History

Stage2 was founded in 1988 by Liz Light and has since built a fantastic reputation in Birmingham, as well as nationally across the theatre industry. We are still working to the same ideas and principles and are very proud of, and thrive on, the attitude, level of discipline and commitment of our Members and Tutors. It has always been an important aspect of the company that membership is open to all. For example we guarantee that each term every child who wishes, can take part in a production, with no audition. Our main rule is that no one is ever left out and we have a zero tolerance of any kind of bullying. Everyone should feel totally at home at Stage2; it has proved to be a safe and supportive environment where members can develop at their own pace and to their own standard. A good attitude, enthusiasm and a willingness to take part are valued above everything else.

We have always listened to members’ requests, kept up with the requirements of the National Curriculum and the needs of the industry and tailor our activities accordingly.

In 2002 Stage2 launched itself as an independent company (no.5317309) and registered charity (no.1108213) governed by a Board of Trustees, a change which has opened up new avenues and allowed us to take on new ventures. With an established reputation; an excellent track record, high quality shows, happy kids, good exam results and tight financial control, Stage2 was thrilled to be invited to move to the Birmingham School of Acting in 2006. When it became affiliated to Birmingham City University (formally UCE) the school then moved to Millennium Point and we are very pleased to have accompanied them to Eastside, especially at a time of huge redevelopment in the area.

We now work alongside an ever-expanding network of fellow professionals and organisations. We have collaborated with (amongst others) the late Laurie Lee, Claire Dowie and Colin Watkeys (now Stage2’s Patrons), Stan’s Cafe, Metaphysique, Midlands’ Youth Theatre Network, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, The Shakespeare Institute and The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. Since 1993 we have run foreign exchange programmes with Germany, Spain and America.

Stage2 is always adapting and evolving to enhance our members’ experience and enjoyment. Why not help us shape our future?

Summer 2017
Spring 2017
Autumn 2016
Summer 2016
Spring 2016
Autumn 2015
Summer 2015
Spring 2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003

Summer 2017

Slide 1

Requiem for Ground Zero

by Steven Berkoff

This acclaimed eulogy to the thousands of victims of 9/11 sums up the horror and lasting human damage of that day. Berkoff recasts the terrorist strike as a procession of powerful and resonant images – a window cleaner wipes the eyes of the World Trade Centre – the better to see its impending doom.

Spring 2017

Teechers Bannera

Teechers

by John Godber

Hilarious and irreverent, poignant and gritty, Teechers is John Godber’s brilliant take on life at a modern Comprehensive, published just before he went on to write for TV’s classic Grange Hill. Through their hilarious end-of-term play, three Year 11s exuberantly sketch the new drama teacher’s (very slow) progress through two terms of unruly classes, cynical colleagues, unfathomable timetables and obstructive caretakers at a tough inner city comprehensive known as Colditz at the local County Hall. Bursting with cringeably recognisable pupils; the school bully, the kid who never does PE, those deemed average – ‘Lillian opens a book well and likes a warm room‘, we also get an insight into the lives of their heroic and hapless teachers including the idea of a bat phone/Ninja rescue team that must be the dream of many a teacher stuck in a tricky situation.

Autumn 2016

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A Wayne in a Manger

by Gervase Phinn

Adapted by Liz Light

‘Gervase Phinn has a unique understanding and love of children, and a wonderful gift for storytelling … a real star’ Ester Rantzen

Stage2 was delighted to perform the World Premiereof AWayne In A Manger, an adaptation of works by award-winning andbestselling author, Gervase Phinn. Taking stories from A Wayne In A Manger and additions from The Virgin Mary’s Got Nits, the audience was treated to a festivefeast of anecdotes from Phinn’s time as an Ofsted Inspector and the unforgettablemoments he experienced from watching far too many primary school nativityplays.

‘As usual with Stage2, Light goes for the Ben Hur cast model, 47 people on stage at times in this one, and, as usual, they all play their part and never look like a crowd. Organised chaos as she puts it. When assembled as a class there is fidgeting, talking, pushing, shoving and playing up, with every child animated, making it all seem authentic. It looks unruly but it is anything but, the chaos is organised, rehearsed and disciplined…This is not the easiest play to stage with quick scene changes, a big cast constantly moving around the stage and a lot of laughs, all needing room and time to breathe, but this talented cast take it all in their stride. Their enthusiasm is infectious, it’s slick, fast paced,and great fun with belly laughs thrown in.’ – Behind The Arras

The production was a massive sell out success and we had to open up the dress rehearsal to cope with extreme popular demand!

Summer 2016

FSS

Spoonface Steinberg

by Lee Hall

‘The late John Slim reviewed Spoonface the last time it was performed by Stage2… he described it as “quite, quite remarkable”…nothing seems to have changed. It is still quite, quite,remarkable.’  Behind The Arras

Stage2 was proud to revisit Lee Hall’s monologue about a 7 year old autistic girl with cancer as our 125th production.Last performed in 2009 with a cast of 24 all playing the title character, the revised script this time presented the adult roles of mum, dad, Mrs. Spud, Dr.Bernstein, Doctor & Nurse as well as young Spoonfaces. It was still as haunting and as moving as it was 8 years ago with an added dimension of an outsider’s reflection.

‘It was all the more remarkable inthat more than half the cast of 31 are still at primary school – but forget anynotion of school plays. There are times, such as these, when the onlydiscernible difference between amateur and professional theatre is simplywhether anyone gets paid’ Behind The Arras (who named it their Best Youth Production of 2016)

Spring 2016

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A Fallible Lecture

by Brian Patten

Adapted by Liz Light & Jane Bradbury

‘A whirlwind ride through Eng Lit,funny, at times illuminating, and always entertaining all in a black box space with minimal set and props.’ Behind The Arras

This exciting project was a collaboration between Liverpool Poet Brian Pattern, Liz Light & Jane Bradbury. The poet expanded his original short piece according to the requests of Stage2 (include more women!) and the play was completed with excerpts from the writers and two songs from Laurie Lee.

The comic history of English Literature took us from Geoffrey Chaucer to Kate Tempest via 49 other important ones in between

‘This is a sort of Reduced Shakespeare Company Complete Works of English, except of course Stage2 do not do reduced…The enthusiasm of the young cast is infectious and the attention to detail demanded by director Liz Light produces a performance which makes time fly…The entire cast are on stage all the time and, perhaps a hallmark of Stage2, no one is ever there to make up the numbers, or to be stage dressing or scenery…All the world’s a stage – particularly on stage!’ Behind The Arras

Autumn 2015

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Hard Working Families

by Claire Dowie

Hard Working Families, by Claire Dowie, was a response to a politician’s vision of ‘ordinary’ people, set against the reality of earning a living and the way it impacts on young people’s lives.

