From Page to Stage: celebrating World Book Night

Posted on 23 April 2018

Bestselling books are set to burst from page to stage as part of a packed literary lineup at the Belgrade Theatre this summer. With Monday 23 April marking World Book Night, here’s a look ahead at some of our best bibliophile-friendly shows running from May-June 2018.

The programme gets off to a page-turning start next month with a new adaptation of Great Expectations by Tilted Wig Productions and Malvern Theatres. Running 2-5 May, the show is performed by a dynamic cast of five including Olivier Award winner Nichola McAuliffe as the mysterious Miss Havisham. Expect quick-fire costume changes, a stylised set and live music resulting in a pacy and engaging retelling.

Ranking among Charles Dickens’ most famous and best-loved novels, this classic story of social mobility remains a favourite with schools, universities and casual readers alike more than 150 years after its initial publication, its themes of class division, unrequited love and “the stupendous power of money” resonating down the generations.

Horrible Histories

Then from 30 May-2 June, we’ll be hosting the latest installment in the hugely popular Horrible Histories Live series, alongside Yellow Earth Theatre’s Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok, adapted from Helen Tse’s acclaimed book Sweet Mandarin.

Fresh from their smash hit production of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny earlier this year, the award-winning Birmingham Stage Company will invade the Belgrade Main Stage once again this summer with legions of Revolting Romans, Vicious Vikings, Terrible Tudors, Slimy Stuarts, Vile Victorians and much more!
Based on Terry Deary’s phenomenally successful book series, Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain offers a fun, fascinating and entirely unflinching look back at all the gruesome, gory stories from our country’s colourful past, complete with a brand new scene starring “Wordy Will” Shakespeare.

Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok

Meanwhile, on the B2 Stage, audiences can can experience a moving true story spanning two continents and three generations of women in Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok. Adapted for the stage by In-Sook Chappell, Helen Tse’s evocative family memoir unfolds the incredible history behind Manchester’s famous Sweet Mandarin restaurant, beginning with the story of her grandmother, Lily Kwok.

From the brutality of Japanese-occupied Hong Kong to the establishment of a thriving family business in the UK, this acclaimed production promises a feast for the senses with the love of food at its heart. As an added extra, viewers can also book tickets to a live cookery demonstration ahead of the show.

Whisky Galore

Finally from 20-23 June, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Hull Truck Theatre and New Vic Theatre will breathe fresh life into a well-loved masterpiece with their innovative reworking of Compton Mackenzie’s Whisky Galore.

In this classic comedy, the islanders of Great and Little Todday are dismayed to find their whisky stocks dwindling as the government diverts the supplies to the Americans. When a 50,000 bottle cargo is shipwrecked close by, relief seems to be at hand, until Paul Waggett of the Home Guard decides to prevent the islanders taking advantage of their good fortune.

Set in 1955, this all-female production pays tribute to the fearless women’s touring theatre companies of the post-war years. Under the direction of the redoubtable Flora Bellerby, the Pallas Players inhabit all the characters in Mackenzie’s much-loved story, offering their own distinctive spin on the tale.

Tickets to all of these shows and more are available to book now on our website, or by calling 024 7655 3055.