Family Matters This October at the Belgrade Theatre
This Autumn, the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry will play host to a bumper season of family-friendly shows which include a new U.K touring production of The Cat In The Hat, Marty MacDonald’s Farm featuring the voice of Justin Fletcher and, from the company behind The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, a magical new adaptation of Vivian French’s The Snow Dragon.
Throughout October 2015, the Belgrade Theatre will be showcasing some of the best new work for young people as part of the October Festival of Theatre for Children and Young People. Running from Mon 19 – Sat 31 Oct, this two week festival has been programmed to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Theatre in Education (TiE) which began at the Belgrade Theatre in 1965 and comprises of some of the best professional theatre for children and young people, made by companies across the UK.
The two-week festival will also form part of the UK wide Get Creative Family Arts Festival, a nationwide celebration of family arts taking place between 9 October and 1 November 2015.
The festival will encompass the October half-term holiday and will feature music, theatre, dance, the visual arts, and much more. Last year’s festival included over 4500 events, from 900 organisations, and the Festival has entertained over 1.2 million family members since its beginnings in 2013.
Opening the Belgrade Theatre’s October festival, all-male theatre company Propeller return to the Belgrade with Pocket Merchant on Mon 19 Oct, a condensed version of their critically acclaimed 2009 production, bringing one of Shakespeare’s darkest plays to life using the company’s inimitable style.
This will be followed by a visit from Theatre Centre with Rise Up from Mon 19 – Wed 21 Oct in B2, a powerful and provocative new play by Lisa Evans telling the story of America’s ‘Freedom Riders’ who set about peacefully challenging the inherent racism of America’s deep south during the 1960s.
Developed in partnership with Essex police, The Hate Play is an interactive performance portraying the devastating impact of victimisation and hate crime on a group of young friends. Running in B2 from Thurs 22 – Sat 24 Oct, this urgent and deeply affecting drama is produced by Box Clever Theatre – an award-winning, writer-led theatre company dedicated to the creation of contemporary theatre for young people – with script by Michael Wicherek.
Story-telling, comedy and songs combine to create a magical and mystical story for audiences of all ages in The Snow Dragon on Fri 23 & Sat 24 Oct, an all-new adventure from the company behind The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom.
This will be followed by a visit from Marty MacDonald’s Farm from Mon 26 – Wed 28 Oct. Directed by Tweenies creator Iain Lauchlan, this all new interactive adventure presented by Martin Parsons (Playdays Live, Sooty’s Magic Castle) and Kate Ashmead (Tweenies, Thomas & Friends Live) features children’s TV favourites Justin Fletcher MBE (Mr Tumble, Justin’s House, Something Special) as the Voice of Pongo the Pig, and Nicole Davis (Topsy & Tim, Chuggington) as the Voice of Molly-Moo the Cow.
Specially adapted for children on the autistic spectrum and with additional learning needs, Light Show is a fully immersive experience in which participants are taken on a multi-sensory journey of textures, smells and tactile experiences, all accompanied by enchanting live music from a virtuoso double bass player. Running in B2 for four performances on Tues 27 – Wed 28 Oct, this magical new theatre show for ages 3-11 year olds comes in two tailored versions: for children with profound learning disabilities on Tuesday and for those on the autism spectrum on Wednesday.
Mischief and mayhem combine in a brand new stage adaptation of The Cat In The Hat from Thur 29 – Sat 31 Oct on the Belgrade Main Stage. Based on the much loved book by Dr Seuss, this lively and inventive new stage show is the perfect first theatre experience for children aged 3+. Expect towering hats, mischief and fun that is funny!
Completing the October Festival programme, I Wish I Had A Moustache will visit B2 from Fri 30 & Sat 31 Oct. Written and performed by Young Identity’s Keisha Thompson, this comedic and, at times disturbing exploration of beauty, gender anxieties and the taboo of body hair asks some important questions of how we define and value ourselves and is suitable for ages 12+
A series of interactive drama workshops will also be available as part of the October Festival with sessions which include A Play In 2 Days, Animation Workshops with Let’s Animate, Theatre Games Workshops and Storytelling Workshops for ages 8-11 and 11-16 years. Full details of supporting workshops and half-term holiday activities are available via the Belgrade Theatre website.
Tickets for all of these shows are now on sale. For tickets, call the Belgrade Theatre Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or via the website www.belgrade.co.uk where cheaper tickets are available.
For further media information or images please contact Kate Evans on T: 024 7684 6715 or E: Kevans@belgrade.co.uk
Half Term Workshops:
A Play in 2 Days Workshop Ages 11 – 16
Mon 26 & Tues 27 Oct, 10am
A Play in 2 Days Workshop Ages 8 – 11
Mon 26 & Tues 27 Oct, 10am
Animation Workshop with Let’s Animate Ages 8 – 11
Weds 28 Oct, 10am
Animation Workshop with Let’s Animate Ages 11 – 16
Weds 28 Oct, 2pm
Theatre Games Workshop Ages 8 – 11
29th October, 11am
Theatre Games Workshop Ages 11 – 16
Thurs 29 Oct, 2pm
Storytelling Workshop Ages 8 – 12
Fri 30 Oct, 11am
I Wish I Had a Moustache Workshop Ages 12 – 18
Fri 30 Oct, 2.30pm
*Notes To Editors: *
The 2015 Get Creative Family Arts Festival (9 October – 1 November) is a partnership between the Family Arts Festival and BBC Arts’ Get Creative initiative. Running since 2013 as the Family Arts Festival, the festival aims to increase the amount and range of high quality arts available across the country to families, and was established to foster a lifelong interest and passion for the arts. The Festival encompasses all of the visual and performing arts, and takes place during October including the half-term holiday.
The Family Arts Campaign aims to support organisations in providing high-quality activities for families and in growing and broadening the number of families taking part in the arts. It has been devised in consultation with over 1,000 professionals and 2,000 families. It is an initiative of Association of British Orchestras, UK Theatre, Society of London Theatre, Independent Theatre Council, Dance UK, Contemporary Visual Arts Network, The Audience Agency and Family and Childcare Trust. It is supported using funding through Arts Council England and activity in Wales is supported by Arts Council Wales. Visit familyarts.co.uk for more information.
Get Creative is a campaign led by the BBC and What Next? in partnership with a huge range of arts, cultural and voluntary organisations across the UK. In a yearlong project that began in February 2015, the campaign will promote a range of opportunities to get inspired to do, share and talk about the arts. Visit bbc.co.uk/arts/sections/get-creative for more information.
The Family Arts Standards are designed to help families know what they should expect from an arts organisation that displays the Family Arts Standards logo. They cover the basic considerations for families visiting any type of arts experience, from art galleries to plays, dance performances and beyond. The Standards have been developed with the Family and Childcare Trust. For more information or to sign up visit familyarts.co.uk/family-arts-standards.