Behind The Scenes

One of Birmingham’s oldest theatre companies, The Crescent has been entertaining audiences for over 80 years. Originally based at The Crescent Cambridge Street and then on Cumberland Street, it is now in its third home on Sheepcote Street and forms part of Brindleyplace.

The popular theatre welcomes over 80,000 visitors each year and has a current membership of over 250 actors, technicians, and production volunteers. Hosting a wide range of events including Theatre, Live Music, and Cinema, its 300+ seat Main House, 100+ seat Studio, bar, rehearsal room and meeting rooms are also perfect for private functions, conferences, product launches, and more.

Barry Dudley

Barry M Dudley, Theatre Manager

What do you do day to day?

I do countless things from managing the building and hosting shows to dealing with suppliers, customer care and handling the finance.

What’s your must-see production of the season?

It’s difficult to predict what this year’s will be for me. We produce 18 shows a year in house and play host to hundreds of external company events too so, for now, the jury is out.

How can young people get involved in the Youth Theatre?

The Crescent has its own youth theatre, CYT, which produces two shows a year to a very high standard. We are very proud of the wealth of young talent there is in the theatre.

How many people are needed to put on a show?

A lot depends on the show. Last season ‘Crazy for You’ needed a daily team of sixty, but for ‘My Boy Jack’ we had just eight cast and three crewmembers.

Judy O'Dowd

Judy O’Dowd, Head of Production

 What do you do day to day?

I manage the technical aspects of all the productions we put on, as well as managing the team involved.

How long does a production take?

We begin work on productions three months in advance. This includes choosing a script, rehearsing, costume, design and creating the props. It can be a busy few months!

What is the most extravagant costume you have in the costume department?

It’s definitely the male 16th Century period costume. Not only do the actors need to wear a ruff and tights in some of the productions but also the fabric itself is really rich velvet with gold trim. It’s certainly extravagant!

Andrew Lowrie

Andrew Lowrie, Chairman

What do you do day to day?

My role is much more strategic than hands on. Not everyone realises that The Crescent Theatre is actually a charity and my role is a voluntary one.

What else might people not know?

The theatre’s history dates back to 1923. It stemmed from a few City Council employees entertaining their colleagues with a Christmas party revue. They spent the next seven years raising money to help set up the theatre and it opened its doors in April 1932; the first ever show was ‘The Romantics’ by Edmond Rostard in April 1932

What other things are on offer at the theatre?

There are lots of different ways for people to get involved, from our youth theatre to costumes, props, stewards, and marketing. Most of our roles are voluntary so if you want to get involved email membership@crescent-theatre.co.uk.