I didn’t make any new year resolutions, but if I did ‘go to more theatre in 2011’ might have been on there. On Saturday I ticked that box good n hard, clocking up the Rep, the Hippodrome and the Old Rep before 5pm.
The Rep – The Final Curtain
The Rep’s closing for a couple of years while they finish off the new library (which will integrate with the Rep to a fair degree). They’ll be touring around venues across Birmingham but before then they held one last little event. Joanne Malin hosted and Polarbear had written a piece for the audience to perform with some help from performers from the Young Rep.
It was short, sweet and good, wholesome fun and a nice way to see off the current place.
They were doing backstage tours after that but we didn’t have time for that because we wanted to go and see…
Birmingham Hippodrome – (re)Stretch
This was ace. I went to a little preview on Friday night and it was so good I went back on Saturday. (re)Stretch answers the question ‘how much fun would it be to string up 8 miles(!) of fine elastic to make a 10 metre-wide screen and then project things on to it and make it make noise too?’. The answer is, of course ‘very fun’, especially as you’re encouraged to get involved and play with the thing.
At the preview on Friday a couple of dancers cavorted in and around the piece (it’s presented in association with DanceXchange), which was lovely, but they were no match for the unrestrained glee shown by a class of young ballet dancers on Saturday when they were let loose on it.
It’s free and it’s there until Sunday 16 January. Martin Pickard’s taken some lovely pics from the Friday which you can see in this slideshow:
The Old Rep – The Firework Maker’s Daughter
We managed to score some tickets to this at the last minute, leading to the admission that I’d never actually been to the Old Rep before. It’s a good place and the staff were very nice and friendly. The show itself (written by Philip Pullman) was more kiddy-friendly than the sort of thing I’m used to (this was the Christmas show, after all) but it was entertaining enough – the elephant costumes were ace and it had a good energy about it.
Also on a theatrical tip
- Stan’s Cafe are doing an earlybird ticket offer for The Cleansing of Constance Brown at AE Harris from 1 to 19 March
- The first show of The Rep’s next peripatetical two years is The Rememberers on 4 February, also at AE Harris. It’s a ‘classic tale of good versus evil, told through rap narration, lyrics, projection, music and graphic novel illustration’ which sounds good to me