Animal Farm 2022 Digital Programme

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This season, running Autumn ‘21 to Autumn ‘22, we’re marking 50 years in this iconic theatre. Graham Winteringham’s RIBA Award-winning ’new’ Rep on Centenary Square was built in 1971 and replaced the Old Rep on Station Street - which had been the theatre’s home from 1913. This building heralded a new era for The Rep, with its uniquely epic and democratic auditorium - where every seat is the best seat - and saw the theatre cement its role as one of the great producing theatres in the country. This 50th Season is the first season under my Artistic Directorship. Despite arriving with new Executive Director, Rachael Thomas, in 2019, early plans were upturned by Covid and it’s taken over two years to bring a season of work to the stage. We’re both excited by the incredible array of creative talent that’s at The Rep this season. The productions celebrate our remarkable pioneering history and our future: major revivals of classics rub shoulders with world premieres of new shows, and new talent mingles with established stars. Our 50th Anniversary Season opened with East Is East – a play that enjoyed its own 25th anniversary this year after premiering at The Rep in 1996. This modern classic became a hot ticket again in Rep Associate Director Iqbal Khan’s celebrated new production, and went on to re-open the Lyttleton Theatre at the National Theatre. It was followed by world premiere new musical, What’s New Pussycat?, which used every inch of The Rep’s epic stage to tell the story of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, to the music of Sir Tom Jones… It was rapturously received by audiences and critics alike, and nominated for two Whatsonstage Awards. Grenfell - Value Engineering followed: a critical hit that was a sober and necessary piece of devastating political theatre, this documentary play about the Grenfell Inquiry was supported by the Grenfell families and support groups, and has had an impact on everyone who saw it. The 20th Anniversary production of the Olivier Award-winning The Play What I Wrote - the first show I’ve directed at The Rep - brought Morecambe and Wise’s comic sunshine to audiences over Christmas. With Guest Stars including Tom

Hiddleston, the show became a hit all over again, and has recently been filmed for the BBC… a first for The Rep. We were then delighted to see the return of The Snowman – another show that was created at The Rep and has now become the longest running Christmas show in the West End, and a hit with audiences all over the world. Most of the productions above were created and made here at The Rep: the sets are built and painted here, costumes and props are made here, actors rehearse here, and the lighting, sound and staging all developed here. We are the city’s only ‘producing theatre’: we develop and celebrate the craft of theatre-making right here in Birmingham. And this includes Animal Farm… This wonderful new world premiere, produced by The Rep together with The Children’s Touring Partnership and Fiery Angel, is set to delight and challenge audiences with it’s amazing puppetry and stagecraft - George Orwell’s classic political parable brought to stunning life by a world class creative team working with our in-house production teams. Off stage, we’re in the finishing stages of our capital project, Open House, which will transform our front of house and finally give The Rep its own front door… we look forward to welcoming you regularly into the new bars and foyers - which, just like the theatre itself, promise to be both magnificent and joyously democratic. We’re immensely proud of the whole Rep team for the vital role they’ve all played in getting the theatre through the pandemic, and just as proud of all the incredible creative talent we are working with in this very special season. We’re grateful too to all those who’ve supported The Rep during this time, ensuring the theatre survives for now and future generations. Most of all we look forward to continuing to share with you the unforgettable experience of live theatre at the new ’new’ Rep… Sean Foley Artistic Director

Rachael Thomas Executive Director

Our 50th Season is sponsored by DLA Piper in Birmingham


Adaptor and Director Born in Stockton-on-Tees, award-winning writer and director Robert Icke, 35, was inspired to enter the theatre world as a teenager after seeing Kenneth Branagh’s Richard III. He first came to national attention in 2013 with a production of George Orwell’s 1984 using surveillance cameras and video and went on to create radical reworkings of the Oresteia, Uncle Vanya, Mary Stuart and Hamlet, the latter starring Andrew Scott, at London’s Almeida Theatre. He regularly collaborates with actors including Lia Williams, Juliet Stevenson and Jessica Brown Findlay and his work has been seen in London’s West End, New York, Amsterdam and Stuttgart. He spoke to Mick Hunter during rehearsals for Orwell’s Animal Farm, created with the puppeteer Toby Olié, one of the creators of the National Theatre’s War Horse.

Animal Farm was Orwell’s response to Russia’s descent into dictatorship after the Revolution; what’s its relevance today? The novel uses animals to think about humans, and the ways in which power structures and hierarchies form, even when everybody has made the conscious decision to get rid of those things. It’s a simple story: the animals have a revolution and clear out a corrupt old hierarchy to give themselves freedom, and then slowly piece by piece a corrupt hierarchy – of pigs - builds its way back again. In my adult life we’ve not really been blessed with great political leaders in Great Britain – or even confident opposition leaders - although I struggle to see it as tyrannical, like human rule is over the animals. But certainly, we have come to see a more divided politic, more polarization and less empathy. Things feel increasingly more dangerous. The differences feel very real and you do start to hear talk of revolution as a possibility. What was the appeal for you? I like to do new things, and I had never made a show with puppets before, though I’d had a few ideas in my back pocket about them, to do with things like scale. You know, I can’t have three human actors of different sizes and do different tricks with them. But I CAN have three puppet versions of Boxer the carthorse. It’s an almost all-puppet cast and they all talk, and it’s been interesting working out what conversations puppets could plausibly have with each other and which feel… just not right. Not a problem that Orwell had to get around in writing prose! But if you think about the Muppets, through Babe, to Pixar films, there are lots of stops on the road in terms of how you pitch talking animals. I probably won’t go for real animals, but other than that, anything could happen.

