Project information

Anita and Me: World Premiere

In 2015 The REP will produce the World Stage Premiere of Meera Syal’s 'Anita and Me' and nationwide tour. The play and accompanying school activities will nurture an intergenerational understanding of immigrant communities and their histories that is vital in the diverse communities of today.

July 2015 - June 2016

Charity information: Birmingham Repertory Theatre Limited

Birmingham Repertory Theatre Limited logo
  • Need


    'Anita and Me' will bring to light the issues faced by immigrant families in the 1960s and by many families today. This is crucial in Birmingham where over 50 languages are spoken amongst diverse and disparate communities and the impact of immigration is not fully understood by younger generations. The play also highlights tensions between already resident and subsequent generations of immigrant communities across the UK. This play is currently very topical with the rise of right wing politics.


    The lack of awareness about these issues will be solved by offering discounted tickets to local schools so they can see for themselves this important story brought to life. To extend this we will provide workshops in Birmingham schools and create online education resources for schools nationwide to explore the themes of 'Anita and Me' which is now part of the National Curriculum. The production will tour across the UK giving over 200,000 people a chance to encounter its vital topical themes.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To produce, stage and subsequently tour 'Anita and Me' nationwide.


    » Use The REP’s resources and contacts as a world-leading producing theatre.

    We will have successfully produced and presented the World Premiere of 'Anita and Me' and it will have toured to 15 other venues in the UK.

    Aim 2

    To provide an education opportunity for Birmingham schools and schools all over the UK.


    » We will create online, digitally interactive resources for students and teachers studying 'Anita and Me' on the National Curriculum.
    » Our experienced learning and participation team will deliver workshops for Birmingham schools.

    We will have worked with 2600 school children from Birmingham and created of a digital education resource pack for schools nationwide.

    Aim 3

    To make communities aware of the recent histories of immigrant families.


    » We will offer discounted tickets to schools and community groups, some of whom we already have links with, in particularly diverse parts of Birmingham

    At least 15,000 people will have seen the production in Birmingham, half of whom will have been new audiences and a third will have been non-white.

    Aim 4

    To increase the aspiration of local artists by staging a show written by West Midlands-based author


    » Host talks and discussions with Meera Syal (author of 'Anita and Me') on Press Night with our Foundry members and trainee artists.

    A seminar from Meera Syal as part of our Artist development scheme that nurtures local talent. We will track success of how many artists in that group go on to succeed in the arts.

  • Impact


    The project will have made local communities aware of issues faced by emerging communities and immigrants in the UK. We will demonstrate this through qualitative feedback from students and teachers, collected by a current REP phd researcher in community outreach . It will also expand the reach of our learning and participation programme. We will demonstrate this success by recording the number of school groups involved in the workshops and monitoring the use of our online resources.


    Schools may not choose to study 'Anita and Me': We have addressed this by already writing to schools and have partnerships with local schools who are guided by our seasons. Ticket prices would be too expensive for schools and diverse communities: The project budget would include special discounts for schools on top of our already discounted ticket packages for schools. The show would not be completed: The REP has been producing theatre in house for over 100 years, averaging 30 shows a year.


    Donors will receive an annual report on the success of the 'Anita and Me' tour with case studies and photos of involvement of different theatres and schools. Donors will attend a special showing of 'Anita and Me' at The REP, and be kept in regular contact about our charitable work through mailings.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Marketing Print, mailings, design costs, photography, celebrity patron activities including a short film.
      £15,000 Touring/online education pack The creation of a digital workshop package using extracts from the show.
      £10,000 Discounted tickets To provide 1000 heavily discounted tickets for particularly disadvantaged communities.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Board of Directors £500 Guaranteed
    Board of Directors £7,500 Conditional
  • Background


    Birmingham is the second most populous city in the UK, has a strong heritage of immigrant communities and rich ethnic diversity. Only 53.1% of the city is of white British descent. Birmingham Repertory Theatre celebrated its 100th birthday in 2013; throughout the century the theatre has been at the heart of the diverse communities of Birmingham, and has helped shape the artistic and social legacy of the city by tackling controversial issues and offering accessible learning opportunities.


    15,000 people from Birmingham’s diverse communities will see the show and be able to take part in workshops and seminars. 30,000 Teachers and pupils from schools all over the country will benefit from a national tour of 'Anita and Me' with accompanying digital education resources. In Birmingham, 2600 students will be able to take part in an interactive seminar and workshop led by our learning and participation team. Over 200,000 people from all over the UK will see the show during its tour.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Birmingham Repertory Theatre presents over 30 productions on our three stages every year. Often, these shows are world premieres and we tour them nationally and internationally, showcasing theatre made in Birmingham to the rest of the world.

    Our learning and participation outreach programme is the best of any cultural organisation in the city and engages over 25,000 young people every year. This means we are well equipped in providing resources to accompany the show.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Meera Syal

    Author of 'Anita and Me'. British writer, comedian and actress born and bred in West Midlands who has close links with, and will support, The REP.

    Roxana Silbert

    Artistic Director of The REP and Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, committed to engaging with the diverse communities of Birmingham

    Steve Ball

    Director of Learning and Participation at The REP, with a wealth of experience in delivering participatory projects within schools.