Open Day at Rep

Backstage pass and theatrical fun for all.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre – one of the UK’s leading producing theatres, which hosts over 450 performances to an audience of 191,000 every year – is throwing open its doors on Saturday 9th April from 10am–5pm to give members of the public a rare insight into everything that happens on and offstage at the city’s only producing theatre.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre is one of the most influential theatre companies in the history of the English stage and for over 100 years has been one of Britain’s leading producers of new plays. The theatre’s Open Day will give visitors a chance to see how a theatre works. From peeping through the wings on to the main stage to finding out how sets are built, or learning how wigs and costumes are created to how large pieces of scenery are painted, members of the public will be able to see how a show is created from start to finish.

In addition to seeing behind the scenes there’ll be lots of events running throughout the day to suit all ages. There’ll be opportunities to try out playwriting in the Write Away workshops and spoken word with the energetic and creative social enterprise, Beatfreeks.

For young children, there will be Dooville – an interactive music experience, while the ever-popular Bhangra Tots promises to get them up on their feet dancing. For older children, inventive theatre company, Filter, will get them creating theatre using sound and music. And, recruitment workshops will also be held for a UK wide theatre project taking place in Summer 2016.

The REP’s rich history will be explored in a series of archive talks looking at the life of REP founder and theatrical pioneer, Sir Barry Jackson, innovation in theatre design and how women broke new ground at The REP.

Shahid Nadeem, acclaimed Pakistani playwright, human rights campaigner and Director of Pakistan’s leading theatre company, Ajoka, will talk about some of his work that he has developed during a two-week residency in Birmingham. Alongside this there will be a screening of the National Theatre’s production of Shahid’s play, Dara.

Throughout the Open Day there will also be dressing-up, theatrical face painting and a variety of craft activities, plus live folk music and performances from Nansen Primary School choir, Standing Ovation. Marmalade – the theatre’s bar and restaurant – will be open for coffee, cakes, snacks and lunch.

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of The REP says: “Our Open Day is a great day out for everyone and offers a chance for those who might be curious as to what goes on in our building in Centenary Square to pop in and take a look. There’ll be something for everyone to see, take part in, have a go at, or listen too whether they are young or old, a regular theatre goer or someone who has never been inside a theatre before. The day will hopefully inspire and open doors and minds to the world of theatre.”

All open day events are free to attend and can either be booked in advance or on the day. Capacity is limited on some of the talks and workshops so places are offered on a first come, first served basis.

Ticketed events on the day include performances of Jonathan Coe’s The Rotters’ Club at 4pm and 8.30pm, an In Conversation with Jonathan Coe and playwright, Richard Cameron about bringing The Rotters’ Club to the stage at 6.30pm and Live Lunch – a play-reading over lunch at 12.30pm. Tickets can be booked for these in advance at or by calling 0121 236 4455.

Full details of The REP’s Open Day can be found at

Pic: John James