Brassed Off...In Conversation. Celebrating Belgrade's Dramatic Role In Coventry Writers' Lives

Posted on 9 April 2014

Coventry journalists, Paul Allen and John Palmer stage a return to the Belgrade on Thursday 24 April to deliver an “In Conversation” about how their paths crossed at the theatre and how it has influenced their careers.

Paul Allen was Head of Press at the Belgrade Theatre and John Palmer wrote about theatre, film and pop music for the Coventry Telegraph.

Paul has gone on to become a well-respected playwright and broadcaster who has written dozens of radio and theatre plays including the stage adaptation of Brassed Off, which takes to the Belgrade’s Main Stage from 23 April.

Journalist, John Palmer became a theatre, music and film critic for national magazines and newspapers. He has hosted “In Conversation” programmes featuring celebrities from the worlds of film, theatre, arts, music, business, politics and media.

Joined by representatives from the Brassed Off cast, the two Coventry journalists will play host to an informal, on-stage discussion after the Thursday evening performance covering topics which include the challenges Paul faced in adapting the show from a film into a successful stage play and the relevance the play has for audiences today. This will be followed by questions from the audience.

John Palmer explains, “We had such an exciting time in Coventry. There’s no doubt that being in such a lively city where the arts, the car industry and politics were always in the national news meant that we had to learn quickly. We’ve already been reminiscing about some of our more memorable moments and are really looking forward to returning to our old stomping ground which had such a big influence on both our careers. We both love these events and questions from the audience often lead to some lively discussion and debate”.

“Brassed Off…In Conversation” will take place directly after the main performance on Thursday 24 April. Brassed Off opens on the Belgrade’s Main Stage on Wednesday 23 April and runs until Saturday 26 April.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike of 1984, Brassed Off features direction by Damian Cruden (director of Olivier Award winning ‘Best Entertainment’ The Railway Children), and stars John McArdle as Danny, an actor best known for playing Billy Corkhill in Brookside.

In 1992, Grimley Colliery faces the threat of closure and the future of the brass band seems uncertain. With the miners torn between redundancy packages and the picket lines, bandleader Danny’s hopes of winning the national brass band competition seem like a distant dream. But the arrival of flugelhorn-playing Gloria brings hope, romance and controversy to the Yorkshire brass band on the brink of collapse.

Featuring rousing live music including Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Jerusalem played live on stage by the Coventry Festival Band.

Tickets for Brassed Off are available now from the Belgrade Theatre’s Box Office on 024 7655 3055 priced from £16.25 to £31 or via where cheaper tickets are available. After-show attendance for the “In Conversation” is free.

For further media information, press tickets or image requests please contact Kate Evans (Communications Officer – Press and Digital Media) on T: 024 7684 6715 or E: