Cultural Leicester powerhouses Curve and De Montfort University (DMU) have announced plans to continue their strategic partnership throughout 2021 with a host of new projects.
Since the theatre was forced to close its doors to audiences in March 2020, DMU has remained supportive of Curve and the arts, including sponsorship of the Made at Curve production of The Color Purple – at Home, which is now streaming online until Sun 7 Mar, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome.
During LGBTQ+ History Month in February, the university’s annual DMU Pride events are taking place virtually, with a series of talks, networking sessions and quizzes for staff, students and members of the public. As part of this programme Emmerson & Ward, Curve and De Montfort University present Conversations, a premiere digital production by award winning writer and performer Rob Ward (Away From Home, Gypsy Queen). Conversations is the second Emmerson & Ward production to premiere as part of DMU Pride following 2020’s The MP, Aunty Mandy and Me – also written and performed by Ward.
Directed by Julia Thomas (Burning Books, Curve), this new drama features performances from Ryan Anderson (West Side Story, Curve), Darren Bennett (West Side Story, Curve), Rosie Fleeshman (Narcissist in the Mirror, UK tour), Reece Lyons (Overflow, Bush Theatre), Londiwe Mthembu (Extremisim, Soho Theatre), Corinna Powlesland (Grease, Curve) and Esme Sears (The Wizard of Oz, Leeds Playhouse). Available now to stream on demand for free until 27 Feb, Conversations takes a fresh look at the challenges of 2020 and the new battle lines drawn in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.
Well that was a bit rubbish wasn’t it!
Whilst we locked ourselves down and watched the world burn, we turned to zoom to keep conversations and community alive.
From awkward zoom dates to exasperating online rehearsals, Harry Potter fanatics and middle aged keyboard warriors, this new digital production tells four stories playing out over our new favourite platform.
Throughout spring, professional teams at Curve will work with DMU performing arts students to stage Federico Garcia Lorca’s poetic tragedy Blood Wedding. Directed by Curve’s Birkbeck Trainee Director Jennifer Lane Baker, Blood Wedding will be staged remotely by a company of Drama BA (Hons) students from DMU. The co-production will be recorded and available to stream online between 27 and 31 May, with tickets on sale now.
In the hills of rural Spain, a Mother grieves the loss of her husband at the hands of the rival Felix family. Violent and long-standing community tensions re-emerge when she learns her son – The Groom – is due to marry an ex-lover of the hot-blooded Leonardo Felix, who later steals The Bride away from the wedding celebrations. As historic conflicts erupt around the doomed couple, the stage is soon set for this tale’s arresting climax.
Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:
“De Montfort University’s support of Curve has always been phenomenal and even as our theatre doors have remained closed for almost a full year, our partnership with DMU is as strong as ever. We are proud to be partnered with an institution which shares our commitment to our communities, enhancing educational experiences and providing unique opportunities for everyone to create and access culture.
“We’re thrilled to be uniting this year for a diverse range of work, from The Color Purple – at Home to Rob Ward’s new play Conversations (part of this year’s digital DMU PRIDE programme) and our annual co-production – this year Tanya Ronder’s stirring adaptation of Lorca’s Blood Wedding – featuring a talented cohort of students. Whilst we still can’t be together in person, it’s inspiring to see such innovative responses to the challenges of these times. Theatre is all about collaboration and we proud to work alongside DMU, one of this country’s greatest educational institutions.”
Sarah Thomson, Director of Social Impact and Engagement at De Montfort University, said: “We are pleased to be continuing our partnership with Curve, a theatre which does great things with the community and offers incredible hands-on experiences for our Dance, Drama and Performing Arts students.
“So many people in Leicester have turned to the arts during lockdown for their entertainment and Curve’s offerings online have really been second to none.
“Needless to say, we are proud to be sponsoring their latest production of The Color Purple – at Home, and working on so many other projects at a time when arts in the community is proving to be a vital way of people connecting with each other during the pandemic.”
Tickets for productions of The Color Purple – at Home, Conversations and Blood Wedding are available to purchase online now at www.curveonline.co.uk