TILT, Birmingham’s only Aerial and Physical Theatre Festival, is back for its 6th year in the city with an adapted brand-new HYBRID FESTIVAL running live, online and outdoors at a new open space, from Monday 12-Sunday 23 July 2021.

TILT, postponed in 2020 due to COVID restrictions, is one of the largest festivals of its kind outside London and renowned for attracting some of the world’s most talented artistes from the UK as well as internationally. 

The 12-day festival features breath-taking aerial and physical theatre from world class performers, free family outdoor shows and world premieres and discussions. TILT 21 also offers circus sessions for babies and parents and masterclasses and workshops for upcoming artistes, professionals and young people aged 7-14 years.

TILT 21 is produced by RoguePlay, Birmingham’s highly physical theatre company, based at West Midlands Circus and Creation Centre in Digbeth, the city’s historic creative quarter.  RoguePlay, create a unique style of narrative theatre using aerial and ground-based circus, contemporary dance, spoken word and physical theatre.

TILT 21 highlights include a night guaranteed to have audiences on the edge of their seats!  TILTED Circus Night (16 July 7.30pm ticketed) is an absolutely stunning night of live circus and physical theatre from jaw dropping performers from all over the world.  With everything from 5-minute circus acts to new full-length shows TILT 21 features artists such as Mim Wheeler, silk queen from London and Sainbold Janchivdorj, AKA the infamous Boldo (Take That Tour, Cirque Bijou).

On Saturday 17 July members of the public are invited to an afternoon of FREE outdoor shows for all the family.  The afternoon features Around The World In 80 Days, RoguePlay's acclaimed take on Jules Verne’s classic tale.  A colourful acrobatic adventure, with a tactile circus twist which sensitively introduces younger audiences to the issues of climate change.

Following the performance, audience members can give in to their curiosity and join the cast to play on the big-rig Aerial Playground. People of all ages and abilities can try aerial hoop, hammock, and skills on the ladder, with hula hoop, juggling and toys for little ones.

TILT 21 provides fans of physical theatre with the opportunity to see world premieres of brand-new aerial, dance and physical theatre performances by professional young companies. New Work Showcase (17 July ticketed) is an afternoon that will be jam packed with circus awesome-ness from some of the best emerging artists.

Kim Wildborne, Artistic Director of RoguePlay and Producer of TILT Festival said “After a year of uncertainty we can’t express how thrilled we are to return this summer with an even bigger offer!  As well as events taking place indoors TILT 21 audiences will be able to experience a spectacular programme of open-air performances presented at Tea Works, a brand-new cultural open space in Digbeth.”


Kitty Barnes, Creative Director at Tea Works, commented “Everyone at Tea Works is super proud to be hosting this year’s TILT festival.  Not just because we love working with our Digbeth neighbours on projects.  Not just because it’s one of the UK’s biggest festivals of its kind. Mostly it’s because we’re really looking forward to seeing the show!”


Also new to this year is TILT ONLINE which sees some of the in-person classes delivered online.  Participants can join classes from wherever they are in the world, with some teachers teaching via Zoom from their home country, exclusively for the TILT Online programme.

Further festival highlights include SCRATCH THAT! (18 July ticketed) a series of 360-degree online performances showcasing young people's work, community work and a plethora of aerial acts from RoguePlay’s regularly training students.

The festival also offers participatory circus sessions for babies as young as 3 weeks and their parents/carers. RISKY PLAY (18 July ticketed) has endless benefits for children and parents alike, challenging young ones to push their limits, explore their bodies and take risks in a safe environment. TRAINING AND PREGNANCY (14 July FREE time to be confirmed) discusses the difficulties of training when pregnant, safety issues and provides a chance for attendees to share their experiences.

From its base at the West Midlands Circus and Creation Centre in Digbeth, TILT 2021 will also feature masterclasses and workshops, face to face and online, for those wishing to pursue a career in the industry or improve their skills. Drop-In Massage slots are available every day and evening during the festival. And professional photographer; Richard Battye of River Studio, will also be on hand to help workshop participants create their own stunning Aerial Portfolio.