series Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, veteran actress Michele Dotrice thinks there could be a reunion when the hilarious comedy The Ladykillers arrives in Wolverhampton at the end of January.
The star who played the madcap Frank Spencer has been back in touch with Michele - his hapless wife in the dizzy comedy - and he wants to see how she is carrying off the role of Mrs Louisa Wilberforce (pictured right) in Graham Linehan's stage adaptation of the famous Ealing black comedy.
During a break before an evening performance at Malvern, she told me: "Michael has come back into my life again and he's been very supportive, kind and caring. He was very excited that I was doing The Ladykillers, so I've got to keep doing this tour for him to come and see me."
She hopes that will be at the Grand Theatre where Black Country audiences are in for a treat watching the play which was a successful 1955 film and shows how Mrs Wilberforce copes with a gang of five thieves posing as musicians who use her home as a base for plotting a £200,000 heist.
“It's very funny with a host of clever special effects - furniture sliding around and lights flashing every time a train thunders by; a large model steam train pulling into the station; a car chase with model cars climbing the walls of the lopsided house and even police cars colliding.
"It's a darn good yarn," enthuses Michele, who appears with loads of padding and a grey wig. "It's a really funny story. I know the movie, as do many people, and it's very dear to a lot of people's hearts, but I think this adaptation has brought it up to date for a modern day audience. It's a classic of its time....a bundle of laughs and I think, in this day and age, we need that.
"It's a laugh every couple of seconds and it goes at such a cracking speed. It's wonderful hearing the reaction from audiences right from the very start . . . it's got everything."
Mrs Wilberforce - who lives alone except for her parrot, General Gordon - eventually rumbles the gang, led by 'Professor' Marcus (Paul Brown), so he decides the old dear has to be eliminated. But it’s the crooks who, one by one, bite the dust in a range of extraordinary ways. Farcical.
One of the thieves is a very funny punch-drunk former boxer known, for obvious reasons, as 'One Round' (Chris McCalphy), and Clive Mantle (Little John in Robin of Sherwood) who plays the John Cleese lookalike Major Courtney, a conman, told me: "The script is quite different from the film because people now expect rather more from an out-and-out comedy version built on the structure of the film. It's a complete fun night out - wonderful.
"When I saw it in the West End, sitting in the audience, I wanted to leap up on stage and join in, it was that much fun."
The Ladykillers runs at the Grand from January 28 to February 2.
Have a drink on Dolly from 9 to 5
CAST members of hit
musical 9 to 5 get into the festive spirit on visit to Birmingham ready
for their opening at The New Alexandra Theatre next week.
Picture by Phil Hitchman.
Picture by Phil Hitchman.
The show runs from December 17 to January 5 and has the offer of free parking and a free drink as a present from the theatre and cast.
The Have a Dolly Good Christmas! promotion offers customers a premium ticket or price band A – B ticket to the show, free parking at the NCP Albany Car Park on the night of the show and a free soft drink or glass of wine in the bar. Quote PRESENT95 when booking or use as promo code for online bookings. All offers are subject to availability and are not offered retrospectively.
The show will star Natalie Casey as Judy Bernly, Jackie Clune as Violet Newstead, Bonnie Langford as Roz Keith, Amy Lennox as Doralee Rhodes and Ben Richards as Franklin Hart.
Natalie Casey is probably best known as ‘Donna’ in nine series of “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps”. Her theatre credits include “Oklahoma!” at Chichester Festival Theatre and “Legally Blonde” in the West End. She is recently appeared as ‘Ange’ in “Abigail’s Party”, also in the West End.
Jackie Clune’s West End credits include the leading role of ‘Mrs Wilkinson’ in “Billy Elliot” and ‘Donna’ in the International Tour of “Mamma Mia!”. Bonnie Langford’s many theatre credits include ‘Roxie Hart’ in “Chicago” on Broadway, US tour and in the West End. Her other West End credits include ‘Charity’ in “Sweet Charity” and the original cast of “Cats”.
