5th Annual BE FESTIVAL, Featuring Best of European Theatre, Returns to Birmingham, July 2-12

‚Äč
5th Annual BE FESTIVAL, Featuring Best of European Theatre, Returns to Birmingham, July 2-12

BE FESTIVAL, Birmingham's festival celebrating the best of European theatre returns to the city and a new home at Birmingham Repertory Theatre this July. Featuring over twenty electrifying performances from eleven European countries, plus live music, exhibitions, workshops, discussions and delicious food, this vibrant festival puts Birmingham on the map as the theatre capital of Europe from 2 - 12 July 2014.

The fortnight-long festival brings together daring and unforgettable new performances from Spain, Italy, Denmark, France, Hungary and Germany among others.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, this year BE FESTIVAL takes over Birmingham Repertory Theatre, turning the building back-to-front as festival-goers will be able to step backstage and experience The REP in an innovative and exciting way. The REP's set construction workshop will be transformed into a festival hub with a bar for audiences to socialise and the scenic paintshop becomes an interactive exhibition space, while the theatre's vast main stage will be converted into a pop-up restaurant with food from Blanch & Shock Food Design.

The first week features an exclusive double-bill: Finger, Trigger, Bullet, Gun, written for UK theatre company Stan's Cafe by Serbian playwright Nenad Proki?, uses thousands of dominoes to stage the outbreak of WW1; and Danish company, Out of Balanz return with their award-winning show from last year's festival, Next Door.

In the second week the festival gets into full swing with audiences invited to experience a choice pick of shows in a unique atmosphere, format and setting. Each night features four different 30 minute-long shows with audiences offered the opportunity to eat dinner with the performers in the interval. Before and after the performances the festival also offers live music, visual art and the chance to attend workshops, while each day opens with Feedback Café - an informal chance to meet the performers from the previous night's shows.

Festival highlights include an evening of solo shows from the participatory loops & breaks by Julia Schwarzbach (Austria) to Anna Peschke's (Germany) dark, probing silent cabaret, Ilsa's Garden. Radioballet - aka Hungarian dance artists Bea Egyed and Milan Ujjvaro - perform in front of an English-speaking audience for the first time with From The Waltz to the Mambo while Iraqi actor and director Mikhallad Rasem (Belgium) brings his meditative piece, Waiting. David Espinosa and El Local Espacio de Creación (Spain) explore whether bigger necessarily means better in Mi Gran Obra (My Great Work), and Jamie Wood (UK) stages his own epic Wimbledon final in the joyful Beating McEnroe.

A theme running throughout BE FESTIVAL 2014 is alternative currencies. Drawing inspiration from the festival itself Netherlands based artist, Dadara, has created this year's visual arts programme, Money = Time = Art. As self-appointed CEO of his own financial institution, The Exchanghibition Bank, Dadara has introduced Karma, a new currency to operate in the backstage bar. 20,000 Karma notes featuring original designs by Dadara will be issued in return for cash which festival goers can then spend, but not before adding their own message on the reverse transcending each note's status as merely legal tender into something more personal and connected. Throughout the festival, Dadara also invites audiences to contribute their banknotes to a cumulative sculpture, The Transformoney Tree, transforming their value by creating a beautiful object. This piece will join a wider exhibition of Dadara's work that runs at mac Birmingham from Sat 5 July to Sun 31 August.

As part of the alternative currencies theme, audiences attending during the first week of the festival will also be rewarded with REP pounds to spend on tickets to future shows at The REP. Festival goers also have the option of buying a Golden Ticket by paying an extra £8 for their shows. Golden Tickets grant a stranger entry to one day of the festival, and are distributed via local partner organisations working with people who do not ordinarily get to enjoy a trip to the theatre.

2014 BE FESTIVAL LINEUP:

BE FESTIVAL

2 to 12 July 2014

Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham B1 2EP

Tickets and information: 0121 236 4455 / Birmingham-rep.co.uk

WEEK ONE

BE FESTIVAL DOUBLE BILL

WEEK 2

BE FESTIVAL MAIN PROGRAME

Wed 2 - Fri 4 July

Tue 8 - Sat 12 July

The REP, Centenary Square, Broad Street Birmingham B1 2EP

The REP, Back Entrance, Cambridge Street, Birmingham B1 2EP

£12/£10

Day Ticket £12, Five-day pass £50, Dinner £8 per night

Wednesday 2 - Friday 4 July
Double Bill by Stan's Cafe (UK) and Out of Balanz (Denmark)
7.45pm, The STUDIO

Finger Trigger Bullet Gun
By Nenad Proki? & Stan's Cafe
A short play that asks: if a Serbian finger pulled the trigger which started World Ware 1 then who put the bullet in that gun? The show climaxes with the toppling of thousands of dominos.