Rehearsal photography by Manuel Harlan

Why do you find it necessary to rewrite or rework classic stories? There’s always been a feeling in me that theatre is about repeating a ritual, like a birthday. Every year it is still your birthday, but it’s a different birthday because you are a year older and maybe the people at your party are different. For me it’s always felt like a form of dishonesty to pretend that there is a way to do any play or any production as the golden version that should be set in aspic. Is Animal Farm designed for all ages? I hope so. It’s not the jolliest of stories, but I think kids enjoy that. Access is hugely important to me and I’m not sure I’ve ever made anything where I wasn’t conscious of the thought that a 14- or 15-year-old might come and see it and enjoy it. Most people who work in and around theatre got hooked at around that age, including me. And I really trust young people as a sort of boring-ometer [laughs]. What are your ambitions for the future? I live in London, though for the last few years, I’ve mainly been working abroad. And the dream ambition has been, for the last few years, to work out if there is any way to create have a permanent ensemble company of actors, based in London, to make new work in English - in the way they have in Amsterdam, across the German speaking world, and in many other countries too. The leading actors I have worked with a lot have over the years have now become friends and they have a huge appetite to do theatre, to build deeper, longer-term relationships. But could you pay them properly? What contracts could you offer? Could they have months off to go and film if they wanted to? People often say that model is now impossible in the UK. Perhaps it is. I don’t know the answer to that; but it would be exciting to try and find out.


Puppetry Designer and Director Born in Sheffield and brought up in Northumberland, Toby Olié was recruited directly from the puppetry course at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama into the creation of War Horse at the National Theatre; he played the hind of Joey the horse in the original production, before moving to the head for the West End transfer. He has created puppetry for shows including Pinocchio at the National Theatre, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the Royal Ballet and Disney’s new staging of The Little Mermaid in Holland, Russia and Japan. He also creates his own productions as Gyre & Gimble, the company he founded with his former War Horse compatriot Finn Caldwell. He talks to Mick Hunter about creating the puppet cast for Animal Farm. What are the challenges of this show? Every character apart from the farmer is an animal. We have over 30 life-sized puppets, from a huge cart horse to tiny pigeons, so it’s a question of how to get maximum range of articulation in so many puppets with only 14 operators. Boxer the cart horse has three operators, but Clover – who we’ve changed from a horse to a cow – can only have two. All of the animal characters talk too, which is a challenge, but we found a really interesting way of making it work: we tell the story using each animal’s physicality but then you hear their dialogue as if their actions are being translated for you. We’re also shifting perspective during the show, so you see moments of high octane action in miniature puppet scale, and the intimate, internal moments with the life-sized puppets. The construction of the animals took eight and a half months – the longest puppet build we’ve ever undertaken.

Rehearsal photography by Manuel Harlan

What does it take to be a puppet operator? I’m drawn to performers who have an innate sense of physical listening to each other so they can be in tune with each other when collectively performing a puppet character. When someone has ‘puppeteer’ on their CV it’s no guarantee they will have that. Only a handful of our cast would say they are a puppeteer by trade. Many of them trained primarily as actors, dancers, even stilt walkers – they’re from all corners of the industry. I wanted a big mix of ages, experience and skill sets when casting the show. What’s the trick of making an animal puppet work? In terms of both their design and performance, you want to immerse yourself in the anatomy and physical language of the animal, particularly its emotional indicators like the ears or tail, the difference in gait between a trot and a gallop. For this show, where we are telling a human allegory through animals, we have to decide what of that animal repertoire is helpful and how the articulation and control points of the puppet allow the puppeteers to embody and communicate it visually. Helpfully animals give away their emotions far more quickly than we do, they are far more responsive, immensely emotive things to watch.. Do children respond more easily to puppets than adults? Puppets are at their strongest when they’re doing the smallest, most minimal actions that really draw you in. While children are closer to a state of play, with toys and imaginative belief, and so get it quite instantly. I always enjoy how adults expect themselves to be more distanced or cynical but if the puppet is doing it’s thing and it is doing it well, they fall just as fast as the children.

Was War Horse a game changer for the perception of puppetry? Definitely. Although plenty of companies were already working with puppets in adult theatre, this was a big step forward into a mainstream, populist show. And the reaction to it was mind blowing: it was astonishing to see a puppet bear the emotional weight of an audience for 2 1/2 hours. War Horse is the puppeteer equivalent of an actor playing Hamlet: that horse doesn’t leave the stage throughout the whole show. You can see that audiences think of puppetry as part of their theatrical palette now. They get it. How did you get into puppetry? I remember religiously watching Sesame Street as a child, enjoying a world where puppets are within a human world and no one bats an eyelid. Then, when I was six or seven and in my Jurassic Park phase - which I’m arguably still in - I found an Usborne ‘How-to Make Puppets’ book in the school library. I’d always made things in a Blue Peter-ish way but that book definitely ignited a spark that led to me putting on shows with puppets made of toilet rolls and cereal boxes behind the ironing board for my family, who were very understanding and supportive. Later, I saw The Lion King in the West End. The mechanics were exposed, and it was avant garde by ommercial theatre standards, but to see it taken to heart by so many people made me think: yes this is what I want to do. What’s your workshop like? I’d like to think if you open the studio door it’s like walking into Willy Wonka’s fantastically imaginative chocolate room, but in reality there’s a lot more wood dust in the air and glue guns lying around. I enjoy keeping puppets from

previous shows in my space. I often say they are more like musical instruments than props because they’re so bespoke and often need fine tuning. They are made to give a performance and the thought of them ending up in storage or going mouldy in someone’s garage is a fate I try to avoid. How was your lockdown? I’d just opened an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel The Wolves In The Walls at the Little Angel, and we were halfway through making the dalmatians for 101 Dalmatians at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, when everything ground to a halt. Under lockdown I created a couple of puppet short films online - filmed on my iPhone with desk lamp lighting. Halfway through making the second one I realised I was using the ironing board I had put shows on behind as a child, which I’d inherited from my parents when going to university. It took a pandemic for me to come full circle. Central no longer does the puppetry course you took: where could someone train to be a puppeteer now? I’m hoping to talk with Central about how puppetry can have a life there again. A lot of theatre companies run short training courses to teach the principles of puppetry. One course I am very passionate about is the Curious School of Puppetry, created by Sarah Wright – whose parents founded the Little Angel Theatre. She runs a six to ten week course at the start of every year that gives amazingly intensive training from people who work in the industry, for 15 to 18 students. She and I dream of finding a building where she can have a puppet school and I can have a workshop and rehearsal space.


