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The Optimists 2024

Are you an emerging artist, creative practitioner or aspiring producer based in the West Midlands hoping to develop your professional producing skills in the subsidised arts sector? Apply now for our in-person training course The Optimists, delivered in partnership with Arena Theatre & Warwick Arts Centre.

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A group of people sat round a table, some of them with their back to the camera. One person looks to be pointing at something on the table and talking about it to the group.

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Talking About The Fire

If you missed Talking About The Fire, created by Chris Thorpe and Claire O'Reilly at The Royal Court Theatre last year, it's coming to the Midlands on Friday 12th July for Departure Lounge Festival at Derby Theatre. The show examines nuclear threat; inviting you, the audience, to join the conversation and regain agency on this urgent issue.

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Please Do Not Touch

Mason is an activist. He's always been able to talk his way out of trouble, win any argument and speak out against injustice until an incident in a heritage house takes all that away from him. Written by Casey Bailey and directed by Gail Babb, Please Do Not Touch will have its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre this September.

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To the left of the image are three photos of a young male overlapping one another upon a background image of the front of a building. The main photo of the young man is a headshot with him looking directly at the camera. The photo behind shows the man looking down at a phone in his hand. The photo in the foreground shows the man with his eyes closed and hands in his trouser pockets looking up slightly.

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Humans Not Heroes

Seven cohorts of healthcare workers have each co-created an audio artwork based on their real-life experiences of working throughout the pandemic. The pieces feature as part of the UNMASKED: Real Stories of Nursing in Covid-19 exhibition at the RCN Scotland Learning Hub in Edinburgh.

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A woman wearing a disposable mask, sitting on a bus alone.

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Longing to Belong

Commissioned by BBC Arts, Longing to Belong is a new short musical film about a Jamaican girl’s desire to fit in in 1960s Bristol, inspired by China Plate and Birmingham Hippodrome’s brand-new stage musical To The Streets! A show that tells the inspiring story of the Bristol Bus Boycott.

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A woman standing on a bus holding her right hand in the air whilst singing.

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Soho Settlers

Discover the history of Handsworth with a brand-new heritage walk by Black Heritage Walks Network and digitally pinned audio pieces on the Overhear App. Presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival, a China Plate and Birmingham Hippodrome project. A Creative City Project generously supported by Birmingham City Council.

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A close up of a phone screen in a person's hand.

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On Our Way

Artist Nilupa Yasmin, alongside residents from North Birmingham, have collaborated to make over 8 bus stops into stained glass galleries along the iconic 74 route on the Soho Road in Birmingham. Each one tells the stories of the communities that make up the area. Presented as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

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Photograph of a bus stop outside a temple, decorated with stain glass style patterns.

What's on

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On Our Way

We're On Our Way to convert bus stops along the iconic 74 route on the Soho Road into art galleries.

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Soho Settlers

Take in new places and hear new voices with a co-created digital walk of Handsworth.

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Humans Not Heroes

A co-created series of audio pieces made with artists and healthcare workers exploring their experiences of the Covid pandemic.

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Talking About The Fire

Very few of us have lived in a world without nuclear weapons. If they continue to exist, we won't. That’s how this started.

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Trash is a dark musical comedy taking the form of a crime caper. What happens when appearances and friendships become a commodity?

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Latest News

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Under the Bonnet of #50Days

3rd May 2024

We’re excited to be supporting the next phase of development for #50 Days by Thabo Stuck, who was part of…

We’re excited to be supporting the next phase of development for #50 Days by Thabo Stuck, who was part of our Musical Theatre Darkroom residency in 2022.

Written by Ed

The Optimists FAQ’s

30th April 2024

Applications for The Optimists Summer 2024 course are now open! This blog provides some key links and places to find…

Written by Kristina

Introducing our new Administrator & Trustees

5th April 2024

We're delighted to welcome Zahra Meghji as our new Administrator, alongside Raidene Carter, Cerian Eiles, Christina Elliot & Paul Hewlett…

Written by Chloe


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The Optimists Summer 2024

Are you an emerging artist, creative practitioner or aspiring producer based in the West Midlands? Check out The Optimists Summer 2024 course!...

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Help China Plate support artists, freelancers and audiences

As a charity China Plate Theatre relies on donations to create adventurous and imaginative new theatre with popular appeal and a social purpose.

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