Back in 2019, The Old Rep Theatre were granted £2,000 by The Sir Barry Jackson Trust as part of their ‘Our Old Rep’ project. This was part of an initiative to inspire future generations of young creatives by investigating the venue’s history.
As part of this project The Old Rep commissioned a digital exhibition, a history timeline, which can be seen when walking from Box Office up to the Balcony. The exhibition, which stretches five floors, will give audiences the opportunity to learn about the history of The Old Rep Theatre from 1879 to 2020. From World War Two to past productions, to Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) becoming custodians of the building, the timeline gives an insight to everything that has happened at the venue in the past two centuries. The exhibition was originally commissioned to be revealed in 2020, however due to the Covid-19 pandemic the project was delayed.
The history timeline was designed solely by a very talented local illustrator Maxene Brown, who is also a casual Front of House Assistant at the theatre. Of the project, Maxene commented “I really enjoyed working on the timeline as I got to learn more about the history of the theatre and Sir Barry Jackson. I can't wait for the audience to see the work I created”.
Gary Stevens, Operations Director and General Manager also added “This modern almost caricature depiction of the Old Rep Theatres history by Maxene Brown tells the story in a creative way that shows off our heritage, it ultimately narrates that journey as audiences make their way via the staircases to the balcony seating area. After such a long and worthwhile wait, it is rewarding to see the depictions finally in place and I hope that all our visitors will stop and observe when we re-open our doors soon”.
The Old Rep would like to take this opportunity to thank The Sir Barry Jackson Trust for their continued support of this project and their generous donation allowing this to happen.
After two years in the works, The Old Rep cannot wait for audiences to view the exhibition which will stand testament to the heritage of the theatre. The exhibition should be open for audiences to see when events return to the venue in June 2021.