The Rep have announced the first four productions to play in the city centre venue’s most intimate venue, The Door, since closing to live performance due to the global pandemic in March 2020. Each production is a personal exploration of identity and coming of age relevant to the communities which make Birmingham a rich and diverse city.
The series of four productions includes the rescheduling of two performances which were previously cancelled due to the national shut down of theatre spaces in 2020; Yours Sincerely (2-5 Mar) and LAVA (13-14 May).
Launching later this year, The Door will become a dedicated space for artists to develop new work, apply research and development and present scratch performances.
This new era for The Door will be led by The Rep’s Associate Director, Madeleine Kludje with more to be announced later this year. Madeleine Kludje said; “It is really encouraging to see live performance returning to our most intimate space after an absence of what will be approaching two years.
“Looking forward, this space will become a place where artists from Birmingham and beyond can develop their craft and their work, a venue where audiences can enjoy and explore emerging work and discover the hit productions of the future and a space that reflects stories of the city. More details will be announced later this year and we look forward to further collaborating with artists to fulfil our ambition of making The Door a dedicated space for artists and their work.”
Written and performed by Will Jackson and presented by Quick Duck Theatre, Yours Sincerely (2-5 Mar) is based on real life correspondences. Storytelling and lipsync cabaret collide in this queer coming-of-age comedy about the complications of 21st-century communication. Will Jackson has accidentally stolen 300 second class stamps from the post office, but he’s making them count - he’s going to write letters!
Black Is The Color Of My Voice (28-29 Mar) is inspired by the life of Nina Simone, featuring many of her most iconic songs performed live.
Apphia Campbell’s acclaimed play follows a successful singer and civil rights activist as she seeks redemption after the untimely death of her father. She reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.
Black Is The Color Of My Voice comes to The Door following sell-out seasons in Shanghai, New York, Edinburgh, and the West End. The production is written and directed by Apphia Campbell and performed by Florence Odumosu.
Riot Act (12 May) takes audiences on a wild ride through six decades of queer history. A solo verbatim show, Riot Act is created entirely, word for word, out of interviews with three key-players in the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement; Michael Anthony Nozzi, a survivor of the Stonewall Riots; Lavina Co-op, an alternative ‘70s drag artist; and Paul Burston, ‘90s London AIDS activist.
Following several UK tours and a special West End performance, this critically acclaimed audience favourite is a rip-roaring, white-knuckle ride through six decades of queer history, taking the audience right up to the present day. Provocative, tender, truthful, funny, political and personal, these are stories of queerness, sexuality, activism, addiction, family, childhood, love, sex, drag, community, togetherness, conflict, identity, youth, ageing, loss, fierce queens and a Hollywood diva.
Riot Act is written and performed by Alexis Gregory, directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE and presented by Emmerson & Ward Productions and Alexis Gregory Productions.
From award-winning playwright James Fritz (Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, Parliament Square, Ross & Rachel), LAVA (13-14 May) is a play for the moment: a funny, tender and moving story about friendship and reconnection in the aftermath of catastrophe. Boy meets girl. Boy can’t talk to girl. And a small asteroid has hit the capital city. It was ridiculous. Impossible.
But it happened. As London adjusts to life after an unthinkable disaster, in a small town far away, a young man called Vin finds he can no longer speak. Is it shock? Grief? Or something else?
While Vin’s mum Vicky struggles with a loss of her own, his friend Rach is determined to help him find a way out of silence. But when Rach’s family take in a charismatic and articulate survivor, who thinks talking – or even singing – about your suffering is the way to heal, Vin’s plight is suddenly eclipsed…
In a world that celebrates self-expression, what happens to those who can’t express themselves? And what lengths will we go to make sense of our sadness? LAVA is written by James Fritz, and presented by Fifth Word and Nottingham Playhouse.
These newly announced productions are joined by comedian Sukh Ojla’s Life Sukhs (18 Feb) and Grimeboy (14-18 Apr), the unmissable new play from Casey Bailey, the Birmingham Poet Laureate and winner of the Greater Birmingham Future Face of Arts and Culture 2020, directed by The Rep’s Associate Director Madeleine Kludje with set design by Ebrahim Nazier.