David catches up with Rebekah ... star of Saturday Night Fever at The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham this week
David talks to Chris Jack from Noughts and Crosses which is at The Alexandra Theatre this week
David catches up with Zac Hollinshead from the Bilston Operatic Company and talks about Peter Pan
David caught up recently with Alex Cardell from The Osmonds
Interview with Ian McIntosh from The Commitments UK Tour
Star interview with dancer Aakash Odedra
David talks to Sarah Earnshaw as Betty in Some Mothers Do 'Av 'Em.
David talks to Curve Artistic Director Nikolai Foster
David talks to Hayley Ria Christian ahead of her one night at The Alexandra...Gladys Knight...Midnight Train to Georgia
David talks to Jo Smith secretary of BMOS musical society ahead of their upcoming production of Guys and Dolls at The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham 28th June to 2nd July.
Monthly Star Interviews with some of our leading creatives in our region.
Star interview for May 2022
Chris Sudworth Director of Artistic Programme at Birmingham Hippodrome
We are in the impressive and always welcoming surroundings of the circle bar at the Birmingham Hippodrome in Hurst Street in the city centre. An excited and expectant audience are filing through the doors in readiness for a matinee of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Chris Sudworth takes time to talk to David Robinson about his role and the thrilling new season that awaits the Hippodrome patrons.
Chris: We are keen in this the year of the Commonwealth Games, to keep the theatre at the very heart of the community, expanding our horizons and encouraging the wonderful local talent we have in our brilliant region. We are keen to see new writers, and actors and dancers and musicians blossom. We have superb children’s writers, poets and creatives representing the many diverse neighbourhoods across our city.
David: Is there a feeling that perhaps The West Midlands has some creative catching up to do?
Chris:We have had a lot of local talent, for decades we don’t think they have had the opportunities and indeed the recognition. Now is the time to showcase the region and to galvanise all that creative skill.
David: Would you be able to give us some examples of some local showcase productions we can all look forward to?
Chris: We are really looking forward to a new uplifting concert musical with book by Roy Williams called “To the Streets!” It is inspired by the Bristol bus boycotts and will take place in the communities across our region. We are in 1963, submerged in the swinging 60’s and emerging from the Big Freeze. Temperatures are thawing but tensions in Bristol are running high as the Omnibus Bus Company refuse to hire black or Asian drivers and conductors. Lorraine a recently arrived teenager from Jamaica arrives, she quickly finds her voice and as a result becomes a catalyst for change. It will have an explosive feel good score, and excitingly will be performed outside at various locations across our city.
David: There seems to be a real desire for collaboration within the community?
Chris: Yes, and a feeling of celebration, we want the Hippodrome to be a place where the artists can thrive, where we can support growth and gives access to our spaces. The production of The Color Purple is an exciting and collaborative joint production with the Leicester Curve, it tells the story of heroine Celie as she journeys through joy, despair, anguish and hope in her own personal awakening as she discovers her own unique voice in the world. It has been critically acclaimed, and we and Curve are so proud of the final show.
David: Does this mark the beginning of some more self-produced projects.
Chris: We are a major receiving house, and that is a very important part of our calendar, but yes as we strive to be more open and collaborative I hope that means more co-productions are possible. The upcoming Commonwealth Games will allow us not only to open our doors to many new visitors but also to take, music and dance and drama into the city, again it is about expanding our horizons.
David: And reflecting our region?
Chris: Yes, in as many creative ways that we can. We can’t wait for Rambert Dance to be with us later in the year with Peaky Blinders, a brand-new dance event looking into the backstory of Tommy Shelby. It opens in the trenches of Flanders and takes us to the industrial streets of our very own city.
David: What about any other forthcoming highlights?
Chris: We will always attract the biggest and the best shows, we have a reputation for selling tickets in numbers unmatched outside of London. So, we have Les Misérables, and We will Rock You, The Cher Show and Sister Act and several other large-scale productions heading our way, as well as the pantomime of course. We also have a sparkling ballet and music season to savour and look forward to.
David: After the two years of lockdown, it must be a wonderfully uplifting feeling to view a full and varied schedule.
Chris: It is so good to share live experiences again with so many of our loyal supporters. To connect with them again and to be reminded what that connection truly means to audience and performers alike. We do have such a loyal and supportive following and we are grateful for each one of them.
David: Many thanks Chris and we join you in the excitement of sharing once again the thrill of live theatre.
Details of all the above productions and the full 2022 Hippodrome schedule can be found on their website https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/whats-on/
David caught up recently with actor Linda Purl, to talk about the comedy thriller Catch me if you Can, currently on national tour.
David sat down and chatted with Darren Day, currently starring in the national tour of Footloose
In the first of some in depth chats with influential folk involved in delivering the arts across our region, David talks to Simon Creed, the Artistic Director and Theatre Manager of the wonderful Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham .
David talks to actor David Benson about his career and about his current role in the musical Dreamboats and Petticoats coming to The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham from the 21st March to the 26th March.
David catches up with Chris Jared for a chat, Chris is playing Aslan in the current national tour of CS Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe. The production runs at The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham from Tuesday 8th March to Saturday 12th March 2022. Tickets from HERE.
David chats to Tom Senior who is currently play Gaston in the national tour of Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast. The production runs at the Birmingham Hippodrome until the 26th of March.
David: Tom, thank you so much for joining us on The Midlands Arts Magazine, can you tell us what to expect at The Hippodrome over the next couple of weeks, and a little about your role, please?
Tom: Yes, of course, the prince has a spell put on him for various reasons, and it is a curse that can only be properly broken by finding his true love. Gaston is my fun role, he can have a friendship with any of the girls in the village, although it is of course Belle who he truly wants. Belle does not sadly return the friendship.
David: Any show highlights that you always look forward to?
Tom: Gaston has his own wonderful eight-minute number to deliver, and then although I am not involved in it, I love watching the Be our Guest song and dance, another extended showstopper.
David: And this is a new production for the UK tour?
Tom: Yes it is indeed. New director, new costumes, and moves and we think some added new thought-provoking moments which are going down well with the audiences
David: Well, talking of audiences, do you have a typical Beauty and the Beast audience?
Tom: It is a warm family show, full of sparkling Disney magic. Many are seeing it for the first time, but also lots of people are coming because they fell in love with the original film.
David: It’s great to be welcoming such a big magical Disney production to Birmingham.
Tom: To be back in front of a live audience is very special, the response to the production has been truly amazing.
David: Thank you again Tom, and we hope you and all the company have a great time at the wonderful Birmingham Hippodrome.