The Birmingham Rep is going back to the future – by offering newborn babies free theatre for a decade.
Every child born at City and Heartlands hospitals between next February 11 and 17 – the company’s birthday week – will get tickets to the venue for the first ten years of their lives.
The perk is being offered to mark the theatre’s centenary. And in another offer, 100 tickets for the birthday season will be sold at 1913 ticket prices of just 25p.
School pupils will also join in the celebrations by writing 100-word plays while David Suchet, Josie Lawrence, Mark Williams, Dame Janet Suzman and Soweto Kinch are to become Rep patrons.
The Rep’s permanent home is still closed for renovation work and will reopen, alongside the new Library of Birmingham, next September.
So for its birthday season the theatre will return to its original home, The Old Rep in Station Street.
New artistic director Roxana Silbert said: “The Old Rep is where it all began and it is fitting that we celebrate this landmark anniversary there.
“Founder Sir Barry Jackson was a remarkable man who was groundbreaking and brave with his artistic vision and put Birmingham firmly on the theatrical map. I am hugely excited to be leading his company into a new era.
“Birmingham and the Black Country have historically been known as the workshop of the world and they are now celebrated as great cultural workshops too. I want to develop a hub of creativity and excellence.”
The season opens with the world premiere of Philip Pullman’s darkly comic tale I Was A Rat!, running from February 12 to March 2. That will be followed by Heather Gardner, by Birmingham writer Robin French.
Tickets for the productions go on sale from Friday to members and September 21 to the general public. One hundred of those applying will qualify for the 25p deal, the equivalent of the 1913 price of five shillings for a place in the stalls.
*More information is available at www.birmingham-rep.co.uk