We follow two diverse families headed by a working mother – owner and CEO of a big clothing business and a stay at home, biscuit-making mum – a stalwart of the community. Who is harder working? Who is worth the most? Who has the right to judge?

Stage2’s previous Claire Dowie production of Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt so inspired its own author that she immediately began writing this play, especially for Stage2.

‘I have watched and loved Stage2 for years – their exuberance, energy, discipline and talent. The way they can take any play and make it their own. The way they can take my plays and make them better. I was completely blown away by Why is John Lennon Wearing A Skirt? and I thought (when I had finally stopped clapping) I want to work with these people. I want to be involved. I am currently doing just that and loving every minute of it!’ Claire Dowie

Summer 2015

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Girls Like That

by Evan Placey

Stage2’s Girls Like That is a sensational staging of a brilliant play: in fact, it’s one of the cleverest youth productions I have seen in years.

Why? Liz Light’s young cast have talent coming out of their ears. Their speaking is superb: full of guts and panache, and real dramatic flair. Often they form a kind of Greek chorus, one voice taking over from another with perfect timing, linked to what precedes by a kind of artful enjambment. And their choric speaking, all delivering at once, lands a terrific punch. Enunciation, projection are almost professional. This would be a great show even if we only heard them.

Spring 2015

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Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Stage2 took on arguably the most famous play in history, Shakespeare’s masterpiece: Hamlet. In true Stage2 fashion there were clever concepts to the characters, the most notable of which was that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were not only female, but also Claudius’ nieces. As we follow the young Prince Hamlet on his journey through grieving, feigned madness, trickery, fun, doubt,conflict and murder until his untimely death we see the unravelling of acharacter who is very real in the sense that his emotions and reactions in his given circumstances are relatable. The play has everything – intrigue, romance,politics, violence, revenge, jealousy, wit. It plays itself out on a grandscale.

“I wasn’t quite ready for the quality I encountered. Hamlet is one of the toughest things in the entire repertoire for anyone to tackle. The truth is, I found this superlative production difficult to fault. Liz Light’s direction seemed to overlook nothing: every move, every block, every gesture meticulously plotted. This Hamlet looked good, felt good, was good.”

“George Hannigan as Claudius and Tom Baker’s Polonius shone in every line they spoke and while Baker caught the fussiness of Polonius, Hannigan offered a Claudius who was every bit the villain. Priya Edwards established herself early on in Gertrude’s pleading; a slightly frail, put-upon delicate queen. Laura Dowsett plays Ophelia, and she produces a tender, by no means weedy, at times wilful figure. She interacts well in a scene with Dan Nash’s confident,slightly overbearing Laertes, whose return scene with the chorus is one of the best. The casting in this show is incredibly successful, but the triumph is awarding Mark James the part of Hamlet. Scene after scene is lifted by his presence and authority. It is astonishingly sensitive: you cling on his every word, every rasp, every whisper.”

“If anything pulls all these top-level qualities together, it is the final scene. The chorus is more alive than ever. The actual swordplay between James (Hamlet) and Nash (Laertes) is nailbiting: utterly professional, thanks to choreographer Wayne Fitzsimmons and his aide Rosie Nisbet. The processes by which the woundings take place, the poison gets passed around and revenge is wrought are violent, savage, poignant and genuinely lifelike. It’s certainly one of the best Hamlet final scenes I have seen.” Roderic Dunnet, Behind the Arras

2014

 

 

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Autumn 2014
Private Peaceful      

By Michael Morpurgo

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        Summer 2014
        Swallows & Amazons

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Spring 2014
Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt

by Claire Dowie

“Stage2 are one of the leading youth theatres in the country and the level of discipline, commitment, and sheer hard work – you never see a prompt listed in a Stage2 programme, nor hear one – is there for all to see with productions as good and professional as this”

Stage2 took on another one of patron Claire Dowie’s powerful monologues and reworked it into a play for over 80 young people set on a massive brightly-coloured set. The 14 ‘Claires’ guided the audience through 1960s society as they see it, revealing the pressures they feel to conform.They constantly try to break free with various levels of success.

“Although the subject matter had depth this was at heart a funny show. The actors had excellent chemistry, were bang on with comedic timing and utterly believable delivery.”

The cast, complete with a live band who played Beatles songs throughout the play, performed a massive end scene dressed in modern clothing showing the audience that the pressure the Claires showed us throughout the play to fit in (put on them by their parents, teachers, co-workers and even their friends) still exist today and left all the audience with a powerful message that maybe things haven’t changed since then.

2013

1. Chorus of Disapproval Wed 8th - Sat 11th Jan 2014Autumn 2013
A Chorus of Disapproval

by Alan Ayckbourn

Nothing if not ambitious, the Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society(PALOS) is taking on The Beggar’s Opera.  And The Beggar’s Opera isdefinitely winning . . . until, that is, a personable but shy widower, GuyJones, joins the team . . .

Despite being an instant hit with the company’s energetic, excitable director, Dafydd Llewellyn, and an even bigger hit with PALOS’s female members (including, unfortunately Dafydd’s wife, Hannah) the inexperienced Guy seems destined for a spot in the chorus. But then a series of casting mishaps propel him up the PALOS ladder – on and off the stage. Everyone wants to get to know him but ulterior motives abound. As he climbs closer and closer to thetop, from part to part and actress to actress, Guy – a man all too susceptible to wine, women and song – discovers that there are definite downsides to being a big fish in a small pond . . .


Summer 20132. Towerblock Trio Wed 17th - Sat 20th Jul 2013
Towerblock Trio

by Philip Ridley

Stage2 will be working with the playwright Philip Ridley bringingtogether 3 of his short plays for the first time ever! In each of these plays,young people from London’s concrete clad East End use fairytales to expresstheir true feeling to each other.

“On one of the hottest evenings in the city, Stage2 presented not one but three of Philip Ridley’s plays into a reworked and freshly cemented piece called Tower Block Trio.!”


 

 

3. The Tempest Wed 17th - Sat 20th Apr 2013Spring 2013
The Tempest

by William Shakespeare

“If this production had found itself at Stratford rather than The Crescent it would not have looked out of place. It is that good…We have come to expect a high standard from Stage2 but this is an exceptional piece of theatre.” Roger Clarke, Behind the Arras

Stage2 took one of Shakespeare’s most renowned plays and added clever twists and crafty concepts to the characters, themes and plot in order to offer a fascinating and hilarious journey. Lead by a female Prospero and two other gender changes to the original (Stephana – the drunken cook and Antonia – the usurping sister); with multiple Ariels who were no longer spirits but were like free-runners, spying on the action from the trees, singing and making music,hidden by branches and leaves and playing at being pirates (imitating the master and steering the ship off course); “the isle is full of noises” but no magic- everything was trickery and illusions- performed by ‘smoke and mirror effects’, cloths on pulleys and hypnotic trances.