CAST Matthew Churcher

Darcy Collins

Enrico D Wey

Ailsa Dalling

Jonathan Dryden Taylor

Elisa De Grey

Edie Edmundson

Michael Jean-Marain

Rayo Patel

Yana Penrose

Markus Schabbing

Sharon Sze

Matt Tait

Ben Thompson

VOICES Garry Cooper, Robert Glenister, Kevin Harvey, Josh Higgott, Heather Long, Amaka Okafor, David Rintoul, Matthew Spencer, Juliet Stevenson, Hara Yannas

CREATIVE TEAM Adaptor and Director Robert Icke

Set and Costume Designer Puppetry Designer and Director Bunny Christie Toby Olié

Lighting Designer Jon Clark

Sound Designer and Music Tom Gibbons

Associate Director Josh Higgott

Puppetry Associate Laura Cubitt

Puppet Supervisor and Assistant Puppet Designer Daisy Beattie Assistant Designer Verity Sadler

PRODUCTION TEAM Production Manager Igor

ASM / Puppet Technician Rosie Williams

Sound No.2 / Assistant Raffaela Pancucci

Company Stage Manager Sally Hughes

ASM / Book Cover Anastasia Booth

Costume Supervisor Sades Robinson

Deputy Stage Manager Monica Trabucchi

Sound No.1 / Associate Johnny Edwards

Wardrobe Assistant Rachael Piper

PUPPET MAKERS Alison Alexander, Beez Barry, Dulcie Best, Lotte Brockbank, Amber Donovan, Anna Garside, Richard Hackney, Judith Hope, Matt Hutchinson, Isobel Irwin, Maia Kirkman-Richards, Jo Lakin, Debbie Lowndes, Seb Mayer, Tobias Saunders, Joe Sumner


Matthew Churcher Matthew trained at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Theatre credits include: Pippi Longstocking (Royal & Derngate); Wolves In The Walls (Little Angel Theatre); Peter Pan (National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic); Jane Eyre (National Theatre and UK tour); War Horse (Gillian Lynne Theatre/National Theatre); White Teeth (Kiln Theatre); The Great Gatsby (Theatre Clwyd/Halifax); All Or Nothing (UK Tour); Ignition: 60 Hugs (Frantic Assembly); Loaded (Out Of Inc) and The Olivier Awards 2011 (ThickSkin). Research and development credits include: Angels In America, Love Of Seven Dolls, The Rehearsal (National Theatre); The Unreturning (Frantic Assembly); Jackie The Baboon (Brunskill & Grimes); Boxset (Brunskill & Grimes) and The Emperor & The Nightingale (Blind Summit). Short film credits include: Ken Loach’s Star Wars, Jamis Vu, Mr. S, Mute, A Tragedy and The Intruder. Matthew is also a professional drummer/percussionist and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, BBC and toured both nationally and internationally. Matthew also directed Simon Stephens One Minute at the Waterloo Vaults, which was nominated for 3 Off West End Awards.

Enrico D Wey Enrico is from Taiwan. Wey has been a senior member of Handspring Puppet Company since 2005, performing in productions including Tall Horse, Il Ritorno d’Ulisse directed by William Kentridge, and the Tony Awardwinning play War Horse, on Broadway. They served as the Resident Puppetry Director for the German-language production of War Horse in 2013. Their performance works have been on view internationally at such venues as Danspace Project, Urgel3, Uferstudios, and more recently as a resident artist for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River To River Festival. Some notable credits include featured roles in Shulea Cheang’s 3x3x6 for the 2019 Venice Biennale’s Taiwan Pavilion, Dennis Cooper/Zac Farley’s feature film Like Cattle Towards Glow, and for choreographers Robyn Orlin, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Aitana Cordero, among others. Wey holds a Master’s Degree in the Arts from the Universität der Kunst in Berlin, Germany and has published written research through Brumaria Art Collective in Spain and Performance Research Journal (UK). Their solo research project in decolonizing tuning/ scoring, vocal improv and landscapes, fertile fields, first premiered in June 2021 at Centro De Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid. Continued work will be presented at Conde Duque in 2022. They have recently come off of a tour as Puppetry Director for Good Chance Theatre’s The Walk.

Darcy Collins Darcy is a performer and puppeteer who trained with Toby Olié and Finn Caldwell at The Curious School of Puppetry/Little Angel Theatre. Theatre credits include: Dinosaur World (UK, USA and Middle East Tours); Angelo (Little Angel Theatre); Running Wild (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre/UK Tour); Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol and 101 Dalmatians (Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, Darcy is a puppeteer on a new children’s series for Apple+, soon to be announced. Puppet design & fabrication credits include: Children Of Eden (Union Theatre); Cinderella, Pinocchio (Creation Theatre) and Beauty And The Beast, Wizard Of Oz and Pinocchio (Chichester Festival Theatre).

