BE Festival is back with a bang this summer from the 21st to the 25th of June, the festival brings a variety of European theatre to Birmingham in collaboration with the Birmingham Rep.
“BE FESTIVAL turns the notion of conventional theatre upside down. It crosses borders, creative disciplines and blurs the boundary between audience and artist.”
With the European referendum looming, the vote takes place right in the middle of the festival. With ‘BE’ standing for Birmingham European, the festival celebrates theatre, something that unites us with the other countries in Europe.
After attending BE Festival last year, I can assure you it is a highly exciting atmosphere full of innovative European theatre. It gives Birmingham audiences a chance to experience the world of European theatre and delve deeply into the imaginative works of 24 visiting European companies, including drama, visual arts, music and circus performances.
TIDA, the winners of last year’s BE Festival, will open this year’s festival with the world premiere of their new piece titled Piccole Donne. A performance about three future brides, the piece explores the idea of identity and the evolution women must undertake to liberate themselves from oppressive societal forces.
Other highlights include the celebration of two major figures in literature, commemorating 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, a play by CollettivO CineticO will explore the works of Hamlet, the actors will compete live on stage for the leading role which is then chosen by the audience. Similarly, to mark the 200th anniversary of celebrated novelist and poet Charlotte Bronte, Publick Transport are performing a physical theatre style comedy piece called We Are Bronte.
Aside from the performances, the festival spanning over five days will include theatrical workshops led by artists, discussions about the festivals theme democracy, and an interval dinner.
The interval dinner takes place on the stage of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in-between the evening performances. This year they welcome the chefs from Marmalade, the restaurant inside the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, they will be creating diverse, fresh and delicious meals. Not only does this give the audience a chance to enjoy a delectable meal, but it allows the artists and audience to mingle and converse with each other over dinner.
This year BE Festival are not only focusing on the importance of mixing English and European theatre, but they are also emphasising the large theatrical hub that Birmingham has to offer. They are taking a stance on London having the most recognition for theatre in the UK and showing what Birmingham has to offer in their campaign video.
*Contains strong language*
BE Festival are currently touring around the UK and Spain with their production of last year’s highlights titled Best of BE Festival.
Visting BE Festival this year will not only open your eyes to European theatre and it’s importance in our culture, but it is also a very cheap way to travel around all the different countries and experience their culture through the magic of theatre.
On from Tuesday the 21st to Saturday the 25th of June, BE Festival is set to be spectacular event bursting with European flavour.
All information for the festival can be found on their website.