Young Talent Takes Centre Stage This July at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre

Posted on 9 July 2015

A major new festival of theatre celebrating the voice of young people launches in Coventry this week as part of the Belgrade Theatre’s year-long programme of celebration commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the invention of Theatre in Education in Coventry.

The 12 day festival, ‘Inspiring Curiosity: In Our Own Words’, will see participants aged 9-75 come together from across the city to present a programme of six exciting new works produced in association with some of the UK’s top theatre practitioners including Frantic Assembly, Vamos Theatre, curious directive and Newcastle’s Gateway Studio Project.

Six productions from the Belgrade’s own Youth and Community groups will explore questions such as: What is the impact of schooling on young people today? How do we experience love throughout our lifetimes? What are the connections between perceptions of Islam and radicalisation? What makes boys and girls different and how do we remember?

The Festival will culminate in an action packed weekend of performances, workshops, talks and interactive events featuring over 150 young people from across the UK. During the Festival Weekend, audiences will be given the opportunity to see all seven Belgrade community groups perform one more time. They will be joined by a selection of regional and national youth groups from across the UK.

Visiting companies taking part in the July Festival weekend include Coventry’s EGO performance company, Bristol Old Vic’s Propolis Theatre, Gateway Youth Dance Company, Birmingham Hippodrome in association with Open Theatre Company and Nottingham Playhouse’s Bulwell Youth Theatre.

The Highly Sprung Physical Fellowship will take place as part of the July Festival from 13 – 16 July.

Festival Producer and Associate Director of the Belgrade Theatre, Justine Themen, said:

‘The Belgrade was the first theatre to establish a company dedicated to using theatrical performance and drama workshops to explore issues of cultural, social, political & moral significance as part of a free service to schools and the young people of Coventry. It is fitting, therefore, to start our TiE 50th anniversary celebrations with a festival of brand new work created in a partnership between young people and artists, giving voice to their ideas and thinking on the world we all live in – from the radicalisation of our Asian youth to the experience of young love, from the disenfranchisement of young people to the voice of youth protest, from dissatisfaction with the school system to coping with early onset Alzheimer’s. The legacy of TiE continues to inspire much of the Belgrade’s work within the community, encouraging a whole new generation of young people to take an active interest in the world around them through drama. We hope audiences will join us over the next two weeks to celebrate the voice of young people both within the city and across the UK and that they leave invigorated and inspired by the extraordinary energy that is the upcoming generation’.

Tickets for all events are priced according to a ‘Pay What You Can Scheme’. All monies raised will go towards supporting the Belgrade’s work within the community.