“Even seasoned professionals see Shakespeare as a challenge. The language is poetic, inventive and beautiful, flowing like music- with words,nuances, phrasings and meanings which are alien to modern speech. Not easy to learn or deliver but this young cast did not make any errors” Roger Clarke,Behind the Arras

Much like the journey for Prospero, which started a long way from the Island, Stage2 started its journey a long way from the stage.  Last summer we devoted a whole week to working on the text of the play. We then spent the autumn term exploring ideas,interpretations and themes to build the foundations. In the spring we were fully prepared to bring everything we had learnt to stage in just eleven days of rehearsals. ..

2012

4. Alices Adventures in www.land Wed 9th - Sat 12th Jan 2013Autumn 2012

Alice’s Adventures in www.land

Devised by Stage2

Alice, 15 from Birmingham, has created an online wonderland of her own.We follow her as she clicks from site to site in search of her own epic adventure – but does it all become too much…?

January 2013 saw Stage2’s latest production, Alice’s Adventures in Www.Land – the show was awarded two well-deserved 4* reviews and played to packed houses. Alice, 15 from Birmingham, has always identified with Alice in Wonderland, and has now created an online wonderland of her own. We tracked Alice as she immersed herself in the original adventures through social-networking.  Stage2 offered the rare opportunity of devising a production, as well as the most advanced technical achievement we have produced yet.

‘This was most impressive with the whole cast involved in such a small area, it was choreographed and performed to perfection.” – Curtain Call

“’Synchronising with pre-recorded video or music is a skill that takes no prisoners and full marks to the cast here for not only coming in on cue with their on screen tweets but also getting virtually every word right. This live/video mix became even more impressive in a final musical number when the entire cast of thousands –alright 54 – filled the stage with a none too easy dance which synchronised exactly with the same dance filmed with the same cast to the same music in the same costumes at Millennium Point in what was a classy piece of staging The result is a clever piece of theatre, well presented and acted, as you would expect from Stage2” – Roger Clarke, Behind The Arras.

 

Summer 20125. Our Town Wed 18th - Sat 21st July 2012

Our Town

by Thornton Wilder

Since its debut in 1938, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town has been embraced as an American classic. The play is complex and rich enough in meaning to be analysed by school students, whilst the beauty of its vivid characters and their innocent relationships warrants continual productions on Broadway and in community theatres throughout its nation. This play is not yet a staple of British theatre but Stage2 aim to bring its charm and style to new audiences in our traditional portrayal of this American treasure.

Our Town takes place in a 1930s theatre. The gentle guidance and insightful words of the Stage Manager are used to create the fictional community of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. Our Town represents Americana, the small town life of the early 1900s, a world none of us have ever experienced.

During the play, the Stage Manager (the show’s narrator) explains that he is putting a copy of Our Town in a time capsule…

 

6. ROAD Wed 18th - Sat 21st Apr 2012Spring 2012

Road

by Jim Cartwright

Beneath the gags, the playwright’s rumbling sense of lost dignity resulting from unemployment and chauvinism, gives this stunning debut a perceptive and frightening reality.” City Limits.

First staged at the Royal Court in 1986, Road tells of one wild night in a derelict northern street. Sharp and comic scenes jostle viciously to expose a population driven mad by despair. With recent riots and Government cuts, this will be a timely revival – we will examine ‘community neglect’ and individuals’ loneliness and how we can actively contribute to happiness and security within our own neighbourhoods.

This is a difficult script and we will be toning down some of the language, whilst still retaining the impact and power. There are some great chorus scenes – some as a whole group and some breaking down into old and young chorus – having a wild night on the tiles and breaking into houses respectively! Everyone will take part in a positive and uplifting finale – looking to a brighter, better future.

2011

7. Picassos Women Tue 17th - Sat 21st Jan 2012Autumn 2011
Picasso’s Women

by Brian McAvera

Tuesday 17th –Saturday 21st January 2012

You had to keep reminding yourself that you were watching, not only amateurs, but a youth theatre. It is no exaggeration to say I have reviewed professional productions which fall well short of this standard” ***** Roger Clarke

After presenting the premiere of Brian McAvera’s 8 monologues in 2000, Stage2 revived their acclaimed production with a cast of 15,presenting the production in 2 parts on alternate evenings, each part consisting of 4 monologues. The 8 most dominant women in Picasso’s life were each joined by an additional character, mentioned but not featured in the original script, from a lover to a mother, child or friend.

Unlike many of Stage2’s previous shows, the stage was occupied by a maximum of just 2 actors at a time except for the additional presence of a psychiatric hospital orderly (Zac Quinn) to calm down Dora Maar(Chloe Jones), the artist and photographer Picasso had wrongly committed. A backdrop of Una Walker’s Picasso-esque sketches and minimal use of props and set brought each character‘to vibrant life in what is a piece of top notch theatre with raw emotions and real passion’ Roger Clarke.

Each pairing spent 30 minutes each delving into the private life behind Picasso’s public façade to portray the ego of the influential artist, through the eyes of the women he used and abused. Some were driven mad, others put up with the infidelity until they were destroyed by the artist, and others, only 2out of the 8 depicted here, found the strength to leave him. ‘When Pablopaints, he paints with other people’s blood’. The cast went into a great deal of research over the months leading up to the production, to justify their portrayals of these very real women, creating beautiful mood /research boards that were displayed in the Crescent foyer throughout production week giving the opportunity for the audience to understand further the life and times of these women.

For 2 hours each night the audience were immersed in Picasso’s world unaware that Olga (Emily Nabney) and Françoise (Rosa Simonet) were sitting amongst them, in parts 1 and 2 respectively, ready to burst into life at the beginning of their scenes, to the surprise of the unwitting audience member sat beside them. Some of the stories were more like fly on the wall moments, with audience as voyeurs to Fernande (Megan Santer) and her lover (Connor Fox),which served as more as a shock when Gaby Lespinasse (Charlie Reilly) began to conduct a survey on how much we can really trust the man sat beside us from the middle of the audience! For a few moments each night, no one was safe….

This production was an enormous project for the cast and crew and the audience response was fantastic, ‘There is no denying the quality of a collection of remarkable performances in a talented production which is at times quite brilliant and deserving of a wider audience’, Roger Clarke.

