EPIC ENCOUNTERS to Run 22 Feb - 12 April at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

EPIC ENCOUNTERS to Run 22 Feb - 12 April at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Leading playwright Mark Ravenhill curates an exciting and diverse programme of events themed around the plays of Bertolt Brecht at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre this spring.

Epic Encounters is a feast of inspiring theatre, stimulating debate and hands-on activities for all ages taking place at The REP from February to April. From Berlin cabaret to exploring the universe and from scientists as stand-ups to a whole day of manifestos, the eight week programme will bring together some of country's best thinkers, performers, scientists and writers for a season of discoveries, performances, provocative debates, cabaret, films and family fun.

Families will be able to explore the universe with Space Encounters and submit their five word protests for how they would change the world in Have Your Say!

Audiences can delve into Brecht's world and travel back to 1950s Berlin with a Kurt Weill cabaret evening O Moon of Alabama, and join in debates about poverty, wealth distribution and politics with special guests John Bird, Founder of the Big Issue, and leading academics Dr David Barnett and Dr Tom Kuhn. Scientists become performers in Science Show Off and stand-ups in the Bright Club Comedy Night, while everyone is invited to join the revolution and make the world a better place in the Epic Encounters exhibition.

Central to the programme will be big ideas and epic stories by the great German poet and writer Bertolt Brecht with The REP's main stage featuring productions of Roxana Silbert's acclaimed production of A Life of Galileo starring Ian McDiarmid, an anarchic new staging of The Threepenny Opera, and a large-scale community production of The Mother.

For film fans, and in collaboration with Flatpack Film Festival, there are screenings of Baal - a 1982 film adaptation of Brecht's first play with electrifying performances by David Bowie and Zoe Wannamaker - plus a programme of rare short films, Eisler Shorts, featuring the music of Brecht's collaborator Hanns Eisler performed live by students from Birmingham Conservatoire.

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director at The REP says of Epic Encounters: "Brecht's belief that drama should present moral ideas through action is increasingly relevant today. With debates about big society, money and power continually dominating the headlines these themes resonate throughout Epic Encounters. We're thrilled to have Mark Ravenhill on board as curator and we hope that over the 8-weeks audiences will come together to explore and join in."

With his much-acclaimed adaptations of A Life of Galileo and The Mother featuring in Epic Encounters, Mark Ravenhill adds:

"Brecht's theatre is a rich mix of big ideas, epic stories and earthly humour. His plays changed theatre across the world and continue to provoke and delight. I'm looking forward to tucking in to The REP's big buffet of Brecht delights."

Epic Encounters takes place at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 22 February to 12 April. For full details please visit: birmingham-rep.co.uk/epicencounters.

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