Two Shakespeare retellings in Belgrade autumn season

Published: 4 April 2024
Reporter: Steve Orme

Speaking out: Please Do Not Touch
Rap and R&B: Romeo and Juliet
Previewing before Edinburgh: My Mother’s Funeral

A number of collaborations with companies including China Plate, Talawa and Paines Plough will be part of the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry season which starts in autumn 2024.

Please Do Not Touch, a co-production with China Plate, will begin the season. Written by former Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey and directed by Gail Babb, it will run at the Belgrade from Wednesday 11 until Saturday 21 September. It features an activist who has always been able to talk his way out of trouble, win any argument and speak out against injustice until an incident in a heritage house takes all that away from him.

Play On!, a co-production with Talawa, will open at the Belgrade from Monday 23 September until Saturday 5 October before going on a UK tour. This new jazz musical, a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, will fuse the music of Duke Ellington and hip-hop choreography. It will be directed by Talawa’s artistic director Michael Buffong and co-produced with Birmingham Hippodrome, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Wiltshire Creative.

A new family drama Revealed, directed by the Belgrade’s associate director Jay Zorenti-Nakhid, will première from Friday 18 October until Saturday 2 November. Written by Daniel J Carver, it will be “at times devastating and shocking yet hilarious and heartwarming, celebrating the courage in connecting with those we find hardest to love”.

A new version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with an original score of rap and R&B will première at Coventry in a co-production with Bristol Old Vic and Hackney Empire. It will be directed by the Belgrade’s creative director Corey Campbell in collaboration with Midlands artists That’s A Rap and A Class. It will run at the Belgrade from Friday 21 February until Saturday 8 March 2025 before transferring to Bristol and Hackney.

The Belgrade has also announced that as part of its ongoing collaboration with Paines Plough which has announced a move to Coventry, a new co-production of Kelly Jones’s My Mother’s Funeral: The Show will preview at the Belgrade from Thursday 25 until Saturday 27 July 2024 before going to the Edinburgh Fringe.

    Related listings

  • Play On! - Conceived by Sheldon Epps, book by Cheryl L West, music by Duke Ellington (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company, Belgrade Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, and Wiltshire Creative)
  • Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare (Belgrade Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and Hackney Empire)

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