One year on: The Old Rep celebrates first anniversary since bold re-launch.
The Old Rep is celebrating the first anniversary of its re-launch as an independent, young people driven venue in the heart of Birmingham, with an exciting new season of pioneering creative programmes with young people, new work made in Birmingham, and a range of visiting comedy, dance, drama and top quality work for families. Described as a one of Birmingham’s hidden gems, The Old Rep is the oldest purpose built repertory theatre in the country, where 100 years of rich theatre history and a bold new vision exist side by side.
In the past year, The Old Rep has gone from strength to strength, developing new creative opportunities with – and showcasing the talent of – the young people, artists and communities of Birmingham and beyond. The Station Street venue has supported premieres of new work that have gone on to national tours, reached over 50,000 audience members and welcomed 10,000 participants in creative activities. The Old Rep has also enjoyed sell-out success, including comedians Romesh Ranganathan and Shazia Mirza earlier this year, a new professional production of Rent made in Birmingham, and YouTube vlogging sensation Louise Pentland, better known as Sprinkle of Glitter, launching the new season on Friday 2nd September.
Amongst The Old Rep’s mnew programme, its most defining quality is support and nurturing of young and local creative talent. The venue is taking a lead in championing Midlands actors and creatives, epitomised by the decision to cast festive family show, The Wind in the Willows (21 November-31 December), entirely with excellent, professional performers form our region. This commitment to developing and showcasing Birmingham’s creative workforce is reflected in pioneering young creative leaders programme Southside Producers and the regional recognition received for the high quality training experiences offered through apprenticeships in marketing, technical and venue management roles.
Executive Director Chris Sudworth explains: “We are delighted with the success of the first year of The Old Rep as a young people-driven venue in the heart of the city. It has been built on partnerships with companies, communities, businesses and supporters, as passionate about supporting the creative development of the next generation as we are. Programmes like Southside Producers, and partnerships with innovative, high-profile companies such as Frantic Assembly and National Youth Theatre are opening up new pathways and possibilities for the young people of Birmingham and beyond.”