Next Door
By Out of Balanz

When Ivan Hansen's neighbor passes away suddenly, Ivan realizes he doesn't know anything about him. Intimate storytelling and high octane physical theatre explore what it is that really connects us.

Multi-award winning Danish company Out of Balanz return to Birmingham following their sell-out Edinburgh Fringe run and a critically-acclaimed European tour.

Tuesday 8 July - Grand Opening, Main Programme

Minute of Silence by Dadara
7pm, PAINTSHOP
One minute of silence to mourn and contemplate all the time we have lost and wasted.

Part shaman, part banker, Dadara's is an animating, provocative and irreverent presence at the BE FESTIVAL 2014, playfully engineering a collective space of exchange.

How To Make A Living As An Artist
BE MIX
Made in Birmingham
7.20pm, The STUDIO
In English and other languages with surtitles, might contain nudity

Each company appearing in last year's programme nominated one of their number to stay behind for a week to join our transient, multi-national company-in-residence and begin making a new show. This year, the BE Mix artists return in time to welcome you to BE FESTIVAL 2014 with the fruits of their labour. Devised in collaboration with Spanish director, Carlos Aladro, and drawing inspiration from resident visual artist Dadara's research, How to Make a Living... is the ensemble's response to the festival theme of 'alternative currencies'.

Interval Dinner - Tue 8 - Sat 12 July

Blanch & Shock Food Design (UK)

8.00pm, restaurant on main stage

Full menu at http://befestival.org/festival/dinner-2014/

Blanch & Shock Food Design use food to explore and illustrate ideas, focusing on the British palette of ingredients. Since 2009 they have produced more than 100 creative food projects including collaborations with the V&A, Wellcome Collection, Icon Magazine and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Next Door
By Out of Balanz (Denmark)
9pm, The STUDIO
When Ivan Hansen's neighbor passes away suddenly, Ivan realizes he doesn't know anything about him. Intimate storytelling and high octane physical theatre explore what it is that really connects us.

Wednesday 9 July - Main Programme

Getaway

Theater Am Tisch (Germany / Spain / Italy / Australia)
6pm, The DOOR

Pick a table, pull up a chair, and let's talk about what we're fleeing from, running towards and hoping for. Professional exiles tracing paths of escape and opportunity across Europe wait with their tales for you to join them; tales of rules and regulations, of families and values, of cities and dreams, and of love.

The nine members of Berlin based Theater am Tisch, from Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia, have been creating intimate theatre experiences together in unique locations since 2012.

Mi Gran Obra (un proyecto ambicioso)

David Espinosa / El Local Espacio de Creación (Spain)

6.10pm, The DOOR

If you could make a show, unconstrained by funding and liberated from health and safety regulations, what would it be like? Grab your opera glasses and join David, 300 actors, herds of animals, a military orchestra, cars, a rock band and a helicopter to find out what he would do...

Through wandering playfully amongst the fripperies of colossal creations, Mi Gran Obra (My Great Work) continues Espinosa's ongoing exploration of value, substance and artistic practice as El Local Espacio de Creación, a company he founded in 2006 with Africa Navarro.

From The Waltz To The Mambo

Radioballet (Hungary)

7pm, The STUDIO

In the hands and in the body of a single performer, a 1960ss Hungarian ballroom dance manual becomes a tool for questioning today's dogmas surrounding beauty and education. A disarmingly straightforward, funny, and personal meeting of a vintage text and a contemporary performance language.

Radioballet are Hungarian dance artists, Bea Egyed and Mila?n U?jva?ri. With cultural differences and shared understanding central to their work, they are particularly looking forward to performing in front of an English-speaking audience (with an English sense of humour!) for the first time at BE FESTIVAL 2014.

Plaza Avellaneda

Teatro Secreto (Spain/Argentina)

7pm, The STUDIO

Argentina, 2008. 16 years after they last saw each other, two old best friends meet again under very different circumstances. From a small hospital room, where one lies recovering from a gunshot wound, their shared memories of days growing up together transport them back through the forging of the ideals that would ultimately break them apart.

Teatro Secreto tell stories with a refined informality, investigating narrative through a physical approach that invites an audience further into the depths of contemporary texts.

Everything We Were (Not) Born With

KIJO Group (Poland)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

Three dancers wander an unknown yet inevitable path of isolation and connection, cross-fading between childlike curiosity and methodical cruelty. A sparse, forensic examination of the internal and external boundaries of identity and the human body, where our own sense of self is cast in an ongoing conflict with the desires of others.

Founded in Lodz in 2010, KIJO Group's collaborative process draws on elements of improvisation, contemporary dance, physical theatre and martial arts practices.

