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Birmingham Repertory Theatre

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Broad Street, Centenary Square, Birmingham B1 2EP
Box Office 0121 236 4455
Administration 0121 245 2000
Facsimile 0121 245 2100

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      31.07.2000 22:24
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      The Birmingham Rep is an attractive, modern building that was there long before Centenary Square was so miraculously re-vamped. When I go to the Rep, it is rarely as full as it deserves to be. If you see a title that you are likely to like, I strongly recommend that you go and see the show. You are unlikely to be disappointed. The Rep provides a good wide ranging repertoire that reflects tastes across the spectrum: it is both ethnically diverse and tailored to all ages, it has things aimed from highbrow to lowbrow. The danger of this perfectly sensible policy is that by setting out to please everybody is that you don't quite please anybody as much as you might. Although, having said that, I saw a spectacular performance of Twelfth Night that would have graced the boards of the RSC. It also boldly mounts plays by living and writing playwrights in its repertoire (it's a shame that this should require courage these days). The recent refurbishment seems also to have brought more money for the productions which now reflect more expensive production values - more glitzy sets, bigger names. This is only to be welcomed, because in the past some very reliable performances were let down by what appeared to be slender budgets. I like the building (although I can only give two cheers for the recent refit which did away with centre aisles in the auditorium) and its setting. The proximity to the International Convention Centre and Brindley Place makes it a very congenial setting for an afternoon and evening out. The productions are of a quite dependable quality and have been improving steadily over the past few years. The selection of plays is very stimulating - some risky ventures as well as the pot boilers. The bars and restaurants are a bit pricey, I must say. Apart from that, it's well worth a visit.

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