Birmingham Rep announces 2014 season

World premieres and the return of old favourites.

Hot on the heels of its hugely successful reopening, which has seen over 35,000 tickets sold and 170,000 people visiting the newly refurbished theatre in the first month of opening, Birmingham Repertory Theatre today announced its plans for 2014.

Opening the season in the main auditorium will be the European premiere of The Dishwashers by Canadian playwright Morris Panych (31st January–15th February). This sees David Essex in his first major theatre role in a play in over a decade and will tour the UK following its opening in Birmingham.

A major celebration of the great German poet and playwright, Bertolt Brecht will explore his work and influence with a programme, curated by Mark Ravenhill, across all spaces of the theatre.  At the centre of this celebration will be a revival of Roxana Silbert’s critically acclaimed 2013 RSC production of A Life of Galileo adapted by Mark Ravenhill and starring Ian McDiarmid (28th February– 4th March). This too will tour the UK after its opening in Birmingham.

Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera (27n d March–12th April) also comes to the main stage in an anarchic new version co-directed by Jenny Sealey (Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre and director of the London 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony) and Peter Rowe (Artistic Director, New Wolsey Ipswich).  All performances will include live audio description and a creative combination of BSL interpretation and captioning plus an integrated cast of disabled and non-disabled performers. This innovative production will be presented by The REP in partnership with Graeae Theatre and three of the country’s leading regional theatres – Nottingham Playhouse, New Wolsey Ipswich and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

With exhibitions, films, a cabaret evening, readings and seminars the Brecht celebration also features a large-scale community production of Brecht’s The Mother (15th March) adapted and directed by Mark Ravenhill.

The first production in the new Studio will be a revival of Bryony Lavery’s Frozen (6th –15th February) co-produced with the Fingersmiths Ltd – a company committed to bringing modern classics to deaf and non-deaf audiences. First performed in 1998 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Frozen won the TMA Best New Play Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.

A new collaboration with Told By An Idiot is Never Try This At Home (27th February–15th March) by Carl Grose. The show, which is directed by Told By An Idiot’s Paul Hunter, will do a short UK tour before transferring to London’s Soho Theatre following its run in Birmingham.

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti makes a welcome return to The REP with Khandan (Family) (22nd May–7th June)  This is Gurpreet’s third play for The REP following Behsharam (Shameless) and Behzti (Dishonour). Directed by Roxana Silbert, Khandan is co-produced with the Royal Court Theatre where it will run for three weeks immediately after its premiere in Birmingham.

The world premiere of Rachel De-lahay’s Circles takes place in The Door (9th–24th May).  Rachel’s second play, Routes has just opened at the Royal Court to critical acclaim and this, her third play, directed by Tessa Walker, will tour with support from the Sir Barry Jackson Trust.

Following The REP’s inaugural REP Foundry artists development programme, 2014 will see the first full production from one of the 2013 Foundry artists, Francesca Millican-Slater’s Forensics of A Flat (30th-31st May).  Foundry Nights will also continue throughout the season at monthly scratch performance nights.

Marking 100 years since the start of the First World War The REP will present two productions – the critically acclaimed stage show based on Sebastian Faulk’s famous novel, Birdsong by the Original Theatre Company (17th– 22nd March) and War Correspondents (26th–27th April) by Helen Chadwick and Steven Hoggett.

A new partnership with Dundee Rep will bring together Dundee’s repertory ensemble and a company of Birmingham actors for Alan Ayckbourn’s Woman in Mind (13th–28th June).

The Spring–Summer 2014 season will also see work from Talawa Theatre and their co-production with the National Theatre of Errol John’s mesmerising and heart-warming Moon On A Rainbow Shawl (20th-22nd February).

The REP also welcomes Dial M For Murder (13th–17th May) directed by Lucy Bailey, Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful (14th–17th May), Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 (19th-24th May), Charlie & Lola’s Extremely New Play (28th–31st May), Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood (2nd–7th June) and Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy (8th-12th April).

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre says of the new season: “The REP has had an amazing 2013: we’ve celebrated our centenary as well as our re-opening alongside the Library of Birmingham. And we had an incredible 170,000 visitors to the building in the month of opening alone. But there’s no time for us to sit on our laurels, so I’m announcing our exciting new programme for the first half of 2014. Next year I’m commissioning work from new writers as well as existing major talent. I want to use our beautifully refurbished theatre to its full potential, to have it bursting with exciting work, people, exhibitions and to entice new audiences and thrill regular visitors.

“I think this is an exciting and confident step forward for the theatre, showing that we have as much to relish in our future as we do to celebrate in our past.”


Tickets for The REP’s Spring and Summer 2014 Season go on sale to members on Tuesday 22nd October at 10am and to the general public on Friday 25 October at 10am.  Box Office: 0121 236 4455 Online booking: