This was going to be a generic “What’s on in May” blog post, but it kind of got swamped by recommendations for Capital. So I’ve decided to separate out the two. (Just in case you haven’t twigged, it’s all happening later this month at the mac, 24-27 May).
It’s definitely worth checking out, if I can try and put an objective hat on. We’ve got a packed programme of events, most of which is slowly grinding into gear. Rehearsals have started on the 5×5 Site-Specific performances, run in partnership with the MPhil in Playwriting at Birmingham University. Which, in true university fashion, has now changed its name to MRes. No, I don’t know either. It’s still the top place for dramatists to learn their craft, so we’re very lucky to be working with the current writers on this project.
If you’re coming to the Festival as an audience member, I would recommend the following:
calyx, by sean burn
If you were abducted and held for 2000 days, could you grow back to your previous life?
How do you face the world when all you’ve known is turned on its head?
A poetic and lyrical play about a young girl’s transition from captivity to freedom.
Thursday 24th May, 7.30
Saturday 26th May, 9pm
Sunday 27th May, 12noon (+Q&A)
Without a Hand to Hold, by Rob Joiner
Boz and Cank are friends who share a flat. One works days as a hospital porter, the other works nights as a security guard. They look out for each other, as friends are supposed to do. But while Boz likes the fun of their routines Cank can not remember the last time he laughed and has not seen or felt the sun for years…
Thursday 24th May 2012, 9pm-10pm
Friday 25th May 2012, 7.30pm-8.30pm
Sunday 27th May 2012, 2pm-3pm (+ 30min Q&A)
Cuddles by Joseph Wilde
Cuddles is a horrific and darkly comic cautionary tale of control. Part acerbic satire, part psychological horror, and part domestic tragedy of almost Greek proportions.
Friday 25th May 2012, 9pm-10pm
Saturday 26th May 2012, 7.30-8.30pm
Sunday 27th May 2012, 4pm-5pm (+ 30min Q&A)
If you’re coming as a writer, I would recommend the following:
Online Collaborative Playwriting
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Thursday 24th May 2012, 10am-1pm Media Suite, £10
Caroline Jester leads this fun and interactive workshop exploring new practices and processes for developing new plays. Using RepWrite, Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s revolutionary online playwriting zone, participants will be able to learn about collaborative tools and techniques and apply these newfound skills to write short plays.
Writing For and With Devising
Friday 25th May 2012,
10am-1pm Foyle Studio, £10
James Yarker, Artistic Director of Stan’s Cafe, leads a practical workshop focusing on approaches to writing for theatre within a devising context. Drawing on twenty years experience, he will lead discussions and writing exercises addressing: writing as inspiration, aligning form with content, working with actors and improvisation and writing to order. Bring a pen (and any fancy electronic device you fancy).
Finding your Voice
Saturday 26th May 2012,
1pm-3.30pm Foyle Studio, £10
Unlock the elements of your own unique playwriting style in this practical workshop, led by Soho Theatre’s Artistic Associate Dan Herd. The session will explore the process of creating style, character and theatricality using investigative exercises. Writers will be able to examine the tools and techniques available to theatre as a distinctive form, and how to develop original and innovative ideas.
If you’re coming as a writer, artist, performer or indeterminate theatre-maker, you might be interested in one of the following:
Red Teapot (Sat 26th 10am-1pm)
A sort of Open Space around a pot of tea, chatting about areas of interest and focus in the West Midlands theatre-sector. Tweet your questions using the hashtag #capitalfest12 to launch the discussion.
On Call (Thurs 24th, Fri 25th, 12-2pm)
A chance to pick the brains of industry movers and shakers. On Friday 25th, we’ll have representatives from the Arts Council and China Plate, among others, to talk about artist and company development, how to maximise support from mentors and develop partnerships with venues.
That was a bit longer than I intended, and I’ve still left loads out. I hope that’s given a taste of the range of stuff on offer, and I hope there’ll be something there that grabs your interest.
Have a great Bank Holiday weekend.