The third, and for a while the final, blog about the theatres of Birmingham, this time a theatre that I have a massive respect towards, The Crescent Theatre.
The Crescent Theatre is more about the company rather than the building. The company is one of Birmingham’s oldest theatre companies dating back to the 1920s when it began as the Municipal Players performing in a converted building, formally Baskerville Hall in the Crescent, Cambridge Street. It all began with a group of council employees wanting to entertain their colleagues and their friends and the rest, they say, is history. The Crescent Theatre is an amateur group. It is run mainly by volunteers with people taking time out of their schedules to perform, design, make, build, pour drinks and direct across the theatre. The members of the theatre are vital in the running and there is a real community feel whenever you go to the theatre.
It’s current building, part of the Brindley Place development opened in the 1990s. It’s current building, boasting two performance spaces (a 340+ seat main house and a 120 seat studio), a large bar area and conference facilities as well as a workshop to build sets as well as a large props and wardrobe department. It thrives to produce quality shows that attract a large amount of different people of different backgrounds and does so with great success. In the season just gone the theatre produced a sell out production of Sweeney Todd (which, in my opinon put professional theatre companies to shame), a highly emotional All My Sons, a family production of Danny the Champion of the World, and a highly effective production of Shakespeare’s Julius Ceaser to name just a few of the productions produced.
The company produce on average 15 shows a year across the two performance spaces including a summer tour which visits a number of locations around Birmingham and a Christmas Wassail which also tours as well as having a sell out run in the main house. The theatre is used by a large number of amateur groups from around the region who come back time and time again, as well as by musicians and comedians who also use the bar as a performance area. Birmingham School of Acting also use the theatre to perform it’s productions in – a great chance to see some new acting talent. Highlights in the forthcoming season include Talking Heads, Macbeth, and Bedroom Farce as well as The Rep taking residence over the Christmas period for their production of Sleeping Beauty. I know that there are still some more awesome shows still to be announced so keep an eye out!
What kind of shows will you find at The Crescent?
The Crescent does a variety of shows, usually mainly plays with a big musical once a season. However they do ensure that there is a good mix of shows and you’ll find a couple of shows at least per season that will get you interested.
Who goes to the Crescent?
Depends on the show. You’ll find a lot of members going to shows and the families and friends of those in the cast, but at the same time you’ll find students, families, adults, a real mix really.
What’s coming up?
So far announced for the following season are Talking Heads (September), MADEA (devised by the theatre, October), Macbeth (November) and Bedroom Farce (January). Over December and January The Rep will be taking residence with their production of Sleeping Beauty.
First show seen here?
Acorn Antiques the Musical (the amateur premier production).
Last show seen here?
Over notable shows seen:
Danny the Champion of the World; Wedding Singer (GBMTC); Arcadia; Julius Ceaser; Dad’s Army; Women on the Verge of HRT
The tailer for the smash hit production of Sweeney Todd