 

Autumn 20118. Shockheaded Peter Wed 11th - Sat 14th Jan 2012
Shockheaded Peter

by Stage2

inspired by Heinrich Hoffman

Wednesday 11th – Saturday 14th January 2012

As always Stage2 were first class’ RogerClarke

Inspired by the 1844 “Struwwelpeter” stories of Heinrich Hoffman (a German doctor wanting a better class of children’s book for his three-year-old son), this studio production transformed Hoffman’s cautionary tales into a spectacular visual feast, adding a few stories of Stage2’s own creation.At times hilarious, but also chilling, the ensemble cast were inspired by circus performers, giving the audience an insight into the world of a travelling circus.

With slick use of physical theatre, mime, flurries of ribbons and flawless manipulation of props the ‘well-oiled machine of a cast’ and chorus transported the audience into a world of fantasy, meeting characters such as pyromaniac Harriet, cruel Frederick, fidgety Phil, thumb-sucking Conrad and head-in-the-air Johnny. There was a magical atmosphere as the cast worked together to tell Hoffman’s stories in a truly dynamic way, even making human characters appear and disappear into thin air from pyramids of cubes piled high. ‘The 20 lead roles are on stage all the time and never missed a beat or a cue and moved the 20 cubes around like clockwork’ Roger Clarke.

Splitting the audience into quarters, sitting them in 4 banks and opening up the stage into a cross meant that each audience member’s experience of the show was different, and those sitting on the front row could expect the occasional surprise from cast members acting right up to the audience’s faces! The musical interludes kept the pace up as the performers burst into life to circus-inspired tunes, dancing along with perfect synchronicity and humour.

9. Our Day Out Thur 21st - Sat 23rd Jul 2011Summer 2011
Our Day Out

by Willy Russell

The‘progress’ class were off on a school trip! They visited a cafe, a zoo, a castle, a beach, a fairground with varying degrees of delight and success,before heading home on the coach reflecting on the day’s ‘events’. As the kids‘copped off’ and the teachers ‘told off’ we saw perceptions change as characters colluded and collided outside the classroom. Stage2’s young cast brought this play bang up to date with mobile phones, the latest pop tunes,references to Facebook and lots of LOLs!!

Stage2 does not do musicals very often so this modern twist on the original was a big summer production and had a great uplifting spirit. The original score, played by musical director Charlie Reilly was accompanied by current pop songs bringing life to the 70’s play. A huge structure in the centre of the stage became the bus, the waltzers and a bearpit.

At times, it is chaos – but it is disciplined chaos. Director Lucy Bailey has mustered a cast of thousands –well, 80, but what a pleasure it is to be overwhelmed by them! – and each oneof its components clearly knows what he or she has to do. Crowd scenes? Ask Stage2: its young members – oldest, aged 21; youngest, 9 – come fully primed and agog to go. And every small portion of the crowd, every individual youngster,is involved, aware, a vital part of the whole. Stage2 carries no passengers.It’s a joy….And sometimes, when the chaos of free spirits is at its height,there is a freeze – and everyone becomes a marvel of immobility. Again, it’s the discipline, no question…. There’s a chorus of 34, singing their hearts out to stirring effect. There is an unseen legion behind the scenes. There are even more looking after front-of-house. This is Stage2, grasping the nettle that is live theatre and releasing the butterflies of talented imagination.This is Stage2, and Stage2 never lets you down.’ John Slim

 

Spring 201110. Romeo & Juliet Wed 20th - Sat 23rd Apr 2011
Romeo & Juliet

by William Shakespeare

You may know the play, the ballet, the musical (West Side Story), some of the famous lines, but you wouldn’t expect how evil we made Capulet, how‘most unlike in dignity’ the households were, how we explained Mercutio’s seemingly kamikaze attitude through his suffering of a fatal illness or how much impact was created by a cast of over 100 young people performing this powerful tale!  It was also a wonderful last performance by Alex Butler who has now gone to Central School of Speech and Drama.

Yet again, this young group has been challenged to rise far above what in normal circumstances would be expectations, and it has met that challenge head-on.’…Connor Fox and Priya Edwards are the star-cross’d lovers, splendid in their maturity,riveting in their fury and their dying – a pairing that bespeaks the quality that runs through the whole production, from its tragic centre piece to its excellent young pages and maids’…. ‘overall, here is a team of all the talents, sublimely declining to put a foot or a syllable wrong and even investing the sword-fighting choreography designed by Wayne Fitzsimmons with a ration of realism that may well have exceeded his hopes…The production deserves, and receives, top-quality support from Chris Cuthbert’s lighting. The tomb scene is one that especially benefits from this, as the body-count increases and the lamentations become louder. But throughout, this is a venture that proclaims its own virtues. You don’t need subtitles to realise that you have stumbled on something special.’ John Slim

2010

12. James & the Giant Peach Wed 5th - Sat 8th Jan 2011Autumn 2010
James and the Giant Peach

by Roald Dahl

Wed 5th – Sat 8th January 2011

‘Shut out all normal surroundings and go flying away to a magical worldwhere everything is enchanting and fantastic’– Roald Dahl. Stage2 presentedone of the most magical stories from one of the best-loved children’s writersof all time. The closeness of the audience in The Crescent Studio, the youngage of the cast and the fabulous costumes and props, all made by young peopleat our Summer School, fired the imagination and brought this fantastic talevividly to life.

As the audience entered we were privy to the gibbering of Aunts Spiker and Sponge (Chloe Jones and Jacoba Williams)…Khalid Daley as James,had the audience feeling very sorry for him and the austere life he had with his aunts… All the insects played their parts well and kept the pace going throughout the second half. There was really a first rate performance by Aidan Richards as Earthworm who really did object to being the bait for the seagulls… The large chorus all contributed to the production throughout,viewing the giant peach, as fish, clouds, sharks and seagulls and the sounds created by the chorus of the hailstones, was most impressive… With atmospheric lighting and sound, an absolutely fantastic peach and a lot of enthusiasm, a good time was had by all.” Curtain Call Magazine

This production was enhanced by the use of the studio balcony, platforms and alcoves – including a flock of graceful seagulls flying above the audience on the balconies,beautifully showing the peach’s ascent from water to the air. A three metre large peach, which at first, concealed all seven insects also revolved and was directed by the insects to really create a sense of magic on stage. The bubbly and thrilling end scene in New York contrasted immensely to the melancholy beginning to the classic tale; with bright colours, confetti cannons and lots of new friends for James to share his story with. The production took you on James’ journey and left the audience with great content as this maltreated boy got his well-deserved happy ending.