Ailsa Dalling Ailsa Dalling trained at The Curious School of Puppetry in 2016. Since completing her training she has been working in theatre, film and TV as a puppeteer and puppet maker. Her theatre performing credits include: The Wizard Of Oz (Leeds Playhouse); The Dancing Frog (Kneehigh); Angelo (Little Angel Theatre); The Adventures Of Curious Ganz (Silent Tide); Venus And Adonis (RSC) and Theatre Ballads (Horse & Bamboo). She was also lead artist and puppet director for RAT (The Rat Affair).

Jonathan Dryden Taylor Theatre includes: The Normal Heart, As You Like It, Our Country’s Good, Light Shining In Buckinghamshire, King Lear, Othello, The Captain Of Kopenick (National Theatre); King Lear (US Tour); A Little Night Music, The Crucible, The Beggar’s Opera, Alice In Wonderland (Storyhouse); The Hartlepool Monkey (National Tour); A Tale Of Two Cities (Touring Consortium); While The Sun Shines (Theatre Royal Bath); The Butterfly Lion, Travels With My Aunt (Chichester Festival Theatre); Journey’s End, But First This (Watermill Theatre); Toxic Bankers (Leicester Square Theatre/The Lowry); Scott Mills The Musical (BBC Radio 1/Edinburgh); Hamlet, The Grapes Of Wrath, Chimneys, Lend Me A Tenor, A Small Family Business, The Government Inspector (Pitlochry Festival Theatre); The Road To The Sea (Orange Tree) and Troilus And Cressida (Old Vic).

Edie Edmundson Edie trained at the Curious School of Puppetry. Her puppeteer and puppetry directing credits include: The Little Matchgirl And Other Happier Tales (Shakespeare’s Globe/Bristol Old Vic); Venus And Adonis, First Encounters: The Comedy Of Errors (RSC); An Edinburgh Christmas Carol (The Edinburgh Royal Lyceum) and Zog (Freckle Productions). She also creates her own work, both independently - The Pony Club At The End of the World and Flamingo - and with Loaded Object Theatre - Sex And Puppets and Busy Being Ze.

TV includes: Highway To Hell (October Films for Discovery ID) and That Mitchell And Webb Look (BBC). Radio includes numerous plays and serials for BBC Radio. Writing for TV and radio includes: That Michell And Webb Sound/Look (Radio 4/BBC2); Ten Things I Hate About (Channel 5); Love Lessons and The Eliza Stories (BBC Radio 4).

Michael Jean-Marain Michael is an actor and puppeteer who trained at The Urdang Academy, London.

Elisa De Grey Elisa’s theatre credits include: The Wolves In The Walls (Little Angel Theatre); Pinocchio, A Christmas Carol (Citizens Theatre); Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Running Wild (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre/ UK Tour); Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining (Shakespeare’s Globe); Goodnight Mr Tom (Chichester Festival Theatre/Duke Of York’s Theatre/UK Tour); Little Universe, Brilliant (Fevered Sleep); These Associations (Tino Sehgal); No Way Out (Southwark Playhouse); The Juniper Tree (Goat and Monkey Theatre Company); The Water Babies (Northern Broadsides); Gormenghast (David Glass Ensemble); Beyond Midnight (Trestle Theatre Company); Binari (Obviam Est); Macbeth (Conspirators of Pleasure); Cinderella, Robin Hood and The Lottie Project (Polka Theatre). TV credits include: The Lost World Of Mitchell And Kenyon and Harbour Lights (BBC).

Theatre credits include: The Hatchling (Trigger Productions); War Horse (National Theatre/UK and International Tour); The Merchant Of Venice (Orange Tree Theatre); The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse); We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (UK Tour); Hetty Feather (Duke Of York’s Theatre); 3 Little Pigs (UK Tour) and The Gruffalo’s Child (UK and US Tour). On screen he’s the hero in a current Vanish – Martini commercial; and you can see his puppetry in adverts for Coca Cola and Tums.

Rayo Patel Rayo trained in physical theatre at East15 and loves mime, mask and puppetry. His favourite credits include Satyagraha (Improbable); Madame Butterfly (Blind Summit) A Brave Face, and Finding Joy (Vamos Theatre).

Yana Penrose Yana graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. Theatre credits include: Christmas Carol (Chester Storyhouse); An Enemy Of The People (UK Tour/ Albany Theatre); Ballad Of Rudy (Manchester Exchange); How Love Is Spelt (Southwark Playhouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regents Park Open Air); Jack, Christmas Carol, Hansel And Gretel (Derby Theatre) and Emily Rising (Little Angel). Film and Television credits include: Humans (Channel 4) and feature film Carnivore (Cervidae Films/Silver Spectral). Yana is also a writer, and was the recipient of Camden Peoples Theatre Seed Commission for her debut play Daddy Issues.

Matt Tait Matt previously featured in the play The Wider Earth (Natural History Museum) and is most known for War Horse and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime (National Theatre). Other Theatre Credits Include: All My Sons (Rose theatre Kingston - HKST); Dancing At Lughnasa (Lyric Belfast); The Ancient Secret Of Youth And The Five Tibetans (Octagon, Bolton); Transports (Analogue) and Polythene (Theatre 503). Other TV Credits Include: War Of The Worlds (Fox); Guerrilla (Sky); Drunk History (Comedy Central); Doctors (BBC1); Cyderdelic (BBC3) and The Capture (BBC Season 2) Film credits include: Captain America (Marvel).

