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What’s on in May

by Catherine Edwards on May 6th, 2012

Yes, apart from Capital.

This is where I show my altruistic side and tell you about all the other theatre-related stuff you could be seeing this month. Much like the time my estate agent phoned me up to say they’d had some interest from a potential buyer for my 1-bed flat: “They really like it,” he said, “but ideally they want a 2-bed, so they’re going to have another look round and come back to us.” I had to try SO HARD not to say straight away, ”oh, my neighbour has a 2-bed flat he’s looking to sell - why not get in touch with him?” I didn’t, in case you were wondering. My husband would have disowned me. And no, the buyer didn’t come back.

In hindsight, I should have taken a look around at the Festival calendar and not scheduled Capital to clash with HighTide, PulseMayFest and the Brighton Fringe. But hey ho, you live and learn. Honour Bayes has a rather nifty round-up of other Festivals in What’s On Stage, should you be in the vicinity. For my part, I’ve booked a ticket next week for the HighTide Symposium - “how might shifts in the landscape of new writing impact upon opportunities for playwrights in the UK?” It should be a useful discussion to feed into the West Midlands conversation at Capital, so I’ll be tweeting as much as I can, using both #achangingtide and #capitalfest12.

So here’s a quick look at what else is going on in Birmingham and surroundings this month:

The Cardinals
Stan’s Cafe
9-11 May, Warwick Arts Centre

The latest offering from Stan’s Cafe looks a good bet at Warwick Arts Centre. It’s heading to Plymouth next, so catch it here while you can. “A visual play about faith and belief, The Cardinals is playful, thought-provoking and very funny”. (Did I mention they’re running a workshop for us?)

We Love You City
Talking Birds
8-26 May, The Belgrade (Coventry)

Shame Coventry City have just been relegated, but maybe this re-run from Talking Birds will offer a reminder of happier times. I saw this during its first run in 2010 – funny, vibrant and fantastic use of the stage (the goal celebration is something to behold). Highly recommended, if only to watch the ushers deal with an audience that’s more football crowd than theatre-goer and think nothing of wandering in and out to get a drink or go to the loo. Lots of heckles too, and the cast give as good as they get. Here’s a short video of audience reactions:

Btw, Talking Birds are hosting an event for us too…

It’s Only a Paper Moon
Little Earthquake
19 May, mac

A work-in-progress sharing from local theatre company Little Earthquake. Looks like tickets are available in conjunction with An American Werewolf in London, which is a pretty cool idea. See, I would have programmed Capricorn One, before realising that showed a mission to Mars, not the moon. Which is why I’m not a cinema programmer.

An Instinct for Kindness
by Chris Larner
23 May, mac

Now, I honestly and truly don’t have any connection with this one, apart from it taking place at the mac the day before the Festival opens. And it’s a piece of new writing. But aside from that, nada. A one-person show about a husband accompanying his wife to Dignitas, this looks like it could be quite powerful. One thing sticks in my mind from the video interview:

“You need an empty stage, a chair, and a heart full of a story.”

An audience comes in pretty handy too, but I like the sentiment.

Further afield, Caroline Horton’s You’re Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy gets a showing at The Bush from 8-12 May and Shiverman is the new play at Theatre 503. West Yorkshire Playhouse also have a New Writing Festival from 24 May-1 June.

I’m sure I’ve missed loads, so let me know if there’s anything else on your radar this month. Hopefully, see you at the Festival (the Birmingham one).

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