 

Autumn 201011. Arsehammers & YOTM Wed 12th - Sat 15th Jan 2011
Arsehammers & The Year of the Monkey

by Claire Dowie

Wed 12th – Sat 15th January 2011

‘Claire Dowie is the supreme advocate of rebellion. She debunks conformity – or almost anything which can be defined.’ The Stage

Stage2 is delighted to have special permission from our Patron, Claire Dowie, to present the Premieres of two of her stand-up theatre monologues as full cast, one-act plays. In the same style as 2009’s Spoonface Steinberg, we will blast the monologues apart for an ensemble of 20 young people.

‘Quite superb. The company has been choreographed into a vibrant whole….. achieving a oneness and a sense of purpose that hits you between the eyes. Quite, quite remarkable.’ Birmingham Mail on Spoonface.

In Arsehammers a young boy mishears his parents discussing his Grandad’s Alzheimer’s in whispered voices and thinks the secrecy means it must be a rude word! He then goes off on a flight of fancy, imagining him as a Superhero with magic powers. His theories all seem to fit in with his Granddad’s truepredicament eg he keeps disappearing (to fight secret battles), he goes to get looked after by experts (who could invent special devices for him like James Bond).

In The Year of the Monkey a mother yearns for some dynamism and passion to puncture the boredom of her middle-class life. At her daughter’s wedding (which she wishes had an Irish theme so everyone could sing and dance and whirl…), she reflects ‘We’ve lived this superficial relationship and ignored the churning undercurrents,disregarded the bubbling emotions, because it’s not done to talk about them.Because now’s not the time, now’s never the time. All the time in the world to talk about nothing.’

13. Shakers Wed 21st - Sat 24th July 2010Summer 2010
Shakers

by John Godber

Wednesday 21st – Saturday 24th July 2010

In Shakers Stage2 once again took snapshots of a chaotic crowd of characters, but this time we explored the ‘bigger picture’ – what brought people to this bar to both work and play? Shop changing rooms were braved, hours dragging at tedious day jobs were counted down, vital make-up repair kits were packed – as we met the customers behind the orders and the waitresses behind the smiles.

‘This is a Shakers set in Liverpool, and the immediately noticeable bonus is that the waitresses –Elizabeth Halpin, Laura Cummins, Helen Carter and Chloe Jones – have such a mastery of the twang. But this is merely the top-dressing. In the riotous final scene, there are confrontations with obnoxious customers and these are handled quite splendidly, with a mixture of dignity and flaring fury. The four girls,clearly the mistresses of their chosen hobby, never put a foot wrong.’… ‘In the maelstrom of music and movement it is impossible to single out anyone and pretend that you have found a weak link. Stage2 doesn’t do weak links.’… ‘Yet again, Liz Light has transformed a show to accommodate the needs and the talents of her youthful charges. It’s a sparkling delight.’ John Slim

The show was a hugely successful summer spectacular, full of energy and life with crazy characters. The brightly colour coded costume and set contributed to the play’s buzzing atmosphere. Location was ingeniously defined  through the use of actors as furniture in the first half and by a large projection accompanying a busy bar’s-worth of tables,chairs and decorations, all of which were set on stage by the cast in a matter of minutes, in the second half.  We are grateful to The New Billesley, Kings Heath for letting us decamp to their women’s toilets to film the pre-recorded ‘toilet scenes’. The production was closed by a mass ensemble dance routine choreographed by Adrian Richards and Océane Li Ledantec really capturing the fun and excitement portrayed throughout the performance.

Shakers was the winner of the NODA West Midlands Best Youth Drama 2010, the award ceremony was held at Sutton Town Hall, Sutton Coldfield and saw many company members and members of the cast receive their award with immense pride.

 

Spring 201014. Under Milk Wood Wed 21st - Sat 24th April 2010
Under Milk Wood

by Dylan Thomas

21st to 24th April 2010

Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood tells of the small dreams and grand desires of the living and the dead of Llaregyb. Starting on a ‘moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black’, we peep into the houses of sleepers.‘You can hear the dew falling, and the hushed town breathing. Only your eyes are unclosed to see the black and folded town fast, and slow, asleep’.Blind Captain Cat dreams of the drowned comrades of his youth and of his long dead love, Rosie Probert.

Myfanwy Price dreams that Mog Edwards will warm her sheets like an electric toaster. Dai Bread the baker, with one wife for the day and one for the night, dreams of harems. Polly Garter dreams of babies and Rev.Eli Jenkins dreams of a peaceful community…Under Milk Wood is a sensitive, funny, occasionally disturbing, story of one day in the life of the babbling town. Dylan Thomas paints affectionate portraits of the seaside people he knew and observed so well. Spend an evening with the young members of Stage2 as they present ‘The most enchanting and original work for broadcasting ever written’. Listener.s

2009

19. Twelfth Night Wed 16th - Sat 19th Dec 2009Autumn 2009

Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare

Wednesday 16th – Saturday 19th December 2009

“This is surely Twelfth Night as never seen before. Liz Light’s superbproduction reveals that her youth group has in Alex Butler a Malvolio who can handle both the preening that makes him so amusing and the distraught realisation that the heartless Maria has made a complete fool of him. Stage2 has done it again!” John Slim, Behind the Arras

For Stage2’s 100th major production we pulled out all the stops for a fabulous festive treat! Set in Victorian times, the red, green and gold colours largely used in the show added to the Christmas feel of the show – along with the three Christmas trees and two bay trees, later employed in a wonderfully ambitious version of the box tree scene! Our most extravagant set ever saw Orsino’s guests on a balcony 3 metres up and opened up all the rooms like a Victorian dolls house with steps leading onto a bustling street.The levels were consistently used to both powerful and hilarious effect-  the ‘harmless barmy beanpole’ of a Sir Andrew (Ethan Hudson)sprawling his way up Olivia’s steps to eavesdrop on her declaration of love for Viola and Valentine singing like a siren in the midst of a very 3 dimensional shipwreck!

Carol singers outside the theatre and on stage in the interval and street urchins handing out programmes and presents ensured our whole company could take part. Thanks to a grant from The Charles Henry Foyle Trust we were able to bring in Pete Clifford as a magic consultant , the very versatile Wayne Fitzsimmons to help with movement and hair and Richard Radnor Williams for another beautiful score.