Markus Schabbing Markus trained at Joop van den Ende Academy in Hamburg and Curious School of Puppetry. Theatre credits include: Life And Times Of Michael K. (Handspring Puppet Company/Theatre der Welt Festival/Baxter Theatre/Cape Town); The Incredible Tale Of Robot Boy (Theatre-Rites/Schauspielhaus Bochum); The Welcoming Party (Theatre-Rites/ Ruhrtriennale Festival); TORUK- The First Flight (Cirque du Soleil); Hinterm Horizont – The Musical (Stage Operenttenhaus); The Addams Family (Museums Quartier); War Horse (National Theatre/Gillian Lynne Theatre/Theater Des Westens); Gefahrten (Theater des Westens), and The Snow Queen (Landestheatre Schleswig-Holstein).

Sharon Sze Sharon graduated from East 15 Acting School in 2019 and has since appeared in Invisible Lines at Birmingham Rep. Other work includes appearances in the video game As Dusk Falls (Interior Night).

Ben Thompson Ben trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Theatre credits include: The Walk (Good Chance); Out Of The Deep Blue (Autin Dance); The Boy In The Dress (RSC); Die Zauberflote (Glyndebourne); The Town That Trees Built, The Marbleous Route Home (Young Vic); The Magic Flute, Madam Butterfly (ENO); The Wizard Of Oz, Winnie And Wilbur (Birmingham Rep); His Dark Materials (Birmingham Rep/West Yorkshire Playhouse); Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: A Reimagining (Shakespeare’s Globe); Twelfth Night, Richard III (Shakespeare’s Globe/Apollo); Before The Dawn (Hammersmith Apollo); Kipper’s Snowy Day (Slot Machine); Running Wild (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Light (Ad Infinitum); The Lorax (Old Vic); Measure For Measure, Hamlet (The Factory); Treasure Island, The Light Princess, War Horse (National Theatre); A Christmas Carol (National Theatre of Scotland); Kevin In Low Life (Blind Summit Theatre); Faeries (ROH2) and Peter Pan (Dundee Rep). Television and Film work includes; Fungus The Bogeyman (Sky/The Imaginarium); Table Manners (Indy8/Channel 4); Fantastic Beasts 2, Gravity (Warner Bros.) and Life (Columbia Pictures).

CREATIVE TEAM Robert Icke Adaptor and Director Robert Icke is a writer and director. He is currently Ibsen Artist in Residence at Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, where his productions include Children Of Nora, Oedipus and, forthcoming this year, Judas. His other recent adaptations include Enemy Of The People (Park Avenue Armory); Ivanov (Schauspiel Stuttgart); and The Doctor (Burgtheater, ITA, Adelaide Festival, Almeida) which has played around the world and will open in the West End in 2022. His work while Associate Director at the Almeida (until 2019) included adapting and directing The Wild Duck, Mary Stuart (also West End and National Tour), Uncle Vanya, Oresteia (also West End, for which he won the Laurence Olivier Award) and 1984 (co-created with Duncan Macmillan, also Broadway, West End, national and international Tours). As a director, his productions included Hamlet (also West End and screened on BBC2), The Fever and Mr Burns.

Bunny Christie Set and Costume Designer Bunny is a multi-award winning production designer working extensively in London and Broadway. Her design for the record breaking Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time is currently on a UK Tour. Curious Incident started life at the National Theatre, transferred to the West End, to Broadway and then a World Tour. She designed set and costumes for Sondheim’s Company which is currently running on Broadway, transferring from London after a hugely successful run in the West End. Recent theatre work includes Best Of Enemies at The Young Vic which will transfer to the West End later this year. She co-created and designed After Life which re-opened The Dorfman Theatre at the National Theatre and was the Time Out top theatre show of 2021. Other work at the NT includes People Places And Things which ran in the West End and in NY to huge acclaim. Other work includes the immersive Midsummer Nights Dream at The Bridge Theatre, the all women Shakespeare season at The Donmar Theatre and St Anns in Brooklyn. The Wild Duck and Ink both at The Almeida and Broadway and the first UK versions of The Vagina Monologues at The Kings Head and Royal Albert Hall. Opera work includes Tosca for Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera and the World premiere of André Previn’s Brief Encounter. She has won four Olivier Awards for Best Design and a Broadway Tony Award. She was awarded an OBE for services to the UK Theatre Industry. At the National Theatre she initiated and set up a Design Bursary, employing and supporting two young designers each year. Bunny is a Director of Scene-Change a Collective of Theatre Designers.

Toby Olié Puppetry Designer and Director Toby is a director, designer and performer of puppetry. He is also Co-Artistic Director of Gyre & Gimble, a theatre company specialising in puppetry. Work as director includes: Neil Gaiman’s The Wolves In The Walls (Little Angel Theatre); The Four Seasons: A Reimagining (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Hartlepool Monkey (UK Tour); The Elephantom (National Theatre & West End); War Horse (associate puppetry director, West End). Work as puppetry designer/director includes: Pinocchio, Peter Pan, The Light Princess, Hansel & Gretel (National Theatre); Don Quixote (Royal Shakespeare Company & West End); Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (Royal Ballet); The Wind In The Willows (Royal Opera House & West End); Disney’s new staging of The Little Mermaid (Holland, Russia & Japan); Spirited Away (Toho Co.); The Boy And The Beast, A Robot In The Garden (Shiki Theatre Company); The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic & West End); Running Wild (Chichester Festival Theatre / Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre / UK Tour); Little Shop Of Horrors (Manchester Royal Exchange); A Christmas Carol, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Firework-Maker’s Daughter, Peter Pan (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Goodnight Mister Tom (West End & UK Tour). Work as a puppeteer includes: Hind of Joey in the original production of War Horse (National Theatre) before moving to Joey’s head for the subsequent West End transfer; Venus And Adonis (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Angelo (Little Angel Theatre).

