Frank Skinner and Barbara Nice comic write 'park-bench' plays | Pop-up performances to be staged across Birmingham

Frank Skinner and Barbara Nice comic write 'park-bench' plays

Pop-up performances to be staged across Birmingham

Frank Skinner and Janice Connolly – the comic behind stage creation Barbara Nice, pictured - are to write short plays to be performed around Birmingham.

They are among 12 writers commissioned to create ten -minute pieces to be performed on benches at bus stations, community centres, parks, public squares, foyers and train stations 

Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which is behind The Park Bench Plays  scheme, says they will ‘surprise and delight commuters, shoppers, residents and others going about their daily business’ during the pandemic.

It is the brainchild of the venue’s artistic director, Sean Foley, who directed West End shows such as Morecambe and Wise tribute The Play What I Wrote and Graham Linehan’s version of Ealing comedy The Ladykillers.

He said: ‘Considering the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on our industry, we at the Rep feel it is important to continue to employ artists and create work for audiences. 
"From comic to serious, tragic to hysterical, this collection of two-hander plays take ordinary and everyday conversations and make them extraordinary and timeless – they all have a sense of fun and provide a living snapshot of our socially distanced, somewhat disturbed world. 
‘We look forward to sharing this extraordinary collection of works with audiences when the time is right to do so in the future and to continuing working with this wonderfully eclectic set of writers.’ 

Skinner added: ‘I’m really properly excited to be part of this project with the Rep. I've had some life-changing experiences on park benches in the West Midlands but I'm hoping this one will be a bit easier on the elbows.’

Others contributing scripts are. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti , Rachel De-Lahay, David Edgar, Robin French, Tanika Gupta, Bryony Lavery, Sabiha Mank, Amerah Saleh, Liam Steel, Jack Thorne and Lettie Precious. 

The plays will be stage as soon as Birmingham comes out of local lockdown.

Published: 28 Sep 2020

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