She recently played the ‘Lady of the Lake’ in “Spamalot” on tour, a role she will be reprising in the West End next month. In 2006 she reached the final of ITV1’s “Dancing on Ice”. Amy Lennox recently played the role of ‘Elle Woods’ in the UK tour of “Legally Blonde”. Her West End credits include ‘Liesl’ in “The Sound of Music” at the London Palladium.
Ben Richards recently starred as ‘Tick’ in “Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ in the West End. His other West End credits include ‘Sky Masterson’ in “Guys and Dolls”, ‘Danny’ in “Grease”, ‘Tony’ in “Saturday Night Fever” and ‘Jerry Lukowski’ in “The Full Monty”. His TV credits include playing ‘PC Nate Roberts’ in “The Bill”.
Ghosts to monks at the Grand
GHOST – The Musical is set for a date in the Midlands when it opens at The Grand in Wolverhampton in summer next year.
The West End hit will run from June 3 to June 15 and leads off the Grand’s programme for next year which also includes a world premiere with the opening of Cadfael: The Virgin In The Ice from Middle Ground Theatre Company who were last at the Grand with the excellent On Golden Pond.
The monk sleuth will be on the trail of mediaeval baddies from March 6 - 9.
Another highlight of next year’s season is Driving Miss Daisy staring Rising Damp star Don Warrington and Coronation Street’s Gwen Taylor. The production has broken records on Broadway and has been a sell out in the West End and runs from April 9 -13. RECENT REVIEW
Also in the line up are an all new stage adaptation of the TV show Grandpa In My Pocket to delight children and their families from June 19-22 and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Evita will return from August 19 - 31.
Finally Joe Pasquale will lead the 2013/14 Pantomime Sleeping Beauty. Joe has not been in the Wolverhampton pantomime since the 1996 production of Peter Pan
Tickets go on sale on November 29 or, for the panto, December 10, from the Box Office on 01902 42 92 12 or book online at www.grandtheatre.co.uk
Meeting of like minds
Calling actors, directors and writer. The Old Joint Stock is hosting Theatre Exchange for the first of what is hoped will be a monthly get-together for anyone involved in theatre in the region.
The first meeting is at 7.30 on Monday, 19 November at 7.30 in the Club Room at the back of the bar.
The Initiative is also looking for writers who want to showcase their work or scenes, no more than about 10 minutes, as well as actors who are swilling to perform submitted work and directors to direct it.
Anyone interested in that should email email@example.com with a CV in the case of actors and directors and with submitted scripts ready for performances in the case of writers.
Theatre Exchange are hoping to introduce the live
theatre scratch performances of the new writing at about at around 8pm
sandwiched between what is hoped will be free and easy chats between
people with an interest in theatre.
Lions' den set for ticket rush
THE record breaking musical, Disney’s The Lion King, arrives in Birmingham on its first UK tour in June next year for a three month run and if history is any guide tickets will go quickly.
In its 13 years in the West End the show has been
seen by more than 10 million people, 65 million have seen it worldwide,
it is the seventh longest running show on Broadway – and is still going
Stephen Crocker of Disney Theatrical brought a taster of the show to The Crescent theatre with some of the songs by Elton John and Tim Rice and choral music from Lebo M.
It has taken four years to create a touring version of the smash hit show because Disney and director Julie Taymor didn’t want a sort of Lion King-Lite, a cut down, second class version. It had to be the real thing.
There were technical problems to overcome to create a show that could fit into the back of an artic – or in this case a whole fleet of 21 of them – and fit on stages of various widths, depths and heights. But these are the technical headaches for any touring show. Les Miserables, for example, another huge show, needs 13 artics.
South African born Andile Gumbi
as Simba and Narran McLean as Nala in an earlier
South African born Andile Gumbi as Simba and Narran McLean as Nala in an earlierLondon Production. Picture: Johan Persson
The Lion King had added problems, such as a stampeded of wildebeests or the not inconsiderable headache of a giant slab of Pride Rock appearing out of the depths of stage – get that in the back of yer Transit, Pal!
