Last year theatres across the world closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the UK, uncertainty remains around the easing of restrictions. Consequently, BE FESTIVAL has taken the opportunity to review how we present our annual summer festival. 

Like so many other theatres and artists, 2020 saw us taking our festival online. This experience opened up new possibilities of how we can create and deliver work to new and existing audiences.  

For 2021 we are embracing this exciting territory and have evolved our festival to span two seasons being presented in July 2021 and February 2022. For the safety of our artists and audiences, each season will be COVID-19 compliant.

During BE FESTIVAL 2021 we will explore – through a series of commissions – alternative formats and ways to present our artistic programme; we will showcase work postponed from last year and we have commissioned new works to address diversity and to increase the representation of Black, Asian and other ethnic artists who have previously been underrepresented in our programme. These performances will be complemented by online talks and workshops. 

Throughout the year, in a series of workshops led by local artists, our BE Next participants will be focusing on issues around identity and social justice which will result in sharings and a performance. 

Here is an outline of each season and the themes we’ll be exploring during BE FESTIVAL 2021:

Summer Season – July 2021

Our summer season runs 9 – 11 July includes a commission and a series of site-specific works which will see us presenting audio and storytelling pieces – not in traditional theatre spaces, but outdoors. 

At the height of the lockdown we were restricted from accessing parks and communal outdoor spaces. This caused many of us to look at our environment and appreciate nature through a new lens. 

You will be invited to join us as we enjoy nature against the backdrop of an urban landscape, creating an oasis where you can experience a sunset/sunrise or explore the outdoors with our audio trail which encourages you to take time out to reconnect with the natural sights and sounds around you. 

Winter Season – February 2022

Our winter season will see us return to our traditional theatre space to present a programme featuring artists from across Europe. Through a series of commissions, solo pieces and programmed performances presented using a range of genres, we will be highlighting prevalent themes including social justice and the justice system; the empowerment of women and the rise of ecofeminism.  

“Despite the unprecedented challenges we have faced during the past 15 months, we have taken this as an opportunity to refresh and revitalise how we programme and present our annual festival. 

Technology, the resurgence of the BLM movements and the impact of the experience of isolation and confinement has inspired us to look afresh at how we can continue to break down boundaries and barriers – physical and psychological – which has encouraged us to take a new approach resulting in two seasons of work for BE FESTIVAL 2021”

Miguel Oyarzun & Isla Aguilar, Co-Directors, BE FESTIVAL 

We’re delighted to announce the programme for our BE FESTIVAL Summer Season, and details of our Winter programme will be released later in the year. 

--!> asd