The Commonwealth Games might be over but, like the Raging Bull, which remains in Centenary Square until the end of September, the Birmingham 2022 Festival continues to showcase homegrown creativity for, with and by people from the West Midlands.
Birmingham 2022 Festival Executive Producer Raidene Carter said: “The Games' spectacular opening and closing ceremonies have boldly shown the world our rich cultural heritage and proved that creativity and talent is thriving in the West Midlands.
“We set out to stage a far-reaching, eclectic and celebratory 6-month festival to help herald the Games from March and knew we’d present a final chapter to the end of September with a new energy. With the spotlight of the Games behind us but still reeling from the buzz of the last two weeks, audiences can relax into more Festival experiences with pride and confidence in what we’ve achieved so far, and hopefully, excitement for the future.”
Some of the Birmingham 2022 Festival highlights still to come include:
To The Streets – a brand new outdoor musical theatre concert by Roy Williams and composer and lyricist, Tim Sutton. Telling the lesser-known story of the UK’s own civil rights movement, centring on the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963, performances are all outdoors in parks across the West Midlands.
Expect irresistible ska, calypso and rock n’ roll at Handsworth Park on 19 and 20 August; Windmill Hill, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry on 24 and 25 August and West Park, Wolverhampton on 28 August. In the final months of the festival some of the programme is also more introspective, and includes projects that focus on the quieter Commonwealth stories and marginalised perspectives.
From August 25 - 30, Soul City Arts - the company of award-winning Brummie street artist, Mohammed Ali - will present Waswasa at Birmingham Hippodrome a project creatively exploring the act of Islamic prayer; where and how people pray and what it means in a modern secular society. Audiences can expect an immersive experience combining performance, street art and projection, as well as a rare opportunity to get close to the official replica of the famous Birmingham Qur’an, the oldest recorded copy in the world. Waswasa is Mohammed’s largest project to date
PoliNations - an epic city centre super garden celebrating colour, beauty and natural diversity will fill Victoria Square from 2 – 18 Sept along with a programme of poetry, live music and a momentous ballistic seed party.
Time Travel Tram - a free 360 mobile phone experience that invites people to discover the people and places that moulded Birmingham and the Black Country into the vibrant and industrious place it is today – is available on the West Midlands Metro until October. Many free to visit exhibitions also continue including Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s We Are Birmingham; Everything to Everybody: Your Shakespeare, Your Culture at the Library of Birmingham; Dawinder Bansal’s Jambo Cinema at The Mailbox and Vanley Burke’s Blood and Fire at Soho House.
Grand Union and Alberta Whittle’s Congregation culminates with a Harvest Dinner on 16 September outside Birmingham Cathedral and Birmingham’s biggest ever Pride - led by a group of performers who came through MOBILISE, a series of sober queer dance parties - is yet to come. And it all ends with the world premiere of Rambert's Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, a section of which featured in the closing ceremony. Audiences can see the dance piece in full at Birmingham Hippodrome, 27 September - 2 October.
All remaining Birmingham 2022 Festival events can be found online at birmingham2022.com/festival where you can also join the mailing list to stay up to date as more events are announced. Birmingham 2022 Festival is generously supported by Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.