Then there are the logistical problems of being the
largest musical ever to tour with a cast of 50 from 17 countries, 150
backstage staff, a large orchestra, a portrayal of 26 different types of
animal, more than 700 spectacular costumes . The show
opens on 20 June, running to 28 September, running from Tuesday to
Saturday with matinees on Wednesdays at 2pm and Saturdays and Sundays at
2.30. There also at extra matinee on Thursday 26 September.
The show opens on 20 June, running to 28 September, running from Tuesday to Saturday with matinees on Wednesdays at 2pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2.30. There also at extra matinee on Thursday 26 September.
Book by telephone from 0844 338 5000, online, www.thelionking.co.uk.
Groups (10+) 0844 338 7000 or in person from the Birmingham Hippodrome
Book by telephone from 0844 338 5000, online, www.thelionking.co.uk. Groups (10+) 0844 338 7000 or in person from the Birmingham Hippodrome Box Office.
Dream start for Sutton starlet
SUTTON Coldfield’s Sinead Kenny has started her professional career with a dream part – as part of the cast of the new Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5.
The 21 year-old attended sixth form at Arthur Terry School near to her home in Four Oaks after being a pupil at Queen Mary's High School in Walsall.
Sinead had just graduated from Arts Educational Schools London when she had an audition and was offered a part as one of the singer-dancers in what is described as a 'brand spankin' new musical. She has the extra responsibility of being a swing, having to learn everyone else’s part ready to step in at a moment’s notice but as she said: “It is all good experience”.
Sinead joined the lead singers in the show at the Malmaison Hotel in the Mailbox in Birmingham to give theatre critics, ticket agents and bookers a taste of the show.
Stars of the musical include Bonnie Langford who made her debut in the West End at the age of seven in a musical adaptation of Gone with the Wind – the opening night of which was reviewed back in 1971 by Behind the Arras’s Roger Clarke incidentally - and since then she has appeared in a host of big shows.
Also in lead roles are Natlie Casey, Jackie Clune, Amy Lennox and Ben Richards. The show opens in Manchester at the start of a 12 month run and will be at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, from December 17 to January 5.
The music and lyrics are by Dolly Parton who said: "I am so excited that 9 to 5 the Musical is coming to the UK.
"I'm hoping you have as much fun watching it as I had writing the music for it. It's perfect for anyone that's ever wanted to string up their boss . . . which is almost all of us".
War Horse rides into Brum
THE National Theatre’s award-winning production of War Horse will arrive at Birmingham Hippodrome in October 2013.
The production, which has been seen by a
staggering 2.5 million people since it opened in 2007, will be embarking
on its first UK tour visiting nine venues in the UK and Ireland with a
three and a half week run at Birmingham Hippodrome Thursday 17 October
to Saturday 9 November 2013, presented in partnership with Pertemps.
The tour, incidentally, opens in Devon, where the original story was set. War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned, as were hundreds of other horses, by the War Office for service in the First World War.
Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in no man’s land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.
A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.
The play is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo,
adapted by Nick Stafford and presented in association with Handspring
Puppet Company. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, it is
designed by Rae Smith, lighting is by Paule Constable and movement and
horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil
Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by 59 Productions Ltd,
song-making by John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham
Hippodrome added: “War Horse is without a doubt one of the theatrical
masterpieces of recent years, and will be a major highlight of our 2013
season. We are particularly pleased to be able to bring such a
prestigious production to Birmingham in partnership with Pertemps who
are kindly supporting our Stage Appeal with their generous financial
Tim Watts, chairman of Pertemps Network Group, said:
"We are very proud to be working in partnership with Birmingham
Hippodrome for the National Theatre's tour of War Horse. This has been
one of the most talked about theatre productions of recent times, and
will be a truly exciting and popular event of the year. We want to play
our part so those in the Midlands can enjoy it here in Birmingham."
