From the editor If proof was needed that Birmingham is a creative city, another superb and independent festival has just been launched. You would, of course, have been living on the moon (without Wi-Fi) if you deny that there is more going on in Birmingham than we can fit into our tiny packed out 5.5” screen diaries, but the joy is to embrace it all. Even if you’re unable to go, then tell your chatty colleague who would go to the opening of a door, the guy on the bus who listens to his music too loud and the woman moaning about being bored behind you in the post office queue. (She needs to go self-service, that’s entertainment in itself).
So Birmingham Fest started last Friday, is on till 28th July, and I had the pleasure of popping along to the preview. I must admit, I hadn’t prepared for two hours of previews but that’s what I got!
Some highlights for me included ‘The Ledge’, a dark comedy about someone about to end their life from the 14th floor, powerful performances in ‘The Inferno Kid’, which features a disabled, depressed former wrestling star and ‘The Confessions of Jon-Jak Crusoe’, a one man, verbose show by the excellent Gareth Owen.
I enjoyed the opening few minutes showcased by Augustus Stephens talking about going mad but telling the tale, ‘Women at the Edge’ which gave us the biggest laughs of the evening along with some knitting tips and witnessing just one of the short stories from ‘Taking Care of Business‘ makes me want to see more. I’ve already booked to see ‘I Am a Blackbird’ by Kate Walton (also previewed) at the excellent Crescent Theatre plus there is music, burlesque and dance!
Billed as a pre-Edinburgh fringe, Birmingham Fest has performances for every budget with many tickets at around the £5 mark. So take a look at the programme and pop along to be entertained at The Crescent, Blue Orange, Old Joint Stock or AE Harris do tell us what you think!