The Belgrade Theatre is delighted to be presenting the world premiere of Karla Marie Sweet’s audio drama This Little Relic. Part of BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival, This Little Relic premieres on Fri 24 Sept, with other events in the wider festival taking place from Mon 20 – Sun 26 Sept at the Belgrade.

This Little Relic is directed by the Belgrade’s own Co-Artistic Director, Justine Themen, and will be recorded live in front of an audience on Fri 24 Sept in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium, and then presented in the venue from Weds 29 Sept – Sat 2 Oct. It will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 later in the autumn.

This Little Relic is inspired by the play The Black Doctor, a story of love across a divide. The play was one of two written by Ira Aldridge, the subject of the Coventry 2021 mural on the side of the Belgrade Theatre, and the UK’s first Black Theatre manager - in Coventry.

A story of love, friendship and regeneration.

Jen is returning home, Prabhleen is falling in love and in an abandoned pub in Coventry a rebellion is rising.

With Mr. Sims determined to produce the perfect version of Ira Aldridge’s The Black Doctor, music loving teenagers Alex and Ajay find themselves reigniting an old friendship.

A play about identity, acceptance and hope.

Confirmed casting features Midlands-based actors Aimee Powell (Crongton Knights, Over the Top) and Qasim Mahmood as Alex and Ajay, respectively.

Ten members of the Belgrade’s Black Youth Theatre have been involved in writing original music for This Little Relic. The score of five songs has been written with Unamay Olomolaiye – who has written with the Black Youth Theatre for ten years – and will be sung live, featuring solos from Kimberley Musa (Like There’s No Tomorrow) and Joelle Ikwa (Coventry Moves).

Director Justine Themen said: “We’ve worked with Karla to give this narrative a Coventry focus, addressing the needs of young people in the city, as well as Ira’s place as an inspiration for young creatives of colour. I’m delighted that we have been able to work with the singing skills of our Black Youth Theatre to create a vibrant and atmospheric underscore for the piece.”

Joelle Ikwa is the Assistant Director, with Unamay Olomolaiye as the Composer, and Leon Phillips as Facillitator for the Belgrade’s Black Youth Theatre.

BBC Contains Strong Language is part of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme of events, in collaboration with BBC Audio Drama North.

The annual poetry and spoken word festival BBC Contains Strong Language comes to Coventry this year with over fifty Covid compliant and in-person poetry events taking over the city between Thursday 23 and Sunday 26 September 2021 for all the family to enjoy with tickets available to book here:

This Little Relic takes place as part of BBC Contains Strong Language on Fri 24 Sept. Tickets are free and available to book online at or by phoning 024 7655 3055. This Little Relic then runs in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium from Weds 29 Sept – Sat 2 Oct.