Hat-trick of West End successes for Birmingham REP

Published: 20 December 2018
Reporter: Steve Orme

Hugh Dennis and John Marquez in The Messiah, a Birmingham REP production which has transferred to the West End Credit: Robert Day

Birmingham REP is celebrating a hat-trick of West End successes as three of its Christmas shows are playing in London.

Debbie Isitt’s Nativity! The Musical premiered at Birmingham REP in October 2017 and opened at the Eventim Apollo on Wednesday 19 December 2018. Patrick Barlow’s The Messiah featuring Hugh Dennis, Lesley Garrett and John Marquez opened in Birmingham in October 2018 and is now running at The Other Palace. The theatre’s production of The Snowman, based on the book by Raymond Briggs, is celebrating its 21st consecutive season at The Peacock.

The REP’s executive director Stuart Rogers said, “the REP now prioritises securing a future life beyond Birmingham for as many of its productions as possible, often through co-producing with commercial producers, other regional theatres or touring companies.

“We have one of the best-equipped production facilities and a group of highly skilled carpenters / metalworkers, scenic artists, costume makers, lighting and sound technicians all housed in the building and can therefore offer a high-quality, one-stop shop in which to create new shows of the highest quality.

“We’re delighted to have three productions running simultaneously in London throughout December. We hope that both The Messiah and Nativity! The Musical go on to have as long and successful Christmas lives as The Snowman has enjoyed.”

In January 2019, the theatre’s production of The Snowman returns to Birmingham, marking its 25th anniversary. Since its opening in 1993, the show has played to 1.9 million people around the world and made a significant contribution to the theatre’s income.

Plans are underway to tour the theatre’s productions of Penguins, created by director Paul Bosco McEneany and choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra, and Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones to the United States in 2019 / 20.