Willy Russell | Crescent Theatre | Directed by Fi Cotton
Willy Russell’s modern classic feels fresh and excitingly alive in the Crescent Theatre’s latest studio production.
Constance Cox, based on Oscar Wilde | Lichfield Garrick Theatre | Directed by Lucy Dufaye
The wit and joy of Wilde’s language shines through in Lichfield Players’ latest production.
A short story first published in 1887, ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ contains so many of the ingredients audiences would come to love in the plays of Oscar Wilde. It may seem like beautifully phrased nonsense but simmering under the surface of this murderous tale are characteristic criticisms of the upper classes.
Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schonberg | Sutton Coldfield Town Hall | Directed by Georgia Young
Revolution is in the air at Sutton Coldfield’s Town Hall. Do you hear the people sing?
Musicals don’t come more famous than Boublil and Schonberg’s redemption story of Jean Valjean, the convict turned mayor at the centre of this epic story set in early 19th century revolutionary France. It’s a challenge for any company, requiring a huge cast, extravagant sets and containing some of the most famous songs in musical theatre. Sutton Coldfield Musical Youth Theatre Company absolutely smash it in this ambitiously staged production which had the opening-night audience on their feet for a richly deserved standing ovation.
Ben Mills-Wood | Blue Orange Theatre | Directed by Simon Ravenhill
With murder in the mix, Ben Mills-Wood’s latest play delivers frantic farce with a difference in this latest ambitious offering from the Jewellery Quarter’s Blue Orange Theatre, directed by Simon Ravenhill.
William Shakespeare | Derby Shakespeare Theatre Company | Directed by Matt Swan
Derby’s Markeaton Park proves the perfect setting for a delightfully comic production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Shakespeare’s classic tale of love, mischief and magic directed by Matt Swan.
Kevin Elyot | Crescent Theatre | Directed by Rod Natkiel
The Crescent Theatre’s production of ‘My Night with Reg’, Kevin Elyot’s modern tragi-comedy masterpiece, is a powerful and emotionally charged hit. The play, first performed at the Royal Court in 1995, delves into the complex world of ‘gay manners and morals’ in the midst of the AIDS crisis. Set in the 1980s London ‘gay community’ (if such a thing can really be said to exist) the play explores the lives of a group of friends whose relationships are intertwined and tested by a series of deceptions, betrayals, and regrets over several tumultuous years.
Lawrence Kasha & David Landay | Lichfield Garrick | Directed by Patrick Jervis
Lichfield Operatic Society’s production of ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ is a brilliantly performed hit of pure nostalgia that captures the spirit of the Golden Age of movie musicals. Set in 1850s Oregon, this classic musical follows the story of Millie, who transforms seven wild and unkempt brothers into ‘romantic gentlemen’.
Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Simon Reade | Brewhouse Theatre | Directed by Tim Robinson
Michael Morpurgo’s modern WWI masterpiece ‘Private Peaceful’ is brought to life by Little Theatre Company in a beautifully performed and moving production at Burton’s Brewhouse Theatre, directed by Tim Robinson.
Bob Merrill, Jule Styne & Isobel Lennart | Sutton Arts Theatre | Directed by Emily Armstrong & Dexter Whitehead
The latest musical offering from Sutton Arts Theatre captivates from the moment Phebe Bland’s Fanny Brice locks eyes with the audience through a dressing room mirror surrounded by light bulbs. Bland’s winning performance exudes confidence and feistiness, instantly establishing a connection with the audience that lasts throughout the show.
Tim Firth | Highbury Theatre | Directed by Denise Phillips
Highbury Theatre rise to the cheeky challenge of staging this much-loved story about a Yorkshire Women’s Institute group baring all for a charity fundraising calendar.
Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz | Sutton Coldfield Town Hall | Directed by Dan Barnes
Victor Hugo’s classic tale of Quasimodo is brought to life in all its musical glory by Trinity Players in a production at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall which successfully transports the audience from the West Midlands to medieval Paris.
Florian Zeller | Crescent Theatre | Directed by Mark Thompson
Can a play really take an audience into a dementia-stricken mind? In the latest offering from Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre, directed by Mark Thompson, the answer is a resounding yes.
Amelia Bullmore | Highbury Theatre | Directed by Ian Appleby
Highbury Theatre’s studio reopens with a winning production of ‘Di and Viv and Rose’. Directed by Ian Appleby, it is a story of female friendship and solidarity brought vividly to life by a talented trio of actors.
Curated by Mark Gatiss | Crescent Theatre | Directed by Alex Arksen, Mark Shaun Walsh and Maura Judges
Written by Mark Gatiss and seven other authors, ‘Queers’ is a series of eight monologues exploring British gay history. Commissioned to mark the 50-year anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of twenty-one, they were first shown on the BBC and performed on stage at The Old Vic in 2017.
Harold Pinter / Chloe Moss | Sutton Arts Theatre | Directed by Faye Hatch
Sutton Arts Theatre’s latest offering, an evening of two one-act plays, provides more than a little food for thought if you have an appetite for dark comedy and challenging theatre.
Stephen Sondheim | Crescent Theatre | Directed by Keith Harris
Dreams and desires collide with dark comedy in a beautifully staged production of Sondheim’s fairy tale musical at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham, directed by Keith Harris.
Olga Tokarczuk | Belgrade Theatre | Directed by Simon McBurney
The animal kingdom stages a collective, murderous uprising in Complicité’s disarming and dream-like adaptation of Olga Tokarczuk’s genre-defying novel, directed by Simon McBurney.