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Same Same... But Different - UK tour

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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Well-known Anglo-Asian phrase inspires children's show
An award-winning Birmingham-based theatre company is taking to the road with a first-ever show especially aimed at young children and their families. The Sonia Sabri Company will be going on tour with its acclaimed Same Same ... But Different, which was originally commissioned by Birmingham Hippodrome and The Place with support from Birmingham Royal Ballet. The tour will visit 26 libraries and spaces across England from 27 July to 26 August including Aston Hall in Birmingham on July 28, and Dudley Central Library and Brierley Hill Library, both on August 13. It will also visit as far afield as Luton and Middlesbrough. Same Same... But Different is the company's first ever children's production which received its world premiere at the Hippodrome in 2019. The show, aimed at children aged five and above, mixes Kathak and contemporary dance with live music, beatboxing and physical storytelling to create a playful, colourful world, exploring curiosities and fears.

Same Same..But Different, Sonia Sabri Company
Same Same..But Different is Sonia Sabri Company's first children's production

The show is inspired by the well-known Anglo-Asian phrase 'same, same...but different', meaning "Yes, something kind of similar, but not the exact same thing". The production was made in collaboration with a number of primary schools in Birmingham and London, interspersing the children's creative ideas and lived experiences of being different into the show. It will tour mostly to libraries and other spaces, reaching out to local communities that would not necessarily have access to live theatre. The production is choreographed by multi award-winning Sonia Sabri one of the world's leading Kathak dancers and Artistic Director of Sonia Sabri Company. She has worked as choreographer and movement director with Sir Trevor Nunn and Dame Arlene Phillips, among others. Sonia said: "The last 14 months have been such an incredibly difficult time for children, so it seems extremely poignant to be bringing this high-class performance to the doorsteps of communities in England at this time. This is something a professional national touring company rarely does, especially in library settings. We therefore very much look forward to providing families with a fun, playful and happy theatre experience after so long. We would also like to thank Arts Council England for their support in helping us to reach so many communities."

Aston Hall
Aston Hall will be one of the first venues. By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK - Aston Hall 1Uploaded by oxyman, CC BY 2.0,

Carol Stump, President of Libraries Connected, a membership organisation representing heads of library services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.said "Libraries have delivered an amazing range of cultural activities online during the pandemic to their communities, including theatre, dance and author events. However, now more than ever, we need to encourage people back into library buildings to connect with each other and to enjoy live arts again so we are delighted to support the live theatre tour of Same Same...But Different."

Full tour details are listed on the website with links to each library/space. Please contact the library or space direct to register/book in each instance:
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Why? Theatre company takes first children's production on tour
When: 27 July to 26 August
Where: Aston Hall, Trinity Road, Birmingham B6 6JD
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