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Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Season

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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Three Modern Works Showcase Conservatoire's Winter Season
The newly crowned Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Theatre Company has unveiled three modern works for its forthcoming winter season. In its first year as the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Theatre Company, the former Birmingham School of Acting is to present the first BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) casting of Patrick Marber's award-winning Closer; the premiere of a brand new revision of Pentecost by David Edgar, with the writer taking an active role in rehearsals; and Brendan Behan's The Hostage. The productions will be held at The Patrick Centre within Birmingham Hippodrome and the Crescent Theatre respectively from December 6th to 16th. Following its recent merger, Birmingham School of Acting is now part of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, a multi-disciplinary institution of music and acting which is part of Birmingham City University.

The Hostage
The winter season commences with The Hostage on December 6

Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, says: "Our theatre company has established a reputation as one of the city's most exciting companies. The company's composition changes each year, so each season is highly eclectic, presenting a wide range of works – some challenging, some moving, some witty – but all with a freshness that comes from working with emerging professional actors." The new seasons begins on Wednesday 6 December at The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome, The Hostage is described as a classic of the modern stage, a witty and often profound commentary on Anglo-Irish relationships. A cockney soldier is held hostage in a Dublin lodging house with the intention to exchange him for an IRA man who is to be hanged in Belfast. Civic guards accidentally shoot him in a raid on the house. The Hostage runs until December 9.

Pentecost is set against a medieval art discovery

A medieval art discovery in a dusty church with the potential to change history is at the centre of David Edgar's 1994 work Pentecost. The highly-successful British playwright will return to his hometown of Birmingham to oversee the premiere of a newly-revised version of the play. This politically-topical drama, set in Eastern Europe, sees armed and desperate migrants storm the church holding hostage the art historians who have come to study the fresco. A Serbian director and several Eastern European actors are among its diverse cast. Edgar, who was born in Birmingham into the fourth generation of a theatrical family, has long associations with the REP and RSC. The cast also includes two members who have recently been awarded prestigious Laurence Olivier Bursaries. Pentecost is at the Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome from December 13th to 16th.

The multi-award winning Closer explores modern romance

Patrick Marber's multi-award winning play Closer is described as a brilliant exploration into the brutal anatomy of modern romance where a quartet of strangers meet, fall in love, and become caught in a web of sexual desire and betrayal. Twenty years after it was first performed, Daničle Sanderson, Head of Undergraduate Studies, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (Acting), has cast four actors to make this the first BAME production of this provocative work. She says: "We have a strong sense of our responsibility to excite our students to their full potential through the entire training but also through the re-imagining of casting opportunities in new and classic plays. We are therefore excited to stage what we believe to be the first entirely BAME cast production of Closer." Closer was first staged at the National Theatre in 1997 and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play with the subsequent film earning BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for actors Clive Owen and Natalie Portman. Closer runs from December 13 to 16 at the Crescent Theatre Studio.


The Hostage, by Brendan Behan, directed by Jake Murray
Wed 6 Dec, 7pm
Thu 7 Dec, 7pm
Fri 8 Dec, 2.30pm & 7pm
Sat 9 Dec, 5pm
The Patrick Centre @ Birmingham Hippodrom

Pentecost, by David Edgar, directed by Aleksandar Dundjerovic

Wed 13 Dec, 7pm
Thu 14 Dec, 7pm (post-show talk with David Edgar)
Fri 15 Dec, 2.30pm & 7pm
Sat 16 Dec, 5pm
The Patrick Centre @ Birmingham Hippodrom

Closer, by Patrick Marber, directed by Vik Sivalingam

Wed 13 Dec, 7.45pm
Thu 14 Dec, 2.30pm & 7.45pm
Fri 15 Dec, 7.45pm
Sat 16 Dec, 5pm
Crescent Theatre Studi

For further information, please visit for full details and booking, or call the Concerts and Events Office on 0121 331 5901.
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Why? Three Modern Works Form Winter Season Of Newly Crowned Conservatoire
When: 6 - 16 December 2017
Phone: 0121 331 5901
Where: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham, B4 7XR
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