Peaky blinders

A solid evening’s entertainment: Rambert’s Peaky Blinders ballet reviewed

Being of a squeamish sensibility and prejudiced by a low opinion of recent BBC drama, I can claim only a superficial acquaintance with Peaky Blinders. So my response to The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, a new ballet drawing on the popular television series about gangland Birmingham during the 1920s, is that of a rank outsider. Produced by Rambert (in association with Birmingham Hippodrome), it represents the company’s admirable attempt to find a broader audience and move out of the modern dance ghetto – hence presenting the show at the new Troubadour Theatre in Wembley Park rather than Sadler’s Wells. A spot check on the demographic suggests that it succeeded: but

The enduring appeal of Peaky Blinders

What’s the next step for a macho gangland drama that’s already built a fanbase in some 183 countries worldwide? That’s right: a collaboration with one of the highest regarded companies in UK contemporary dance. When it opens in September at Birmingham’s Hippodrome theatre, The Redemption of Thomas Shelby – a 20-strong dance production from the South Bank’s Rambert Dance Company – will mark yet another cultural milestone for Peaky Blinders: the BBC’s historic drama about a gang of Brummie ruffians who ran parts of the city between the two world wars. Since it premiered back in 2013, Peaky Blinders has not only gone to conquer Netflix (becoming, according to one analysis, the