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Exuberant tale coming to Belgrade stage

Wise Children, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, April 2-6.

Acclaimed theatre director Emma Rice will be heading for the Belgrade in April, but it's on stage rather than in the director's chair that Coventry audiences will encounter her.

She takes the role of Nora Chance, one of twin chorus girls who are the central characters of Wise Children, a dramatisation of the late Angela Carter's final novel. The production is the first for Rice's new company, also named Wise Children, and formed after her controversial two-year reign as artistic director of London's Globe Theatre came to an end last year.

She said: "I can't think of a better way to finish our debut tour than stepping into the limelight alongside our wonderful cast to perform in Richmond and Coventry. It's an honour to share the stage with them and I'm very much looking forward to it."

Wise Children is a big and bawdy celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. In Brixton, twins Nora and Dora Chance are celebrating their 75th birthday, while on the same day over the river in Chelsea their father Melchior Hazard turns 100 years old.

Angela Carter's exuberant novel mixes Shakespeare and scandal, music and mistaken identity, show girls and mischief, and audiences can expect extra fizz on stage from Rice's playful and impish theatrical style.

After making her name as artistic director of the much-admired Kneehigh Theatre, Emma Rice took the reins at The Globe in 2016, but her radical approach to Shakespeare did not always find favour with the theatre's board and she left after only two years in the role.

Tickets from the box office on 024 7655 3055 or at www.belgrade.co.uk