Hamish Glen officially inaugurates his reign as artistic director of Coventry's Belgrade Theatre when his new production of Kander and Ebb's The Rink opens the theatre's autumn season next week. The first large-scale musical staged at the theatre in many years, The Rink runs from 11 September to 4 October 2003 (previews from 9 September).

The 1984 Broadway musical, originally written by the Chicago creators as a vehicle for Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, explores the bittersweet relationship between a mother and daughter who are trying to stitch their lives back together again after seven years apart. When Anna Antonelli decides to sell the roller skating rink she's run for years, her daughter Angel returns, looking to save the rink and exorcise her childhood demons.

At Coventry, The Rink will star Lucy Williamson (Rent, We Will Rock You) as Angel with Diane Langton (who previously played the daughter in the 1980s West End production) as mother Anna. The production is designed by Patrick Connellan and choreographed by Rita Henderson, with musical direction by Hilary Brooks, lighting by Mike Robertson and sound by Steve Wilson.

Prior to assuming the Belgrade helm earlier this year, Hamish Glen was artistic director and chief executive at the Dundee Rep, which he helped to build up into one of Scotland's leading theatres.

Following The Rink, the autumn season will continue with visiting productions of The Cemetery Club, The Hollow Crown, The Old Ladies, Time and the Conways and Oh What a Night. The in-house production of Christmas pantomime Cinderella rounds out the year, running from 2 December 2003 to 17 January 2004.

- by Terri Paddock