The Peaky Blinders head to Edinburgh with Rambert Dance

A LEADING contemporary dance company is preparing to take its show, Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, to Edinburgh.

Following sell-out performances in Birmingham and a successful London premier, Rambert Dance will be taking to the stage at Edinburgh Festival Theatre from Tuesday 28 February to Saturday 4 March.

The show is inspired by the multi-award-winning BBC drama Peaky Blinders, which stars Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Paul Anderson, and the late Helen McCrory. Running for just over two hours, the on-stage production was written and adapted by Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight, and was choreographed and directed by Rambert’s artistic director, Benoit Swan Pouffer.

The Redemption of Thomas Shelby opens in the trenches of Flanders and follows the story of the Shelby family in post-war industrial Birmingham. While gang leader Tommy Shelby is building his empire, he is distracted by a beguiling newcomer, Grace Burgess, who is operating as an undercover agent. While Grace is on a mission to expose the Shelby family and the Peaky Blinder gang’s sinister plans, neither she nor Tommy bargain for the intoxicating love affair that unfolds.

The production features the full permanent Rambert dance company on stage, and a live band playing specially commissioned music and iconic Peaky Blinders tracks from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Radiohead, Anna Calvi, The Last Shadow Puppets, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Fans of the show will also recognise the voice of acclaimed writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who played street preacher Jeremiah Jesus in the TV series. His pre-recorded narration for the stage production is used to highlight key points of the story.

The dance theatre show will be at Edinburgh Festival Theatre from 28 February to 4 March. [Credit: Johan Persson]

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has included exclusive plot and character insights that don’t appear on screen. Speaking of the UK tour, he said: “Peaky Blinders has always had music and movement at its heart and now the beating heart of the show will be transferred to the stage, an interpretation of Tommy’s story performed by Rambert, one of the leading dance companies in the world.

“This is dance for people who don’t usually watch dance and what I’ve written has been transformed into something startling by consummate dancers and choreographers. If the concept of a Peaky Blinders dance seems strange, reserve judgement and reserve a ticket.”

Talking of his experiences while directing and choreographing the show, Benoit Swan Pouffer said: “Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby is something on a scale we’ve never done before, and I couldn’t be more ready for the challenge – it’s such an exciting opportunity as a choreographer to tell these stories and recreate these characters through dance.

“It is also a great collaborative opportunity to have been working closely with Steven Knight on this original production. What you’re going to get as a result will be an inspiring and uplifting dance show, but so much more than a dance show.”

Writer Steven Knight CBE (right) with choreographer and director, Benoit Swan Pouffer. [Credit: Johan Persson]

The full UK tour runs until Saturday 27 May, taking in Norwich, Bradford, Hull, Southampton, Manchester, Cardiff and Plymouth, before returning to Birmingham for its closing show.

To book tickets for the Edinburgh shows, please click HERE. The production is recommended for those aged 15 or over.

Plus, read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s culture pages.