“Liz Light’s production of Twelfth Night was a thoroughly engaging, effervescent piece of theatre. The comic timing from Feste and Fabian (Jonni Dowsett and the pint sized Luca Hoffman) was superb, earning lots of laughs. There were many notable scenes but one of the highlights was when Malvolio was reading the letter… long will be remembered members of the cast appearing on stage with evergreen foliage held  over their heads, eavesdropping to the reading. Moving downstage in unison and shrieking when in danger of being discovered –reminiscent of Burnham Wood. Together with the unwaveringly sure performances from all involved this made for an outstanding evenings entertainment.’ Curtain Call

 

15. The Permanent Way Wed 22nd - Sat 25th July 2009

Summer 2009
Permanent Way

by David Hare

Wednesday 22nd – Saturday 25th July 2009

In 1991, before an election they did not expect to win, the Conservative Government made a fateful decision to privatise the railways.

In The Permanent Way ‘our greatest living political playwright’ David Hare gathers together the first hand accounts of those most intimately involved, highlighting in particular the elevation of profit above safety that led to a succession of disasters at Southall, Ladbroke Grove, Hatfield and Potters Bar.

Funny, tragic and compelling, the play offers an extraordinary parable of British mismanagement that raises questions about the recent history of our country. Members of ‘Birmingham’s critically acclaimed Stage2′ portray the passengers, politicians, executives, experts, decision makers, rail workers,survivors and bereaved in this powerful and perceptive play.

‘Britain, yeah, beautiful country, shame we can’t run a railway’

This play was originally performed at The National Theatre in 2004. It offers an exploration of the Conservative Government’s railway privatisation,from the early ’90s to the early ’00s and the resulting crashes and public enquiries that followed. Put together from a series of interviews and meetings,this play takes a documentary-style look at the issues raised, with first hand accounts of many of those involved. All the characters in this play are real,from all walks of life, and experienced (many first hand) the disasters at Southall, Ladbroke Grove, Hatfield and Potters Bar whilst the bereaved search for justice in this physical, tragic and compelling production.

‘So yeah, really it was just a case of wanting to know if there were other people like me’

A cast of over 60, ages ranging from 9 to 20, portray the passengers,politicians, executives, experts, decision makers, rail workers, survivors and the bereaved and we examine mismanagement surrounding our railway system.Questions are raised about the recent history of Britain and the culture of putting profit above safety.

18. A Midsummer Nights Dream Wed 22nd - Sat 25th Apr 2009Spring 2009
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by William Shakespeare

Wednesday 22nd – Saturday 25th April 2009

“For25 years I have somehow resisted the temptation to call this dynamic younggroup brilliant. This time I realised it was time to give up the struggle. LizLight directs the funniest Dream I have ever seen.” Evening Mail

In Stage2’s inimitable style a number of twists were added to this version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy – including a female Egea (in love with Theseus), a genuine love between Demetrius and Helena established from the offset and a devious pairing of Puck and the First Fairy – meaning it had something for newcomers and experts alike.The contrast between the rich reds and golds of court life, muddy browns of the mechanicals and the luscious greenery of the fairy world, complete with a whole host of diminutive green-clad fairies, served as a beautiful backdrop to the play throughout and further raised the standard of the production as a whole.

Audiences and reviewers alike acknowledged the standard of performances, with the Solihull Times commenting: “The whole show was a testament to the schooling that Stage2 has provided but credit must go to the young cast in which there must be a fair few stars of the future. Adrian Richards deserves aplace in a leading company if his portrayal of the hapless Bottom is anythingto go by” .

The Birmingham Mail was so impressed with Adrian that they did a separate interview with him about his future plans! The Edgbaston and Harborne Observer added, “The young actors were extremely professional and their execution of this intricately detailed piece was captivating,charming and extremely amusing, an illuminating performance that was thoroughly enjoyable for all ages.”

2008

17. The Shadow of a Gunman Wed 14th - Sat 17th Jan 2009Autumn 2008
The Shadow of a Gunman

By Sean O’Casey

14th – 17th Jan 2009

Set in the Dublin slums in 1920, The Shadow of a Gunman follows the fate of a house full of characters who, due to circumstances beyond their control, are dragged into a situation of political unrest. Much of the text is heavily drawn from Casey’s own experiences during his early years of writing when he too lived in poverty-stricken Dublin.

Performed in a studio space, the tenement room in which the play is set served as the focal point,allowing every moment of the drama to be observed by the audience. The pivotal role of Donal Davoren saw Ethan Hudson in his first cast role with Stage2 confidently lead us through the turbulent journey of this play. A particularly remarkable aspect of the show was the use of pre-recorded film, so that the back wall was broken up into a number of small screens through which we could see into the world of the building’s other inhabitants and their reactions to the events, lending a powerful and absorbing atmosphere to the drama. It also solved the ‘problem’ of how to get 80 excited and eager young people actively involved in a studio show– once again upholding the rule that anyone can take part in a show without even auditioning.

Autumn 200816. Spoonface Steinberg Wed 7th - Sat 10th Jan 2009
Spoonface Steinberg

by Lee Hall

7th – 10th Jan 2009

“The first lines fall to Laura Dowsett, who is seven. Her confident, no-nonsense delivery sets an immediate standard below which no-one falls in an evening which is essentially asking the meaning of life while Spoonface learns that she is going to die. She discusses death in the wartime concentration camps, wonders whether God has cancer and explains that because she’s backward she was never very good at saying what was wrong with her.

Brilliant is a word to be approached with caution. Let us, therefore, be content with saying that this is quite superb. The company has been choreographed into a vibrant whole, mostly on the move but at times freezing exquisitely into stillness while an operatic aria resounds. And it’s all been achieved in ten rehearsals. Quite, quite remarkable.” Evening Mail.

In an entirely unique take on Lee Hall’s monologue about a young girl with autism, 24 performers acted out the play, all dressed in white and with no set aside from 10 large white quilts. These quilts were used throughout to represent everything from a hospital machine to an oversized bed. The play was fast-moving and very visual,underlying the sadness of the text with a sense of hope and optimism brought about by Spoonface’s unconquerable spirit. In the same style as Adult Child,this play showcased Stage2’s unique style of taking a monologue and blasting it apart!

S20. The Lord of the Flies Wed 23rd - Sat 26th July 2008ummer 2008
The Lord of the Flies

by Nigel Williams

23rd-26th July

“This superb young group goes bravely into battle with William Golding’s classic tale of mind-blowing depravity amongst youngsters on an uninhabited island after a plane crash and it is no surprise that is now has another success to add to its long list of triumphs. Not that it is anywhere near uninhabited after the youngsters arrive- nearly 60 of them, in Liz Light’s highly populated, busy-busy production that has become Stage 2’s trademark.  Excellent lighting effects give merited support to a company that throws itself into the story so enthusiastically, that there are times when the spoken script disappears beneath a cacophonous chorus….

