Five new commissions, filmed as part of The Rep’s Park Bench Plays series were broadcast on Sky Arts (Freeview Channel 11) on Monday 7 February 2022 at 11pm.
Brainchild of The Rep’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley, The Park Bench Plays is a series of short plays commissioned by The Rep during lockdown. Filmed on location out and about in Birmingham, each of the five micro plays is set on the most common of lockdown meeting places, the park bench, and reflects, in a different way, on life amidst the pandemic.
The Park Bench Plays are written by five of country’s best playwrights; Tanika Gupta (Lions and Tigers/The Empress), Bryony Lavery (Frozen/The Lovely Bones), Robin French (Cuckoo/Rebel Music), David Edgar (Nicholas Nickleby/Pentecost) and Janice Connolly (Mrs Barbara Nice/Stuff).
They are directed by The Rep’s Associate Director Madeleine Kludje, The Rep Associate Artist, Danny Alexander, and Sean Foley. The series was produced with support and in association with The Space.
The series of micro plays originally took place in pop-up locations across Birmingham in September and October 2021, performed in parks and green spaces for free for communities in the city.
- Patties and Pakoras by Tanika Gupta is directed by The Rep Artistic Director, Sean Foley featuring Delroy Brown and Mina Anwar
- Lockdown Riddim by Robin French is directed by The Rep Associate Director, Madeleine Kludje featuring Liam Jeavons and Elexi Walker
- Lovely, Loving, Loved by Bryony Lavery is directed by The Rep Artistic Associate, Danny Alexander featuring Carolyn Lyster and Marsha Millar
- Wider Still and Wider by David Edgar is directed by Madeleine Kludje featuring Alisha Bailey and Oliver Cotton
- Mrs Williams and Mrs Nice by Janice Connolly is directed by Madeleine Kludje featuring Janice Connolly and Lorna Laidlaw
Birmingham Rep Artistic Director and double Olivier Award-Winner, Sean Foley said;
“This collection of five contrasting but equally entertaining micro plays take ordinary and everyday conversations and turns them into extraordinary and timeless pieces of mini-theatre.
“After pop-up performances across Birmingham, we are delighted to partner with SKY Arts for The Rep’s first ever broadcast television project to bring some of the UK’s leading writing talent to audiences across the country.
“The past 2 years have been particularly challenging for the arts sector, but The Rep is proud to have been working alongside freelance and local artists to create this unique project.”
About this artist
A world-class producing theatre, creating inclusive, exciting and exceptional theatre by, with and for Birmingham and the wider world.