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Belgrade Theatre Unplugged Returns for 2015

Posted on 3 June 2015

The Belgrade theatre is thrilled to announce the return of ‘Unplugged’ for Summer 2015. First launched in 2013, the week-long performance programme taking place at venues throughout Coventry and Warwickshire will once again offer audiences a unique opportunity to preview rehearsed readings from the Belgrade’s Autumn season of home-produced drama. For the first time in the event’s history, the Belgrade Theatre is also offering one local individual or organisation the chance to get up close and personal with the theatrical process with an exclusive reading performed at their venue of their choice.

Building on the great success of Unplugged 2013 and 2014, this year’s event will see the Belgrade theatre leave its home to visit a host of exciting new locations across Coventry and Warwickshire, giving both new and existing audiences a rare opportunity to preview the Belgrade Theatre’s programme of forthcoming work in production.

Rehearsed readings will take place in a series of unique settings around Coventry and Warwickshire, which this year include the stunning Kenilworth Castle, Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses, Bedworth, Coombe Abbey Hotel, The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Parkridge Centre in Brueton Park, Solihull, The Merchants Inn, Rugby, Coventry’s new creative quarter – Fargo Village – and the newly refurbished Old Grammar School, Coventry.

Audiences can look forward to rehearsed readings from a selection of upcoming productions which include the U.K stage premieres of Crush – a sizzling new musical comedy by Maureen Chadwick and The Silver Sword, based on the much-loved children’s novel by Ian Serraillier. There will also be the opportunity to preview this year’s alternative B2 Xmas show, Vampomime – a fangtastic festive comedy written by Coventry playwright Nick Walker plus, looking ahead to 2016, audiences can enjoy a preview of our forthcoming comedy, The Sisterhood by Moliere.

There will also be the opportunity to preview scenes from forthcoming work by our nationally-recognized Community & Education Company.

The Belgrade’s Artistic Director Hamish Glen said_ ‘I’m delighted that the Belgrade will once again be bringing Unplugged to the people of Coventry and Warwickshire. These events have been devised to offer people the chance to come and hear excerpts from our forthcoming autumn season in the form of rehearsed readings in interesting and inspiring settings. They aren’t fully realised productions with big sets and lighting; they are stripped back, “unplugged” readings that I’m putting together with a group of talented professional actors, to give you a unique taste of what’s in store at the Belgrade throughout the rest of the year. This year will see the Belgrade visit some of Coventry and Warwickshire’s favourite locations, from the magnificent grounds of Kenilworth Castle to the creative hustle and bustle of Fargo Village. I’m really looking forward to showcasing some of the highlights of our Autumn season and look forward to introducing audiences, both old and new, to what promises to be a very exciting programme of drama’._

Development Director Belgrade Unplugged Co-ordinator David Jane added _‘This year marks a new milestone in the history of Belgrade Unplugged. For the first time this year, we’re giving local residents the chance to get up close and personal with the theatrical process by bidding for Unplugged to visit their venue of choice, whether that be their local park, village hall or living room. Belgrade Theatre Unplugged is all about bringing theatre out to the communities we serve and what better way to do so than by giving local residents a chance to have their say on where they would like to see Unplugged performed. I’m really looking forward to finding out what exciting and intriguing places our audiences have in mind for 2015’. _

Kicking off Unplugged 2015, the first performance will take place in the familiar surroundings of the Belgrade Theatre’s Restaurant, the B4 Grill on Saturday 20 June at 12.30pm. Lunch and other light refreshments will be available from the café bar throughout the performance.

This will be followed by a return visit to the delightful Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses in Bedworth on Mon 22 June at 7.30pm. Situated in the heart of Bedworth, this beautiful setting provides the perfect backdrop in which to enjoy live theatre. Commemorating the 300th anniversary of the death of Nicholas Chamberlain, this year’s performance will once again take place in the central courtyard. In the event of bad weather, performances will be moved into the residents’ lounge.

Nature lovers can look forward to an afternoon of live theatre in the open air as Belgrade Unplugged moves to The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Parkridge Centre in Brueton Park on Tues 23 June at 2.30pm. Set in the middle of Brueton Park, on the edge of Solihull Town Centre, the Parkridge Centre and its 5.5 acre nature reserve offers a beautiful and tranquil backdrop against which to enjoy a spot of free afternoon entertainment. If the weather is kind, performances will take place just outside the café but if not, the company will re-locate indoors.

The stunning setting of Coombe Abbey’s Abbeygate will be hosting Unplugged on Wed 24 June at 3pm. World-renowned for its magnificent grounds, first-class accommodation and stunning facilities, the award-winning Coombe Abbey Hotel boasts 500 acres of parkland plus a thriving events and conferencing programme. On arrival at Coombe Abbey Hotel, audiences will be directed from the reception to the venue’s premiere entertaining space, Abbeygate. Afternoon Tea can be purchased in advance directly with Coombe Abbey by calling 024 7645 0450.

For anyone who enjoys a play and a pint, The Merchants Inn, Rugby will play host to the fifth Belgrade Unplugged performance on Wednesday 24 June at 7.30pm. Taking place as part of the Rugby Festival of Culture, this intimate setting provides the perfect backdrop in which to enjoy a post-show drink and a bite to eat with friends.

Coventry’s newest creative hub, Fargo Village, will be opening late on Fri 26 June to host what promises to be an exciting and unique Unplugged performance in Market Hall. Food, drink and shopping will be available throughout the evening.

This will be followed with a visit to the historic Kenilworth Castle on Sat 27 June at 2pm. From medieval fortress to Elizabethan palace, Kenilworth Castle has been at the centre of English affairs for much of its 900 year history. Performances will take place outside the restauarant or inside if the weather is inclement. Please note, Kenilworth Castle charge an entrance fee to their property as standard.

Completing this year’s Unplugged tour, the Belgrade will be back in Coventry for a one-off performance at the newly renovated Old Grammar School on Saturday 27 June at 7.30pm, which celebrates its official re-opening this year. Located next to the Coventry Transport Museum, this Grade 1 listed building at the heart of the city is one of Coventry’s foremost cultural landmarks with a history stretching back as far as 1185 AD. This year’s Belgrade Unplugged will mark the first public performance at the venue since its refurbishment.

*New for 2015 – Unplugged Up Close *

For the first time in the history of Unplugged, the Belgrade Theatre is, this year, offering one local individual or organisation the chance to experience the excitement of Unplugged from the comfort of their very own living room!

If you’re a local resident, business or community organisation based in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull you could find yourself playing host to a professional company of actors this June with a free ‘Unplugged Up Close’ reading performed at a venue of your choice.

Perhaps you’re a local charity looking for a fun addition to your forthcoming fundraiser? Perhaps you’re looking to add a theatrical flourish to your next business lunch or networking event? Could your community centre, care home, canteen or kitchen be the next destination on our Unplugged Tour of Coventry and Warwickshire? Whatever the space, whatever your event, we want to hear from you.

The winner of this private performance will be decided by a silent auction (closed bids), all proceeds of which will go towards supporting the Belgrade Theatre’s charitable work in the community. The highest bidder will be awarded the performance at their venue on Thursday 25 June. Interested parties are invited to submit their chosen bid to Alexandra Rooney at developmentadmin@belgrade.co.uk or by post/in person at the theatre. Full details and Terms and Conditions can be found on our website.

Tickets to all readings are free, although Kenilworth Castle charge an entrance fee to their property as standard. For more information about all of The Belgrade Theatre Unplugged events visit http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/belgrade-theatre-unplugged-2015

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