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Put a ring on it? We'll let you know, Beyonce

 

Rise, Belgrade B2 until March 18.

A team of excellent young actresses - probably they'd prefer the term actors  - are on stage at the B2 auditorium in Coventry to carry on the fine tradition of theatre in education that dates back to the 1960s.

 Their short play, Rise, is largely based on personal experiences of growing up in 21st century Britain where, thanks to social media, even your most private moments can go on to trend on Twitter.

 These ten members of the Belgrade Young Company improvised the play with the help of a writer in the studio, Liz Mytton, and director Justine Themen.

 They sing, dance, text, take selfies and tell their stories on a road trip that involves "borrowing" a van to go off to see a Beyoncé gig.

 I would have liked a little more structure in the story but couldn't fault the performances of this young cast - or doubt the truth of their revelations.

 

 

 

True, a 'Dad'  who wanted his dinner on the table did seem a little outdated to my ears -  although not the threat of violence that accompanied this brief domestic spat.

 I loved the girls in their high heels and hearing their singing after taking lessons with Unamay Olomolaiyhe, a woman well known to local choirs as well as national bands.

 Director Justine Themen, who works with a variety of the Belgrade's youth groups, had gathered this company together to offer a more professional insight into life on the stage.

 She admits she was surprised by some of the experiences the young women felt should be incorporated in the drama.

 Not simply everyday instances of sexual harassment but they knew so many contemporaries battling with mental health issues who might be helped by their "no girl alone" outlook of modern life.

 Tickets are free for Rise, but must be booked via the box office on www.belgrade.co.uk

 

Director Justine Themen talks about the mixed messages young women get from superstars like Beyonce.>>>

 

 

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