Birmingham Repertory Theatre is excited to mark the opening of its Autumn Season with a unique theatrical event – The Covid-19 Variations: A Piano Drama on Fri 27 and Sat 28 August 2021.

Directed by The REP’s Artistic Director, double Olivier Award winner Sean Foley, The Covid-19 Variations: A Piano Drama is a unique and outrageously funny film and concert in one that stars everyone from Donald Trump and Elton John to Kanye West and even the Royal Family - because everyone has lived through Covid.

The entertaining take on the last 18 months has been written by Birmingham-born Richard Thomas, an Olivier Award winning composer, lyricist and Artistic Associate of The REP who was inspired after having had Covid twice. He shared his experience of being in the grip of the disease for fellow Birmingham born concert pianist Philip Fisher who was extremely ill with Covid in New York in the first days of lockdown.

Philip recovered and played the piece in an empty auditorium on Long Island, a recording of which found its way to BAFTA and multi-Award winning contemporary artist Alison Jackson. She in turn was inspired to create 19 short films for each of the Covid-19 Variations, drawn from her world of fake news, alternative facts, and celebrity lookalikes, and commemorating life in the time of Covid. 

Richard Thomas’s Covid-19 Variations was originally commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum New York. Alison Jackson’s film has been specially created for this event.

This special event will be performed live on a concert grand by Philip Edward Fisher to open the REP’s 50th Anniversary Season.

Tickets are £17:50, including a drink, and priority booking opens today, Tues 13 July at General booking opens Fri 16 July.

Each performance will be followed by an ‘In Conversation’ discussion with Alison Jackson, Richard Thomas, Philip Edward Fisher, Sean Foley and the audience.

In line with current Government regulations, The REP continues to take a number of carefully managed steps and precautions to help audiences feel safe and enjoy their chosen performance. The theatre has introduced a series of new safety measures such as socially distanced seating, hand sanitising stations, temperature checks and additional cleaning. More information can be found at