Michael Morpurgo has written more than 100 books and was Children’s Laureate from 2003 - 05. A feature film of War Horse, based on his 1982 novel and directed by Stephen Spielberg, was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2011.
This is the second major show announced for 2013 with a three month run of The Lion King at the Hippodrome from June 29 to September 28. Tickets fro The Lion King are currently on sale to groups and Friends of the Hippodrome and go on general sale on October 24. Tickets for War Horse will go on sale in January 2013.
REP coming home
Birmingham Repertory Theatre has announced that it will reopen to the public in September 2013, following the two and half year refurbishment and extension of its building to both improve facilities and create a link with the new Library of Birmingham.
The REP will reopen its doors with the first season of productions under the new artistic directorship of Roxana Silbert. The season will include shows in The REP's main 800 seat auditorium, now with the benefit of air-cooling, and in the new 300 seat studio theatre created through the partnership with the new library. There will also be a full programme of education and artistic research and development activity in The REP's smallest 140 seat theatre, The Door that has also been improved as part of the development. Full details of the opening season will be announced early in 2013.
The refurbishment of The REP includes a restoration of its original, distinctive and well-regarded 1970s façade, new bars and restaurant areas and an extended foyer with improved facilities for customers. Backstage improvements include new dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, set construction workshops and offices.
Aside from the reopening of The REP's Broad Street theatre, 2013 is also the 100th birthday of Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company and its original base the Old Rep Theatre in Station Street. The REP will celebrate this centenary in February 2013 with a special programme of events at the Old Rep Theatre, further details of which will be announced in autumn this year.
Stuart Rogers, Executive Director at The REP said: "We’re very happy to be able to confirm that The REP will be re-opening in September next year, and are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new to our refurbished and extended home. We’re currently talking to a very exciting range of artists about working with us during our centenary year of 2013, and look forward to being able to announce full details of the opening season early next year. "
BRB announces Autumn 2012-13 season
BIRMINGHAM Royal Ballet has announced its 2012-13 season for its home theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, which includes a mix of old favourites, a UK Premiere and a return of Cinderella.
The UK Premiere is for David Bintley’s Aladdin, next February. The ballet was created for the National Ballet of Japan in 2008 and this will be the first time it has been seen in Britain.
Thseason opens with a mixed bill, Opposites Attract, which includes three ballets: David Bintley’s Take Five, Hans van Manen’s Grosse Fuge and Jessica Lang’s Lyric Pieces.
The season continues with Peter Wright’s Swan Lake and then David Binley’s Cinderella and ends with Peter Wright’s Coppélia then Galina Samsova’s and David Bintley’s Giselle
Following the popularity of 6.30pm The Nutcracker performances in 2011 aimed at family audiences, there will be 6.30pm Friday evening performances of Cinderella (30 Nov), Aladdin (22 Feb 2013), Coppélia (7 June 2013) and Giselle (21 June 2013).
Cinderella 21 Nov – 9 Dec 2012
David Bintley’s Cinderella premiered at Birmingham Hippodrome in November 2010 and was televised by the BBC on Christmas Day in the same year. In January 2012, Bintley won a Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography for Cinderella.
Created for the City of Birmingham to celebrate the Company’s 20th anniversary in 2010, Cinderella is one of David Bintley’s most successful creations to date. With breath-taking designs by John Macfarlane, designer of the Company’s famous production of The Nutcracker, and music by Sergei Prokofiev, who wrote the beautiful score to Romeo and Juliet, this is one family Christmas treat not to miss! Lighting is by David A. Finn.
Neglected and abused by her cruel stepmother and step-sisters, Cinderella’s life is one of drudgery and hardship. Then, on the evening of an extravagant ballet the palace her Fairy Godmother appears and casts a spell that will change her life forever. Arriving at the ball in a beautiful gown, all eyes are on Cinderella, including those of the handsome Prince. He sweeps her off her feet and they dance the night away, until the clock chimes midnight and the party comes to an abrupt end. Thrust back into her miserable existence, Cinderella can only dream of what might have been, until an unexpected royal visitor comes to her home, searching the land for the mysterious owner of a jewelled slippe . . .
