It’s hard to believe that Birmingham’s BE FESTIVAL started as an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin in a Birmingham curry house in 2010. Inspired by the positive experiences of touring to European art events, festival co-founders Isla Aguilar, Miguel Oyarzun and Mike Tweddle set out to bring the best selection of contemporary European performance to Birmingham.
Bringing the best of European theatre and performance to Birmingham
Subverting all of our expectations of conventional theatre – Birmingham’s BE FESTIVAL – shortened from Birmingham European Festival, is an exhilarating week-long celebration of culture. Bringing the best of European theatre and performance to Birmingham, the festival serves up a bold and experimental programme of new work and seeks to blur the boundary between artist and spectator.
Taking place annually every July at Birmingham Repertory Theatre (REP), the 2019 line-up includes theatrical performance, dance, comedy, circus, live music and visual arts, alongside hands-on artistic workshops and European culinary delights. Each night of the festival, audiences will be treated to a pick of four shows and an interval like no other. Ticket holders can enjoy a dinner served on the REP’s main stage following the first half of the evening performance.
With an emphasis on collaboration, participation and exchange, the specially curated performance programme centres around inclusive participatory events and the communal meal. Each event in the festival has been selected due to its potential to transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries.
Ticket holders can enjoy a dinner served on the main stage following the first half of the evening performance
Perhaps most pleasingly, the festival runs day and night and offers events and activities suitable for all ages and backgrounds. This year’s festival line-up, which will explore the theme of ‘Archive and Memory’, is yet to be announced but we’ll bring you the full listings as soon as we get them.