Jon Clark Lighting Designer Jon is an award-winning lighting designer. He has designed extensively in the West End, on Broadway, for the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, RSC, ENO, Young Vic, Almeida, Donmar and with many other companies in the UK and internationally. Theatre includes: The Lehman Trilogy (National Theatre/ Park Avenue Armory, New York/Piccadilly Theatre); The Inheritance (Olivier Award & Tony nominated; Young Vic/Ethel Barrymore Theatre/Noel Coward Theatre); The Shark Is Broken (Ambassadors Theatre); Pinter At The Pinter Season, Betrayal, Cyrano de Bergerac (Harold Pinter Theatre); Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Apollo Theatre); Three Days Of Rain (Knight of Illumination Award and Olivier nomination; Apollo Theatre); Doctor Faustus (Duke Of York’s Theatre); Made In Dagenham (The Adelphi); The Commitments (The Palace Theatre); The Ruling Class, The Pride (Trafalgar Studios); King Charles III (Music Box Theatre, New York/Almeida Theatre); The Jungle (Young Vic/Playhouse Theatre/ St Anne’s Warehouse, New York); ANNA, Amadeus, I’m Not Running, Absolute Hell, As You Like It, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Othello, The Effect, Collaborators, A Woman Killed With Kindness, Hamlet, Greenland, Pains Of Youth, Our Class, Damned By Despair, Women Of Troy, The Cat In The Hat, Beauty And The Beast and Hansel And Gretel (National Theatre); Evita (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The Lorax (Old Vic/Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto/Old Globe Theatre, San Diego); La Belle Sauvage and A German Life (Bridge Theatre). Opera includes: Hamlet (Glyndebourne/Metropolitan Opera); The Exterminating Angel (Metropolitan Opera/ Royal Opera House/Saltzburg Festival); Krol Roger (Australian Green Room Award; Royal Opera House/ Sydney Opera House) and Written On Skin (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence/International Productions). Dance includes: The Cellist (Royal Ballet) and new work with Wayne MacGregor, Cathy Marston, Will Tuckett, Karole Armitage, Bern Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre. Jon is an RSC Associate Artist.

Tom Gibbons Sound Designer and Music Recent theatre credits includes: West Side Story (Broadway Theatre, New York); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Booth Theatre, New York); Cabaret (Goteborg Opera); The Antipodes, Home, I’m Darling, Hedda Gabler, Sunset At The Villa Thalia, The Red Barn (National Theatre); People, Places And Things (Winner for Best Sound Design, Olivier Awards 2016; Wyndham’s Theatre/National Theatre); All About Eve (Noel Coward Theatre); Our Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The Doctor (Duke Of York’s/International Theater Amsterdam); Wild Duck (Almeida); Madness Of King George III (Nottingham Playhouse); Hexenjagd (Theater Basel); Oedipus, Mr Burns (Almeida); 1984 (Almeida/ Playhouse Theatre/Hudson Theatre, New York); Hamlet (Almeida/Harold Pinter Theatre); Fanny and Alexander, The Lorax (Old Vic); A View From The Bridge (Young Vic/ Lyceum Theatre); Obsession (International Theatre Amsterdam/Barbican); Life of Galileo, Happy Days, A Season In The Congo, Disco Pigs (Young Vic); Les Miserables (Wermland Opera, Sweden); The Crucible (Theater Basel, Walter Kerr Theatre); Oresteia (Almeida Theatre/Trafalgar Studios/Stuttgart); Anna Karenina (Manchester Royal Exchange); The Moderate Soprano, Elephants (Hampstead Theatre); White Devil, As You Like It (RSC); Translations, Plenty (Sheffield Crucible); After Life, The Absence Of War, Romeo & Juliet (Headlong); Lion Boy (Complicite); Venus In Fur (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Henry IV, Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse, St Ann’s Brooklyn); The End of History, Pah La, The Woods, Love Love Love and Goats (Royal Court).

Daisy Beattie Puppet Supervisor and Assistant Puppet Designer Daisy’s work in puppetry spans across making, supervising and puppeteering. Work as a puppet supervisor/maker includes: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, Mr Gum And The Dancing Bear, Pinocchio, Peter Pan (National Theatre); The Wolves In The Walls (Little Angel Theatre) and Vivalidi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining (Shakespeare’s Globe). Other work as a puppet maker includes: The Wizard Of Oz (Birmingham Rep); Don Quixote (RSC); Circus 1903 (International Tour); The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic/ The Trafalgar Studios); Luzia (Cirque du Soleil); Dead Dog In A Suitcase And Other Love Songs (Kneehigh); Running Wild (Chichester Festival Theatre/Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (Little Angel Theatre/Kneehigh); Avenue Q (Q Puppets/ UK tour); Imaginary Menagerie (Les Enfants Terribles), The Gruffalo and Room On The Broom (Tall Stories). Work as a puppeteer in film and television includes: Jurassic World: Dominion (Amblin Entertainment); Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Lucasfilm), Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures), The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance (Jim Henson Company), and Aleksandr the meerkat for Compare the Market.

