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Family and friendship themes at Coventry’s Belgrade

Published: 9 July 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Themes of family, friendship and finding love dominate Coventry Belgrade Theatre’s programme in its B2 auditorium for autumn and winter 2019, with shows ranging from Bollywood musicals and drama to an immersive Christmas party.

The season begins with Holding the Centre, a new drama by Birmingham writer Joan Carty, presented by Women Writes in association with the Belgrade. It features a successful entrepreneur who has always been told he is clever, special and different. But when one of his friends is murdered, his life begins to fall apart. It will run from Wednesday 4 until Saturday 7 September.

Bring on the Bollywood creator Phizzical is back with the world première of Stardust, a musical presented in association with the Belgrade. Set against the backdrop of the contemporary music industry, the show tells the tale of British Asian singer Amar, Bollywood icon Amor and their tangled relationship with music producer Cyrus. It plays from Saturday 14 until Saturday 21 September.

The Belgrade, Selladoor, Matthew Townshend and Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts will then resurrect Mary Shelley’s gothic masterpiece Frankenstein. More than 200 years after its publication, the novel’s 19-year-old author takes centre stage in Rona Munro’s adaptation, wrestling with her own creation and with the stark realities facing women. Frankenstein will run from Wednesday 2 until Saturday 12 October.

Continuing the partnership that produced Ishy Din’s Wipers in 2016 and Purva Naresh’s adaptation of Amana Fontanella-Khan’s book Pink Sari Revolution in 2017, the Belgrade will again team up with Leicester’s Curve to stage Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette. It will be a co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Everyman Theatre Cheltenham.

The play follows a young British Pakistani who strikes up an unlikely romance with an old schoolfriend after a confrontation with a fascist gang. The “culture clash comedy” is on the B2 stage from Tuesday 29 October until Saturday 2 November.

In another partnership, the Belgrade and Strictly Arts will present Club 2B, a “tempestuous tale of romance through the ages”, which combines live music and immersive drama. The Christmas show will run from Wednesday 11 until Tuesday 31 December.

The Belgrade and Eclipse Theatre will stage Janice Okoh’s The Gift, an “outrageous” comedy drama which tells the story of two Sarahs, an African girl adopted by Queen Victoria, and a modern-day, middle-class woman living in a quiet Cheshire village. It will run from Saturday 18 until Saturday 25 January 2020.

Strictly Arts artistic director Corey Campbell will co-direct with Pilot Theatre’s Esther Richardson Emteaz Hussain’s adaptation of Alex Wheatle’s novel Crongton Knights in B2 from Saturday 8 February until Saturday 22 February.