BSC Address

Thursday, January 25, 2007


It doesn't happen often but we're auditioning understudies for PROOF and a lot of good men have come through the door! Normally its the women who give you the widest choice but this time most of the men who have walked through the door have been very good, making my life much more difficult! - in a happy kind of way!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Traffic wardens

Those wonderful men and women in blue have been causing chaos outside The Old Rep Theatre. They have had the brilliant idea of giving tickets to the coaches who are picking up the children after the show. They are being so assiduous in their task that the theatre staff had to persuade one coach not to drive away, leaving the children stranded.

Sometimes you do wonder if we are in living in a bizarre fascist state where human beings no longer respond to each other as human beings, but as sources of income, regardless of circumstances.

All being well the Birmingham Mail will be challenging this lunacy tomorrow.

Gordon Brown

With four shows on at the moment, we have never been more busy. But I just found time this morning to send Gordon Brown a letter!

24 January 2007

Dear Mr Brown

I am just about to send H M Customs and Revenue a cheque for £65,923 for VAT this quarter. I started my theatre company fifteen years ago from scratch with no public funding support whatsoever. For some years now we have been sending you very large VAT cheques each quarter for money which has been generated out of nowhere, whether or not we make a profit ourselves. It would be nice if once in a while we got a thank-you!

With all best wishes

Neal Foster
The Birmingham Stage Company

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


There's a lovely trailer for DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD now up on the site - and all the production trailers have been improved. We're currently working on a trailer for PROOF. None of them are easy - it's very hard to condense two hours of play into two minutes but it's an interesting challenge and I'm amazed at how successful they have been. Seeitfirst deserve a medal!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris has been nominated for a BAFTA in the catagory of rising star! It's the one award which the public get to decide. If you'd like to vote for her (or any of the other contenders!) visit

Thursday, January 11, 2007


There are some shows I book with dread and this was top of the list. Five star reviews and hyped to the gunwales. Which meant I entered the theatre with extreme trepidation and, like John Gabriel, waited for the iron fist of disappointment to grip my heart.

Only something very strange happened. It was extremely goood! From the moment it started to the final black out. The story, the adaptation, the integrity of the acting, the music, the set, the costumes, the spirit of the production. There couldn't be a better showcase for public subsidy - every penny was spent to great effect - not one minute of drama wasted. I haven't stood up for show since DEATH OF A SALESMAN. There's nothing better for the soul, nothing more refreshing, exciting, invigorating, than a good night of total theatre.

Meanwhile back in Birmingham (!), DANNY got a good review in The Times - great to see the entire team rewarded with a big thumbs up from News International. And there will be a happy trailer for the show available to watch on the DANNY page very soon. The boys at seeitfirst have done it again!

Monday, January 08, 2007


I am afraid I have to be controversial and it has nothing to do with theatre.

I did not find the hanging of Saddam Hussein deplorable. I did not think the conduct of the guards scandalous. I have been against capital punishment ever since seeing the documentary "Fourteen Days in May". But my view is that in certain cases, the earth is a better place without some people on it. I would include Mr Hussein in that catagory - and Mr Mugabe in the future.

I do not see any reason why a man as vicious as Mr Hussein has been for twenty four years deserves a dignified death. Whatever insults were thrown at him in his last moments, his death was painless, which cannot be said for the millions of people he slaughtered. I draw substantial comfort from the fact that this man is no longer on this planet.

Kensuke's critics

Well we had to put up with being "solid entertainment" in the Guardian. Just as we received news that we are shortly going to be completely sold out for the rest of the run. Book now if you want to see "solid entertainment"!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


2007 is upon us. This is going to be quite a year!

I wish LOVESONGS had been better. It features one of my favourite actors, Cillian Murphy. I left the theatre after 23 minutes, the second fastest I have ever felt the need to escape from a theatre in my life. A necessary recourse to preserve my fast dwindling sanity. Something must have gone drastically wrong for three such excellent actors to be acting so badly. I know there are four actors in it but one of them was being played by the understudy and - I cannot - bring myself - to speak about it. It took six seconds for my jaw to drop open - and 23 minutes to decide there was nothing else to do but run.

This week should see a review from The Guardian for KENSUKE'S KINGDOM and The Times for DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD. Let's hope they are kinder than me!