Donovan and Dreyfus headline Birmingham REP's new season
Jason Donovan and James Dreyfus will headline Birmingham REP's Spring and Summer season in productions The King's Speech and Harvey.
The REP's artistic director, Roxana Silbert directs The King's Speech – the play by David Seidler from which the Oscar-winning movie was adapted – with Ray Coulthard as the King and Jason Donovan playing Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue. Co-produced with Chichester Festival Theatre, the production will also tour the UK.
Mary Chase's Broadway play Harvey opens the season in February with James Dreyfus as Elwood - a man with only one character flaw; an unwavering friendship with a 6-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey.
Having re-opened The REP just over a year ago, Roxana Silbert says of the 2015 programme:
"I'm delighted to be able to offer our audiences a real breadth of vibrant theatrical voices from the King of England to a working class Glaswegian boxer. We are fortunate to embrace a building and an audience who welcome plays that range from Broadway hit[s] to local writer[s]."
Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice also features in a co-production with the West Yorkshire Playhouse. The Olivier award-winning play about the painfully shy but hugely talented Little Voice and her faultless impersonations of the greatest divas will be directed by James Brining.
The first of six world premieres is Stephanie Riding's Unknown Male – a haunting play exploring the impact of a railway suicide on a train driver and her family. Back Down is the first play by Birmingham-born Steven Camden. Feed The Beast, written by Steven Thompson, looks at the rocky relationship between the press and our politicians in a world of spin-doctors and Leveson Inquiries.
A haunting monologue about a Glaswegian boxer, The Pyramid Texts, by the BAFTA award-winning writer Geoff Thompson and performed by James Cosmo receives its world premiere at The REP as does the bittersweet story Collidescope by REP Foundry artist Hannah Graham.
Touring shows include the Olivier Award-winning West End comedy Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense starring Robert Webb and Christopher Ryan as Seppings. Direct from Theatre Royal Stratford East, Wendi Peters stars in Joan Littlewood's musical, Oh What A Lovely War, commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War 1.
All My Sons, Cirque Beserk and Rebecca also feature in the season as does A Summer In The South with Siân Phillips and Robert Powell, an evening set against the Paris of la belle époque and World War 1.
The season concludes with the return of BE Festival in June offering a vibrant selection of theatre from across Europe. The festival will once again transform The REP, turning it back to front with an interval dinner served on the main stage.