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Belgrade Theatre review: SeaView

SeaView, screening at the Belgrade Theatre, until Saturday November 13

By Ashley Hayward

The Belgrade Theatre rolled out the red carpet on Wednesday to launch SeaView, a new six part digital television series created, designed and produced entirely in the West Midlands.

The series was filmed by Strictly Arts Theatre and Belgrade Film and Digital as part of the UK City of Culture programme.

Its creator, Corey Campbell one of the Belgrade’s Co-Artistic Directors for 2021, addressed the audience prior to the screening. He explained that the series will be a pioneering collaboration between the worlds of theatre and film and aims to provide a unique experience for the viewer.

The series celebrates a Black working class aspirational family and shows the immense barriers they have to surmount in order to realise their potential.

It features Steven, a young graduate destined for great things but haunted by his supernatural ability for prophecy. He is haunted by his dreams as he fights to break the cycle of lies, crime and violence that has always ensnared his family.

The audience were treated to the first three episodes of the series and Coventrians will enjoy seeing so many local landmarks as the plot develops.The cinematography is really imaginative with interesting camera angles accompanied by atmospheric background music.

My only problem was my inability to understand some of the dialogue. This is no reflection on the quality of the acting but the fact that I am a septuagenarian white male who spends his life in entirely different social circles to those being portrayed!

It was great to see such a diverse audience many of whom had been involved in the production and had obviously derived a great deal of pleasure and pride from it.

The whole project appears to have succeeded in bringing together some of the West Midlands most creative talent both on and off screen as well as providing an opportunity for numerous aspiring artists

Let’s hope that the creative networks that have been fostered create a legacy which continues well beyond the 2021 City of Culture.

I look forward to seeing the full series on the telly!


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