On Thursday I was invited to the launch of BE Festival, Birmingham’s biggest performing arts festival, displaying the best of European’s theatre.
BE Festival is an annual event that takes place at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. ‘BE’ being short for Birmingham European, the festival is a combination of performances from all around Europe. There are a range of different performance styles such as dance, comedy, music, circus and visual arts. The festival emphasises on community spirit as the performers are “hosted” by members of the Birmingham public who open up their houses for the performers to stay.
What particularly interested me about the festival is that they highlight the importance of breaking down the barrier between the performers and the audience. Each evening during the interval there is a meal on the main stage as the audience are invited to have dinner with the performers and chat about the show. I think this is a fantastic idea, BE Festival is innovatively creating a new way to enjoy theatre where the performer and audience member are both equal. Questions can be asked and discussions can be had that could really spark up a creative conversation both about the performance and culture.
All the performances look exciting and engaging but my eye was notably caught by a few performances, such as the outdoor performance by Bot Project from Spain, a spectacular trampolining performance. Or Antonio Tagliarini, an Italian performer who actually won the festival last year, he will be doing a performance in which he explores the idea of everyone’s alter ego’s.
From the 23rd the the 27th of June, there will be a variety of artistic and thought provoking performances across the whole of BE Festival. What makes BE Festival different is the diversity of culture and the laid back aspect of the festival where the audience and the performers interact.
There is also a youth theatre programme provided by BE Festival, including free workshops with international theatre directors that are performing at the festival. A fantastic opportunity for young people with a passion for theatre, details can be found here.
I am enthralled by the spirit of BE festival, as it brings people from so many different countries together through theatre. Theatre is a universal language and you won’t find a better representation of that anywhere other than at BE Festival.
Tickets are available for each day of the festival, or for the whole week. The information for tickets can be found here.
Other ways to get involved with BE festival is to host a performer in your house for the week, or be a volunteer at the festival, information can be found here.