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Curtain up on Albany Theatre's new Studio

Coventry's Albany Theatre, brought back to life from the ruins of the old College Theatre only five years ago, is to launch a second performance space.

The Studio, housed in the east wing of the building, will host accessible, diverse and sometimes challenging work, best suited to flexible and more intimate performances.

Its first season opens on Thursday, March 1, with Macbeth: A Mind Tormented, an inventive interpretation of Shakespeare's play, set on the battlefields of the First World War, from Welsh touring company Ceridwen Theatre.

Following that, on March 2, is Lite, a one-woman, multi-media show that powerfully explores issues of identity, self-image and skin-lightening through the eyes of a young black woman.

The season continues on Wednesday, March 14, with the world premiere of Coventry writer, actor and director Paul Nolan's play The Window, based on the life and times of his own family, caught up in the battle of Passchendaele.

Also scheduled are some events for younger audiences, including a new play Honey, which explores a patchwork of life in the Welsh mountains where bees, bomb disposal and autism are all wrapped up in a folk music soundtrack.

Albany chief executive David Meredith said: "This is the beginning of a new phase on this epic journey to bring The Albany alive again for the people of Coventry. The Studio will play host to a variety of performances that will appeal to theatregoers of all ages.

"As well as housing our new box office, we are consulting on plans for a gallery, cafe and additional cultural and creative spaces that will be accessible to everyone as part of our Arts For Life project."

As part of the theatre's continuing development, The Albany would like to hear from anyone with memories of the theatre's heritage, whether as a performer, audience member, resident or student at the former Technical College.

To share your recollections, email

Details of all forthcoming shows are on the theatre's website, Box office number is 024 7699 8964.

Pictured above: A scene from Macbeth: A Mind Tormented.

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