New writing prominent at Coventry’s Belgrade

Published: 13 July 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

This Little Relic, part of the BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival at the Belgrade

World premières are among the highlights of the autumn and winter season at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre as the venue produces work for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

Karla Marie Sweet’s This Little Relic, a work about producing Ira Aldridge’s 1847 adaptation of the French romantic play The Black Doctor, will be presented as part of the BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival which features new writing. This Little Relic will be performed to a live audience on Friday 24 September and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at a later date. The play will then run in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium from Wednesday 29 September until Saturday 2 October.

Other events as part of the BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival include Kerbs, the debut play by Michael Southan, in association with Graeae Theatre Company, from Saturday 26 February until Saturday 5 March 2022, and SeaView, a digital project in partnership with Strictly Arts based on an original idea by Corey Campbell, one of the Belgrade’s co-artistic directors for 2021. The first three episodes of the six-part series will be screened at the Belgrade each day from Thursday 11 until Saturday 13 November.

Outkast Productions will stage The Why? Event on Friday 8 October, an exploration of why people stay in domestic abuse relationships. Delivered using dramatisations, spoken word and dance, it features guest speakers Janika Cartwright and Naomi Donald.

Mandala Theatre Company in association with Oxford Playhouse will present Though This Be Madness from Wednesday 20 until Friday 22 October. This new play by Avaes Mohammad unravels what is happening to young people in relation to education, exclusion, gang grooming and, too often, prison.

The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe will arrive in Coventry on Wednesday 3 November. Written and directed by Elton Townend Jones and performed by Lizzie Wort, it unravels the life of Marilyn Monroe through the memories of her closest relationships.

Queer playwright Tom Wright takes the première of his “hard-hitting and hilarious” play I Ain’t Dumb to his home city from Wednesday 9 until Saturday 12 February.

The full programme can be viewed at the Belgrade Theatre web site.