Beating McEnroe

Jamie Wood (UK)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

Bjorn Borg, the self-controlled tennis champion and epitome of cool, was everything a six-year-old Jamie wanted to be. Then John McEnroe came along... Thirty years of torment and self-questioning later, Jamie is ready to face his greatest opponent. The final point of an epic Wimbledon final relived with the audience as a joyful, cathartic ritual of rivalry, love and moving on.

Jamie Wood is a performer and director, whose work reflects a training that combines fine art, theatre, clown and dance.

Thursday 10 July - Main Programme

Getaway

Theater Am Tisch (Germany / Spain / Italy / Australia)

6pm, The DOOR

Pick a table, pull up a chair, and let's talk about what we're fleeing from, running towards and hoping for. Professional exiles tracing paths of escape and opportunity across Europe wait with their tales for you to join them; tales of rules and regulations, of families and values, of cities and dreams, and of love.

The nine members of Berlin based Theater am Tisch, from Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia, have been creating intimate theatre experiences together in unique locations since 2012.

Mi Gran Obra (un proyecto ambicioso)

David Espinosa / El Local Espacio de Creación (Spain)

6.10pm, The DOOR

If you could make a show, unconstrained by funding and liberated from health and safety regulations, what would it be like? Grab your opera glasses and join David, 300 actors, herds of animals, a military orchestra, cars, a rock band and a helicopter to find out what he would do...

Through wandering playfully amongst the fripperies of colossal creations, Mi Gran Obra (My Great Work) continues Espinosa's ongoing exploration of value, substance and artistic practice as El Local Espacio de Creación, a company he founded in 2006 with Africa Navarro.

That's It

Sandman (Belgium / The Netherlands)

7pm, The STUDIO

A spectre claws her way across the stage, back and forth between nightmarish dreamscapes to become one creature after another, lurking in the darkest recesses of the mind. For the audience, each transformation, each lurch of time and space, is a terrifying, untethering slip away from what is known and what is real.

That's It is the first solo from Sandman company, founded in October 2012 by Artistic Director, Sabine Molenaar. Winner of ACT festival, Bilbao and award for Strongest Female Talent at Theater Aan Zee Festival, Oostende.

loops & breaks

Julia Schwarzbach (Austria)

7pm, The STUDIO
In English, contains audience interaction, suited for all ages

Julia invites you, the audience, to make the action by responding to a series of shifting instructions prepared especially for the BE FESTIVAL crowd. The stage expands to become a blur of watching and performing, interpretation, cooperation and play, where everyone can join the game of finding common ground together, and where every contribution is precious.

Since studying at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance and Roehampton University, London, Julia has worked with choreographers including Sasha Waltz, Rosalind Crisp, Ted Stoffer and Mia Lawrence. She is a member of tanz_house, a Salzburg based platform for choreography.

Ilsa's Garden

Anna Peschke (Germany)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

Ilsa was the protagonist of an eponymous 1974 Nazi exploitation film. An unscrupulous officer and concentration camp doctor, this 'She-Wolf of the SS' is an unsettling creation, inhabited here by the artist to interrogate the appeal of German Fascism. The lyrics of Friedrich Hollaender's revue songs are the only words disturbing an intense procession of images in a dark, otherwise silent cabaret.

Since graduating from her studies in Applied Theatre Science in Gießen, Germany, Anna has created work at the meeting point of visual and scenic art, often responding to the architecture and history of specific spaces.

The Invasion of The Body Snatchers

La Casa en el Árbol (Spain)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

The infamous black and white quest of an unfeeling alien race to eliminate individualism on Earth is explored in the glorious three dimensions and technicolor of a live show. Fragments of '50s scripts and sequels work in conversation with video projection to present an unsettling B-Movie mash-up of our notions of identity and collectivism.

La Casa en el Árbol is led by Vicente Colomar, an artist, producer and academic. Vicente develops international and interdisciplinary research projects; spaces that explore the performing arts and their role in society.

Friday 11 July - Main Programme

Ghostland Cinema

mingbeast in collaboration with Sleepwalk Collective (UK / Spain)

7pm, The STUDIO

Spinning giddily between crime scene investigation, misguided therapy session and cack-handed se?ance for a doomed starlet, Ghostland Cinema is a cryptic and chaotic exploration of how we remember, and of why we might prefer to forget.

London based mingbeast are interested in botched illusion, ultra-competitiveness, and allowing everything to get out of control (if only for a moment). Sleepwalk Collective is an award-winning theatre group based in the Basque Country. Both companies develop performance works between the UK and Spain.

Does it Start with a Kiss?

Éva Duda Dance Company (Hungary)

7pm, The STUDIO

How much are we dependent on each other? Who takes what from who and why? Urgent questions of individual agency and submission spill from relationships fizzing with the passion of the tango, as an impetuous trio dance 'all for one and one for all!' - in it most-definitely-together to discover the outer limits of this guiding principle.

