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4 Sep 2019, 19:30 - 7 Sep 2019, 21:00
£13.50

Women Writes and Melissa Jordan in association with the Belgrade Theatre. World premiere of Holding the Centre.

Holding the Centre shows at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry 4-7 September, opening the B2 Season of Love and Belonging.

This powerful new drama will be the first major production to be penned by Birmingham writer Joan Carty.

When everything tells you who you should be, how can you know who you really are?

All his life, Micaiah has been told that he is clever, different, special. He went to one of the best schools in the country, worked hard, made connections and now, less than ten years later, he’s made it as a successful events organiser and importer.

But when one of his friends is murdered, the news sends Micaiah spiralling out of control, and the life that he has carefully built up begins to fall apart. As he finds himself at the centre of a storm that threatens to swallow everyone and everything he holds dear, Micaiah is left questioning who he really is. Can he answer the most important question of his life before it’s too late?

Leading the show as Micaiah will be Coventry-born actor Jordan Leigh , alongside Alexandria Carr as Claudette, Adaya Henry as Selena, Elizabeth Adejemi as Des, Mauricia Lewis as Jay and Jordan Laidley as Marcus. Kaye Brown as Mabel, alongside Deborah Tracey as Jennifer and The Woman and Conor Deane as Keith, Alex and The Discourse.

The show is directed by Belgrade Theatre’s Leon Phillips and co-directed by Women Writes founder Reaya Sealey. Sealey also co-produces with Melissa Jordan.

Founded in 2018 to support female playwrights from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, Women Writes aims to bring female-driven stories and authentic voices of colour to the stage. Alongside its productions, the company also works with a number of Creative Associates in BAME communities in the West Midlands, helping to improve access to and engagement with theatre.

Leon Phillips has extensive experience of working with communities in and around Coventry, and played a central role in establishing our Critical Mass programme, which nurtures emerging playwrights from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) backgrounds. He currently leads our Black Youth Theatre group, with whom he has directed a number of plays, including a piece which featured in 2018’s immersive, site-specific production Read All About It! which formed part of the Coventry UK City of Culture build-up programme.

Joan Carty, known to most as Dread, is an alumnus of the Belgrade’s Critical Mass programme. Since taking part in the scheme, she has gone on to write for iSore Media, Fluorescent Fish, Murmuration Films and for our Black Youth Theatre group, as well as directing work for Treehouse Sessions CIC. She comes to playwriting with twenty years’ experience of working with socially excluded communities, and her work is informed by their vibrant, powerful and often gritty stories.

Raised with a passion for theatre and the arts, Coventry-born producer Melissa Jordan joined the Belgrade Youth Theatre during her early teens, before going on to serve an apprenticeship with us, where she developed an interest in stage management and production. Since then, she has worked with organisations including Highly Sprung, Theatre Absolute and Warwick Arts Centre.

Lighting is by Michael Barrett-Bourmier and sound is by Oliver Lefever of Fluorescent Fish. This production makes use of the Creative Gymnasium Flexible Set Kit originally designed by Janet Vaughan for the Belgrade Community & Education Department in 2012.

This is an ACE national lottery funded project and a Road to 2021 awardee, with funding provided by Coventry City of Culture Trust and administered by the Heart of England Community Foundation.

Holding The Centre, developed as part of the Belgrade Theatre’s Critical Mass programme by Birmingham-based writer Joan Carty, follows Micaiah’s journey through suburbia, inner city streets, and “here.” Exploring themes such as shadism, implicit bias, violence and deception, it marks an important milestone in developing this unique BAME voice by putting the script on stage and in front of audiences for the first time.

More info
Belgrade Theatre (CV1 1GS)
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