Community Service

The joy of seeing Birmingham led theatre in the heart of Birmingham with the warm and comforting sounds of the Brummie accent was certainly a heart-warming experience as I visited the Patrick Studio at the Birmingham Hippodrome for Community Service.

Produced by Stans Cafe, this show was a celebration of the life of Birmingham born Trevor Prince, known as King in the production, and his experiences of becoming one of the Midlands first black police officers in the 70’s when racial tensions were high. His initial welcome into the police force was met with many racial slurs from his white counterparts which at times were hard to hear and garnered many gasps from the audience.

The show is an exploration of faith with the church featuring heavily in the day to day life of Trevor (Reisz Amos). He forms a band where he meets his wife Marcia (Yasmin Dawes) and they settle down to family life, soon welcoming their daughter Janet (Kianyah Caesar-Downer). We take a snapshot into their lives and how they deal with Trevor’s chosen career.

The cast of five are strong, with all but one taking on multiple roles throughout, with a particular favourite being Tinashe Darikwa's fabulous interpretation of the Pastor.  Hearing Brummie accents on stage will never tire for me and thankfully this talented group of people satisfied my need for authenticity. There were many moments of humour, blended with more poignant moments, all of which were performed with confidence. We were also blessed with a live band on stage who served to provide background music during scenes, along with a beautiful composition as we awaited the start of Act 2.  Reisz Amos shone as a very accomplished guitarist lending his talent to this production as Musical Director.

This show was perfect for the small space within the Patrick Studio, and scene changes executed with such precision by a member of the crew who worked tirelessly moving props, blew bubbles and even closed the show with her soft and unassuming vocal. More praise is always needed for off stage crew and this was a perfect example of being inclusive and showcasing talent.

With three different directors in charge of this piece (Reisz Amos, Steady Steadman and James Yarker) it did feel at times that there were lots of ideas, and sometimes the pace didn’t flow as well as it could have, flitting between parts of the story without fully completing one scene before starting the next. It’s an interesting choice though to include so many creative minds.

As the new musical theatre department at the Birmingham Hippodrome takes flight, I’m always delighted to see new work. Community Service is worthy of its place in this space showing what a richly diverse and creative place Birmingham is artistically.

This show was reviewed on the 9th May 2024 at Birmingham Hippodrome where it runs until the 11th May 2024.  Tickets available here: Community Service – Birmingham Hippodrome

For more information on Stans Cafe visit: Stan's Cafe Theatre Company (

Review written by Emma Rowley


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