Sunday, February 22, 2009

Postcard from The REP

The Birmingham Rep is a hideous building. I suppose elephant-hide concrete cladding was the height of architectural design in the 1960s, but it now stands between the classical proportions of Baskerville House (named after John Baskerville, an innovator in typesetting, writing-trivia fans) and the 1990s plate glass and tubular steel of the International Convention Centre. The Rep doesn’t bear up well to the comparison.

What goes on inside, however, makes you forgive surface ugliness. I saw the Kneehigh Theatre production of Don John - Mozart’s Don Giovanni revisited as 1970s rock opera. Hilarious stuff with a quality soundtrack. Kneehigh deserve the accolades they attract, I loved their version of Brief Encounter with song and dance. I wonder if they had to tone down the Brummie accents when they took it to the West End though?

One other thing makes the Rep stand out from other theatres - their restaurant: WineREP. Not only is the food delicious and keenly priced. Not only, as you’d guess from the name, is the wine list superb. But the stroke of genius is the showtime deal. Eat your starter and main course before the performance, return to your table for your pudding and coffee in the interval. So civilised I can’t imagine why nowhere else does it. They should.

1 comment:

Timberati said...

What a great idea and truly civilized.