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Roxana Silbert announces Birmingham Rep's centenary season

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New artistic director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre Roxana Silbert has announced the theatre's 100th anniversary season. She also outlined her plans for the future of the theatre as it prepares to move back to its newly developed venue alongside the Library of Birmingham in September 2013.

Continuing with its commitment to engage with diverse audiences and young people across Birmingham, the centenary season will see two major new projects launched.

The REP's Children project will offer all children born at City and Heartlands hospitals during The REP's birthday week, 11 - 17 February 2013, free annual theatre experiences for the first ten years of their lives; and the 100 Words project will see young people and community members from across the region write their own 100 word plays thematically linked to an aspect of The REP's history, all of which will be performed over two days at the Old Rep during the birthday season.

David Suchet, Josie Lawrence, Mark Williams, Dame Janet Suzman and Soweto Kinch have all given their support by becoming REP Patrons

The season will launch on 12 February and run until 28 March 2013. The first production will be Philip Pullman's I Was A Rat!, adapted by writer / director Teresa Ludovico. The English version of Teresa's adaptation is by David Watson, the writer whose first play was written for The REP's Transmissions programme when he was a teenager, and music for the show is composed by Frank Moon. Following its premiere in Birmingham, I Was A Rat! will embark on UK tour to Nottingham, Ipswich, Liverpool, Salford, Exeter, Truro and Bury St Edmunds before being re-launched later in 2013 for tours of France and Italy.

The second production in the season is Heather Gardner (14-28 March 2013) which is writer Robin French's take on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. The play about a woman's separation and isolation from the affluent, materialistic society of which she is a part will be set in 1960s Edgbaston.

During the run of Heather Gardner, the weekend of 23 and 24 March will be devoted to a series of talks and discussions on Sir Barry Jackson's achievements and significant influence on the development of British theatre.

A new initiative, REP Foundry, will invest and support emerging local directors, writers, artists and companies by offering them a year-long development and mentoring programme aimed at bringing new stories, new voices and new vision to the stage. REP Foundry will also offer audiences a unique insight into how new theatre is formed and staged at scratch performance nights which will take place once a month throughout 2013.

Finally, 100 tickets for the two birthday season shows will go on sale at 1913 prices. Tickets for a seat in the stalls at The Old Rep in 1913 cost 5/- (five shillings) which equates to 25 pence. Tickets for the birthday season, including the 100 tickets at 1913 prices, go on sale on Friday 14th September to members and Friday 21st September to the general public.

Roxana Silbert said: "Making theatre from scratch remains at the heart of The REP's work. Birmingham and the Black Country have historically been known as the workshop of the world and they are now celebrated as great cultural workshops too. I want to develop a hub of creativity and excellence, nurturing local talent, building partnerships at home, throughout the UK, and overseas to create world-class theatre made in Birmingham."


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