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Belgrade Theatre unveils 2021 reopening plans in line with Coventry City of Culture programme

The Belgrade will be at the heart of an artistic wave across Coventry

Belgrade Theatre
© Belgrade Theatre

The Belgrade Theatre has revealed plans to reopen in line with step three of the Government's roadmap from May 2021.

The venue will open on 17 May 2021 with the rescheduled tour of April in Paris starring Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw. John Godber's play will then embark on a UK tour after opening at the Belgrade.

The venue will present a variety of music, comedy and theatre including The Comedy of Errors and Elton John-inspired piece I'm Still Standing. An autumn season of non-socially distanced work from 1 September will be announced on 1 June.

Digital offerings will also continue with a variety of productions for online audiences including Jabala and the Jinn, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Private Peaceful and the MT Festival UK. The UK Asian Film Festival will also be hosted at the venue with five films being available to socially distanced viewers in the B2 auditorium.

The Belgrade Theatre will be a vital part of the upcoming Coventry City of Culture programme, as previously revealed. The venue will co-produce a variety of new writing plays with Paines Plough at their fabled Roundabout venue.

Balisha Karra will direct Coventry based playwright Frankie Meredith's May Queen, and the other plays that will be played in repertory throughout the festival are Hungry by Chris Bush, Really Big and Really Loud by Phoebe Eclair-Powell and Black Love by Chinonyerem Odimba, with music by Ben and Max Ringham.

The theatre will co-produce film SeaView with Strictly Arts Theatre Company and Belgrade Film and Digital Ltd. A supernatural drama focussed on working-class communities, release date and further details are to be revealed.

For those after a bite to eat, the theatre has also installed a brand-new upstairs Café Bar Nineteen 58, as well as a newly refurbished downstairs Belgrade Café.

From 12 April, the venue will also be selling locally sourced food and drink for patrons to take away and enjoy on tables outside the theatre on Belgrade Square.

Executive director Joanna Reid said: "The whole team can't wait to reopen on 17 May and to welcome shows and audiences back into our two auditoria as soon as possible.  We are delighted that we are launching a tour of April in Paris on Monday 17 May and are continuing to work to secure more shows during May to August. We're excited that we've been able to complete our 2020 Redevelopment in time for City of Culture despite the challenges posed by both the pandemic and Brexit.  We hope to see you back at the Belgrade soon!"

Councillor David Welsh, from Coventry City Council, said: "There has been so much work happening throughout the Covid outbreak to improve facilities at the Belgrade Theatre and I am really pleased that they can now take the first tentative steps by announcing what future productions they will be able to host. I want to thank all those involved for the hard work they have put into getting the Belgrade Theatre ready, and I wish the theatre every success."