Theatre is fast becoming a staple theme at The Old Print Works. With our quirky and intimate Drawing Room venue, there have been some fabulous performances that take on a particularly Old Print Works flavour and we are really pleased to announce that more is afoot very soon, with Elephant by The Rep this Saturday and a theatre residency. Read below about how it all started and what's coming up.
It's been really exciting over the past couple of years to build up a relationship with the Birmingham Rep. The first time they performed in our cosy Drawing Room in 2016 as part of their Barry Jackson tour, it was Folk, by Tom Wells. The unlikely relationship between three people, one being a nun, strengthens as the play unfolds in this hilarious and not-so-holy story of empathy, generosity, hope and coming together when the world is turned upside down.
The Rep performed at The Old Print Works twice in 2017. First, it was Stories To Tell In the Middle of the Night, an exciting play written and performed by the critically acclaimed Francesca Millican-Slater. This amusing and gripping collection of short, quirky tales is reminiscent of Roald Dahl's stories for adults. Dreamlike and darkly humorous, this live, late night radio show is inspired by the legendary radio shows of Ronnie Wood and Iggy Pop and includes tales of everything from love and obsession to technology and disconnection. Not to mention pork pies. Having played to rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this unforgettable production from one of the country's most exciting performers came to The Old Print Works in the Spring.
We welcomed back the Birmingham Rep in the autumn with I Knew You by Steven Camden (aka spoken word artist Polarbear). The highly anticipated second play from the Birmingham-born writer is a powerful look at family dynamics which asks if we can ever really escape our past. Angela is edging closer to retirement. Then it will just be her, her cat and ready meals for one. Her son Nathan is struggling with being a stay-at-home dad. It's not as if he's had a role model. The closest he's got to his dad in twenty years was a Google search. When Angela has a chance encounter with 'her Patrick', she is torn about whether or not to introduce him to the son he walked out on and the grandson he's never met. But Patrick has some news that may force her to decide. I Knew You featured Lorna Laidlaw (BBC Doctors) and was directed by Daniel Bailey.
Hot on the heels of the Rep performing were Cucumber Writers with Old Print, New Voices, a series of short plays inspired by the history of The Old Print Works and its surroundings. 4 new plays from emerging playwrights performed as rehearsed readings in the beautiful Drawing Room.
But more about our latest news. We are really pleased to announce a residency here at The Old Print Works of Happenchance Theatre, a young theatre company dedicated to finding truth in comedy, comedy in tragedy, and improvisation in everything. During their residency they plan to host a whole load of brilliant events and opportunities, including artist and community workshops, Shakespeare gig theatre, variety scratch nights, and premieres of exciting original theatre. Happenchance love making genre-bending and audience-engaging shows in unusual rooms and atmospheric spaces, so they’ll fit right in at The Old Print Works. You can find them through social media (t:@happenchancers) and we’ll be posting about events coming up you can get involved in.
And finally, we have the Birmingham Rep back, this coming Saturday for their fourth touring performance with us. This time it’s Elephant by award-winning playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti. Vira hasn't seen her sister Deesh for years. Deesh's kids, Amy and Bill, want to know why but nobody's telling them anything. When Deesh invites her sister to Amy's flashy party, Vira reckons it's time to come home and move on. Time to stop watching the telly, get out of her council flat, stick on a glitzy sari and embrace her nearest and dearest. But is it possible to forgive and forget? And when a family is built on lies, will it be destroyed by the truth? Directed by the Royal Court's Associate Director, Lucy Morrison, the tour of Elephant is supported by the Sir Barry Jackson Trust. Book here for this very affordable theatre event.
So keep watching our website and social media for further theatrical events at The Old Print Works, or get in touch if you would like to talk to us about using our Drawing Room for yours.