Aladdin (The UK premiere) 15 – 23 February 2013
15th February 2013 sees the UK premiere of David Bintley’s magical tale of love, trickery and triumph at Birmingham Hippodrome. The production was created for the National Ballet of Japan in 2008. Aladdin boasts music by Carl Davis, composer of the Company’s Cyrano and numerous well-known television scores including Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, The World at War and Up Pompeii. Sets are by Dick Bird and costumes by Sue Blane with lighting by Mark Jonathan
A run-in with Palace guards leads young tear away Aladdin into a whirlwind of adventure and romance, involving unbelievable riches, love at first sight, treachery, and of course a magic lamp, and all that it contains . . .
Duped into helping an evil Maghrib,
Aladdin ends up trapped in a cave for three days and nights, with no
light and nothing to eat. But it is only when he attempts to light the
old lamp he’s found, that his real adventure begins! When he finally
returns home, Aladdin’s mother thinks he is telling .
stories, but she soon finds out the real value of the battered old lamp he has brought with him. When Aladdin falls in love and lands himself in more hot water through his pursuit of the Emperor’s beautiful daughter, his mother secures his freedom and Aladdin wins the Princess’s hand in marriage. But Aladdin hasn’t realised that the Emperor’s chief advisor is the evil Maghrib, and his adventures haven’t ended yet . . .
Coppélia 4 –
8 June 2013
Magic, mayhem and the original living doll!
Peter Wright’s Coppélia is guaranteed to lift the hearts of all the family. The enchanting production of this joyous and witty ballet is an ever-popular celebration of love, with a sparkling score by Delibes with designs by Peter Farmer and lighting by Peter Teigen.
What’s at the heart of a woman? Eccentric toymaker Dr Coppélius wants to know, and he’s planning to bring his mechanical doll, Coppélia, to life – he just needs the right spell.
Elisha Willis as Swanilda pretends to be the mechanical
doll Coppélia to fool David Morse as Dr Coppélius in the 2011 production.
Photo Bill Cooper
Elisha Willis as Swanilda pretends to be the mechanical doll Coppélia to fool David Morse as Dr Coppélius in the 2011 production. Photo Bill Cooper
When Dr Coppélius leaves Coppélia on his workshop balcony she’s soon causing quite a stir in the village. Particularly in the heart of red blooded young lover Franz and the jealous mind of his real-life fiancée, Swanilda – who’s mistaken the mannequin for a crying, talking, sleeping, walking rival. With a wild mix of abracadabra, and some mischievous maidens, comic chaos is riotously unleashed when humans and automatons collide in Dr Coppélius’s spooky toyshop.
Giselle 19 – 22 June 2013
David Bintley and Galina Samsova’s stunning production, clad in gorgeous designs by Hayden Griffin, stays true to the spirit and the steps of the original.
Giselle stands alongside Coppélia and Swan Lake as one of the great classical ballets.
In a village deep in the mountains, two young people, Giselle and Loys, are deeply in love. But Loys has not been truthful with his beloved. He is actually Count Albrecht, son of the local lord, and is already betrothed to Bathilde, a lady, and his social equal. When jealous Hilarion, a rival for Giselle’s hand, proves who Loys really is, and Bathilde arrives to claim her fiancé, the heartbreak is too much to bear. Driven mad by despair, Giselle takes her own life. After her funeral, a sorrowful Albrecht visits her grave, but it is night and he is in terrible danger. The bitter ghosts of jilted brides rise and condemn him to dance himself to death. Only Giselle’s love, powerful enough to reach from beyond the grave, can save him; she must keep him safe until dawn breaks and he can escape, but dawn is many hours away . . .
Choreography is by Marius Petipa after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot with additional choreography by David Bintley. Music is by one of the 19th-century’s great ballet composers, Adolphe Adam. Lighting is by Mark Jonathan.