Josh Higgott Associate Director Joshua is a director and actor. He has worked as an assistant director both in the UK and in Europe. His credits include Ivanov (Schauspiel Stuttgart); The Doctor (International Theatre Amsterdam/Burgtheater Vienna) and Trial By Laughter (UK No.1 Tour). As an actor, his theatre credits include Hamlet (Almeida Theatre/Harold Pinter Theatre); Oresteia (Almeida Theatre); 1984 (Almeida Theatre/Headlong) and Shakespeare In Love (Noel Coward Theatre). For television and film, The Witcher (Netflix); McMafia, This is Going to Hurt (BBC); Bohemian Rhapsody (20th Century Fox) and Darkest Hour (Working Title Films). Fiery Angel Headed by Edward Snape and Marilyn Eardley Fiery Angel is an award-winning international production company based in London’s West End. Recent productions include: The Good Life (UK Tour); Hairspray, Touching The Void, The Son, The Night Of The Iguana, Fleabag, Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, The Scottsboro Boys, Ghost Stories (West End); Home, I’m Darling (West End and UK Tour); Long Day’s Journey Into Night (West End, New York and Los Angeles); Mary Stuart (West End and UK Tour); Love From A Stranger (UK Tour); Ben Hur (Tricycle Theatre); The 39 Steps (9 years in the West End, 3 UK Tours, 3 years on Broadway and presented in over 40 territories worldwide including Olivier, Tony and Moliere award wins); To Kill A Mockingbird (Barbican Theatre and UK Tour); The Ladykillers (West End and UK Tour) and Dial M For Murder (UK Tour). Fiery Angel has acted as a coproducer alongside The National Theatre on its West End productions of Nine Night, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and The Lehman Trilogy. As part of Fiery Angel Entertainment: Tubular Bells, Guys And Dolls (Royal Festival Hall); Circus 1903 (Royal Festival Hall and UK Tour); Rob Brydon (UK Tour); Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret (Barbican Theatre) and Our Finest Hour (UK Tour). As part of The Children’s Theatre Partnership: Animal Farm, Holes, An Unexpected Twist, The Jungle Book, Running Wild, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (UK Tour); Goodnight Mister Tom (West End and 3 UK Tours, Olivier Award winner) and Swallows And Amazons (West End and UK Tour). As part of Fierylight Productions: Peppa Pig Live! (West End, UK Tour, US Tour and Australian tour); Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom (UK Tour) and Octonauts & The Deep Sea Volcano Adventure (UK Tour and US Tour).

Laura Cubitt Puppetry Associate Laura is a puppetry director, movement director and performer. As director; Dragons And Mythical Beasts Live (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre / Tour). As puppetry director; A Monster Calls (Chichester Festival Theatre / Tour); The Boy In The Dress (RSC); The Little Prince (Fuel); Don Quixote (RSC - puppetry co-Director); A Monster Calls (The Old Vic / Bristol Old Vic); Small Island, Common (National Theatre); The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time (National Theatre / Apollo Theatre / Gielgud Theatre puppetry consultancy); Dinosaur World Live (UK / US tour); Rudolph (Birmingham Mac); Brilliant (Fevered Sleep - puppetry consultant); Running Wild (Chichester Festival Theatre / UK Tour - associate puppetry director) and Goodnight Mr Tom (Phoenix Theatre / UK Tour – associate puppetry director). As movement director; Run Sister Run (Paines Plough / Soho Theatre / Sheffield Theatres); Anna (NT - associate movement director); Oppenheimer (RSC / Vaudeville Theatre - movement re-Staging); War Horse (National Theatre Berlin - associate movement director) and 2012 Olympics Opening (associate movement director). As performer; Peter Pan, Elephantom, Women Beware Women, War Horse (National Theatre); Oppenheimer, Shoemakers Holiday (RSC); The Lorax (The Old Vic); Faeries (Royal Opera House) and State of the Union (BBC 2). The Children’s Theatre Partnership The Children’s Theatre Partnership (CTP) was established in 2010 to produce and tour bold, ambitious and imaginative theatre for young people. Our aim is to excite and engage new and diverse audiences, often introducing them to the theatre for the first time, bringing communities to their local theatres, inspiring a life-long love of theatre and supporting the UK’s most talented artists. CTP has successfully produced five shows for a loyal network of theatres around the UK, bringing two to the West End and reaching over 500,000 people. Previous productions include the Olivier award-winning Goodnight Mister Tom, Swallows And Amazons, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild and a new version of The Jungle Book. Thanks to Arts Council England, CTP has funding for three new shows, Holes (2020), Animal Farm (2022) and Unexpected Twist (2023). We also run a full education programme led by Blackpool Grand Theatre, leaders in this field who will particularly be focussing on encouraging young people’s individual resilience. With Get Into Theatre we will be nurturing new talent by showcasing the hundreds of rewarding careers in theatre. This is an exciting new chapter in CTP’s life and we look forward to welcoming you at our shows. The Children’s Theatre Partnership is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

BIRMINGHAM REP The Board Atif Ali BEM Andrew Chiduku Councillor Peter Fowler Councillor Jayne Francis Michael Hibbs John Hornby Liz James Ayub Khan MBE Adrian Lester CBE Lucy Marcus Victoria Marsom David Meecham Sir Howard Panter (chair) Brandon Relph Professor David Roberts Rachel Roussel-Tyson Jan Teo

Director of Creative Learning Alexander Summers

Stage Technicians Chris Moss

Head of Education Bhavik Parmar

Building MaintenanceTechnician Andrew Leon Gatenby

Young REP Director (Interim) Rebecca Deeks

Technician Jeanette Maggs

Creative Learning Administrator Hilan Gully

Head of Costume Kay Wilton

Project Producer –Shifting the Dial Samina Beckford

Head of Technical Design Simon Fox

Lightpost Directors Mathias André Carguil Webley

Production Coordinator Emily Hewlett

Executive Director Rachael Thomas

Drama Practitioners Robert Beck Natalie Hart Rebecca Reidy

Artistic Director Sean Foley Associate Directors Madeleine Kludje Iqbal Khan Executive Producer Chloe Naldrett

Kickstart Creative Learning Assistant Ashleigh Kerr Technical Director Tomas Wright

Theatre Operations Manager Nigel Cairns Stage Door Receptionists Michael Peters Brandon Hinds Anastasija Koneva Theatre Housekeeper Jane Browning

Head of Production Suzy Somerville

Theatre Cleaning Assistants Steven Choma Fay Gayle Tracy O’Dell Beverley Shale Sandra Young

