International Women’s Day focus for Conservatoire

Spring season announced for Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

In the run up to International Women’s Day on 8th March, the perspective of women is examined through opera and theatre as part of the Spring season of events from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University.

The real-life stories of female convicts bound for Tasmania in the 1850s, are the subject of the opera Banished. Composed by Stephen McNeff in 2016, it will be directed by internationally-acclaimed director, Daisy Evans who has worked with Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Shakespeare’s Globe. Conductor and Head of Vocal and Operatic Studies, Paul Wingfield, says, “This impactful opera gives voice to these forgotten women in a drama which is by turns powerful, moving and immediate. The resonances with our current times and the Commonwealth this year are very striking.”

Some seventy students from across BCU will be involved in the production, from fashion and set design to singers and instrumentalists. Banished runs from 2nd-5th March at the Engine Room Space in the Jewellery Quarter.

Euripides’ The Women of Troy, set in the aftermath of war, takes a proto-feminist perspective of the city’s captive women – the spoils of war. In a violent and radical new version by Don Taylor of the classic Greek tragedy, the action moves to Nevada on the West Coast where the women await their fate. It is directed by one of the UK’s most exciting young actors and creatives, Niall Phillips, who describes it as “an intense, gripping look at what happens when the world collapses”. Euripides: The Women of Troy is at The Crescent Theatre, 16th-19th March.

Fake news, misinformation, money and love, all come together in one of William Congreve’s most successful Restoration comedies, Love For Love, performed by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Theatre Company. Congreve poked satirical fun at the tittle tattle, vanity, scandalous behaviour and extravagance of the fashionable set about town and director Nicolette Kay sets the action in contemporary London.

Her credits include the Time Out Critics’ Choice Mary Stuart and The Dreams of Clytemnestra, and she has a particular interest in producing work by lesser-known women writers. In Love for Love, Nicolette Kay she says, “The women hold their own, pit their wits and pursue fun with as much gusto as the men. Plus they have the last word!
‘The miracle to-day is, that we find
A lover true; not that a woman’s kind’”

Love for Love runs from 16th-19th March at The Old Rep Theatre.

Also part of the Conservatoire’s Spring season, International Klein Blue is a new devised, improvisational, theatre piece directed by Stephen Simms, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Vice Principal – Acting. The Cote d’Azur has attracted writers, film stars and artists across generations, from Matisse to Van Gogh and Picasso. In the early 1960s, the young Surrealist Pop artist Yves Klein, famously turned the sky above his home town of Nice into an art work, creating the new colour which shocked the art world – International Blue. International Klein Blue is at The Crescent Theatre from 23nd-26th March.

Further information and details of how to book can be found here.