Find out more about our events announced in City of Culture's summer programme
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 have today announced their programme of events from 15 May this year. We’re thrilled to have two shows included in this announcement – the Belgrade Young Company’s Like There’s No Tomorrow and Paines Plough’s Roundabout.
Our 2021 programme is being delivered by our Co-Artistic Directors Corey Campbell, Balisha Karra and Justine Themen. They are developing a new vision and way of working for 21st Century Theatre, bringing with them a unique perspective that will celebrate the City’s diversity and drive positive change, unleashing the creative power of the City.
Like There’s No Tomorrow, Weds 19 May – Sun 13 June 2021
There are strange cracks appearing in the land on the other side of the world, turning habitats into wastelands and creating a new wave of climate refugees. But no one’s worrying about that here – where a mayoral candidate is promising more, more, more. It’s what the people want. Apart from Maru that is, who can’t breathe.
As we enter Coventry’s year of culture in the shadow of a pandemic, the Belgrade Youth Theatre present an entirely digital rendering of Like There’s No Tomorrow – one of the first National Theatre Connections plays to be co-created by young people, originally devised by the Belgrade Young Company in March 2020.
Rehearsed on Zoom with additional film footage, and working in collaboration with a digital team of artists, this is a version that belongs in the now, informed and shaped by the turbulent direction our lives have taken since the play was written, and asks should we still care about the earth we live on?
Bringing together young talent from across our youth theatre, working with some of the most exciting digital artists and joining groups all over the country to stage the play as part of the NT Connections programme, Like There’s No Tomorrow gives voice to young people’s concerns about the climate at a time when the future has never looked more uncertain.
We’re thrilled to announce that we will be hosting the region’s NT Connections Festival this summer, showcasing work by local youth theatres across the West Midlands in a digital programme of shows, workshops and panels aimed at connecting young local talent with professional theatres.
Like There’s No Tomorrow is created by the Belgrade Young Company for National Theatre Connections, with Justine Themen (Director), Claire Procter (Co-Director) and Liz Mytton (wordsmith), presented by Belgrade Theatre as part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
The 2021 digital version of Like There’s No Tomorrow is directed by Katherine Allen and Leon Phillips.
Roundabout, Mon 26 July – Sun 8 August 2021
Paines Plough’s Roundabout auditorium will be host to a festival of new world-class plays and community-led activities this summer.
The world’s first ‘plug-in, pop-up and play’ theatre will host four plays in repertory throughout the festival, alongside an exciting range of creative opportunities for everyone to get involved in.
A familiar sight at the Edinburgh Festival each year, this summer the Roundabout tent will be situated in a Coventry community. Here it will become a creative hub for the community to create and watch shows outside of the Belgrade Theatre building.
May Queen, by Frankie Meredith
May Day in Coventry, 2022. Sixteen-year-old Leigh has been chosen as May Queen, she’s buzzing, as is the rest of the city.
The cider is flowing and St George’s flag is flying – but an encounter during the day’s festivities will soon change everything.
As the year moves on in the City of Peace and Reconciliation, Leigh must face up to the events of that hot May Day, and dig deep within herself to ask – how did she get here?
Age Guidance: 12+
Really Big and Really Loud, by Phoebe Eclair-Powell
This is a story. Charli’s story.
It’s about losing your voice and going on a big adventure to find it again. It features a rageful rhino, a very helpful fly called Stephen and some really good songs about chips.
A show for all the family from award-winning playwright Phoebe Eclair-Powell.
Age guidance: 5+
Hungry, by Chris Bush
“I’d watch you eat. I’d eat you up. You’re not like them, are you? You’re real.”
Lori is a professional chef. Bex waits tables to make ends meet. One night together in a walk-in fridge and the rest is history.
Lori has big plans, but Bex is struggling. If we are what we eat, then Bex is in real trouble. It’s not her fault though – the system is rigged. No-one on minimum wage and zero hours has the headspace to make their own yoghurt.
Hungry is a new play about food, love, class and grief in a world where there’s little left to savour.
Age Guidance: 12+
Black Love, by Chinonyerem Odimba, with music by the Ringham Brothers
Introducing Roundabout’s first ever musical.
Love freely. Love freedom. Love.
Meet Aurora and Orion: Sister and Brother. Constellations in time. More than blood. More than just fam.
They look after each other in their small London flat, filled with the memories of their parents’ Black Love.
When that love is threatened, they have to find their way back to each other and to what it means to love whilst Black. Using real-life stories, imagined worlds and new songs inspired by an R&B heritage, they begin a journey to confronting their own worst fears.
Black Love is an explosion of form busting storytelling, an ode to Black music, and those real stories we rarely hear.
Age Guidance: 12+
In addition to these exciting projects, we’re also proud to be partnering with Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre on Can You Here Me Now and Coventry Welcomes, taking place in June 2021. More information on these events will be coming soon!
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 is proud to have invested in the Belgrade programme, supporting them to explore the vital role of a producing theatre in a modern and diverse city and how they can ensure that the theatre is informed by and represents all communities in the city, and explores new stories relevant to our communities that are locally sourced but globally relevant.
These are just some of the exciting events planned for Coventry’s UK City of Culture 2021 programme. More will be announced shortly and tickets for these events will be on sale soon!