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B2 10th Anniversary - Top 10 B2 Shows

Posted on 14 August 2017

B2 is the Belgrade’s intimate and flexible theatre space, which was added to the original 1958 building during a £14million redevelopment in 2007, and seats an audience of 200-300 theatregoers. As we get ready up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the B2 auditorium this September, we take a look back at our 10 favourite productions to be performed on the B2 stage over the last 10 years.

1. SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (2008)

With a star cast including Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Imogen Stubbs (Sense and Sensibility) directed by the highly-respected Trevor Nunn, Scenes From A Marriage opened the Belgrade’s Spring Season with a bang back in 2008. Based on Ingmar Bergman’s 1973 Swedish TV series, the story follows Johan and Marianne who go from a happily married couple to warring contenders in divorce and beyond. This extraordinary portrait of intimacy was perfectly suited to the B2 stage where audiences were offered a window into the private lives of a couple in turmoil.

2. ONE NIGHT IN NOVEMBER (2008)

First performed on the B2 stage in March 2008, One Night in November was an instant hit with audiences and went on to be restaged a further three times due to popular demand. One Night in November follows the dramatic events of one night in Coventry on 14th November 1940 – bringing to life a key moment in the city’s history and focussing on one family’s harrowing experience of the Blitz. Written by Coventry playwright Alan Pollock, the play was commissioned by the Belgrade Theatre as part of its artistic vision to tell local stories and give a platform to local artists.

3. WE LOVE YOU CITY (2010)

Continuing the Belgrade’s tradition of telling local stories, We Love You City celebrated Coventry City FC’s historic FA cup win in 1987. Eleven players took to the stage to recreate the events of the final and tell the funny, edgy, moving, and sometimes farcical stories that were playing out in Coventry during those nail-biting 90 minutes. The show was later revived in 2013 following its smash-hit success in 2010.

4. UNCLE VANYA (2011)

This classic Russian drama by Anton Chekhov was refreshed in 2011 by the internationally acclaimed director Helena Kaut-Howson. Widely considered as a tragicomic masterpiece, Uncle Vanya tells the story of a retired celebrity and his beautiful young wife who return to their country estate, overturning the humdrum lives of everyone around them. This new production was a feast for the senses with a stunning set designed by Sophie Jump and hauntingly beautiful musical score by Paul Bull.

5. STARS IN THE MORNING SKY (2012)

In the year of the London 2012 Olympics, Stars in the Morning Sky, took to the B2 stage based on Alexander Galin’s gritty drama set during the 1980 Moscow Olympics. In a bid to show the world a cleaned-up version of life in the Soviet Union many vulnerable women were banished from the streets of Moscow to the edge of the city. The play spans one unforgettable night, of both brutality and unexpected romance. This new version was adapted for the stage by Coventry based playwright Chris Hannan and directed by Hamish Glen, and was granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that were directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

6. THE SPANISH GOLDEN AGE SEASON (2013)

Ok, this is actually three plays not one, but all wrapped up in one glorious season from Spain’s ‘Siglo de Oro’ or Golden Age; an era when art and literature thrived. Produced by the Belgrade, alongside Theatre Royal Bath and Arcola Theatre, the trio of rarely-performed gems from the treasure chest of world drama included A Lady of Little Sense, Don Gil of the Green Breeches and Punishment Without Revenge. Highly acclaimed by critics, the season wove together a delicious blend of audacious comedy, outrageous farce and darkly thrilling drama.

7. THREE MINUTE HEROES (2014)

Three Minute Heroes was the Belgrade’s 2 Tone musical, inspired by the music of The Specials and The Selecter which helped put Coventry on the musical map back in the late 70s and early 80s. This enormously successful, feel-good show first premiered on the main stage back in 2001 and was such a hit with audiences, that it was revived for the B2 stage in 2014. The show spawned a legacy with the on-stage band ‘Ruder Than U’ which still continues to tour and perform live across the Midlands today.

8. ONLY A DAY (2015)

This delightful play for children and families, told the story of an unlikely friendship between a fox, a boar and a mayfly. Aware that a mayfly can live for only a day, the friends embark on a surprising journey through life and its rich mysteries. Aimed at children aged 7 plus, Only A Day taught valuable lessons about the cycle of life and the power of friendship. Based on the book by the award-winning writer and illustrator, Martin Baltscheit, the production featured original music and an enchanting set design that wowed audiences of all ages.

9. MADE IN INDIA (2017)

Having made its world premiere on the B2 stage earlier this year, new play Made in India picked up an Eastern Eye ACTA award for Best Stage Production and went on to tour the UK. It was also live streamed to audiences across the world in June. Set in a surrogacy clinic in Gujarat, Made in India told the thrilling and pertinent story of motherhood and surrogacy in a brave new world, through the eyes of three different women.

10. FAITHFUL RUSLANTHE STORY OF A GUARD DOG (2017)

Our final production in the list will visit the Belgrade’s B2 stage this September to mark the 10th anniversary. Adapted for the stage and directed by Helena Kaut-Howson, from the cult novel by Georgi Vladomov, Faithful Ruslan will be Kaut-Howson’s third show in B2, following her successful productions of Uncle Vanya and Sons Without Fathers. Set in post-revolution Russia, the story will be told through the eyes of Ruslan, an innocent and loyal guard dog, and brought to the stage by a revered creative team which includes Marcello Magni, as Movement Director. This is a must-see show in the Belgrade’s Autumn Season.

Faithful Ruslan – The Story of a Guard Dog runs on the B2 stage at the Belgrade Theatre from Sat 2 – Sat 16 Sept. Tickets are available now priced at £13 & £15.50 by calling the Belgrade Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or visit www.belgrade.co.uk.

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Sep 19, 2017, 5:14 pm