What's on in the Midlands

Published: 10 September 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

Mamma Mia at Curve, Leicester Credit: Brinkhoff Moegenburg
Jersey Boys at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham Credit: Birgit and Ralf Brinkhoff
Michael Hugo and Gareth Cassidy in Marvellous at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme Credit: Andrew Billington

Based on the short novel by Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption featuring Joe Absolom and Ben Onwukwe tours to Derby Theatre from Monday until Saturday.

John Dalgleish plays Spike Milligan in Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s new comedy Spike at Malvern Theatres from Tuesday until Saturday.

Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome open a new tour of Marsha Norman’s adaptation of The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker’s novel, at the Hippodrome from Tuesday until Saturday.

Based on the true story of the “chart-topping Cornish singing sensations” and their hit film, Fisherman's Friends—The Musical aims to hook audiences at The Alexandra, Birmingham from Tuesday until Saturday.

The first UK tour of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre production of Bugsy Malone, with book by Alan Parker and music and lyrics by Paul Williams, saunters onto the main stage at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre from Tuesday until Sunday while in the B2 auditorium, a new dystopian drama telling the true stories of white women who crossed race lines and married men of the Windrush generation, Quiet Rebels, continues until Saturday.

Audiences will have no need to take a chance on Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus’ Mamma Mia!, based on the songs of ABBA, at Curve, Leicester from Tuesday until Saturday 24 September.

The comedy musical Friendsical, written and directed by Miranda Larson, will be there for you with a guest appearance by Jake Quickenden at Northampton’s Derngate on Wednesday and Thursday while in the Royal auditorium, Dancing Brick teams up with Peepolykus’s John Nicholson who provides comic direction for the first stage production of Jacques Tati’s “comic masterpiece” Playtime which continues until Saturday.

The inside story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons is recounted in Jersey Boys which makes its way back to the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham from Wednesday until Saturday 24 September.

Precious Emily tells the stories of two inspirational weightlifters, Precious McKenzie, born in South Africa, who became a Commonwealth Games gold medal winner four times, and Emily Campbell from Nottingham, the Olympic Games silver medal winner, in Stan’s Café’s production at Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham from Thursday until Saturday.

Artists and communities in Derby will be brought together in a show by “one of the UK’s most exhilarating and leading contemporary circus companies”, Revel Puck Circus, which will present The Wing Scuffle Spectacular at Markeaton Park, Derby from Thursday until Sunday 25 September.

Not Your Circus Dog collective takes its “shameless provocative queer cabaret” Not F**kin’ Sorry!, performed by neurodivergent and learning-disabled performers, to Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester on Friday.

Celebrating 50 years since Hereford United pulled off one of the greatest giant-killing acts in FA Cup history by beating Newcastle United, Nick Lane’s The Goal continues at The Courtyard Hereford until Friday.

BOLDtext Playwrights’ Gem of a Place, a “theatrical journey through the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter where audiences can discover stories from the area's past and present”, is presented for a second week from Friday until Sunday.

Birmingham-based company Paperback Theatre stages an outdoor festival, Little But LIVE!, featuring a “rip-roaring” production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors in Moseley Park, Birmingham from Friday until Sunday.

Duncan Bonner performs two short plays in Mr Bonner's Shorts, Meg Whelan's Pottery Class and Karaoke for One by Jimmy Whiteaker, at the Stroud Theatre Festival, Stroud Valley Artspace, John Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire from Friday until Sunday while Chloë of the Midnight Storytellers “celebrates a lifetime of defiant creativity” with a “unique brand of unscripted, hot-off-the-tongue verbal jazz” in Reliquary of Dreams at the Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Non-profit arts company Let Me In continues to present a new production of Once the Musical, based on the Academy Award-winning 2006 film, at The Hub at St Mary's, Lichfield until Saturday.

Tall Stories’ adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture book Room on the Broom flies into the Winding Wheel, Chesterfield on Sunday and Monday.

Adrian Scarborough adapts Alan Bennett’s novella The Clothes They Stood Up In and appears alongside Sophie Thompson in the play which continues at Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday 1 October.

Marvellous, a play about Staffordshire “living legend” Neil “Nello” Baldwin, which was written by Baldwin and Malcolm Clarke and adapted for the stage by Baldwin and New Vic artistic director Theresa Heskins, will reunite the original cast when it runs at the New Vic from Saturday until Saturday 8 October.

Blanche McIntyre’s contemporary take on Shakespeare’s dark comedy All’s Well That Ends Well for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which “explores themes of romantic fantasy, toxic masculinity and consent”, and Richard III featuring disabled actor Arthur Hughes in the lead role both continue in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford until Saturday 8 October.

    Related listings

  • The Shawshank Redemption - Based on the short novel by Stephen King, adapted by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns (Bill Kenwright)
  • Spike - Ian Hislop and Nick Newman (Watermill Theatre)
  • The Color Purple - Based on Alice Walker’s novel and adapted for the stage by Marsha Norman, Allee Willis, Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray (Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome)
  • Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical
  • Bugsy Malone - Alan Parker (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre)
  • Quiet Rebels - Julie McNamara and Hassan Mahamdallie (Vital Xposure and Dervish Productions)
  • Mamma Mia - Music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, book by Catherine Johnson
  • Friendsical - A Parody Musical About Friends - Book and lyrics by Miranda Larson, music by Barrie Bignold (Brooke Mauchline Productions Ltd in association with Assembly Festival)
  • Jersey Boys - Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe
  • The Goal - Nick Lane (Courtyard)
  • Room on the Broom - Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Tall Stories)
  • The Clothes They Stood Up In - Alan Bennett, adapted by Adrian Scarborough (Nottingham Playhouse)
  • Marvellous - Neil Baldwin and Malcolm Clarke, adapted for the stage by Neil Baldwin and Theresa Heskins (New Vic Theatre)
  • All’s Well That Ends Well - William Shakespeare (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Richard III - William Shakespeare (Royal Shakespeare Company)