Meet Belgrade Theatre…

12/05/2021

 

We’ve been catching up with our venues to bring you exclusive information on new menus, upcoming shows and discounts that you can look forward to later this month as we welcome you back once again to Belgrade Plaza.

 

First up is Belgrade Theatre.

We spoke to Executive Director Joanna Reid to find out more about upcoming performances and workshops, the opening of the brand-new café and bar and Joanna’s favourite show at Belgrade Theatre so far!

 

With live performances set to begin on Monday 17th May, tell us about upcoming shows at Belgrade and what visitors can expect when they visit?

Our first live performance will be April in Paris, starring Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw, on Mon 17 May. As we enter Coventry’s City of Culture year, we’re one of the first venues in the UK to be opening for live performances at the earliest possible opportunity.

Live performances will be socially distanced until 21 June at the earliest, and we’re doing everything we can to keep our audiences safe. Our Covid-safe measures include increased ventilation and cleaning throughout the building.

We’ll also be hosting the UK Asian Film Festival at the end of May, with UK premieres of five South Asian films screened socially distanced in our B2 auditorium. More information on our shows and Covid measures can be found on our website.

 

What has been your favourite show that has been on at Belgrade Theatre over the years, and what are you most looking forward to this year?

I have very warm memories of the last time I saw a show at the Belgrade Theatre – it was the musical ONCE that was on in March 2020, only a few days before we were instructed to close. It was a heart-warming show about people gathering to make music and finding new ways of communicating and healing through the power of being together. Great music too.  It turned out to be a very poignant evening, given that we’ve been forbidden to gather in groups indoors since then.

I’m most looking forward to being open, having people in our foyers and in our auditoria, enjoying being together. Of course, panto has to be a highlight – a full scale live Beauty & The Beast will hit the stage in late November but we’re busy confirming other shows too so watch this space.

 

We’ve seen that the brand-new café is officially open for takeaway and outdoor dining, and we can’t wait for the opening of the new bar, Nineteen 58! The interiors look incredible, what’s the inspiration behind it?

Thank you! We love it too and are blown away by our Architect Corphorstine & Wright and Interior Designer Lazzeri Creative Interiors realisation of our brief – which was to celebrate that the Belgrade is a beautiful 1958 building. We are proud that there are two other 1950s buildings in the same street –the wonderfully restored Co Op Building and the Coventry Telegraph Hotel. We wanted our building visually to join up with them – which I think it does – and for our to new interior to echo the glamour of the period alongside retaining the theatrical essence that is the Belgrade Theatre.

 

Aside from seeing a fantastic performance, what classes and workshops can visitors sign up for and get involved with?

We’re proud to offer a range of community engagement work including Youth and Adult Acting Classes. Running through the spring and summer, anyone interested can get involved by visiting our website.

We also have several engagement programmes already up and running. A group of dedicated photographers and videographers are currently attending film shoots of our City of Culture project SeaView. They’ve been able to capture behind-the-scenes content and are receiving free training from industry professionals. We’re also running a Writer’s Programme in partnership with Paines Plough to nurture ten aspiring writers. They will be performing a ten-minute piece at Roundabout this summer.

 

What’s it like to be part of the Belgrade Plaza community here in Coventry?

We enjoy being part of a bigger group and I know my team on the ground appreciate person to person contact with other community members for day-to-day activities. We think it’s great that together we create a real destination for visitors, with lots on offer, all based around the lovely open space that is Belgrade Square which adds another dimension to our offer.