But this is a minor consideration in relation to the success that is achieved in communicating an atmosphere of growing tension and terror.

Miriam Bird is a ferocious Jackie. Jack having become a female character while many of the of the all boy castaways are played by girls in true Stage2 adaptability  She has well executed confrontations with Ralph, (Sam Moore)the well meaning first leader of the pack, and Alex Pugh excels as Piggy, the asthmatic lad who is blind without his glasses. Connor Fox is an alert and active Simon.  The Production makes plenty of use of the auditorium in a way that inevitability draws its audience into the action.”

John Slim – Birmingham Mail Friday July 25th 2008

 

 

Spring 200821. Teechers Wed 23rd - Sat 26th Apr 2008
Teechers

by John Godber

23rd-26th April

“Some top class performances and bags of enthusiasm ensure the cast of 100 celebrate Stage2’s 20th anniversary in style. From the moment the youngsters swarm through the auditorium and onto the stage, the action is fast and furious as the play is high on humour and no doubt true to life. Drama students Salty (Tom Booth), Gail (Alex Simonet) and Hobby (Samantha Ferrins) are excellent and Ollie Simms impresses as the struggling teacher. Liam McKeown is a convincing school Bully, Oggy Moxon, while the rest of the staff are well represented by Andrew Smith,the cane-weilding Mr Basford, Carly-Jane Hutchinson, the dominating Mrs Parry, Danica Corns as Miss Prime and Annabel Smith, chain smoking Dot the cleaner.” Evening Mail

2007

23. The Crucible Wed 16th - Sat 19th Jan 2008Autumn 2007
The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

16th-19th January

“Menacingly told by a young cast. The mass hysteria at the heart of the Salem Witch trials is superbly captured by the splendid Stage2. What better way for the company to celebrate its 20th anniversary than Arthur Miller’s excellent play, grippingly told by this talented young cast. The astonishing production ultimately pits innocent John Proctor, brilliantly played by Scott Westwood, against the zealous witch finders headed by Reverend Parris and later Deputy Governor Danforth, equally well played by Matthew Urwin and Mike Haydon.” Evening Mail

 

Autumn 200722. ICE Wed 19th - Sat 21st Dec 2007
ICE

devised by Stage2

19th-21st December

Invent. Create. Evolve. It’s time to melt the ICE! In order to complement the ‘adult’ and harrowing The Crucible‚ revived for the new year in 2008, Lucy Bailey led our younger members in a devised production in BSA’s Studio at Millennium Point. The audience were treated to a civil war between two opposing groups of jelly babies – The Jelly Teens and The Jelly Globs. This show saw a first (and fantastic) professional lighting design by Dave Mooney who had joined us 4 years before on our Technical Training course and worked his way up to our Technical Leader before leaving us to work freelance at some of the venues where he trained – The Crescent, The Hippodrome, The Town Hall…

 

25. TWO 18th - 21st July 2007Summer 2007
Two

by Jim Cartwright

19th-21st July

“Jim Cartwright’s award winning play is usually for two actors involving just the fiercely bickering Landlord and Landlady. But Stage2 have cleverly adapted the bitter-sweet drama to involve virtually the entire company of 9-21 year olds. Yolanda Kettle and Luke Waite are outstanding as the feuding couple who run the pub and Scott Westwood is the pick of the ‘regulars’ as the vicious bully Roy.” Evening Mail.

Yolanda Kettle went on to perform at the Royal Court and tour China with the National Youth Theatre (even appearing in the handover of the Olympic Games 2008) before taking up a place at LAMDA.

 

Spring 200724. Much Ado About Nothing Wed 18th - Sat 21st April 2007
Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

18th-21st April

“However many times I see this ever changing young company, I am unfailingly amazed at the wealth of talent that director Liz Light contrives to fashion. This time it’s a slice of Shakespeare, served up by a cast of 70 to yield a boisterous result that defies you not to be enraptured. It’s very funny too – thanks in no small measure to Rowan Turner-Powell, a miniature Dogberry who is word perfect, joyous in his gestures and clear in his delivery. Here is a youngster destined to go far.Mastery of the script as is expected of Stage2, is universal. There are a host of powerful performances – Carly-Jayne Hutchinson a fiery Beatrice, Billy Coughlin (Benedick), Matthew Urwin (Claudio), Ellie Jurczak (Hero) and Lucy Bailey as Leonata – are all remarkable. This is a clean-cut production that brims with life, that often overruns the auditorium and that even uses outsized puppets in its wonderful trial scene. It’s a joy of ingenuity. A Great Ado.” Evening Mail

2006

28. Daughters of Albion 13th - 16th Dec 2006Autumn 2006
Daughters of Albion

by Willy Russell

13th-16th December

Three girls from a biscuit factory gatecrash a student Christmas house party and have their horizons quite literally broadened! The cast of Willy Russell’s hilarious comedy were lucky enough to meet the author himself and pose questions about his work and inspiration. Director Ellie Darvill asked Russell how he felt about Stage2 expanding his screenplay for a huge cast of students, neighbours, scally kids and musicians, as well as inviting the audience to come in their best 70’s gear! Willy Russell was very enthusiastic about the venture, quoting an encouraging ‘Do it your way Ellie!’

 

Summer 200627. Cider with Rosie 20th - 22nd July 2006
Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie

by Nick Darke

20th-22nd July

“Liz Light’s remarkable production, sporting a company of more than 80 well-drilled youngsters, really captures the feel and spirit of Laurie Lee’s childhood autobiography in the Cotswolds. Sam Clear as the narrator justifies his name with diction that is beautifully unhurried and Neil Gardner is the characterful young Loll who comes amusingly into his own with his undisguised bemusement in the first schoolroom scene. Kathryn Levell provides an emotional rollercoaster as his mother, Paula Chatterjee is a firecracker of a school teacher and Hannah Jordan and Lisa-Kay Waite bring delightful cameos as the feuding old women.” Evening Mail.

The company enjoyed days out in Gloucestershire, picnicing on Painswick Beacon, exploring Slad and even being shown round Laurie Lee’s actual childhood home by the current owners!

