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‘We Love You City’ celebrates 25th anniversary of Coventry’s FA Cup win

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Coventry City winning the FA Cup with its top scoring play, We Love You City, which will kick off in the theatre’s B2 auditorium from Tues, May 8 to Saturday, May 26.

Written by Nick Walker and directed by Paul Warwick, We Love You City is a co-production between the Belgrade Theatre and Talking Birds theatre company.

Following a hugely successful premiere in 2010, We Love You City will once again transform the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium into Wembley Stadium and various parts of Coventry as eleven players take centre stage to recreate the events of that legendary match and tell the funny, edgy, moving, and sometimes farcical stories that were playing out in Coventry during those nail-biting 90 minutes - plus a bit of extra time.

Walker said: "The response to We Love You City the first time around was overwhelming. There was singing, chanting and even some old school football rattles - and not just from the football fans! I'm hoping that the sense of optimism in the city, both during Olympic year, and with the anniversary of the match itself, will mean the experience in B2 in May will be even more emotional.”

The 1987 FA Cup final is a real underdog story. Tottenham Hotspur were going for a record eighth victory and had never lost a final, while un-fancied Coventry were appearing in their first ever final after 104 years of trying. Against all odds and expectations Coventry City eventually triumphed and the city became united in victory.

Atmosphere and emotion

The Belgrade Theatre and Talking Birds worked together to collate people’s memories of that day to provide a snapshot of Coventry in 1987 and the chance to relive the atmosphere and emotion surrounding this defining time in the city’s history.

Designed by Janet Vaughan and composed by Derek Nisbet, We Love You City is a fast paced drama, with choreography by Vanessa Cook and lighting design by Arnim Friess.

Six of the original cast members will be reprising their roles including David Colvin (Black Watch, National Theatre of Scotland), Darren Kuppan (East is East, Birmingham Rep), Richard Kidd (Antony & Cleopatra, Creation Theatre Company), Adrian DeCosta (A Clockwork Orange, Action to the Word), Bharti Patel (Same Same, FanShen and Oval House) and John McKeever (Bound, Bear Trap Theatre Company).

New cast members include Chris Chilton (The City Madam, Cardenio and A Midsummer Night's Dream, RSC), Stephen Harper (War Horse, National Theatre), Anna Marie Paraskeva (Teddy and Topsy, Old Red Lion Theatre), Richard Pryal (Translations, Leicester Curve) and Clara Darcy (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Sweeney Todd, Bolton Octagon).

Along with the Belgrade’s production of Stars in the Morning Sky (March 17 to April 7), which was set during the 1980 Moscow Olympics, We Love You City, has been granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is also marking the 25 anniversary of Coventry’s historic FA Cup win with its free exhibition, From Highfield Road to Wembley Way, which will run from April 6 to July 1.

Using photography, film, and memorabilia from fans and players, the exhibition guides the visitor through a brief history of the club, each game of the 1986-1987 FA Cup run, the memorable final and the return of the conquering heroes.

Tickets for We Love You City are available now from the Belgrade’s box office on 024 7655 3055 priced from £15.25 to £28.75 or via www.belgrade.co.uk where cheaper tickets are available.


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