Author Archives: Jess Davies

Created in Birmingham » Theatre: BE Festival – Actors, Dancers, Performances and You – 2nd – 12th July, 2014.

With all the build-up and enthusiasm for dance performances during IDFB I feel well and truly ready for BE Festival 2014. Having not personally attended BE Festival before I was a little unsure of what to expect, and so took the opportunity to visit the 2014 launch at Birmingham Rep on the 16th April. I was quickly immersed into a world of acting, exciting workshops and performers.

BE Festival has been hosted in Birmingham since 2010 after responding to an Arts Council-hosted conference entitled, ‘The Challenge of Change: How can we make a better future for theatre, here in the West Midlands?’ in 2009.

5 years on, the realised dream of BE Festival still continues. Having invited performers from 11 different countries to take part in this years’ amazing selection of 22 performances, the festival has already attracted a large following.

This year The Rep will open their doors to BE Festival, with the main stage itself set to feature a pop-up restaurant. There they will be serving delicious interval dinners to artists and audiences so that they can have an opportunity to eat together each evening. The menus include vegetarian options and advance bookings for this are now available through box-office.

You’ll now be able to see all of the wonderful events planned which include visual arts and talks, workshops, performances and even musical post-show events, finishing with an Awards Party on the 12th of July.

Even better, if you’d like a chance to be involved with BE Festival, meeting the performers and organisers behind the action then you might be interested in their volunteering opportunities. Open until the 12th of May, volunteering opportunities with BE Festival also include 6 positions for aspiring stage managers/technicians to form part of the Production Team.

If you would like to volunteer please send an email detailing your interest, any relevant skills, experience and CV to Volunteers will be needed in May and then throughout June and July.

For the full 2014 programme please see HERE.

Created in Birmingham » Theatre: Birmingham Opera company presents, ‘KHOVANSKYGATE: A National Enquiry’

“Born of a passion and a belief that opera can speak directly to all kinds of people, Artistic Director, Graham Vick, set out to create a company that the people of Birmingham – a city of many peoples – could be proud of…

…We’ve got more exploring to do to discover where opera can be performed. How to perform it. How to re-write the rules of engagement between audiences and performer. How to experiment with space and acoustics. Who can we make it speak to?”

Birmingham Opera Company would like to invite you to their production of Khovanskygate: A National Enquiry.  You may have already heard a sneak preview at Springhill Tesco Superstore, where professional soloists Joseph Guyton and Stephanie Corley were accompanied by Sergey Rybin on piano. The singers performed a selection of opera favourites from Tosca, Madame Butterfly and Othello, demonstrating their talents whilst preparing to play the roles of Prince Andrei and Emma in this latest production.

The opera will take place in a big top tent at Cannon Hill Park, with performances at 7pm on the 22nd, 24th, 28th and 30th April before a final performance on the 2nd May.

The story depicts Russia in the midst of a division between powerful conservative forces and growing Westernising influence. Musorgsky paints a devastating portrait of a nation on the brink of collapse; torn apart by state corruption, religious fanaticism, social inequality and ethnic cleansing.

The unique setting and involvement from local performers already sets the bar for an interesting series of evenings. Birmingham Opera Company released an open call for singers with varied to little experience in performance, asking them to join in with rehearsals several days a week. If you’d like to become involved with Birmingham Opera Company’s projects yourself, then please contact them at .

We wish the cast and Birmingham Opera Company the best of luck for the shows. For telephone booking information please call 0121 246 6632 Monday – Friday 9:00am-11:00am or use the following link for further information and online booking.

Created in Birmingham » Theatre: The Blue Orange Theatre and a Box of Frogs

The Blue Orange Theatre is a local independent theatre in the Jewellery Quarter. As well as their programmed shows, they host workshops for adults and youths. For any local performers – it’s a good place to keep an eye on.


Monday 20th January (tonight), The Blue Orange Theatre will be inviting improv group Box of Frogs to lead “a toadally free evening” (just gotta love that play on words!).

The performance will start from 7:30pm and there is a small café/bar available for those who get there a little early. That being said; here are some handy directions for public transport navigation and walking.

With such a playful attitude and pleasant reviews, then surely this free evening of fun is too good an opportunity to miss?

Box of Frogs is ran by Jon Trevor who you can find every Tuesday at St Columba Church Hall, Chantry Road, Moseley, B13 8DJ for drop in sessions, which run from 7.30 – 9.30pm. The 2 hour session costs just £4.50, and might be a great follow up if you enjoy your evening at The Blue Orange Theatre.