Standing On The Edge

Birmingham schools in festival of international children’s theatre.

Local school children from across Birmingham are working with world-class theatre companies ahead of and during ON THE EDGE – the world festival of theatre for young audiences – which takes place in Birmingham from 2th–9th July.

ON THE EDGE is a festival of outstanding theatre from around the globe for children, young people and families. Over one week, the festival will present 16 world-class shows at some of Birmingham’s leading venues: Birmingham Repertory Theatre, mac birmingham, Birmingham City University, The Old Rep and the Patrick Centre. Hosted and produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre, ON THE EDGE is organised by Theatre for Young Audiences UK and Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland.

Pupils from Small Heath Primary, Peter’s Hill Academy, Nansen Primary School and Robin Hood Academy are working with world-class theatre companies to develop their performance and theatre skills, create their own mini-plays and pieces of theatre and in some cases will perform their own work in a series of curtain raisers taking place throughout the festival.

Steve Ball, Executive Producer of ON THE EDGE and Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre says: “ON THE EDGE is creating innovative ways for young people across Birmingham to get involved and interact with world-class theatre companies. Pupils and their teachers are exploring performance, the ways in which theatre tells stories as well as creating their own responses to the festival shows.

“ON THE EDGE is the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering for 2016 – a global event that takes place in a different world city every year. The fact that Birmingham was chosen as the location for this prestigious event is an indication of the high regard in which UK theatre for young audiences is held internationally. We’re thrilled to be welcoming outstanding theatre from around the globe for local children, young people and families to enjoy. It really is an exciting opportunity for our city to shine on the world stage.”

At Small Heath School pupils have been devising their own theatre performances around World War I to accompany A Feast of Bones – a play set in the shadows of World War I by Irish Company Theatre Lovett. Pupils travelled to Dublin in June to learn about local history and take part in workshops at Ireland’s National Theatre. They will perform their mini-play at Birmingham Repertory Theatre before seeing Feast of Bones.

ON THE EDGE will feature 16 shows by artists from 14 countries, including the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Australia and South Korea. Babies can get their first taste of theatre with Out of the Blue, whilst toddlers and younger children will love the trampoline-based fun of Boing! The fantastically named, Why Do Hyenas Have Shorter Back Legs Than Front Legs And Why Do Monkeys Have Bare Bottoms? brings the colours of Africa to Birmingham and teenagers will relish the hip-hop gig, The Broke ‘N’ Beat Collective. Everyone can also join in the art installation, I Think I Can which allows members of the public to inhabit a model railway village using the powers of technology.

The full programme for ON THE EDGE is available at: