Birmingham Fest 2015 line up announced

Birmingham Fest is back, and the Old Joint Stock Theatre’s line up is bigger than ever.

Simply Soweto Encha
20th-22nd July 7pm
The winners of Best Show (Birmingham Fest 2014) returns.

Unpredictable, joyous and dynamic; a sound sensation coupled by mesmerizing choreography – enjoy the finest unmissable a cappella talent direct from South Africa.

Simply Soweto Encha showcase a unique blend of sound and rhythm where R’n’B, doo-wop, gospel, pop, and jazz meet on one stage. The show is an amalgamation of original material, cover songs as well as traditional African music from Zulu, Tswana and Xhosa cultures.

The Hideout
Haste Theatre 23rd July 7pm, 24th July 9pm
It’s the 1920’s and the gods of ancient Greece spend their nights in Aphrodites’ boudoir, looking for entertainment by playing with the lives of the little people below.

Have they bitten off more than they can chew as they attempt to meddle with the headstrong Ariadne, the courageous Theseus and the small matter of a Minotaur that needs defeating? Through a heady mixture of clowning, gypsy jazz and dance, The Hideout is an award-winning, riotous collision of Greek mythology and the Kit Kat club.

Flick & Julie: Pop-Up Penny Pinchers
Friday 24th July 7pm
Do you like saving money? Do you like laughing? Come and join Flick and Julie in their pop up, one stop, money saving advice shop for an evening of comedy sketches and songs.

A friendship forged in hard times, Flick and Julie are an unlikely pairing that have come together to make your pennies go further so that your dreams can still become reality.

Flick and Julie are the comedy writers and actresses, Beth Granville & Gemma Layton. Beth’s acting credits include Stella (SKY1), Gavin & Stacey (BBC) and Scot of the Antarctic (BBC Radio Wales). Funny Women Semi-Finalist Gemma’s acting credits include Doctors (BBC) and she is also known as her stand-up alter-ego Mercedes Benson, as whom her song ‘Shopping in Lidl’ went viral with over 1 million YouTube hits.

Gemma won the Performance of the Festival award at Birmingham Fest 2014 when she brought her solo comedy show, Mercedes Benson Presents…The Pleasure is Yours to the Old Joint Stock.

Atomic Force & Barely Human Puppets
Saturday 25th July 7pm
A contemporary version of the Anglo-Saxon epic, combining table-top and shadow puppetry, live music and poetry.

A poet performs the tale in verse, alongside an enchanting live score, bringing the story to life with a memorable cast of puppet characters, each with their own unique voice and style. Join them as they debate, dance and battle their way through a story about bravery, fame and humanity.

The Enduring Romance of Cathy and Heathcliff
Tuesday 28th July 7pm
The 1950s, when romance was trickier and boundaries of what was appropriate and what was not were beginning to become fuzzy.

Two strangers meet one day, argue about Cathy’s deep undivided love for Wuthering Heights and then part in a blind fury, but John is drawn to this odd girl. Time after time, fate drags them back together and the play follows their unconventional lives together.

The plot spans across decades, and features the best music from the 50’s and 60’s. The Enduring Romance of Cathy and Heathcliff is an unconventional, dark, comedic re-imagining of the classic romance.

This July will see the third Birmingham Fest; designed as the first ever festival dedicated to fringe productions for the second city, four venues, including the Old Joint Stock Theatre, take part. From 17th July–2nd August, the festival is back and offers a programme of events packed full with new writing, dance, music, comedy and much more.