Assistant Producer Lucy Thompson

Company Manager Elizah Jackson

Head of Marketing Richard Leigh

Director of People & Operations Julia Layland

Head of Scenic Workshops Margaret Rees

Head of Strategic Comms Ben Wooldridge

Theatre Administration Manager Tracey Wainwright

Lead Scenic Constructor Janine Forster

Senior Marketing Officer Becky Oldham

Senior Administration Officer Molly Taylor

Head of Sound & AV Jonathan Pearce

Marketing Officer Faith Dias Neto

Theatre Administration Assistant Phoebe Cooke

Senior Sound & AV Technician James Woodcock

Kickstart HR & Recruitment Assistant Jay Sharpe

Sound Technician Dee Smith

Marketing Assistants Aarushi Rana Susannah Shepherd

Finance Director Anne Russell

Head of Lighting Alex Bosworth

Finance Manager Elizabeth Pearson-Hadley

Senior Lighting Technician Joanne Marshall

Finance Officers Jeanette Davey Claire Monk Athina Tzani

Lighting Technician Corben Jones Oliver Colley

Producers Joshua Beaumont Jonathan Brindley

Kickstart Finance Assistant Remel Ferguson

Technical Manager Adrian Bradley

Senior Stage Technician Oliver Hodge

Agent For Change Bethany Steventon-Crinks Head of Fundraising Rachel Cranny Trust and Foundations Manager Ruth Harvey Fundraising Officer Katy McKeever Head of Theatre & Sales Gerard Swift

Theatre & Sales Manager Hannah Kelly

Café and Bar Manager David Eden-Sangwell

Senior Events Manager Natalja Bulgakova

Assistant Theatre Managers Reme McAlister-Willie Imaani Phillips Jade Senior

Café Bar Supervisors Mervi Raja, Samantha Richardson, Emile Thompson

Events Managers Michael Exall Karl Robins

Café Bar Team Femi Cooper Clarke, Ana Patrycja Sarzyniak, Arrahnne Allen, Iulia Bularca, Samuel Fisher, Florian Bichler, Martin Collins, Charlotte Osborne, Stephanie Carter, Gyuner Mzrek, Kishan Patel, Bethany Henshaw

Sales and Events Executive Kirstie Warren

Theatre & Sales Assistants Ilana Gelbart Somayya Sheikh Rosalie Smith Theatre Assistants Taykara Clarke-Harris Jenny Coombs George Holmes Gurpreet Kaur Kanas Wong Alice Cheer Catering Director Julian Raikes

UVB Commercial Director Suzanna Reid Barreiro da Silva Sales Manager Sarah Millington Events Operations Manager Samuel Bishop

Sales and Events Coordinator Amrit Ubhi Business Development Executive Tanita Narwal Events and Sales Finance Administrator Emma Bradley-Friel With thanks to all our Casual Staff and Volunteers.

PRODUCTION Production Sound Engineers Andy Josephs, Will Thompson, James Melling

Scenic Artists Judy Martin, Tim Murley, Melissa McCann

Production LX Theo Chadha

Props Buyer Ryan James O’Conner, Claire M Browne

Lighting Programmer Liam Jones

Lighting equipment supplied by White Light Ltd

Production Carpenter Tom Arnold

Sound equipment supplied by Stage Sound Services Ltd

Voice Actor for Rehearsals Heather Long

Rehearsal Room Sound supplied by d&b Audio

Set built by Birmingham Rep

Tour Transport by Les Jones Transport

Lighting Operators Joanne Marshall and Corben Jones

Rehearsal Room Jerwood Space

Stage Technicians Chris Moss and Ellen Butterworth

Special Thanks to Ted for his prototyping of the Windmill, Adam Hockley, d&b audiotechnik UK, Max Perryment, Stage Sound Services, Kore Studios London, Alex Twistleton, Kyle McPhearson, Victor Hwang, Fletcher Elliott, Michael Fowkes, Billy Bull, Jane Bull, Grange Park Opera

Construction Team John Parson, Amy Carroll, Graeme Mell, Mark Jeffery, Harry Wainwright, Pippa Newbold Workshop Assistant Hannah Bodsworth Lead Scenic Artist Laura O’Connell

For Children’s Theatre Partnership Producer Edward Snape, Marilyn Eardley, Hedda Beeby General Manager Richard Jones Production Assistant Riona Kelly Head of Marketing Bonnie Royal Production Accountant Helen Maddison Marketing Shereden Matthews and Mark Dooley for Dressing Room 5 Press Emma Holland for Emma Holland PR Artwork Design Muse Creative

OPEN HOUSE Helping to secure our future and open the door for the next generation of audiences and theatre makers. As we celebrate 50 years on Centenary Square, OPEN HOUSE will transform the frontage and public areas of the building, creating an inclusive and welcoming entrance and foyer with enhanced cafe and restaurant facilities. Crucially, OPEN HOUSE will enable us to generate vital income, which will be invested in making world class theatre, delivering impactful community and learning programmes and nurturing the artists of tomorrow. To find out more, visit

Click here to make a donation

“I am very proud to be a Trustee of this amazing theatre. The Rep’s impact on the industry and my home city cannot be underestimated and that is why this project is so important. Open House will safeguard The Rep’s legacy and future, ensuring it can continue to inspire the next generation.” Adrian Lester CBE, Trustee of the Board


Floella Benjamin’s inspirational story brought to life in this moving musical journey


The first ever professional UK touring production of Alan Parker’s classic musical BOOK NOW: 0121 236 4455

Birmingham Repertory Theatre 6 Centenary Square Birmingham B1 2EP Registered in England 295910 | Charity No.223660




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