Election launch for theatre

Local young performers bring punchy political festival to the REP.

As the UK heads towards the general election, young people from across Birmingham and the West Midlands are taking to the stage for The Manifesto, a two-and-a-half-week festival of punchy, political ideas.

From 17th to 31st March, Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s youth theatre, The Young REP present nine plays that tackle issues surrounding education, culture, equality and justice including Bryony Lavery’s More Light, Davey Anderson’s Blackout, Douglas Maxwell’s Prom plus a brand new interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to be staged over all ten floors of the Library of Birmingham.

Tom Saunders, Senior Youth Theatre Director at The REP, says of the festival: “In recent years the Young REP Festival has become a highlight of the year for us and our young people and this year will be no different. The festival takes place just eight weeks before the general election and with this in mind we’ve put together a programme of work that is punchy, political and aims to get audiences thinking about important issues.

“We’ve named the festival The Manifesto because the shows represent the thoughts, feelings and ideas that many of our young people share. Over the two and half weeks there will be nine plays, over 150 performers with ages ranging from 7 to 25 and such a mix of styles that there is something for everyone.”

An exciting addition to this year’s festival is the opportunity for audiences to travel around the Library of Birmingham as part of a collaboration between The REP, Library of Birmingham and Hôtel Teatro. Hamlets is presented by the Young REP 18-25 Company and will see one of Shakespeare’s iconic plays cut up, rearranged and spread all over the library.

The Young REP works with young people aged between seven and twenty-five across Birmingham and the West Midlands. Members work with professional theatre-makers to create innovative and thrilling productions, which are performed at The REP, as well as touring across the UK and beyond.

Full details can be found at www.birmingham-rep.co.uk