Formed in 2009/2010 by Éva Duda, the company have commissioned Slovenian artists Rosana Hribar and Gregor Lus?tek to choreograph this latest work.

Wunschkonzert

Maura Morales (Germany/Cuba)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

Inspired by the 1971 Franz Xaver Kroetz play of the same name, Wvunschkonzert unveils one woman's grasp for a sensual life of joy and wonder and of dreams realised, beyond everyday monotony, loneliness and longing. Through sleight choreography and fragile ruses of movement, Morales sensitively opens up the space to reveal the depths of the human soul.

Before pursuing her independent practice in 2008, Maura was a soloist for leading State theatres in Cuba and Europe.

Winner of Kurt Joos Best Dance Performance award at Huesca festival, Spain.

Waiting

Mokhallad Rasem (Belgium/Iraq)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

It can be an interruption, a pause, or an obstacle to a future not yet begun. We wait for insight or for a bus. Until pain subsides. For word of a loved one, for toilet paper, money or for a visa. Different worlds clash quietly through traces of dance, performance and film in a meditation upon the fundamental human experience of waiting.

Mokhallad worked at the National Theatre of Iraq before the war changed the course of his life. Now resident director at Toneelhuis in Antwerp, Belgium, he won the 2013 Young Director's award at the Saltzburger Festspiele for Romeo & Juliet.

Saturday 12 July - Main Programme

Unannounced start time - performance is a happening
The Inverse of the Plot
Jaime Vallaure (Spain)
Secret location

What is really going on when nothing is happening... what do we see? What do we want to see? Responding to BE FESTIVAL's unique takeover of The REP, a performance intervention that flips our understanding of how a theatre space works. The place where we watch is revealed as a factory of ideas, where the building blocks of action must first be imagined.

Jaime Vallaure is an experimental artist working in fields of action-art, performance, video, and independent publishing. This new work, to happen sometime during Saturday evening, is being created for BE using local and European performers during the festival.

Performance by BE Next

7pm, The STUDIO

People from every corner of the world are proud to call Birmingham 'home'. From Kings Heath to Handsworth, the city's streets are alive with as many languages and accents as you might hear across a continent. BE Next, BE FESTIVAL's young company, sets out to celebrate the city's unique community by working with 14-19 year-olds from all over Birmingham, many of whom speak a language other than English.

The company have been working with professional theatre-makers Manuel Bonillo (Vladmir Tzekov, Spain) and Won Kim (Pas de Dieux, France) to create a brand new show for the closing night.

Impressions d'Afrique

mk (Italy)

7pm, The STUDIO

In his 1910 novel, Impressions d'Afrique, Raymond Roussel saw Africa as an unpredictable hybrid of multiple and arbitrary Western notions. This surreal landscape forms the backdrop to mk's crowded system of chain reactions and ballistic choreography, a discovery of new destinations and merry misunderstandings.

For BE FESTIVAL mk are joined in rehearsal and onstage by local and festival performers. A leading research ensemble of the Italian dance scene, mk are led by Michele Di Stefano, whose work has featured at the National Dance Academy in Rome and the Biennale Danza, Venice.

Awkward Happiness (or Everything I Don't Remember About Meeting You)

Studio Matejka (Poland)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

The passage of a relationship painted in its full colours of intimacy and doubt, desire and duty. As a couple's secrets and surprises are laid down over time, layer upon complex layer, the fleeting moments of understanding and connection give a glimpse of the individuals' simplest yet greatest quest: for happiness.

Studio Matejka is a physical theatre laboratory exploring 21st Century performance techniques, born of an invitation made to Matej Matejka, by The Grotowski Institute in 2010, to open his own research programme.

SHOW

Antonio Tagliarini (Italy)

9.30pm, The STUDIO

"I have a confession to make: I am a presenter, a dancer, a showman. I am my own time, my own things and my own heroes. I am my own alter ego. I am so many chances that I dissolve, but when you look at me here in this space, you make me feel possible and so so real..."

The audience helps a beleaguered performer attempt an impossible self-portrait.

As a performer, director and choreographer, Antonio has presented work across Italy and Europe, collaborating with artists including Miguel Pereira, Raffaella Giordano and Giorgio Rossi.

For full details of the BE FESTIVAL 2014 programme including all other events, workshops, exhibitions visit befestival.org. Tickets are available from 0121 236 4455 / Birmingham-rep.co.uk. Twitter @befestival; Facebook BE Festival.

More UK Regional! More...


Comment & Share


About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts
 

Message Board

Hedwig 12 Posts
Hollow Crown blu ray 1 Posts

BWW BLOGS