Artrix birthday celebrations set to light up town

Parade to launch tenth anniversary festivities.

Spellbound, created by Walk the Plank, seen here at Freedom Festival 2014. Image Thomas Arran (4)

Artrix Arts Centre in Bromsgrove is celebrating its tenth birthday this year and audiences can look forward to a day of spectacular entertainment on 25th April to mark the popular venue’s big day.

On the afternoon of the 25th, students from Heart of Worcestershire College will give two free performances of Quiet Revolution in partnership with Dancefest and Bromsgrove District Council. The performances, which will take place at 2.15 pm and 3.40 pm, will be part of the Council’s St George’s Day celebrations commemorating the centenary of World War One.

Then at 8.00 pm local schools and community groups will gather on Bromsgrove High Street for the Artrix tenth birthday lantern parade. Artrix Learning and Engagement and Walk the Plank have been working with over two hundred members of the local community, including Sidemoor, Dodford and Meadows First Schools, Amber Support, YMCA Youth Group, HOW College, Brownies, Guides and Avoncroft Museum to run workshops to produce the large-scale lanterns for the parade.

Everyone is invited to join the parade which will gather on Bromsgrove High Street at 8pm and they are welcome to make their own battery-powered lanterns to carry.

At 8.30 pm the lantern parade will leave the High Street for Artrix and at 9.00 pm there will be a free outdoor performance of Spellbound by outdoor specialists Walk the Plank on the Artrix Terrace.

Spellbound is a thrilling tale of love, jealousy, betrayal and daring inspired by the Ramayana, an ancient story from India, and created by outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank. We follow the destiny of soon-to-be King and Queen Rama and Sita, and the twist of fate that sees their future placed in peril. But this is no ordinary stage show…

Suitable for all ages, Spellbound takes place at dusk and uses shadow theatre with real performers in place of traditional puppetry. An original soundtrack, live theatrical narration, lantern procession and sumptuous special effects all add to the performance. Audiences can expect dazzling pyrotechnic punctuation and a spectacular fiery finale – taking traditional theatre into an exciting new format, and giving people the chance to see storytelling in a whole new light.

Performers use Bharata Natyam – a traditional Indian form of dance that includes sculptural poses which works perfectly with the shadow theatre format and allows the show to stay loyal to its roots. The result is an inventive, captivating method of storytelling, designed to delight audiences of all ages.

Nick Clarke, Spellbound’s Artistic Director said: “Spellbound is a timeless tale of good versus evil, of love and of overcoming the odds. As a fantastic traditional piece of storytelling it ticks every box, plus there’re some great characters – from the powerful monkey god to the wicked stepmother! What’s more, the original way in which we tell the story – with shadow-play; puppetry; dancers; music; special effects and much more – adds a whole new dimension.”

Ros Robins, Artrix Interim Director said: “It promises to be a wonderful Birthday party and a great way to celebrate the first decade of Artrix. We’re hoping that as many local people as possible will come along on the 25th and enjoy the celebrations.”