One of the cast of hit TV series Peaky Blinders is set to feature in a new dance-theatre experience from ground-breaking company Ballet Rambert.
Birmingham-born writer and poet, Benjamin Zephaniah who played street preacher Jeremiah Jesu in the blockbuster BBC series, will provide the pre-recorded narration for Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, which makes its way to Hull New Theatre from 31 January to 4 February 2023.
Benjamin said: “I remember growing up in Birmingham and hearing about the Peaky Blinders, and I remember hearing about the great Rambert. I could never have imagined me, Peaky Blinders, and Rambert coming together. This gig was made for me. Rambert is taking the Peaky Blinders to another level. When these two come together audiences will witness one of the most imaginative collaborations of all time. I’m so proud to be a part of this. We are making dance history, and we’re still keeping it gangster.”
Written and adapted for the stage by Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight and choreographed and directed by Rambert’s Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer, inspired by the TV series produced and owned by Caryn Mandabach Productions, the show also sees Guillaume Quéau and Prince Lyons alternating the role of Thomas Shelby, with Naya Lovell and Seren Williams sharing the part of Grace.
Through dance-theatre, Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby picks up the story of the Peaky Blinders at the end of World War One, following Tommy Shelby and Grace Burgess through their passionate love affair. While Tommy is building his empire, Grace is operating as an undercover agent for Special Branch on a mission to get close to the heart of Tommy’s gang. As the story unfolds, many hearts are broken.
Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby features live musicians led by Musical Director Yaron Engler and a score written by Roman GianArthur and Nate Wonder, as well as a new track by Laura Mvula. GianArthur and Wonder worked with music consultant D.J. Walde to create the soundtrack for the production which will feature iconic songs from the television series.
Simon Sinek, Executive Producer of the TV show, said: “There are many great dancers, but there are very few great dance companies. Rambert is a great dance company. It is their ability to face new challenges head-on that inspires me so much. And Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby is the latest challenge that pushes the company and the boundaries of the medium. It is an honour to support them on their journey.”