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Cast announced for Tom Wright's I Ain't Dumb at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre

i aint dumb

Casting has been announced for new play I Ain’t Dumb at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre.

The brand new piece comes from from acclaimed playwright and former Belgrade Youth Theatre member Tom Wright.

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Produced by PlayWell Productions and Epicene, in association with the Belgrade Theatre, I Ain’t Dumb will premieres from Wednesday, 9 – Saturday, 12 February in the B2 auditorium, as part of UK City of Culture celebrations

Rikki Beadle-Blair (MBE) directs a cast of young Midlands-based talent, including Simon Castle (Cieren), Harry Rose (Leon), Kavita Viyas (Mary), Sam Butters (Mark), Kimisha Lewis (Ms. Senabo), alongside newcomers Nicole Mbaeri (Natasha) and Vikas Gogana (Vikram), who are excited to be making their professional debuts.

A tough inner-city school, proud of its inclusivity, suddenly explodes in a rapidly escalating culture war.

Leave it to Natasha, grieving student, and Black Lives Matter activist, alongside streetwise gay-bestie Cieren, to try and desperately hold their classmates together. But what if Cieren is the reason everything is falling apart?

Sex secrets, hip-hop and hope fight for centre stage in a vibrant, loud and proud, real talk rollercoaster.

Writer Tom Wright, behind critically acclaimed hitsincluding Undetectable, My Dad’s Gap Year and Very Special Guest Star, said: “I’m over the moon to be debuting brand new work here at the Belgrade, a theatre that was incredibly formative to me growing up in Coventry. We’re thrilled to also be running an extensive engagement programme.

“This sees us collaborating with LGBTQ+ young people in Coventry and connecting with local audiences through lively panel talks, as well as offering an LGBTQ+ writer substantial play development and a full staged reading in the B2 space.”

Justine Themen, Co-Artistic Director for the Belgrade’s City of Culture programme said: “We are delighted to have a piece of work written by Tom as part of the Belgrade’s City of Culture year. The Belgrade’s Co-Artistic Directors have been keen to programme a diversity of work that speaks to a broad range of the city’s communities, embedding each show in a context of creative collaboration and debate with the communities themselves.

“Our young people have been increasingly vocal about gender and sexuality over the last few years and we have been looking for a project to reflect and build on this. Tom’s work provides the perfect opportunity – his work has been a mouthpiece for LGBTQ+ experiences for several years in London where he now lives, and he is by origin a Coventry lad with roots in The Belgrade Youth Theatre. We are excited to see how the work will resonate with Coventry audiences.”


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