Belgrade joins consortium to develop theatre for young people

Posted on 16 May 2018

With youth and diversity having played a major part in Coventry’s City of Culture win, we’re thrilled to announce that we are joining a new partnership aiming to develop quality theatre for young people. From 2019-2022, we’ll be co-producing a series of mid-scale shows as part of a consortium comprised of the Belgrade Theatre, Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Mercury Theatre, Colchester.

The programme will kick off next year with an adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s bestselling YA novel Noughts and Crosses adapted for the stage by acclaimed playwright Sabrina Mahfouz. Told from the perspectives of two teenagers, Noughts & Crosses is a love story set in a volatile, racially segregated society teetering on a knife edge. Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Artistic Director Esther Richardson, the play will premiere with a two-week run at Derby Theatre in February before touring to all of the consortium venues.

Director Esther Richardson said: “In the current climate, it is more important than ever that there’s a space in mainstream theatre for relevant contemporary work for young audiences. We are so thrilled and excited to be working with these excellent companies from across the country on a bold programme of new work.”

Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz added: “As a young adult, Noughts & Crosses showed me the power storytelling can have in highlighting injustice in the world, so it is a complete honour to now be adapting the legendary Malorie Blackman’s words for the stage, alongside the bold vision of Pilot Theatre and partners.”

In Spring 2020 the consortium will follow up Noughts & Crosses with the second of their four planned productions, Alex Wheatle’s Crongton Knights.

Schools workshops and outreach projects, along with free digital learning resources, will be available alongside each of the productions.