Stan's Cafe: One looks, marvels and understands

Birmingham Fest 2018

June 27th, 2018

It’s that time of year again when Birmingham Fest rolls into town – a two and a half week feast of performances from across the UK – staged in some of the city’s most interesting venues including The Victoria theatre pub, the Blue Orange and of course @AE Harris. More details about all the shows on offer can be found on the Birmingham Fest Website

We are very pleased to be hosting 3 performances this year …

Surplus by Sharp Theatre

In 1919 the Daily Mail’s front page decreed that there were 2 million ‘surplus’ women who would never become wives following the First World War because there ‘weren’t enough men to go round’. This is some of their stories.

This piece explores the struggle to forge new paths in careers and achievements as corsets were left off and hemlines rose. Denied the vote that they had supposedly ‘won’ with war work as they were not yet thirty, this generation led the way for women to find independence. However, it was not without great sadness, for both sexes and society at large; they felt the world disfigured. These ‘surplus’ women found solace in other people’s children, their work and each other. In an age when for many women becoming engaged is often viewed as an achievement and people are still fighting to live authentic, free lives, the relevance of their journey is alarmingly resonant. The centenary of the end of World War I is approaching but one hundred years ago, for many, it was a beginning.

Surplus is a sharing piece exploring the words and stories of real women from this period.

Suitable for 12+ (some adult themes)

*Following the performance there will be a Q&A feedback session.

15th July
7:00 pm – 7:45 pm

Tickets £5 (£4 concessions).

Fred and Ginger by Gritty Theatre

Rehearsals after school. Izzy is in the chorus and wants to prove herself. She is determined to work her way up through the ranks and eventually secure a lead role, as one day she wants to ‘goo drama college’. Carl is only here because he got caught (allegedly) sellin’ sherbet Dib Dabs cut with washing powder.
Set in a Black Country secondary modern (or, if you will, an ‘Academy’), ‘Fred and Ginger’ is a bostin’ comedy drama that is an homage to those halcyon days at school. It is a reminder that most of us manage to eventually grow up, find our own way, and leave education. But not necessarily in that order…

Brum-based Gritty Theatre are convinced that drama should not only change lives, but also be a part of everyday life for everyone. Their mission is to discover and nurture new audiences by performing a repertoire that consists of modern works that reflect the concerns and issues of the communities that we live and work in. They also tour – not only to share their work with others, but also to fly the flag for the West Midlands!

Suitable for 12+ (‘cos there am a few naughty words in it’!)

20th July
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Tickets £10.

The Princess and the E by Tactic Arts

Addressing social issues within the Birmingham student community and drug use in nightclubs, ‘The Princess and the E’ is fun, addictive and dangerous to watch. Taking your typical student night out and flipping it on it’s head, its whimsical humour and dark undertones will create a magical, fairy tale world you will be drawn into. But will everything be back to normal when the clock strikes midnight?

Suitable for 16+ (contains strong language, strobe lighting, adult themes and scenes of drug abuse.)

*Following the performance there will be a Q&A discussion.

22nd July
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Tickets £5.


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