Old Rep Theatre
Time Out says
Family shows, produced by the Birmingham Stage Show, are this theatre’s forte, while space is also given to amateur performances
As suggested by its name, The Old Rep started out as the city’s first repertory theatre in the early 20th century; a beautifully designed theatre featuring a large auditorium with close to 400 seats – and not a bad one in the house.
Sir Derek Jacobi made his professional debut at The Old Rep, and Peter Brook directed his first production there, but when the original company got a new home in Broad Street in the 1970s (becoming what we now know as the Birmingham Rep), the venue spent a long time in the doldrums. A saviour finally arrived in the early 1990s in the form of the Birmingham Stage Company.
The BSC has since made a name for itself producing some of the finest family shows in the country, premiering a number of Roald Dahl and Michael Morpurgo stories at The Old Rep and then touring them to wide acclaim.
The venue itself is run by the Birmingham Ormiston Academy, which uses the space for rehearsal and staging their final year shows, and also leases it out to amateur companies looking for a professional space to stage their work.
Recent refurbishments have revitalised the bar area and reminded audiences who visit that it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful theatres in the Midlands, giving The Old Rep a new lease of life that may one day see it rise to its mid-20th century heights again.