It has been confirmed that the theatre based in Coventry will fully reopen to the public on the 17th May.

(c)Dave Worrall

The theatre will be opening its doors to socially distanced audiences with the UK tour of April in Paris, starring Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw – which is where the production begins on its tour.

Those visiting the theatre will also be able to see and enjoy the brand new upstairs Café Bar Nineteen 58 and newly refurbished downstairs Belgrade Café which has been created in the building as part of the £5.5million 2020 Redevelopment Project for the theatre; as well as the enhanced food and beverage offering, this has provided new spaces for audiences, visitors and additional capacity for workshops and community groups. Meanwhile, prior to the theatre itself opening, from the 12th April The Belgrade Café will be offering a full range of delicious and locally sourced food and drink for patrons to takeaway and enjoy on tables outside the theatre on Belgrade Square.

Following on from April in Paris, the programme that the theatre has lined up will also include  an eclectic mix of music, theatre and comedy  over the summer months The theatre’s digital offerings will also continue including: Jabala and the JinnThe Picture of Dorian GrayPrivate Peaceful and the MT Festival UK will stream at various times between the end of March and the beginning of June.

The programme for the Autumn season of non-socially distanced work from the 1st September will be announced on the 1st June.

It has also been announced that the  UK Asian Film Festival will also be hosted at the venue, with socially distanced audiences watching five film premieres in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium, including the world premiere of Beatles and India. These films have been selected by five Coventry locals, after training in film curation. The UK Asian Film Festival celebrates the art of storytelling extending from ancient oral traditions to tales told in today’s digital age, giving wings to South Asian roots since 1997. This year’s programming theme is Ray of Hope to mark the birth centenary of Satyajit Ray. The film choices reflect the shift in power that bring hope to the lives of the protagonists.

Talking about the news, Joanna Reid, Executive Director of the Belgrade, said, “The whole team can’t wait to reopen on 17th May and to welcome shows and audiences back into our two auditoria as soon as possible.  We are delighted that we are launching a tour of April in Paris on Monday 17th May and are continuing to work to secure more shows during May to August. We’re excited that we’ve been able to complete our 2020 Redevelopment in time for City of Culture despite the challenges posed by both the pandemic and Brexit.  We hope to see you back at the Belgrade soon!”

Meanwhile, the programme over the Summer has been created in line with Coventry City of Culture. It is set to include a co-presentation with Paines Plough a festival of new world-class plays and community-led activities in the world’s first plug-in, pop-up and play theatre Roundabout (Monday 26th July – Sunday 8th August 2021). LOCATION!? Balisha Karra will direct Coventry based playwright Frankie Meredith’s May Queen, and the other plays that will be played in repertory throughout the festival are Hungry by Chris Bush, Really Big and Really Loud by Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Black Love by Chinonyerem Odimba, with music by Ben and Max Ringham.

To find out more about the Belgrade Theatre’s reopening plans visit: https://www.belgrade.co.uk/