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Full dates and casting announced for Pop Music

Pop Music

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PAINES Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre have announced full casting and UK tour dates for Pop Music a world premiere from Bruntwood Award-winner Anna Jordan (Yen).

This new play charts two wedding guests’ rollercoaster journey through thirty epic years of pop.

The production will play two dates at Latitude Festival, ahead of its opening at Birmingham Repertory Theatre (September 12 to September 22, 2018), before embarking on a UK tour to Liverpool, Peterborough, Bracknell, Brighton, St Albans, Norwich, Doncaster, Havant, Manchester, Derby, Selby, Preston, Washington, Lincoln, Beverly, Canterbury, Bordon, Lyme Regis, Guildford, Halifax, Banbury, Barking, Maidenhead, Bromsgrove, Berwick Upon Tweed and Whitehaven.

Pop Music will have integrated British Sign Language and Captioning at Latitude Festival, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Derby Theatre, The Garage (Norwich) and Phoenix Arts (Bordon).

Pop Musicis directed by James Grieve and stars Katherine Kotz, Rakesh Boury and Ciaran Alexander Stewart.

According to press material, Pop Music is for anyone that’s ever been a dick on the dance floor.

A wedding. A free bar. A blast from the past.

G and Kayla’s lives are a mess but tonight they’re determined to Have It Large. As their veins course with adrenaline and cheap prosecco we follow them on an epic journey through thirty years of Pop.

Can the DJ save them as they become Dancing Queens, reliving their Teenage Dream, Staying Out For The Summer and Spicing Up Their Lives? Pop makes promises it can’t keep, and soon they’ll discover they have more in common than their taste in tunes.

James Grieve said: “I’ve been a huge fan of Anna’s work for many years and I am thrilled to be taking her joyous, riotous pop party to audiences the length and breadth of the UK. I am excited to be working with the remarkable actor Ciaran Stewart Alexander to put BSL at the heart of the production, and with Backlight Productions on creative captioning. With a hilarious, heart-string tugging story and a soundtrack of cast iron pop classics, this is theatre you can dance in the aisles to.”

Anna Jordan said: “Pop Music is a celebration of my love of – well – pop music! For years I felt the need to hide just how low brow some of my music choices were, covertly dancing in the kitchen to Kiss FM for hours on end and lingering longer in shops to scribble down lyrics of songs so I could find out what they were. But no more!

“Pop has been a huge part of my life, and part of my work too. I’ve become fascinated by the role music plays throughout our lives and how that role changes as we get older, and I became particularly interested in exploring the statement “Pop music makes promises it can’t keep”. I’m hugely excited that we get to tour Pop Music around the country and I’m thrilled to be working with Paines Plough and Birmingham Rep. I’m especially pleased that James is directing after admiring his work for many years.”

Katherine Kotz’ (Kayla) theatre credits include Happy To Help (Park Theatre); A Progress (Beggars Belief/Yard Theatre); Twelfth Night (RBL Theatre Company); Vesta (Figuetta); and Playhouse Creatures and Cabaret Brecht (Otherplace Productions).

Rakesh Boury’s (G) theatre credits include The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd); We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre); Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre); and Rock Of Ages (Original UK Tour).

Ciaran Alexander Stewart’s (Remix/British Sign Language Interpreter) theatre credits include Tribes (Sheffield Theatres); Junkyard (Headlong/Bristol Old Vic/Theatr Clwyd/Rose Theatre); Dr Johnson Goes to Scotland (Oran Mor/Traverse Theatre); Dream On! (BBC Arts); and Tales from the Croft (Solar Bear).

Pop Music has lighting design by Tanya Stephenson, movement by Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster and sound design by Dominic Kennedy. Ben Smith is the Associate Sound Designer and Elin Schofield is the Assistant Director.