A Resource for Performing Artists, Scholars and Audiences.
Internationally-renowned performance artist Anne Bean will premiere her latest
work at Birmingham's only international theatre festival this summer.
Birmingham European Festival, which runs from 4-10 July, will include a special guest
performance of the piece The Un-knitted Lives of Young Girls, by Anne Bean and
Poshya Kakl. The work, which receives its UK premiere at BE FESTIVAL, tells the story
of a group of Iraqi women imprisoned for refusing arranged marriages and who feel
safer inside the jail than out. Anne will also be delivering a two day workshop and a talk
about her career during the festival.
BE FESTIVAL aims to blur the boundaries between artforms, programming an eclectic
mix of the most exciting dance, theatre and performance pieces from across the
continent. Engagement and participation are also key to the festival’s ethos, and the
accompanying programme of talks, workshops, exhibitions and events will take the
public far beyond the normal audience experience.
The cross-cultural feast begins on Monday 4 July with multi-award-winning ensemble
Theatre Ad Infinitum (UK) at mac Birmingham. Winners of the BE FESTIVAL 2010
Development Prize, they were supported by the festival and by mac Birmingham to
develop their show Translunar Paradise into a full-length production. The show tells the
story of a widower who escapes to a paradise of fantasy and past memories, far from
the reality of his grief.
The Main Programme (6-9 July) consists of four 30 minute shows each night, for four
nights, in the atmospheric old AE Harris Factory in the city's famous Jewellery Quarter.
And instead of the usual interval snacks, the audience can join performers for a locally sourced meal between the second and third show. Before and after performances, the
festival will offer live music, visual art installations and the chance to meet and discuss
with the performers.
Other companies set to make Birmingham their home for the week-long festival include
Kotorogo Theatre, a Russian physical theatre company whose way of life and personal
names are kept entirely secret. They will be performing their new work, The Focus,
described as 'like a game of hide and seek for the blind'.
Bad People in Guantanamo by Academia Teatrale Di Roma (Italy), was inspired by the
true story of a group of friends who left Birmingham for a marriage in the Punjab, but
were captured and held in the infamous Guantanamo Bay facility, despite their
Birmingham's own Kindle Theatre (UK) will be performing The Furies: A dirty girl band,
which smashes classical poetry together with rock, jazz and soul songs to create a
playful retelling of the epic Greek tale of Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra – the original
tale of rage, envy and revenge. In total 20 companies from nine European countries will
present their work at BE FESTIVAL 2011, with many performing in the UK for the first
The bar opens at 3:45pm each day and Main Programme performances begin at 7pm.
For more information about the programme or to buy tickets, go to www.befestival.org.
The festival is supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, the
International Young Makers Exchange, Stan's Cafe, mac, DanceXchange, the REP, the
Sir Barry Jackson Trust and Birmingham School of Acting.
Monday 4 to Sunday 10 July,
Venues: AE Harris factory, 110 Northwood Street, Birmingham B3 1SZ and mac (Midlands
Arts Centre), Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH
Tickets: available from www.macarts.co.uk or 0121 446 3232
4-5 July, 8pm @ mac
6-9 July, 7pm @ AE Harris
BE FESTIVAL Core Programme
£10 (Four day pass £35)
10 July, @ mac
Little BE – suitable for anyone aged 6+
15 July, 8pm @ mac
BE MIX – new work and improvisation from BE FESTIVAL performers
Notes to Editors:
BE FESTIVAL is directed by Mike Tweddle, Miguel Oyarzun and Isla Aguilar. The theme
of the festival is Crossing Borders.
BE FESTIVAL's aims are:
• to invigorate Birmingham’s theatre scene and strengthen the city’s reputation as a
European cultural centre.
• to programme and commission work that is bold, risk-taking, varied and generous,
and which could not be seen elsewhere in the Midlands.
• to encourage exchange and new relationships between people of different linguistic
backgrounds, and to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity.
• to facilitate and support the development of emerging artists and arts professionals
by encouraging and rewarding excellence in the performing arts.
• to offer young people and non-professionals access to the highest quality of training
opportunities, enabling them to produce creative work of a professional standard.