Delia Derbyshire Takes Centre Stage in Noctium Theatre's HYMNS FOR ROBOTS
A local innovator and icon of 20th century music will be the focus of a new production by Coventry company Noctium Theatre this September.
Created with the support of the Belgrade Theatre as part of its Springboard talent development programme, Hymns for Robots tells the story of Coventry-born electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, now best remembered for groundbreaking work on the original Doctor Who theme tune.
After a successful run at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival that saw them scoop up excellent reviews, Noctium Theatre now head back to the Belgrade with their latest work - the follow-up to their warmly received debut, The Country Doctor.
Inspired by Delia Derbyshire's own inventive and experimental approach to her work, Hymns for Robots combines Delia-esque strange sounds and "weird wobbulations" with Noctium's own distinctive visual style to produce a heightened, immersive theatrical experience.
Raised in Coundon in the late 30s and 40s, Delia Derbyshire went on to earn a place at the then-girls' grammar school, Barr's Hill, before winning a scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge. Later, she joined the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, where she helped to create the iconic theme music for Doctor Who.
This was only the beginning of her career, however: less widely recognised are her massive contributions to electronic music more broadly, which has led to her being described by some as "the mother of modern music", cited as an influence on bands ranging from The Beatles to The Chemical Brothers and Pink Floyd to Orbital.
Now Noctium are joining a growing chorus of voices calling for her extraordinary work to receive the recognition it deserves, strengthened by the success of Coventry's City of Culture 2021 bid.
Noctium Theatre is comprised of Coventry University graduates Connor Nolan, Jessie Coller and Charles Craggs, and is supported as part of the Belgrade Theatre's Springboard scheme. As a registered charity, the Belgrade relies on the generous support of audiences, funders, corporate partners, members and donors to fund programmes such as the Springboard initiative.
Hymns for Robots shows at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from Wednesday 19 until Friday 21 September. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.
Photo Credit: Arnim Friess