Groan Ups, Horrible Histories and Milkshake! Live are among our highlights for Autumn 2020
While venues across the UK have shut their doors in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, there’s comfort in knowing that the closures are temporary, and there’s plenty to look forward to once normality is restored.
As well as introducing an exciting digital offer for spring and summer, this month, we’re also launching our Autumn/Winter Season, with highlights including Groan Ups, the latest comedy from producers of The Play That Goes Wrong, a brand new play about legendary footballer Laurie Cunningham, and a chance to see favourite kids’ TV characters up close in Milkshake! Live. Priority booking begins on Monday 13 April, followed by general release on Monday 27 April.
The season kicks off on Sat 5 Sep with James Rowland’s Songs of Friendship, a revelatory storytelling cycle combining story, comedy music and song. Produced by Tangram Theatre, this internationally acclaimed trilogy follows a personal journey through love, death, friendship and the muddles of everyday existence, across three shows: Team Viking, A Hundred Different Words for Love and Revelations.
Songs of Friendship
Fans of new writing can also look forward to Ifeyinwa Frederick’s Sessions from 24-26 Sep, a raw, funny, bittersweet dive into the complexities of masculinity, therapy and accepting our own vulnerabilities, fully integrated with British Sign Language. The show is told through the eyes of 29-year-old Tunde, who worries that he’s not where he’s supposed to be as his 30th birthday approaches.
Themes of mental health also emerge in Lola Chakrabarti’s Calmer, a story of three generations of women, each undergoing their own crises. Co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, this darkly funny, raw and touching examination of love, guilt and family marks the directorial debut of acclaimed actor Adrian Lester, running from 4-14 Nov.
Presented by Theatre Accord and Tara Arts in association with the Belgrade Theatre and The Production Exchange, Anthony Clark’s SHE similarly explores the experiences of a range of female characters from childhood to old age. Showing from 10-12 Sep, this exhilarating sequence is made up of seven short plays, written in a variety of styles, each with its own intriguing twist.
Getting the Third Degree
Dougie Blaxland’s Getting the Third Degree will unite sports and theatre fans to tell the story of Laurie Cunningham from 30 Sep-3 Oct, the first millionaire black footballer, the first player of colour to sign to the mighty Real Madrid, and – along with Cyrille Regis and Brendan Batson – the first of the black footballing trio famously dubbed The Three Degrees.
Meanwhile, thrill-seekers should look out for Adam Z. Robinson’s Upon the Stair, a trio of macabre tales combining storytelling, live music and integrated BSL in a thrilling gothic show like you’ve never witnessed before. Showing from 30-31 Oct just in time for Halloween, this haunting show brings to life the ghostly stories of three lost souls all bound to a cursed book.
Upon the Stair
From 3-7 Nov, The Classic Thriller Theatre Company are also back with a new production of the chilling black comedy The Cat and the Canary. Twenty years after the death of Mr West, his descendants gather at a remote mansion to learn who will inherit his vast wealth, but when the heir is revealed, a chain of macabre events is set in motion…
Those seeking something light-hearted to lift their spirits can look to Groan Ups, the latest chaotic comedy from Mischief Theatre, creators of The Play That Goes Wrong, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery and BBC One’s The Goes Wrong Show. Expect even more of the company’s trademark madness and mayhem when this side-splitting show heads to Coventry from 28 Sep-3 Oct.
If social distancing has left you Netflix bingeing, you might enjoy The Crown – Live!, a brand new parody stage show inspired by the hit series. From 23-26 Sep, two actors reimagine the story of how Elizabeth Windsor became Queen Elizabeth in 90 minutes of frenetic hat-passing, period accents and hilarious corgi impressions.
For families, Birmingham Stage Company are back with another Horrible Histories Live tour from 20-24 Oct, once again delving into the strange truth about our country’s past in the brilliantly bonkers Barmy Britain. Little ones will also have the chance to meet their favourite TV characters including Fireman Sam, Noddy, Digby Dragon and more when Milkshake! Live comes to the Belgrade on Mon 26 Oct.
As ever, there’ll be a sparking Christmas celebration with this year’s panto, Beauty and the Beast showing from 28 Nov-9 Jan, but the festive fun doesn’t stop there! Following the return of Russian State Ballet with The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake from 12-14 Nov, there’ll be another preschool-friendly Santa show from Imagine Theatre.
In addition to theatre, there’ll also be live music from Fascinating Aida on Sat 31 Oct and an eclectic mix of tribute artists throughout the season, plus a chance to sing along to your favourite movie musicals with Sing-a-Long-a screenings of The Greatest Showman and The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Sat 23 Jan.
Tickets to the Belgrade Theatre’s Autumn/Winter Season will go on sale to Members online-only from Tuesday 14 April, followed by general release on Tuesday 28 April. Book for three or four shows to enjoy 15% off your purchase, or book for five or more to get a massive 25% off.