Culture: Two for Ground Zero; Terry Grimley Reports on the Relaunch of Birmingham's Most Adventurous Youth Theatre
Byline: Terry Grimley
After a relatively low-profile year which has seen it moving home for the first time in its 14-year history, Birmingham youth theatre company Stage 2 is planning a spectacular come-back this autumn.
The company, which specialises in large-cast spectacles, will present Steven Berkoff's poetic reflection on the September 11 terrorist attack, Requiem for Ground Zero, at the Hippodrome's Patrick Centre for three nights in January. The poem, consisting of 100 lines of iambic pentameters, will be delivered by a cast of 100 young people.
The project came about after Stage 2 joint directors, founder Liz Light and Ellie Darville, saw Berkoff's solo performance of the piece as a work-in-progress at last year's Edinburgh Festival. Berkoff, who has given special permision for the production, is said to be 'thrilled and honoured' by it.
Work on it will begin as soon as the 200-plus strong company reconvenes for its autumn term on September 22.
There is still time for new recruits to climb on board and the ideal opportunity to make contact with the company is to go along to the open day it is holding at its new home, the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama, Paradise Circus, from 10am to 4pm this Sunday.
Until now the company has been strongly identified with MAC, its home and performance space ever since it was founded.
But by the end of last year the partners had come to the view that Stage 2 had outgrown the facilities MAC could offer and needed to move on.
'It gives MAC a void to fill, but it does free up space as well,' says Ellie Darvill. 'Being in the centre of town we can maximise the catchment area. …