Birmingham REP programme mirrors “stormy age”

Steve Orme

Birmingham REP’s artistic director Roxana Silbert has announced a programme for spring and summer 2018 which “mirrors and examines the stormy age in which we live”.

She said, “we’re reflecting the increasingly turbulent times we live in with stories that explore this extraordinary era—James Graham’s This House is a searing look at British politics, Truth by Helen Chadwick and Steven Hoggett looks at the once simple notion of truth in a messy modern age, The Kite Runner highlights a friendship on the verge of war and Terrence Rattigan’s masterpiece The Winslow Boy offers a compelling investigation of the fallout on a family of a very different war in a very different time.

“New times call for new ways of presenting stories and I’m pleased to welcome back one of Europe’s most exciting directors, Calixto Bieito, with an ambitious new work, The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety, featuring live music from the Heath Quartet.

“For this season, I’m particularly thrilled to welcome back two playwrights who’ve been important figures in the REP’s history. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s latest play Elephant premières in February and playwright David Edgar marks his debut as a performer with the autobiographical Trying It On.”

The season gets under way with a return of the REP’s co-production with Kneehigh Theatre of Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter. Adapted and directed by Emma Rice, it runs from 2 until 17 February 2018.

Tessa Peake-Jones and Aden Gillett will appear in Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, from 21 February until 3 March.

Paul Nicholas, Wendi Peters, Sue Holderness and Jeff Rawle feature in Ronald Harwood’s Quartet which tours to the REP from 6 until 10 March.

Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner visits the REP from 13 until 24 March and is followed by Bryony Lavery’s new adaptation of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock from 10 until 14 April.

After runs at the National Theatre and in the West End, James Graham’s Our House moves to the REP from 17 until 21 April.

Created and directed by Calixto Bieito, The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety has its world première at the REP from 12 until 19 May before touring to Brighton, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Bilbao.

Co-produced with Ramps on the Moon, Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker is at the REP from 23 May until 2 June.

Highlights of the programme in the Studio include Nina—A Story About Me And Nina Simone, devised by Dritëro Kasapi and Josette Bushell-Mingo, from 6 until 10 March, John Godber’s Up ’N’ Under, presented by Fingersmiths with a cast of deaf and hearing actors using British Sign Language and spoken English, from 12 until 14 March and DNA by Dennis Kelly from 27 March until 7 April.

In The Door, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s Elephant has its world première from 15 February until 4 March while David Edgar’s Trying it On can be seen on 12 and 13 June.