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Recommend a Friend... If you recommend a friend or family member to join the Friends of the Belgrade Theatre, you receive your next membership half price. Recommend 2 people and you’ll get a free membership.

S pec ia Memb l e r 024 76 s h ip O 55 305 Mem 5 w bwewr.bselhgr ip f fer

024 7655 30 55

* Offer only valid once recommended friends or family members join the Friends of the Belgrade. The new member must mention your name at the time of joining. .uk www.belgrad

Exclusive Friends of the Belgrade Theatre Events

Issue Twelve Summer 2012

As part of your Friends of the Belgrade Membership, you are entitled to 20% off the following shows. * Discount is valid on 1 ticket if you have a Single Membership and 2 tickets if you have a Joint Membership.



Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors and Vile Victorians

Tues 17 – Sat 21 April

We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips.


Tues 24 – Sat 28 April

Inspired by a true story, Peter Shaffer’s unique psychological thriller explores the complex relationships between worship, myth and sexuality.

Thurs 26 – Sat 28 April

When a group of teenagers discover that revealing a part of your self can be scarier than journeying into the unknown, their fates are sealed. Part of the Belgrade Community & Education Company’s Creative Gymnasium programme. Tickets are free but we will ask for a donation.

Henry V / The Winter’s Tale

Tues 1 – Sat 5 May

Internationally acclaimed all male company, Propeller, return to the Belgrade to perform two classics. It’s Shakespeare rediscovered.

We Love You City

Tues 8 – Sat 26 May

It’s 3pm on 16 May 1987 and the streets of Coventry are deserted. But not for long… Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Coventry City FC’s historic FA Cup win.

Bette and Joan

Mon 14 – Sat 19 May

Set during the filming of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? this production charts the relationship between legendary rivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Motown’s Greatest Hits – How Sweet It Is

Tues 22 May

The ultimate celebration of the sweet sound of Motown is back to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Hold Back The Night

Fri 25 May

Watch the multi-talented cast of this all new production deliver the ultimate pop concert, with the music of ABBA and the Bee Gees.

Truth or Dare

Magic – A Kind of Queen

Sat 9 June

casting. When Viola (in Twelfth Night) says “I am not what I am” and it’s a man playing a girl disguised as a boy, you are made suddenly aware of the sexual confusion that is at the heart of the play. Is there a way in which you pick the two plays that you do? Do they deliberately contrast or match?

How did Propeller start? It started simply because of a desire of mine to explore Shakespeare in a slightly different way to the one I felt I was expected to. I wanted to turn our productions into an event, so we played music in the interval as well. We tried to make the performance experience begin for the audience as soon as they walked into the theatre.

MAGIC, the first tribute to Queen, perform all of Queen’s greatest hits from It’s a Kind of Magic and Bohemian Rhapsody to Radio Ga Ga and many more.

The Elvis Years

Mon 11 June

The UK’s number one Elvis production is back with an outstanding concert tour of the West End show Jailhouse Rock.

Forever Jackson

Tues 12 June

Get ready to re-live the classic songs of the legendary Michael Jackson.

Relight The Fire

Weds 13 June

Hear Take That’s greatest hits from the nineties and noughties, together with some of their stunning recent material.

The Burlesque Show

Thurs 14 June

The spellbinding performances offer a truly delicious night of tassels, tease and titivating laughter.

The Illegal Eagles

Fri 15 June

Performing The Eagle’s classic hits including Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane and Tequila Sunrise.

The Dolly Parton Story

Weds 27 June

Featuring big hair and bright costumes, the show pays tribute to Dolly Parton. Includes hit songs Islands in the Stream, Jolene and 9 to 5.

Thurs 28 – Sat 30 June

Shine On presents everyday stories from the lives of Coventry’s older generation, celebrating memories, rituals, hopes and heritage. Part of the Belgrade Community & Education Company’s Creative Gymnasium programme. Tickets are free but we will ask for a donation.

Shine On

Interview with Edward Hall, Propeller’s Artistic Director

Check our What’s On guide or visit for more details.

Book Now 024 7655 3055 or via

Did you always want an all-male cast doing Shakespeare?

The Belgrade Theatre is a registered charity, no. 219163


It’s simply because that’s how they used to be produced. People have rightly pointed out that the experience for the audience of the actors would be completely different now to then and of course, it would be, but there are still sometimes some interesting moments created by the single gender

The decision-making process is always different actually. I will usually pick the plays individually and then I will look at how they relate to each other and decide if that will work. I imagine somebody coming in to see the matinee and the evening - What will that experience be? Invariably it’s not the sameness that is interesting or the similarities, it’s the difference that is always so startling and surprising within Shakespeare’s work. Is it true you’ve had the Army in, training you for Henry V? I thought with Henry V we ought to get a little experience of what it might be like to train. So we engaged the services of the British Army who’ve been training us three times a week, taking us up to Clapham Common and doing fitness training, doing team building exercises, teaching us how to run forward under fire, crawl, rescuing injured people from the field. It’s been

really good just to get a sense of how focused you have to be when you’re in that situation. How are you planning to stage The Winter’s Tale? Where are you setting it? I’m setting the first half in Sicilia in an idea of a modern Italy, so very beautiful clothes, very elegant. Most of it happens at night actually, apart from the trial. It will be contemporary in feel, but lots of candle light. It won’t be mobile phones and electricity, it’ll be candle light and people playing pianos to each other in the evening. We’ll be in modern day to do that, and candlelight and romance and loveliness, and when we go to Bohemia, the centre of Bohemia is a pastoral scene. Is touring your plays a key part of Propeller? Why do you tour so much? Touring has always been a thing that we love doing - it’s how the company began. We used to put our sets into flight cases and push them through airport terminals as excess baggage, the sets were that small and that light. It’s always been at the centre of the activity and I think will always be at the centre of Propeller.

