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Peaky Blinders story coming to the stage in Birmingham as modern dance production

The story of smash-hit crime drama Peaky Blinders is being brought to the stage - as part of a modern dance production.

Peaky Blinders story coming to the stage in Birmingham as modern dance production

Birmingham Hippodrome is hosting the world premiere of Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby - with tickets on sale this week.

Written and adapted for the stage by Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight, the production will feature the 20 permanent Rambert dance company members on stage, and a live band playing specially commissioned music.

Picking up the story of the Peaky Blinders at the end of the First World War, the show follows Tommy Shelby and Grace Burgess through their passionate love affair.

While Tommy is building his empire, Grace is operating as an undercover agent for Special Branch on a mission to get close to the heart of Tommy’s gang.

As the story unfolds, many hearts are broken.

Tommy and the Peaky Blinders fought together at Flanders and the show opens in the trenches.

Bound by this experience, a personal story unfolds as the Shelby family navigate the decisions that determine their fate.

The Rambert Dance company is performing Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby

This first of its kind production will open on September 27 in the Peaky Blinders' home city, before the rest of the country gets the chance to see Tommy and the gang in action.

The Redemption of Thomas Shelby will run at Birmingham Hippodrome, who are also co-producing the show, until October 2.

The show will then debut in London at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre before embarking on a UK tour in 2023.

It comes ahead of the final series of the TV show airing on the BBC this year. Much of the series was filmed in the West Midlands, including at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.

Creator Mr Knight said: “Peaky Blinders has always had music and movement at its heart and now the beating heart of the show will be transferred to the stage, an interpretation of Tommy’s story performed by Rambert, one of the leading dance companies in the world.

"This is dance for people who don’t usually watch dance and what I’ve written has been transformed into something startling by consummate dancers and choreographers. If the concept of a Peaky Blinders dance seems strange, reserve judgement and reserve a ticket.”

Director and choreographer Benoit Swan Pouffer added: “Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby is something on a scale we’ve never done before, and I couldn’t be more ready for the challenge – it's such an exciting opportunity as a choreographer to tell these stories and recreate these characters through dance.

"It is also a great collaborative opportunity to have been working closely with Steven Knight on this original production. What you’re going to get as a result will be an inspiring and uplifting dance show, but so much more than a dance show.

"There is of course a strong narrative, that of Tommy and the Peaky Blinders so it is dance, and it is also theatre.

"And with such iconic music from a live-onstage band, it is more again. I can’t wait to bring these hugely popular characters to the stage here in Birmingham, then on tour to audiences around the country.”

Helen Shute, CEO and executive producer of Rambert added: “Rambert has always been committed to making dance that resonates with audiences across the country and we’re incredibly honoured to be trusted by Steven Knight with his nationally beloved Peaky Blinders.

"It’s so fitting that we start the journey in Birmingham, where Rambert has been touring to since the 1930s. We look forward to welcoming a new generation of audiences to theatres with a story that speaks to so many people.”

Chris Sudworth, director of artistic programme at Birmingham Hippodrome added: “The opportunity to collaborate on a production that is so synonymous with our city is incredibly exciting and we cannot wait for audiences to experience the thrill of seeing the well-known characters from the show come to life on our stage in this sensational adaptation by Steven Knight.”

Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby is at Birmingham Hippodrome from September 27 to October 2.

Friends and patrons of the Hippodrome can buy tickets from Monday.

General sale opens at 11am on Tuesday January 18.

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