Belgrade celebrates five successful years
Coventry’s Belgrade is holding a series of events and exhibitions to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the theatre’s reopening after a £14 million redevelopment.
On Saturday (15 September) theatregoers will get the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes by attending a backstage tour. The tours are free but must be booked in advance through the box office.
A gala evening on Friday 21 September will involve artistic director Hamish Glen and associate director of the Belgrade community and education company Justine Themen discussing what the future holds.
Glen said, “The past five years have been fantastic and I’m really looking forward to celebrating with the people of Coventry all that we’ve achieved.
“Our aspiration for the next five years remains the same: to continue to provide a varied and life-enhancing programme of artistic work alongside our valuable work in the local community.”
Tickets for the gala evening cost £22.25 and include entry to 20th Century Boy on the main stage or £17.50 to see Fragile in the B2 auditorium.
Over the past five years, the Belgrade has sold 681,164 tickets and staged a total of 343 productions, including 33 of its own shows.
The Belgrade’s work with young people and local communities has been an integral part of the theatre’s artistic programme, with 2,717 workshops being held in those five years.
The Belgrade’s staging of 20th Century Boy, about glam rocker Marc Bolan and his band T Rex, has been timed to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the star’s death.
This new musical looks behind the glitter and the sequins to outline the extraordinary story of Bolan’s life from the age of nine. It does that partly from the perspective of his son Rolan who tries to find out more about his father who died when Rolan was only two.
Written by Peter Rowe and featuring all T Rex’s hits from the 1970s, 20th Century Boy will be directed by award-winning director and choreographer Gary Lloyd who directed the Michael Jackson musical Thriller in the West End.
Said Lloyd, “20th Century Boy is a fast-paced rock ‘n’ roll journey through Marc Bolan's short yet eventful life. It’s a fascinating story re-written especially for the Belgrade with a ‘70s soundtrack that defies anyone to leave the theatre not humming along.”
20th Century Boy features a cast of 16 actors and musicians led by George Maguire who plays Marc Bolan.
His previous stage credits include Fame at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Rent on a European tour, Quadrophenia at the Nuffield Theatre and Oliver! at the London Palladium.
The cast also includes Donna Hines who plays Marc Bolan’s girlfriend Gloria and Craig Storrod as Rolan Bolan.
20th Century Boy runs on the Belgrade’s main stage from Friday (14 September) until Saturday, 29 September.