Shakespeare is Coming Home

Along with the RSC and the Birmingham REP, The GAP is working to create a unique intergenerational community company to celebrate the symbolic ‘giving’ of the Shakespeare Memorial Library Folio to the people of Birmingham.

The idea is to bring many different people together to mark the start of a series of events connected to the Everything to Everybody project – where the riches of our literary and theatre culture are shared by everyone.

Musician/composer Isobel Waller-Bridge and assistant director Aaron Parsons from the RSC’s 2020 The Winter’s Tale company, The REP’s Associate Director Madeleine Kludje, Young REP Director Filiz Ozcan and Lightpost Theatre leaders Mathias Andre and CJ Webley, will lead this extraordinary company in creating Shakespeare’s homecoming.

Dates for your diary

There will be a combination of online masterclasses and in-person sessions, with music and comedy as starting points to explore the folio and storytelling with verse, songs and movement. Zoom sessions will be on July Weds 6-7.30pm, and in-person, socially-distanced rehearsals on Saturdays at the REP from 8 August at 12-4pm. The whole project will culminate in a filmed performance at The Bull Ring in early September.

Who can be involved?

Everybody is welcome to get involved, no matter what your age, ability, experience, background or language. We encourage each of you to consider whether there is a neighbour, friend, family member or colleague who you might invite to sign up with you, making this an opportunity that builds new cultural connections and extends that little bit further into the community. Of course this isn’t a requirement and you can sign up on your own. But for those who join up with another, we’re rewarding such community spirit with 2 for 1 coffee and cake for the two of you at The MIX Community Café.

What else is happening?

To further enhance the whole experience, The GAP will be exhibiting Shakespeare’s First Folio later in September in our Balsall Heath gallery, giving access to everyone in the neighbourhood to this historic cultural artefact. Moreover this will be followed by a community conversation dinner (socially distanced dining!) talking about cultural rights and questions around access to culture for all the community.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would be like to join in with this exciting, high-profile, community project. And if you’re unable to take part in the socially-distanced rehearsals due to COVID restrictions please let us know. We will look into other ways to include you in the project.

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