Well, after months of careful planning, plotting and preparing, Thunderclapping, Costco runs, late nights and early starts and a whole lot of hoofing boxes of brochures and flyers around the REP, the day has finally arrived: it’s the first day of BE FESTIVAL 2015.
We open up the backstage spaces of the REP tonight to all of our lovely audiences. Come along to our newly transformed festival hub (sneaky peak below) to sit back, grab some cake and a drink at the bar and get ready for the night’s entertainments.
This year we’re opening the festival with two very special shows. First up we have Locus Amoenus by Catalan company ATRESBANDES. The company won the BE FESTIVAL Jury 1st Prize in 2012 and subsequently worked in residency at mac birmingham, where this piece of wonderfully witty theatre was created. Following ATRESBANDES we have the return of another 1st Prize winner (2014), Antonio Tagliarini, with his wacky Show. Each of tonight’s shows will last for one hour.
In 2015 we welcome back food designers Blanch and Shock, who will be preparing all manner of culinary delights for us all to eat during our interval feasts on the REP’s main stage. Tonight you can join us under the spotlights to dig-in to braised beef (mushrooms for our vegetarian guests) with British spices, served in flour tortillas with tomato and red onion salsa, crushed pea salad and sour cream.
After tonight’s shows the Festival Hub is the only place to be, as theatre gives way to this year’s opening party. We’re very happy to welcome UK reggae royalty Gabbidon to the festival. Basil Gabbidon was a founding member of Grammy-winning Birmingham-based reggae band Steel Pulse.
Our young performance company, BE Next, have already met and begun rehearsals with international directors Antonio Tagliarini and Filipe Viegas in preparation for their show Before, which will be performed on Saturday. Here’s some thoughts from BE Next member Selina Akhtar on the process so far.
‘Today was the first day of the be next project. It was the first time today where I actually seen so many people whom attended this project.
I’ve been to BE Next 3 times, and I felt the need to always come back because of how great it was, and because I wanted to progress with my arts award.
As so many had attended this time, we who had completed our Bronze felt obligated to help those “newbies”. We helped them by participating in their games and help them with what they needed to do In order to complete their Bronze.
It allowed me to gain some valuable experience as a tutor, rather than student. They say that you only truly understand something if you can teach it to others.’
Here’s a short video of the BE Nexters in action.
You can find more information about tonight’s shows here: www.befestival.org/festival.
We’ll be keeping this blog updated with daily posts throughout the festival – so keep an eye on the website, or on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, for your daily round-ups.
If you’re not already, make sure you keep watching our Facebook page and Twitter feed! All of our festival updates and announcements will be going out there – there’s plenty to come over the next five days!