Following its streaming of Amy Ng’s Under the Umbrella from 22-29 May, the Belgrade Theatre has announced that two further productions will be made available to watch online for free this summer.
From 3 June-3 August, audiences will have the chance to revisit the hit Ian Dury and the Blockheads musical Reasons to be Cheerful. Part gig, part play, this loud, bold and jubilant coming-of-age tale was produced by Graeaein association with the Belgrade Theatre, and premiered in Coventry in September 2018.
Written by Paul Sirett and directed by Graeae’s Artistic Director, Jenny Sealey, the show is packed with punk attitude and stone-cold classic songs like Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick and Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, as well as the titular Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3.
Seamlessly integrating British Sign Language and creative captioning through Graeae’s signature theatrical language, the show will be made available to watch via Graeae’s website as part of “Crips without Constraints” – an ambitious, 11-week programme of online activity celebrating the creativity and diversity of Deaf and disabled artists across the UK.
Then from 16-30 June, the Belgrade will once again partner with Tamasha to present the online premiere of Satinder Chohan’s Made in India. Co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre and Tamasha in association with Pilot Theatre, this powerful play about motherhood is centred on the commercial surrogacy industry in India.
Prior to a change in legislation in 2016 (shortly before the show premiered in Coventry in 2017), India had come to be regarded as the world’s “surrogacy hub”, with local women acting as paid surrogates for hopeful parents from around the world.
The show was directed by Katie Posner and provided an important stepping stone in the career of the Belgrade’s 2021 Co-Artistic Director Corey Campbell (Club 2B, Crongton Knights, Freeman), who served as Assistant Director under the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme.
It tells the story of three women who meet in a surrogacy clinic in Gujarat – Londoner Eva (Gina Isaac), who is pursuing her last chance at being a mother; village girl Aditi (Ulrika Krishnamurti), who is seeking a lifeline out of poverty; and Dr Gupta (Syreeta Kumar), for who this is just another transaction. The show will be streamed via Tamasha’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Reasons to be Cheerful will be available to watch online from 3 June – 3 August, and Made in India will be available from 16-30 June. Full details of how to watch can be found on the Belgrade’s Between Stages hub at www.belgrade.co.uk/between-stages.