 

26. ACDC Wed 13th - Sat 15th Apr 2006Spring 2006
Adult Child/Dead Child

By Claire Dowie

13th-15th April

“What started life as a monologue by Claire Dowie has been transformed into a maelstrom for 80 black-clad youngsters in Liz Light’s remarkable production. In this startling adaptation the child is played, often just a phrase at a time by a host of youngsters in an evening of diction that is beautifully spoken; of pauses that are held and held and of which Pinter would have been proud. Every so often the stage erupts into carefully choreographed chaos. The build-up of torment until the mind gives way and the eventual recovery is remarkably achieved by a company that shows discipline beyond its years in a triumph of teamwork.” Evening Mail

2005

29. Oliver Twist 15th - 18th Dec 2005Autumn 2005
Oliver Twist!

by Jeremy Brock

15th – 18th Dec

“What started life as a monologue by Claire Dowie has been transformed into a maelstrom for 80 black-clad youngsters in Liz Light’s remarkable production. In this startling adaptation the child is played, often just a phrase at a time by a host of youngsters in an evening of diction that is beautifully spoken; of pauses that are held and held and of which Pinter would have been proud. Every so often the stage erupts into carefully choreographed chaos. The build-up of torment until the mind gives way and the eventual recovery is remarkably achieved by a company that shows discipline beyond its years in a triumph of teamwork.” Evening Mail

 

Summer 200530. The Childrens Hour 27th - 30th Jul 2005
The Children’s Hour

by Lillian Hellman

27th-30th July

“Lillian Hellman’s drama of gossip and relationships is superbly brought to life in Jess Southwood’s imaginative production. The subject matter is strong stuff, which this precociously talented cast takes in its almost dauntingly disciplined stride. Ruth Fowler and Lindsey Carr put neither a foot nor a syllable wrong in their challenging roles, but then neither does anyone else! Liz McGarry is excellent as wilful Mary with her alarming cunning. Holly Turton as the grandmother, Anil Karra,the fiance and Victoria Payne as the slightly daffy aunt are prominent in a company without a flaw.” Evening Mail

31. Bouncers 21st - 23rd July 2005Summer 2005
Bouncers

by John Godber

21st-23rd July

“John Godber’s riotous tales of a night in the life of four club doormen is given a wonderfully fresh and lively feel in this production. The four bouncers of Judd, Les, Ralph and Lucky Eric are joined by a talented and energetic cast. Luke Waite, Helen Jones, Paul Brotherton and Michael Haydon are equally outstanding as the bouncers while the support cast includes impressive performances by Andrew Smith, Josh Roberts, Billy Coughlin and Alex Pugh.” Evening Mail

 

Spring 200532. The Tempest 14th - 16th Apr 2005
The Tempest

by William Shakespeare

14-16th April

“The inspired words of Shakespeare are safe in the wonderful young hands of the city’s Stage2 youth theatre company. The outstanding talent of the juvenile actors on show almost defies belief in the way they master the bard’s text. Many of the cast have never been on stage before but with their ages matched by many in the sell-out audience, they are successfully bringing  the works of Shakespeare to a whole new generation. Yolanda Kettle leads a superb cast as Prospero, the rightful Duchess of Milan,Hannah McDonagh is delightful as her innocent daughter and there are equally splendid performances from Colin Green as the tortured slave Caliban and a lovely comic cameo from Lucy Bailey as the drunken cook Stephana.” Evening Mail

2004

36. The Snow Queen 15th - 18th Dec 2004Autumn 2004
The Snow Queen

by Hans Christian Anderson

15th-18th December

Stage2 is renowned for giving wide-ranging opportunities to its members and this show was no different. Ellie Darvill, whose extensive experience of working in children’s theatre and TV (including many years as the Why Bird in ‘Playdays’) collaborated on the script with 17 year old company member Holly Turton.

The premiere of this new adaptation ofthis timeless classic delighted festive theatre goers at The Patrick Centre at Christmas 2004. “The show promises to be of the usual high quality for the whole family to enjoy” Evening Mail

Summer 200437. Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt 15th - 17th July 2004
Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt

by Claire Dowie

15th – 17th July

“What an inspired idea to transform Claire Dowie’s riotous monologue of feminine angst into a comic play with a cast of one hundred. It’s hard to imagine it would be possible until you see how confident and daring the brilliant Stage2 can be. This radical material is a courageous choice for a youth theatre and it pays off brilliantly – both holding and challenging the audience in the way the best theatre should. There are some great ensemble scenes – the sixty-strong chorus are all terrific, each giving just enough but never too much. The show works like clockwork and no-one puts a foot wrong.” Birmingham Post.

Stage2 were extremely pleased to be performing another piece by their Patron – who also took part in the production by supplying the voice over ‘presenting the future.’

 

35. New York Short Plays 5th July 2004New York Short Plays

5th July

“With a production of Claire Dowie’s ‘Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt’ plus workshops with the author at the Crescent Theatre, a showcase of exam work at the Library Theatre and a trilingual exchange trip with a German Theatre group in Barcelona, July is a busy month for Stage2 – Somehow though they have also managed to squeeze in a taste of the Big Apple. The company have taken short plays by some of the best American writers such as Christopher Durang and Lucille Fletcher and linked them with improvised scenes, to form a complete day in the life of New Yorkers. Stage2 has a strong reputation and has never been afraid to stretch the boundaries of what’s expected of youth theatre groups, performing challenging work from Shakespeare to Berkoff and with this amount of activity planned for the summer,it’s going from strength to strength.” Metronews

 

Spring 200433. To Kill a Mockingbird 8th - 10th April 2004
To Kill a Mocking Bird

by Harper Lee

8th – 10th April

“Now well established independently of its long time at mac, Stage2 opened its latest production to a packed house at The Crescent. Once again it’s a remarkable enterprise. There are persuasive performances from Lauren Archer, Billy Coughlin and Sam Cofman acting their ages as three children for whom a blatant case of injustice is a rite of passage to a flawed adult world. Dan Dolan strives manfully embodying the idealistic lawyer Atticus; Luke Waite has touching dignity as his doomed client, Jon Paul Millington a plausible swagger as his racist accuser while the most complete performance of all comes from Helen Jones as the maid Calpurnia.” The Birmingham Post

2003

Autumn 2003

Requiem for Ground Zero by Steven Berkoff

8th-10th January

“Ellie Darvill proves endlessly inventive in choreographing her cast and the distribution of lines among solo voices,semi and larger choruses give the piece an almost symphonic character with haunting original music by Richard Radnor Williams. This is a team game and I did not notice a weak link. Impassioned, moving and sometimes distressing where it touches on individual victims, the fact that the company reflects Birmingham’s multicultural population naturally gives it a particular resonance. It is one of those triumphant occasions that reasserts the power and(for once not to dodge a hackneyed word) the relevance of theatre.” TheBirmingham Post

Alumni

We’re incredibly proud of our Alumni – take a look at a few familiar faces that also passed through Stage2’s Doors!

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