Celebrate World Book Day with the Belgrade Theatre

Posted on 1 March 2018

With Thursday 1 March marking World Book Day 2018, the Belgrade Theatre is joining the celebrations with an exciting line-up of literary-inspired shows scheduled in for the season ahead.

This Easter, family audiences can look forward seeing an array of traditional fairy tales and contemporary kids’ classics brought to life on stage. For grown-ups, we’ll also be welcoming adaptations of both Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and Helen Tse’s bestselling memoir Sweet Mandarin.

Things get off to a page-turning start from 3-5 April with a new retelling of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf by the acclaimed puppetry company Little Angel Theatre. Recommended for ages 7+, this radical reimagining recasts Robyn and the misunderstood Wolf as a couple of misfits just trying to fit in.

Hansel and Gretel

The fairytale fun then continues the following week with an innovative take on The Twisted Tale of Hansel & Gretel, presented by the award-winning METRO-BOULOT-DODO in partnership with Open Theatre Company. Live music, mesmerising design and a quirky sense of humour ensure this play will entertain the entire family from ages 5 and upwards. Produced by Birmingham Hippodrome, it features performers drawn from BecauseWeCanCanCan, a Birmingham-based company of emerging artists with learning disabilities.

Dear Zoo

On 6 & 7 April, we’ll be welcoming the stage debut of Rod Campbell’s much-loved lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo. Since its original publication back in 1982, the book has continued to delight generations of children, and will now be brought before a whole new audience with the help of puppetry, music and lots of audience interaction, in keeping with the spirit of the original. Suitable for kids aged 2 and up, this charming show offers an ideal introduction to the magic of theatre for first-time visitors.

What the Ladybird Heard

Then on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 April, there’ll be big heroics from one little ladybird in Kenny Wax Family’s What the Ladybird Heard. Suitable for children aged 3+, this modern classic by former children’s laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrator Lydia Monks sees its title character take on two crafty robbers, thwarting their plans and saving her farmyard friends in the process. Expect music, puppetry, audience participation and lots of laughs along the way.

Later in the season, Birmingham Stage Company will follow up their smash hit production of David Walliams’ Awful Auntie with a new show in their ever popular Horrible Histories series. Prepare yourself to meet Revolting Romans, Vicious Vikings, Evil Elizabeth I, Crazy King Charles, Vile Victorians and soldiers from the Frightful First World War in a newly reworked version of Barmy Britain. Featuring a brand new scene from Wordy Will, Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain runs on the Belgrade Main Stage from 30 May – 3 June.

Great Expectations

But its not just kids who’ll have the chance to see great literature reimagined for the stage this season. From 2-5 May, Olivier Award-winning performer Nichola McAuliffe stars as the enigmatic Miss Havisham in a thrilling new version of the Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations. A favourite with schools, this timeless tale tells the story of young Philip Pirrip – better known as Pip – as he seeks his fortune and attempts to win the heart of the imperious Estella. As he reaches adulthood, an unexpected windfall sees his life dramatically transformed – but at what cost?

Finally, from 30 May until 2 June, In-Sook Chappell’s new play Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok brings to life Helen Tse’s food memoir Sweet Mandarin on our B2 Stage. Presented by Yellow Earth in partnership with Black Theatre Live and the Royal Exchange Theatre, this stylish and evocative new production takes audiences on a journey from Hong Kong to the famous Manchester restaurant after which the book is named. Plus, on Thursday 31 May, a live cookery demonstration will take place ahead of the show, enabling audiences to get a flavour of some of the fabulous food featured in the show.

Tickets to all of these shows and more are available to purchase now by calling the Belgrade Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or by visiting our website where tickets are even cheaper.