The play, “Coming to Birmingham: Making of a Modern City”, written by Ian Henery, celebrates our diversity and inclusivity on the Eve of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. An excerpt from the play will be performed at the National trust`s Back-to-Backs in Hurst Street in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham on 25th July.
The performance – with all ticket sales going to the National Trust, which is a charity, sold out a week ahead of its performance.
“In the scene we are performing,” explained Ian Henery, “two families of Chinese heritage from the Commonwealth respond to Britain`s call to make Britain great again. They come to Birmingham from Hong Kong and Singapore respectively at the end of the Second World War. They witness the devastation of the Birmingham Blitz and rely on the kindness of strangers for lodgings, staying at Back-to-Backs, before establishing a social club and school in Bromsgrove Street in the embryonic Chinese Quarter”.
Ian`s first play in the trilogy was ‘The Chinese Labour Corps’ which had a successful week-long run at The Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham in February and featured in the Chinese New Year Festival Online 2022. The play was funded by Arts Council England. Script development began on the second play in April and performance readings were at the Walsall Festival of Words, Radio Public Festival, Black Country Festival and Lichfield Fuse Festival.
“The cast has been working extremely hard,” said Ian Henery, “fuelled by nothing more than enthusiasm and passion for the project. At this stage we don`t have a grant but we are keen to showcase the talents of actors and actors of Chinese heritage and share the stories of the cultural pioneers who came to this country after the Second World War.”
Further information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs