Dance show Peaky Blinders returns to Birmingham

Published: 3 May 2023
Reporter: Steve Orme

Naya Lovell (Grace) and Guillaume Quéau (Thomas Shelby) Credit: Johan Persson

Rambert and Birmingham Hippodrome’s dance theatre show Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby is to return to the Hippodrome “by popular demand”.

Written and adapted for the stage by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and choreographed and directed by Rambert’s artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer, the show had its world première at the Hippodrome in 2022.

There were sell-out performances at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre as well as the Hippodrome before the show went on a UK tour.

The Hippodrome’s artistic director and chief executive Jon Gilchrist said, “it seems only right to finish the UK tour of our spectacular co-production in the city where this story began. After a phenomenal run last September we’re really excited that audiences will have another opportunity to enjoy this special production.”

Featuring live musicians performing a score written by Roman GianArthur, the show is led by musical director Yaron Engler and has a new track by Laura Mvula. GianArthur’s soundtrack for the production also has songs from the television series and music from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Radiohead, Anna Calvi, The Last Shadow Puppets, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Guillaume Quéau and Joseph Kudra alternate the role of Thomas Shelby, with Naya Lovell and Seren Williams alternating the role of Grace. Birmingham-born writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who played street preacher Jeremiah Jesus in the TV series, provides pre-recorded narration for the production.

Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby picks up the story of the Peaky Blinders at the end of World War I and follows Tommy Shelby and Grace Burgess through a passionate love affair. While Tommy is building his empire, Grace is operating as an undercover agent for Special Branch on a mission to get close to the heart of Tommy’s gang.

Knight commented, “this is dance for people who don’t usually watch dance. What I’ve written has been transformed into something startling by consummate dancers and choreographers. If the concept of a Peaky Blinders dance seems strange, reserve judgement and reserve a ticket.”

Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby will be at Birmingham Hippodrome from Tuesday 23 until Saturday 27 May.

Are you sure?