This time next month I shall be attending the annual Riding Lights Members' Day. This is a great occasion where the theatre company's membership gets together to talk about where the company is at, what challenges it faces for the coming twelve months, and what excitement lies in store for audiences. It's also an opportunity for Riding Lights to showcase new material, including the new intake of Roughshod, any new members of staff and news about the annual Summer Theatre School.
That being said, this year's Members' Day is a little different. Normally the event is held at the wondeful Friargate Theatre in York, Riding Lights' physical and spiritual base, but this year the event is coming to Coventry, the city where I lived for two years during my students at Warwick. The reason for this is simple: Riding Lights are spending most of next month at the Belgrade Theatre, where they are reviving their acclaimed production of Ben Jonson's The Alchemist. Check out the trailer below:
The Alchemist is a very funny and intelligent satire on greed, materialism and corruption which remains very relevant for our society. Combining the lighter elements of English farce with a great deal of darker elements, it's a wonderfully witty look at English society and the ways in which people can be tricked and manipulated. While this production has made some minor alterations, changing all the geographical references from Blackfriars in London to Coventry, it's still essentially Jonson's story, and it demands your attention.
The Alchemist is playing at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry from February 1st-22nd. Tickets range between £8 and £20 for adults, and can be purchased from the theatre website site here. If you want more information on play, you can watch a two-part interview with the director Paul Burbridge here and here. See you next month!