Let it BE

Three weeks to go until Birmingham’s European Theatre Festival.

As Britons vote on whether to remain in Europe, BE FESTIVAL, Birmingham’s festival celebrating the best of European theatre, returns to the city from 21 – 25 June. Featuring over twenty electrifying performances from ten European countries, plus live music, exhibitions, workshops, discussions and delicious food, and with the European referendum happening in the middle of the festival on Thursday 23 June, BE FESTIVAL offers an adventurous programme celebrating all that is great about Europe.

The week-long festival brings together daring and unforgettable new theatre, dance and circus performances from Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany and Slovenia among others. Taking place in the vast set construction workshops at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and other locations in the city, each night of the festival features four short performances and an interval dinner where audiences and artists mingle and eat together.

Festival highlights include a super-sized painting inspired by Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and created by Spanish artist An Wei on the floor of the city’s Centenary Square, Massive Battleships – a large scale outdoor version of the classic naval guessing game, and Things Easily Forgotten – Xavier Bobés intimate and sensory journey into Spanish history.

Miguel Oyarzun, festival co-director says: “BE FESTIVAL is all about giving UK audiences a varied taste of some of the most exciting theatre happening across Europe. It’s really timely that this year’s festival is taking place at the same time as British people vote in the European referendum – we’ll be exploring what it means to be a European citizen and we want to encourage audiences to learn from other cultures as well as having a great night out!”

Co-director Isla Aguilar adds: “The festival began in 2010 and we were warmly welcomed to the UK – it feels like a second home to us now. Birmingham is such a creative city that embraces art and cultures, whatever their origin. We’re proud to be working with some of the newest and most exciting artists and performers from across Europe. It promises to be a truly exciting and vibrant festival.”

BE FESTIVAL champions emerging theatre, dance and circus artists from across Europe with an annual programme presented in Birmingham. Conceived in 2010 by Mike Tweddle, Miguel Oyarzun and Isla Aguilar, BE FESTIVAL brings together the most daring and unforgettable new performances from Europe for the festival and also UK tour. BE FESTIVAL has a particular focus on work which transcends cultural, linguistic and artistic boundaries and supports artists in finding new and innovative ways to engage with audiences and was voted among the UK’s top 50 festivals by the Sunday Times in 2014.