World premiere of Peaky Blinders show announced - but it’s not on TV

Peaky Blinders creator has branched out to the medium of dance to bring his Birmingham heroes to life

Now it’s Peaky Blinders – the dance show!

You wouldn’t expect to see the hard men of Birmingham pirouetting across the stage, but the gangsters’ story is now being brought to life through the medium of dance.

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By Order of the Peaky Blinders, tickets are now on sale for the world premiere of Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, created by Steven Knight in association with Birmingham Hippodrome and Rambert Dance.

Brummie Steven, the creator and writer of Peaky Blinders, describes it as “dance for people who don’t usually watch dance”. He adds: “If the concept of a Peaky Blinders dance seems strange, reserve judgement and reserve a ticket.”

He has written a story which begins in the First World War trenches, where Tommy and his friends fought together in Flanders. That’s just before when the TV series was first set, in 1919. The dance show will have some of the plot from early episodes of the hit BBC drama. including Tommy’s love story with Grace, but also has new scenes.

Peaky Blinders the ballet - Ramber Dance in Peaky Blinders the Redemption of Thomas Selby

Launching the show at Birmingham Hippodrome, where it will premiere from September 27 to October 2 before a UK tour, some of the cast of 20 Rambert dancers gave a sneak peek of what to expect from a production which is still being written. It will also feature a live band playing some of the TV series’ iconic tracks and some new, specially commissioned music.

The dance show has been more than three years in the making, building on a relationship which included Rambert dancers performing Swan Lake in series five at Tommy’s mansion.

Rambert chief executive Helen Shute said: “It’s particularly fitting that we open the show in Birmingham. It’s not only the home of Peaky Blinders but a city where Rambert has been touring since the 1930s. The original Peaky Blinders could even have seen one of our shows. We look forward to welcoming a new generation of audiences to theatres with a story that speaks to so many people.”

Peaky Blinders the ballet - Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders the Redemption of Thomas Selby

Chris Sudworth, the Hippodrome’s Director of Artistic Programme, said: “The opportunity to collaborate on a production that is so synonymous with our city is incredibly exciting. 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.

“It’s particularly good to share this work in the year in which Birmingham is in the global spotlight – it will continue the momentum after the Commonwealth Games and Birmingham 2022 Festival.”

Rambert Dance bring the Peaky Blinders story to live with dance with a ballet written with creator Steven Knight

Directed and choreographed by Rambert’s artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer, the show is described as “dazzling and athletic”.

Steven Knight added: “Peaky Blinders has always been about music and movement and it lends itself to becoming a dance. The show will give new insight into who the Peaky Blinders are.

“I really don’t know anything about dance, but the dancers are exquisite human beings and I find it quite emotional to watch.

“On Saturday evenings, millions of people tune in to watch dancing on TV with Strictly, so it’s not an elitist art form. You don’t know that you don’t like dance until you’ve been, and this is the dance you should come to see. It’s going to be absolutely astonishing.”

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