Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP) is celebrating a hat-trick of West End successes as three of its productions are playing in London this month. And they all happen to be Christmas shows.
Nativity! The Musical originally premiered at The REP in October 2017 and opens at the Eventim Apollo on 19 December. Patrick Barlow’s The Messiah opened in Birmingham this October and is now running at The Other Palace; and the theatre’s long-running production of The Snowman is currently celebrating its 21st consecutive season at The Peacock.
All three shows were produced, built and premiered by The REP and success of them is part of the theatre’s focus to extend the life and profile of the work made in Birmingham.
Stuart Rogers, Executive Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre explains:
“The REP now priorities securing a future life beyond Birmingham for as many of its productions as possible, often through coproducing 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 the 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”
This remarkable run of Christmas shows isn’t just limited to those that have made it into the West End. In Birmingham, The REP’s 2018 Christmas show, The Wizard of Oz, directed by Liam Steel, has enjoyed critical success and is currently playing to packed houses until 13 January 2019.
In January, the theatre’s long-running production of The Snowman returns home to Birmingham marking the show’s 25th anniversary. Since its opening in 1993, this much-loved show has played to 1.9million people around the world and made a significant contribution to the theatre’s income.
Other recent Birmingham Repertory Theatre co-productions that have gone on to have future lives beyond Birmingham include Chris Hannan’s play, What Shadows starring Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell, Emma Rice’s Brief Encounter which enjoyed a West End run earlier this year and a European tour of Calixto Bieito’s The String Quartet’s Guide To Sex and Anxiety. Plans are currently underway to tour the theatre’s productions of Penguins and The Lovely Bones to the States in 2019 / 20.