Emma Rice takes on a starring role in Wise Children at the Belgrade Theatre

The Belgrade Theatre is thrilled to announce that Wise Children Artistic Director Emma Rice will take on a starring role in her critically acclaimed production of the same name when it arrives in Coventry 2-6 April 2019.

Together with Richmond Theatre, the Belgrade Theatre will be one of just two tour venues to see her step into the shoes of showgirl Nora Chance, taking over the role from Etta Murfitt. Based on the classic novel by Angela Carter, Wise Children is the first production by Emma Rice’s new company, formed following her departure from Shakespeare’s Globe, where she served as Artistic Director from 2016 to 2018. Known for her distinctive, playful and heightened theatrical style, Rice rose to prominence as Artistic Director of Kneehigh Theatre, with whom she worked as an actor and director for 20 years.

Emma Rice said: “We’ve been on such a glorious adventure with our company Wise Children, and I can’t think of a better way to finish our debut tour than stepping into the limelight alongside our wonderful cast to perform in Richmond and Coventry. It’s an honour to share the stage with them and I’m very much looking forward to it!”

In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 75th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all…

A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, Wise Children is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity, and butterflies by the thousand as Emma Rice brings her unique, exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel.

Emma Rice is the proud and excited Artistic Director of her new company, Wise Children. As Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe (2016/18), she directed Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales). For the previous 20 years, she worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director. Her productions for Kneehigh include: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Tristan & Yseult, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, The Wild Bride, The Red Shoes, The Wooden Frock, The Bacchae, Cymbeline (in association with RSC), A Matter of Life and Death (in association with National Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre); Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Productions); Don John (in association with the RSC and Bristol Old Vic); Wah! Wah! Girls (in association with Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East for World Stages); and Steptoe and Son. Other work includes: the West End production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Oedipussy (Spymonkey); The Empress (RSC); and An Audience with Meow Meow (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Brief Encounter was revived this year at the Empire Cinema Haymarket.

Co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre together with The Old Vic, Wise Children, Oxford Playhouse and York Theatre Royal, Wise Children runs at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry 2-6 April 2019.

Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.

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