Exclusive Friends of the Belgrade Theatre Events We are currently working on the next series of events and details will be sent out once these are confirmed. In the meantime, if you have an idea for a future

event, something you have always wanted to see or do at the Belgrade please let us know… after all the Belgrade Theatre is YOUR theatre.

You can contact us on 024 7684 6758 or at

Friends of the Belgrade Theatre benefit from receiving 20% off individual tickets. See back page for season diary.

An update from Belgrade Production Services

Meet the Team

The team at Belgrade Production Services are currently busy building the set for our production of The Father, which runs on the Main Stage from Sat 31 March to Sat 14 April. We took a trip to the workshop on Red Lane, Coventry to see how its shaping up.

Joanna Reid Executive Director What is your role at the Belgrade Theatre? I am Executive Director which means I am deputy Chief Executive, responsible for all the money, staffing and resources at the Theatre.

How long have you worked here? This is my ninth year but the job has changed quite a lot in that time. When I arrived we had to wind down the business and reorganise everything because of the £14m capital project; we then had a period of closure and had to do another reorganisation; and we then reopened in September 2007 as a larger building, with two auditoria and had to relaunch ourselves. So it’s been a very interesting period of change. How did you get into your job?

This is the model box which is a scale model of the set that the BPS team will use to build the real thing.

To give the appearance of floorboards the carpenters have cut a groove into panels of wood which are then painted by the scenic artists to give it an aged look. This is achieved by building up layers of colour and texture using paint, washes and dry brushes. It’s a long process, taking around 5 days to complete. When it’s finished the floor will be darker around the outside gradually getting lighter in the middle.

The main focal point of the set will be a number of beams that look like tree trunks growing out of the ground. There will be around 32 in total of varying size and the action will happen in a space in the middle of them. These have taken around two weeks to create, from the carpenters building them to the scenic artists painting them. Each beam has been painted and texturised using various washes and wire brushes to give the appearance of wood grain.



The wardrobe department at BPS have been busy creating the costumes for the three female characters in the play. These pictures show what Laura and her daughter Bertha will be wearing. Whilst the original play is over 100 years old, the costumes for our production should not convey a specific period, they should look timeless.

To find out more about the set build for The Father and other Belgrade productions visit the news and blogs section of the website where you can see more photographs and watch interviews with the BPS team -

at the Belgrade Caf é Ba r & Re s t aur a n t 2

Signatures Dining at The Belgrade.

the perfect atmosphere in which to relax and enjoy a high-quality range of food and drink.

Whether you’re seeing a show or just dropping by, whether you’re arriving early or staying late, the Signatures at the Belgrade Café Bar, Restaurant and the new Burbidge Bistro offer

Friends of the Belgrade receive 10% discount on food and drink in all of the Belgrade’s bars and eateries so be sure to show your membership card when ordering.

I think I’m very lucky. I knew what I wanted to do at the age of 17. I remember the moment when I decided I simply had to be part of the team that made theatre. I remember thinking I did not want to act or direct or stage manage and the only other job I could see needed doing was selling the ice cream. So that’s how I started and after studying History at University, I also worked as an usher and in box office and as a duty manager and then did a Diploma in Arts Administration which involved an internship at a theatre company. I’ve never looked back and for 25 years have only had three jobs – a small scale touring company based in London first, then Dundee Rep in Scotland and then here.

occasionally we are thwarted by circumstances beyond our control. One such was when an unexploded World War 2 bomb was found outside our main entrance, the night after we opened our World War 2 play One Night in November. Although it got us a lot of publicity it was not much good when the whole city centre had to be evacuated for nearly 24 hours which meant that we had to cancel a few performances! What are your favourite shows that you have seen at the Belgrade Theatre? I cannot answer that! In all honesty there are too many to mention and I love the variety of shows that we produce and present here. It is a great treat to be able to see so many different kinds of shows. Going to the Theatre is my main hobby – even after so long working in theatre, the magic does not wear off.

What are the most exciting and challenging parts of your job?

What shows are you most looking forward to seeing in the new season?

It is really exciting to be involved in making theatre and encouraging audiences to come and see different kinds of plays and to participate in the community and education work that we do. When we were working during the closed period there was a lack of “buzz” about the place, even for those of us who work in the offices quite far away from the stage. My own job is extremely varied and interesting and it is challenging to be expected to know how to run a catering operation and how to work with architects as well as how to run a theatre and get the plays put on.

I’m looking forward to The Father because I’ve never seen this classic and because it is a kind of partner piece to Nora which we produced earlier this year. Stars In The Morning Sky directed by Hamish is going to be a highlight for me and I really enjoyed We Love You City last time because it has such an interesting style for telling a great story about the city and I’m looking forward to seeing that again. Propeller’s “take” on Shakespeare is always intriguing and Poetry in Performance in June is going to be interesting – I’ve never seen something like that before.

Have you ever experienced any real disasters?

Can you tell us something we might not expect about your job?

Although the old maxim “the show must go on” usually ensures that despite extraordinary disasters, the show goes on, very

I look forward to coming to work!

Spot a st r in the Cafébar Did you know that on the first night of a week long tour the theatre’s management team host a drinks reception for the cast and crew of the show in the Cafébar? Why not stay for a drink after the show and see if you can spot a star.

Horrible Histories – Tues 17 April Equus – Tues 24 April Henry V & The Winter’s Tale – Tues 1 May Bette and Joan – Mon 14 May Avenue Q – Mon 28 May 3

Belgrade Theatre Friends Newsletter  

The Friends Newsletter is published four times a year especially for the members of the Belgrade Theatre's Friends scheme. It includes speci...

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